Monday, May 04, 2015

Number 1730: The Scarab levitates out of comic books

The Scarab was a superhero who appeared late in the game, in 1945’s Exciting Comics #42 (1945), at a time when superheroes were being replaced by other features in comics. Other superhero mainstays of the Nedor line, Black Terror and Fighting Yank, hung around for a few more years.

This feature in Black Terror #20 (1947) is the Scarab’s last appearance. The Grand Comics Database gives Ken Battefield credit for the pencils. I am lazy today so I am swiping the GCD’s synopsis for the story: “ An old Egyptian tells Peter a story of a strange secret potion of weird power that was buried in the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Am-Re in the year 1445, whose tomb was uncovered by a group of beggars and thieves searching for water. They drank of the potion before their ‘deaths’ and are scheduled to arise again from the dead today!”

As for the teaser panel on top of this page, haven’t you ever wished you could get out of a bad situation by levitating? Actually, I have not, but next time I’m cornered by a black cat I’ll try it.


Daniel [] said...

Alive in a world of which they knew nothing, they chose to kill themselves. Now-a-days, most such people instead spend their time 'blogging social commentary.

Anyway, Ward strikes me as a punk. If I'd led people into a situation in which they were being cut-down by brigands, I would not be concerned to protect my secret identity; I'd be concerned to save lives. And why is it that, away from the other members of his expedition, Ward feels the need to wait until the villains have their backs to him before he effects a change-of-identity? The thieves can and do put two-and-two together.

I imagine that the writer was thoroughly amused at the device of having the hero surrendering when the life of Muffin was threatened.

(Okay! okay! So the cat was named “Akh-Tu-Men” — not “Muffin” — and was the reïncarnation of a priest.)

Ryan Anthony said...

Judging by this strip, I have a feeling nobody really missed the Scarab when he hit the sandy trail. But, hey, maybe he was reincarnated as some other dopey comics character. Curiosity: why is the word "story" in "quotes" in the final "caption"?

Pappy said...

Daniel, good point about the secret identity. Why is it a big deal? If I had super powers everyone in the whole g-d world would know I did, and that it was me, not some guy in a mask.

Errrr. Well, actually, I have a secret identity now, don't I? I have mine because I don't want people looking up my phone number and calling me at 2:00 a.m. to ask how much their 1995 issues of Spider-Man are worth. (It has happened, under different circumstances...teaching me a lesson about full identity disclosure on the Internet.)

Pappy said...

Ryan, good "question," my friend. Why the "quotes" in the "caption"? Some comic book writer did not know where quotation marks go, because he didn't need them when he wrote the "speech" balloons?

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Here's another " question" for you.
If those thieves have just come back from year 1445, how can they know the Scarab, and that he's the "one who fights evil"?... Unless he's the last in a long line of "Scarabs", like The Phantom... I would have said "Who's this prick?"
I like the cat. Scruffy and aggressive like some of mine.

Pappy said...

J D, and like most cats, probably enigmatic, which describes the logic behind the thieves "knowing" the Scarab is "the one." We must just assume we shall never know, like we shall never know the secret thoughts of cats.