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Friday, December 19, 2014

Number 1672: Perplexing past

Last week I showed a robot story by Otto Binder, who wrote hundreds of Captain Marvel stories. I said I thought the robot story seemed like a Captain Marvel story without Captain Marvel, lacking the kind of genial whimsy of a typical Captain Marvel story.

So, here is a genial, whimsical Captain Marvel tale, written by Otto Binder. From Captain Marvel Adventures #135 (1952).








13 comments:

Ryan Anthony said...

The first archaeologists are going to be confused when they dig up Dexter's broken time machine.
Was C.C. Beck the artist? I haven't noticed before, but did he always use so many silhouettes?
I forgot to tell you the other day, Pappy, that I read "Boody" in one sitting. Pretty engaging.

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Hmmm…

The writers of Dexter's Laboratory had some background in comic books. I wonder if their Dexter was inspired by this Dexter, or at least named for him.

I'm glad to see that Binder made a point of telling the readers that the age of dinosaurs (as we generally understand them) did not overlap that of the genus Homo. But, really, Captain Marvel could have forged a cabin for Pa and Dexter, and taken them to the Rock of Eternity which is …

Wait… “midpoint of space”? That makes no sense! D_ngit! Binder got the palæontology correct, but hosed-up the cosmology!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

"Mom! I was way back in one hundred million B.C. ..."

"No excuses dexter! Next time I call you for lunch just drop everything, mo matter WHERE you are".

I'm not familiar with THIS Cap. Marvel, what I know of him comes from the italian version of Maurice Horn's encyclopedia (read SO many years ago...) but I like the spirit and light-hearted tone Mr. Binder uses in this story.
I also really like the concept of a kid turned into a superhuman being with the body of an adult. A full grown man with "adult" responsibilities and weights to carry, but the mental attitude of a 12 or 15 Y.O. lad. This is quite close to the character of JD La Rue and it represents also (to some extent) my attitude towards life.
Another kid capable of transforming into a full grown man by means of magic was, if I remember well "Tod Holton, super green beret" (1967) from Lightning Comics, but this was completely different: stupid "war" stories about a boy ass-kicking bunches of stereotypical, subhuman Viet-Congs (go figure). I saw only one and was enough, kinda insulting for all those involved in that war.
That is to say: how comics (like everything else) can range from awful good to... well, you know.

Pappy said...

Ryan, my guess is that it was done by the C.C. Beck studio, but I obviously left that out. Thanks for asking.

If you look around this blog and type in Boody Rogers you'll come up with stuff not in Yoe's book. Rogers had a pretty good run at the end of the forties and then kicked over his comics career in order to open some art supply stores. I'm sure that he did better financially, but artistically there really was no one like him. I would have liked to have seen him go on for another few years with more of his off-the-wall humorous stories.

Pappy said...

Daniel, hmmmm is right, although I have no idea whether the Dexter of Captain Marvel was seen by the folks who created Dexter's Laboratory (I have never seen it, so I really don't know).

If the Rock of Eternity is at the midpoint of space, then space is finite. I will bring that up with Neil deGrasse Tyson next time he invites me for coffee.

Pappy said...

J D, that boy in man's body has been used several times. It was even the plot of several movies, including Big with Tom Hanks. Since he is mentally a child when a woman asks him to stay the night he is puzzled. "Like a sleepover?" he asks, which is an expression for kids spending a night at a friend's house.

When I was a kid I would have loved to have said a magic word and become a big, strong guy who could fly. I would not have used the power to do good, though. I would have pounded my enemies into the sidewalk, hit on chicks, etc. I was too immature at that age to "wear" a man's body, though, which is a point to ponder. Either Billy Batson is exceptionally mature for his age, or is a grown man who looks really young.

rnigma said...

Mr. Kitty pointed out Super Green Beret's similarities to Captain Marvel:
http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics36.html
Check out the other publications of Lightning Comics: "Fatman the Human Flying Saucer" - written by Binder and drawn by Beck - and "Captain Shazam."


Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Eh, Tyson ran off the rails years ago. He famously said — and has repeatedly stood by the assertion — “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Well, no. A truly scientific proposition is always a best approximation, but it is extremely rare for one of its propositions to be true. Tyson makes that sort of pseudo-scientific claim because he has morphed into a pundit in the clash over the rôle of experts in our culture.

Anyway, mostly what I wanted to say is that while a finitude of space is arguably a necessary condition for space to have a mid-point, finitude is definitely not a condition. If space is closed, so that traveling in any one direction begins to bring one closer the where one started, then there may be no sensible mid-point.

(BTW, my favorite book on cosmology is The Book of Universes by John D. Barrow, in part because two of its chapters begin with a quotation from … uhm … well, me.)

Alicia American said...

Yah thats CC Beck, @ leest tha faces. <3

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Oops. Please make that “definitelynot a sufficient condition”.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

@rnigma. Thanks for the very interesting link, I totally agree with the definition "stupid comic" regarding Super Green Beret.
I may be wrong, but "Fatman the human flying saucer" looks like a Herbie Popnecker - Fat Fury knock-off (but was probably far from being equally nice). Lightning Comics sure drew a lot of "inspiration" from here and there.

7f7f3e2a-4856-11e4-900a-bb8e57f8828f said...

I find the caption "MEANWHILE… (100 million years ago!) THE TIME MACHINE OF THE BOY SCIENTIST ARRIVES" both satisfying and baffling. It's part of the tendency of time travelers to be running out of time. It's swell although I'll never be able to understand it. =smile= Fun story, Pappy.

Pappy said...

7f7, it is hard to think of "destinations" in time travel. If a time traveler is going from 2014 CE to a point in the Jurassic, for instance, he would have to be aware of what would await him when he arrived. No good materializing inside a Tyrannosaurus Rex, or in an active volcano, or an ocean where no water currently exists in our age. I'd advise a time traveler to send a camera, if possible, and check out the lay of the land...or whatever passes for it at that time.