Atom Blake the Boy Magician: Wow
Comics #1. Atom Blake is a scientific wizard, with all
sorts of fantastic abilities. He is being raised by the
Pages: Aunt Nora and Uncle Joe when he realizes he's not
like the other kids. He's as strong as several men, fast,
and a mental marvel. When he asks his Uncle Joe about
it, he finds out that Joe was best friends with Stuart
Blake and Blake left a coded message for Atom. Atom is
able to read the code that tells him how his father and
mother were scientists and creating a metal that was bonded
with all the known elements and make the energy available
to mankind. However, exposure to the rays given off kill
an ape, and the Blakes realize that someone would have
to be slowly treated to handle the rays. They begin the
treatment on their son. The rest of the message outlining
the source of the element and his parents' fate is missing.
Also left for him, is a magical ring with an inscription
in the same mathematical code as his father's message.
All he has to do is make a wish, and the ring makes it
happen, sort of a cross between Wonderboy, Green Lantern,
and Ibis. He has all sorts of adventures with friends
Janey Smart and Homer "Dusty" Davis.
Atom Blake's magic ring utilizes the energy
of that his father created, sometimes called a sun energy
and because of the treatments Blake underwent as an infant,
he's able to control this energy and make it do all sorts
of things such as turn dogs to stone. Although he does
not wear a costume he takes pains to do his deeds secretly,
his friend Dusty being the only one to know he has special
Balbo, Boy Wizard: Master Comics
#33. Balbo is the son of a stage magician and uses real
as well as sleight-of-hand magic. His younger brother
Buck Jones: Master Comics #7. Comic
book western adventures based on the B-Western actor Buck
Jones. At the time Buck Jones was probably as famous as
Tom Mix or Roy Rogers and was licensed as a comic book
Bulletgirl: Nickel Comics #1 (as
Susan Kent). When Susan Kent discovers her boyfriend Jim
Barr is Bulletman, she decides she wants to help him combat
crime. He makes a helmet and costume like his for her
and they become a crime-fighting duo. She's a member of
the Crime Crusaders Club. The helmet allows her to fly
and repel bullets.
Bulletman: Nickel Comics #1. Police
scientist Jim Barr discovers a drug that grants him super
strength and intelligence. He then creates a helmet that
allows him to fly and repel bullets (actually the helmet
attracts bullets to it instead of the body but why quibble).
Originally slight of build, he wears oversized clothes
to disguise the change in his build. Eventually he's partnered
with the similarly garbed Bulletgirl, their dog Slug as
Bulletdog thanks to a gravity collar. He's a member of
the Crime Crusaders Club.) NOTE:
Comic afficiando's are quick to point out that Barr discovered
the formula before puny Steve Rogers underwent a similar
transformation to become Captain America.
A young boy wears a home made cape and
goes around having adventures as Captain Kidd. A humor
strip, the boy's age seems to vary with the stories as
well as the level of seriousness of the stories. He's
sometimes a young boy at other times possibly a young
Captain Marvel: 1940, Whiz Comics
#2. Newsboy Billy Batson lives on the streets after the
death of his parents and being thrown out by his greedy
uncle. One evening a stranger approaches him and takes
him into the subway and on a fanciful train that transports
him to the wizard Shazam. The wizard reveals he knows
all about Billy and has chosen him to become a champion
with abilities granted by gods and past champions. When
Billy speaks the wizard's name he becomes the adult Captain
Marvel. Cap has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of
Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the
courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury. When as
Captain Marvel he manages to stop the radio destroyer
(Dr. Sivana), Billy is given a job as radio broadcaster.
NOTE: Captain Marvel's
face is based on actor Fred McMurray who would later appear
as a Captain Marvel-esque hero in a dream sequence in
Captain Marvel, Junior: 1941, Whiz
#24. During a battle with Captain Marvel, Captain Nazi
is knocked unconscious into a lake where he is rescued
by young Freddy Freeman and his grandfather. Nazi repays
this kindness by killing the grandfather and almost killing
Freddy if not for Captain Marvel. When doctors hold out
no hope for Freddy's recovery, Billy takes him to the
wizard who claims he can do nothing to change things,
but Captain Marvel can grant a portion of his own power.
Billy says Shazam and changes to Captain Marvel and Freddy
awakens and speaks the hero's name. Suddenly Freddy is
healed and costumed like Captain Marvel only in blue instead
of red and a red cape instead of white. As Freddy, he
is lame as a result of his injuries.
NOTE: Captain Marvel Jr. marks the first attempt
in comics to create a kid version of a hero that was not
a side-kick. Also, he was not really marketed to the exact
same audience as Captain Marvel in that his adventures
were drawn more realistically initially by the incredible
Mac Raboy. Junior has the almost unique problem of being
unable to say his own name since it's the words "Captain
Marvel" that trigger his change. The Fawcett villains
Ibac and Sabbac share this affliction with their respective
Captain Midnight: 1938 on the radio.
