Friday, April 04, 2014

Number 1553: Rex Dexter redux

What to think of this? Last October I showed you the lead story from Fox’s 1940 one-shot, Rex Dexter of Mars #1. You can read it by clicking on the thumbnail at the bottom of the page. That story, showing Rex returning to Earth from his home on Mars, appears to have been created especially for the book. It is followed immediately in that publication by a reprint of the very first Rex Dexter story from Mystery Men Comics #1 (1939). It also is a story of Rex Dexter coming to Earth for the first time from his home on Mars. The two stories coincide with that, but in details vary. So I repeat my question of what to think of this, even going back nearly 75 years to kids buying the book and encountering what seem to be two origin stories in a row with differences in the details. Anyone who is big on consistency and continuity may be a bit confused.

I’m showing that reprint, plus another reprint from the issue of the Rex Dexter story from Mystery Men Comics #4 (1940). The second story has Rex and his galpal Cynde encountering a villain, grandly named Lord Marvel, on a planet, Ursis, The first story has Rex encountering a villain with the excellent moniker of Boris Thorax, who is somehow able to get planet Tarsis to hit our planet.

Stories written and drawn by Dick Briefer.


Here is the story I posted last October. Just click on the thumbnail:


Daniel [] said...

When I see that sort of inconsistency, I usually attribute it to someone making decisions who didn't see the work as more than just a commercial venture, and didn't have much respect for the readers.

I'd guess that Briefer created the new origin story without anticipating that the earlier story were going to be reprinted in the same issue, but that an editor either didn't give a d_mn, or found himself up against an unanticipated budgetary constraint.

Pappy said...

Daniel, you're probably right on both of your guesses. Since everyone involved is now long dead it would be impossible to know for sure.

In those days it must've been a real task to get out a 64-page comic book every couple of months...wrangling all the artists, the writers, deadlines, press time, etc., so I can see where inconsistencies might pop up from not having enough time to pay attention to every detail.

I also might be wrong in assuming that Briefer wrote everything he signed. Maybe different writers turned in scripts he illustrated, as well, and consistency suffered.