Monday, April 03, 2017

Number 2031: “You’ll never get me, Diamond Jack!”

Diamond Jack made his final appearance in Wow Comics #1, which appeared toward the end of 1940. Fawcett Publications had canceled another title, Slam Bang Comics, after seven issues (number 7 is dated September, 1940), and Diamond Jack showed up in Wow Comics for one issue. After that Diamond Jack took his magic diamond and disappeared. My suspicion is that comic books of the time that didn’t feature superheroes in costumes probably did not fare as well as comics with more colorful characters. That is why Wow #1 features the costumed Mr Scarlet on its cover.

There were all sorts of magicians in early comics, all patterned after Mandrake. Diamond Jack need only point his magic diamond ring and wow, as the comic book title suggests, he can take care of the mad scientist who is turning men into vulture men for the purposes of taking over the world. What lofty goals these villains have. They don’t want to knock over a grocery store or have a more modest and attainable goal...they aim at taking over the world. No wonder, like the villainous mad scientist, Kruger, they are sent to their doom. And all Diamond Jack had to do was order his magic ring to knock down a dam! No wonder he didn’t show up in comic books anymore. He probably hocked that magic diamond and laid low.

Grand Comics Database lists Gus Ricca with a question mark for both pencil and inking. Gus Ricca has credit for creating Diamond Jack, and looking at Slam Bang Comics #1, where Diamond Jack first appeared, the differences are obvious. I don’t know who drew this final Diamond Jack story.


Daniel [] said...

Of the various haphazardries in this story, that which most bothers me is the unanswered question of why Jack didn't rescue the vulture men. They were apparent victims, Jack could turn them into cacti or into rabbits. Why not turn them back into men? Perhaps they were indeed past “past all human aid”, but Jack was “beyond mortal limits”.

It's always fun to see Airflow-type vehicles in the platinum and early golden-age comics.

Operator-V said...

Let me appoint the similarities with Green Lantern... I love this kind of characters, so naif, so kitsch, almost forgotten... But there it is the potential.

Thanks for the post! said...

This story was from WOW (Fawcett).
It qualifies as a "Stupid Comic" (link to this website on this one. The links to stories have obscure & sometimes needlessly profane names.)

DC acquired at least some of the Fawcett characters, but has messed around with them -like everything else they DC-fied. Even Zoo Crew wasn't spared. Making the Golden Age Green Lantern a homosexual was uncalled for, and will cost readers.