At Fawcett: 1942, Captain Midnight Comics. Captain Albright
had served as Captain Midnight years ago comes out of
his retirement now that his country needs him once more
and does so as a costumed hero. His costume has a glider
chute and he carries blackout bombs and a knife as well
as leading his Secret Squadron made up of assistants Joyce
Ryan, Chuck Ramsey, mechanic Ichabod "Ikky" Mudd, and
two teenage sidekicks. Once when radioing them for help
by "Calling S. S.! Captain Midnight calling S. S.!" he
instead reached Fawcett's original aviator hero Spy Smasher.
Captain Venture. Nickel Comics #4.
Sci-fi adventurer ala Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.
Commando Yank: 1942, Wow Comics
#6. War correspondent Chase Yale not only reports the
news but puts on a loose fitting blue and gray costume
to fight the enemy, sort of a working man's Captain America.
When the war ended, the strip continued with him narrating
his war-time adventures. But, like many of the patriotic
heroes, he quickly faded from view now that his reason
for being was gone.
Crime Crusaders Club: Master Comics
41. The Crime Crusaders Club met only the once and consisted
of Bulletman, Bulletgirl, Captain Marvel Jr., and the
Minute-Man. In it, Minute Man charges villains for bullets
with which they have a limited amount of time to catch
him and kill him.
Dan Dare: 1940, Whiz Comics #2. Dan
Dare, Private Eye.
Devil's Dagger: 1941, Master Comics
#1. To quote his own blurb: "Striking terror into the
hearts of criminals in the city of Carterville is the
shadowy figure famed as the Devil's Dagger! But only one
person, Pat Gleason, knows that the mysterious gang smasher
is, in real life, Ken Wyman, star reporter of the Carterville
Daily Blade." He wears a tophat, suit mask and red cape
and Pat is his chauffeur driving the souped up Speed Ghost.
His weapon of choice is a red-handled stilletto.
Diamond Jack: 1940, Slam-Bang #1.
As described in the text of his first adventure: "Diamond
Jack, in possession of a miraculous diamond given him
by an old magician, becomes physically strong and mentally
beyond all ordinary mortals. As instructed by the aged
magician, Diamond Jack uses the wizardry of the magic
gem to aid the worthy." In his first adventures,
he is able to do all sorts of magical things such as turning
bullets into flowers, healing a man mortally wounded,
etc, making him more of a magician hero along the lines
of Dr. Fate or Ibis than most reports on this obscure
hero would lead to believe.. Later,
his powers seem to have been downgraded, the ring allowing
him to produce solid objects as well as giving hims various
Superman-like abilities: strength, invulnerability, super
senses etc. Like Green Lantern the effects only lasted
as long as he concentrated on them. However, he never
wore a colorful costume which may be why he's not remembered
by many nor has ever been revived outside of fan fiction.
Which is a shame really.
Dr. Voodoo: Whiz Comics #7. In the
jungles of Brazil, Dr. Hal Carey's parents gave their
lives tending to the native headhunters, specifically
a tribe appropriately called the Blancas, and raised their
son Hal to take over for them. One day he meets Maxinya
(translated as Heaven-Woman). Maxinya can talk with her
massive jaguar Jappa. When he defeats the medicine man
Okoro, he's made the leader of the Blancas tribe and called
Dr. Voodoo because they think his medical skills to be
Jim Dolan: 1940, Slam-Bang #1. Former
FBI agent and editor of Daring Detective Magazine. He
solves unsolved cases for his magazine.
Don Winslow: For Fawcett: Don Winslow
of the Navy. Before Fawcett, Winslow appeared in juvenile
novels, big little books, a radio show, movie serialand
a newspaper strip. Publishers before Fawcett reprinted
the strips, but Fawcett offered new material though pitting
him against some of the same enemies. Jess Nevins:
Don Winslow. Don Winslow, a WW1 vet, was an agent of naval
intelligence who was assigned to handle the major individual
threats to world peace. He was assisted in this task by
his friend, the squat and porty Lieutenant Red Pennington;
Winslow's girlfriend was Mercedes Colby, the daughter
of Winslow's commanding officer, Admiral Colby.
El Carim: Master Comics #1. Turban
wearing magician detective. El Carim is assisted by the
lovely Gladys who's picked up a few tricks of her own.
