Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kalora! It's MARVELO, Monarch of Magicians!!

Marvelo, Monarch of Magicians was...well, a magician! He had the power to do just about anything that the story required by shouting "Kalora!"

Created by Fred Guardineer (who also created Zatara Master Magician for DC Comics and Tor the Magic Master for Quality, anyone else sense a pattern...?), Marvelo appeared in BIG SHOT COMICS #1-20 (May 1940-Dec 1941), and THE FACE #1 (1941).

BIG SHOT COMICS #8 (December 1940)
story by Gardner Fox?; art by Fred Guardineer

Sunday, December 12, 2010

YOUNG ROBINHOOD Calls it Quits!!

There's very little info online for Young Robinhood (often misspelled "Young Robin Hood"). Here's what Public Domian Super Heroes has:
Billy Lackington, son of one New York City's wealthiest men, decides to use his archery skills to fight against the criminals who preyed on the poor. He used his fascination with Robin Hood as his costumed theme. He soon shifted his scope to fighting the Axis powers and crime in general. He recruited a group of local street kids - "Fatso," "Shorty," and "Freckles" - to serve as his "Merry Men." On their second adventure, the Merry Men got codenames, becoming Friar Tucker, Little John, and Big Doc. Doc was killed in action early on, but Friar Tucker and Little John continued to assist Young Robin Hood until their feature was canceled.

Young Robin Hood and his allies operated out of a secret base hidden in Central Park which they built using the money they managed to pool together. They fought villains such as The Crow King and the Veiled Lady.
Young Robinhood debuted in BOY COMICS #3 (April 1942) and ran through issue #32 (February 1947), never to be heard from again...

BOY COMICS #9 (April 1943)
story by ?; art by Alan Mandel

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Sergeant Spook (which apparently was his real name before he died) has a very short and simple secret origin...and it contains a message: Smoking is bad for your health!

One night while working in the police crime laboratory, Sergeant Spook absent-mindedly laid his pipe next to a rack of chemicals. The chemicals exploded, killing the sergeant. Thus began his career as a ghostly crime fighter.

No real super powers (like, say, the Spectre), but although he was invisible to humans, he could still make physical contact with them. He also spent a lot of time hanging with his fellow ghosts in Ghost Town.

Sergeant Spook debuted in BLUE BOLT COMICS v1 #1 (June 1940) and held a regular spot through v7 #7 (Dec 1946). There were 27 more issues of BLUE BOLT COMICS, and Sergeant Spook made it into 17 of them (v7 #10-v10 #1, Mar 1947-Jul/Aug 1949). He also appeared in DICK COLE #1 (Dec/Jan 1948/49).

BLUE BOLT COMICS v1 #10 (March 1941)
story & art by Malcolm Kildale

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MINIMIDGET, Man of Mite!

Minimidget (and girlfriend/sidekick, Ritty) debuted in AMAZING MAN COMICS #5 (Sept 1939, which was the first issue of the series). He held his spot until the next to the last issue of the series, AMAZING MAN COMICS #25 (Dec 1941). He also appeared in all 5 issues of STARS & STRIPES COMICS (#2-6, May-Dec 1941).

Minimidget had an interesting debut: Although he was the headliner of the tale, he had no dialogue and was just used by Dr. Barmell (the mad scientist who created him) to murder people (which he did without showing much remorse). By the end of the story, Minimidget had been killed by a rattrap!

Death being what it is in comics (even in the Golden Age, apparently), Minimidget wasn't dead, just injured ("while on an evil errand for his late master"). The district attorney's office finds Minimidget and Riddy a home with the kindly old lady, Mrs. Kerry. They neglect to mention to Mrs. Kerry (or the readers, ever again) that Minimidget was on a killing spree when he was caught in the trap, but...oh well.

Minimidget and Riddy pretty much lived happily-ever-after, fighting crime and riding around in toy planes, trains and automobiles. Well...until the end of 1941.

AMAZING MAN COMICS #21 (March 1941)
story & art by John F. Kolb

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The FIGHTING YANK in "The Case of the Extra Nazi Prisoner!"

The Fighting Yank (Bruce Carter III) meets Baron Karl Mannfred Von Khill, Der Fuehrer's greatest secret agent!!

story by Richard Hughes (?); art by ?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Golden Age Heroes 2011 Calendar - MAYBE

Update: Zazzle is offering 40% off calendars!
Use code 40CLNDRS2011 at checkout! Ends 11/30/2010.
Amazing Golden Age Heroes 2011 Calendar

The Story, The Drama, The Strife...

Earlier this year I was thinking it would be cool to have a calendar of Golden Age heroes. I figured with all the print-on-demand options out there, I'd give it a shot.

I decided to go with Zazzle since I could design the entire page, as opposed to CafePress where they put on any calendar they feel like. I'm just too much of a control junkie! [Although I won't make that mistake again...]

So I finally had it all together and up on Zazzle in May and placed me an order. I got the confirmation email...I couldn't wait to see what it looked like! A bit later I got a second email that said:
We are sorry, but we are unable to process your order 131-39775797-2721874 due to a conflict with one or more of our acceptable content guidelines.

Your entire order has been cancelled; all of the items in your order will not be shipped.

