Friday, December 07, 2018

Number 2270: Doc Strange’s big apes made a monkey of me

I'll be damned! I have been took! I have been fooled...hornswoggled! I found the splash panel for “Doc Strange” from America’s Best Comics, and thought it terrific. Two huge apes threatening a hero! But as I read through the story, to my disappointment I found out those apes do not appear. About the best the creators could muster is a weird-looking crocodile, for which the uncredited artist used no reference photos. The story seems typical of  Nedor comic books, where logic and coherence are thrown out in favor of slam bang action panels.

I originally thought Doc Strange was a Doc Savage knockoff, but found he is more Superman than Savage. Since I feel snookered by the splash panel, and out of pique not willing to write any more, I am including Public Domain Super Heroes’ online capsule history of the character. So, take it away, PDSH!*
Origin Doc Strange

“Dr. Hugo Strange was a brilliant scientist who developed a serum called Alosun, a ‘distillate of sun atoms’ in order to ‘defeat crime.’ He spent many years developing it before he decided to field-test it in his first appearance, when he faced off against the Faceless Phantom. Ingestion of this serum gave him superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and invulnerability. Doc Strange was assisted by his sidekick, Mike, and his fiancée, Virginia Thompson.

“Doc Strange didn't have a secret identity and he was usually recognized on the streets of his native city. The city’s mayor occasionally contacted him to request assistance in some case that was beyond the capacities of mundane law enforcement. However, he wasn't as widely known in the greater United States, which allowed him and Mike to travel incognito on several occasions.”

Real Name Dr. Hugo Strange
First Appearance Thrilling Comics #1 (Feb. 1940)

Original Publisher Nedor
Created by Richard E. Hughes and Alexander Kostuk

Golden Age Appearances: America's Best Comics #1-23, 27, Thrilling Comics #1-64
The untitled story is from America’s Best Comics #15 (1945):

*I did a few small edits in the text for grammar purposes, not any factual information.


Daniel [] said...

Yes, Doc Strange is rather more like the early Superman than like Clark Savage. Still, I imagine that the initial idea were to clone Doc Savage. And both Clark Savage and the early Superman represented riffs on the popularization of Neitzsche's notion des Übermenschen; there was just a lot of that about in those days.

At the very same time as this Hugo Strange first appeared, the Batman was confronted by an evil Hugo Strange. And five months before Stephen Strange appeared, Iron Man fought a different Doctor Strange, Carlo Strange, in Tales of Suspense #41 (February 1963).

I cannot say that I enjoyed the writer's having Virginia play the buffoon in order to have Doc Strange struck from behind a second time.

And, of course, we all know that the government would do Good Things with an enlargement ray; because, well, the government is so inclined to do Good Things.

Japanese names ending in “-ko”, such as “Hiroko”, are feminine. And “Mikado” was never used by the Japanese amongst themselves to refer to the Emperor; the word had that sense in English as a result of an error in translation; in Japanese, it refers to a Heavenly Gate.

Quicksand doesn't suck a person complete under unless that person flails. It is possible basically to float on it and to swim in it as if it were a thick fluid. (Technically, it's a colloid.) Vultures could not lift a person from ordinary ground, let allow pull that person from quicksand.

Pappy said...

Daniel, if trapped in quicksand I will remember what you have said, and will not depend on vultures to save me. I assume they are looking for a meal and just waiting until I was a corpse before helping me.

If course I believe the government (ours, or any other gov'ment) is doing Good Things, just like I believed my dad when he draped me over his knee and administered some corporal punishment with the thoughtful phrase, "Now, son, I'm doing this for your OWN GOOD!"

I wonder if all those Strange people were from the same Strange family.