For these reasons, we were unable to process your original order:

Title: Amazing Golden Age Heroes 2011 Calendar
Product Link: 158648999484715845
Result: Not Approved
Content Issues:
--- Design contains an image or text that is copyrighted.
I sent them an email explaining that the images involved were public domain, and that they had other sellers on Zazzle that were also selling public domain images. The response I got was:
Thank you for reporting a suspected marketplace violation. It's Zazzlers like you that uphold our community ideals to provide a great venue for creativity and originality.

Your submission will be reviewed by our Content Management Team. If we determine that the product is in violation of our policies, it will be removed from the marketplace.
I emailed them back letting them know that first: I hadn't reported any violations because there weren't any, and second: what needed to be done to resolve this "issue."

I never received a response.

I just let it go and pretty much forgot about it.

For some reason in September I remembered it again, and since I'd never heard from them, I assumed maybe they had their crack legal team research the term "public domain" and it was all better now. I sent in an order.

And received the same cancellation notice.

This time I asked them specifically what in my calendar was the problem. I actually got a response!:
In this instance, your order contained products with copyright-protected content related to Marvel UK, which cannot be printed without written permission from the rights holder or licensor.
I was like "Marvel UK?" So I emailed them again, again asking for specifics. And, of course, never heard back.

Well, the calendar has never been taken off the marketplace. Why? I have no idea. What I do know is: last week I received an email from Zazzle saying:
You recently sold 1 copy of your product, Amazing Golden Age Heroes 2011 Calendar.
So now I'm all like WTF? I dunno. Apparently I'm the only one to whom they won't sell my calendar. Never seen it. Have no idea of the quality. But if anyone is interested and wants to take the crap shoot that is Zazzle. Give it a go:
If it works out for you, let me know!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MAGNO & DAVEY vs. The Cobra!!

Here's a 19-page epic to waste a minute on!!
Magno, the master of magnetism and his young friend Davey, fight bravely as the Cobra, international inciter of evil, strikes at America!
SUPER-MYSTERY COMICS vol 2 #4 (October 1941)
story by Bob Turner; art & cover by Jim Mooney

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The BLACK CONDOR vs The Ghost Killer!

While on a safari with his wife and infant son across the bleak steppes of Outer Mongolia, Richard Grey and his expedition were ambushed and murdered by Yakki Raiders, leaving young Richard, Jr. orphaned and alone. A nearby condor took little Dick under her wing and back to her nest.

Growing up, young Grey longed to fly like his brothers and sisters could. He put his keen mind to studying the movement of the wings, the body motions, air currents, balance and levitation. Eventually his determination paid off and he could fly!!

One day, Richard met another human, Father Pierre, who taught him how to speak English. After a year of commuting back and forth between Father Pierre and his condor family, Richard found Pierre near death, having been attacked by Gali-Kan's Raiders. With his final breath, Pierre convinced Richard to go out into the human world and use his power to fight evil.

Failing to stop the plot to kill Senator Thomas Wright, Richard Grey, Jr. used their uncanny resemblance to take Wright's place and began living two lives: as Senator Thomas Wright -- and the Black Condor!

Created by writer Will Eisner and artist Lou Fine, the Black Condor debuted in CRACK COMICS #1 (May 1940) and appeared regularly through issue #31 (Aug 1943). That was the end of his career until he was revived by DC Comics in the 1970s.

CRACK COMICS #16 (September 1941)
written by ?; art by Lou Fine

[sorry it's from such a ratty copy, but it's still mostly readable]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Golden Age MR. MIRACLE!

Mr. Miracle appeared in CAPTAIN FEARLESS #1-2 (Aug-Sep 1941).

And that's about it. There's no info online that I could really find.

It's interesting to note that he gets knocked out twice (in six pages!), there may be a theme here...

(originally from CAPTAIN FEARLESS #2)
story and art by ?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The ORACLE in "The Strange Case of Dr. Vantoni!"

Gifted with strange, prophetic powers, Bob Paxton, alias The Oracle -- pits his strength and unusual mental abilities against crime and evil...
Bob Paxton, a young engineer, was in British Guiana as a technician with the Army Air Force. While searching the jungle for a location for a secret air strip, Bob found a rusty metal cylinder that the Nazis had intended to use as an attack on Columbia Field. A stray Nazi bullet pierced the cylinder and released a gas which knocked Bob into unconsciousness.

The doctors diagnosed Bob as semi-paralyzed, having lost his 5 senses. But while unconscious, Bob had a vision of the Nazis bombing Columbia Field. Suddenly Bob awoke and rushed to Columbia Field to avert the tragedy.

It was determined that the Nazi gas had been intended to destroy the 5 senses, but the rusting cylinder had changed its composition and gave Bob a 6th sense!!

Unfortunately, it only worked when he was unconscious. So he ended up getting knocked in the head at least once every adventure. Makes you wonder what his quality of life was like in his later years...

The Oracle debuted in STARTLING COMICS #20 (March 1943) and appeared in issues #21-25, 27, 29-32, and 35-40 (May 1943-July 1946) as well as FIGHTING YANK #11 (March 1945).

STARTLING COMICS #37 (January 1946)
story by ?; art by Henry Kiefer?