Michael Norwitz reports: We've been short
on info on this Fawcett character, but a splash page in
the recent ALTER EGO has a brief summary: "El Carim, Master
of Magic, whose name read backwards spells 'Miracle,'
is visited by the spirit is Wizzar, the father of all
magic, and whose cloak of magic might has descended on
El Carim. Wizzar appears only when some great crime against
the dead [i.e. a murder] goes unpunished ... " Wizzar
does not remotely look like Shazam, in fact he appears
to be a ghostly Buddhist monk. In the splash page shown,
Wizzar's domain of concern evidently extends past Earth,
as El Carim is being summoned to avenge a regicide "in
the far off planet of Zaam." El Carim is portrayed nicely
by George Tuska in tuxedo, monocle, and turban.
Should be noted, that the few El Carim adventures
that I've had the pleasure of reading, Wizzar didn't figure
in at all. Presumably, one day he just gave up the ghost.
1940, Master Comics 1. Bill Crane is the marshall
of the town of Big Savage
Golden Arrow: 1940, Whiz Comics #2. Professor
Paul Parsons develops a revolutionary gas and he and his
wife are killed for the secret. His infant son Roger is
raised by a prospector Nugget Ned, keeping his identity
a secret less a similar fate befalls him. Being raised
in the wilderness, Roger grows up strong, quick and eagle-eyed.
And as it's the American wilderness, he becomes proficient
with the bow and arrow. On his deathbed, Nugget Ned tells
Roger about his real family and their deaths. As the Golden
Arrow he avenges his father's death and goes on fighting
crime. Originally, the series seemed to be set in the
Old West but later it became apparent that it was in the
present day of the 1940s.
Hoppy the Marvel Bunny: Funny Animals
#1. A Captain Marvel funny animal rabbit.
Hunchback: 1941, Wow Comics #2.. Playboy
Alan Lanier puts on the horrific costume of a hunchback
to track down and eradicate crime.
1940, Slam-Bang Comics #1. This red-headed
young man is a two-fisted yankee skipper for the British
Ibis the Invincible: 1940, Whiz Comics #2. In 12th Dynasty Egypt Prince Amentep wields the magic
wand, the Ibistick and uses it to fight evil. When his
love Princess Taia in Prince Amentep is put in a deep
sleep that will last centuries, Ibis puts himself in a
like sleep and awakens in mummy rags in an American museum.
He clothes himself in modern clothes though with a turban
and then tracks down Taia and awakens her. The duo decide
to continue his fight against crime and mystical evils
in the present day. The Ibistick could originally do most
anything Ibis commands ie create food, restore buildings.
Also, should it fall in his enemy's hands, any command
given to harm Ibis will be visited upon the wielder instead.
It will glow in the presence of evil and was later given
a weakness against black magic.
Jon Jarl: Space policeman of the
year 2261 AD.
Jungle King: 1940, Slam-Bang Comics
#1. Lee Granger is a brilliant scientist in addition to
being an adventurer, a very Doc Savage-like hero. He travels
to Africa to help out a native tribe there, and helps
them build a modern city and defend themselves against
marauders. He also takes a captured lion and gives it
human intelligence and the ability to speak.
Jungle Twins: Nickel Comics #1. When
one jungle lord is not enough, there's Bill and Steve
Dale fighting evil wherever they find it.
Kid Eternity: A young boy is killed
when a ship is torpedoed by a U-Boat. However, he was
supposed to live another 75 years and so he's sent back
to Earth with the cherubic Mr. Keeper. The Kid has the
power to be invisible and intangible when desired and
to summon heroes from mythology by saying, "eternity."
NOTE: Kid Eternity
is actually not a Fawcett hero at all. He got his start
over in Quality Comics which was bought by DC in the late
60's/early 70's. Around this time, DC had also licensed
the Fawcett heroes and since the Kid shared the same last
name as Freddy Freeman aka Captain Marvel Jr and somewhat
similar origins, they were made brothers. By all rights
the Kid should be taken down from here, but I hate to
do so once I've already put him here. So, for the time
being he stays until I ever decide to do a Quality section.
Lance OCasey: 1940, Whiz Comics #2. Helped by his pet monkey Mr. Hogan, Lance is an adventurer
sailing the South Seas.
Lucky Lawton: Slam-Bang Comics#1.
Lawton is one of those cowboy sheriffs.
Mary Marvel: Captain Marvel Adventures
#18. Twin sister of Billy Batson, Mary is raised by the
rich Bromfields neither knowing the existance of the other.
Coincidentally, Billy receives a death bed confession
of the nurse that kidnapped Mary the same day that Billy
meets Mary while he's hosting a spelling bee. When thugs
kidnap her, Billy is captured and gagged while trying
to rescue her. Mary says the magic word, "Shazam" and
becomes a female version of Captain Marvel. The wizard
reaveals that she gets her powers from Selena (Grace),
Hippolyta (Strength), Ariadne (Skill), Zephyrus (Speed),
Aurora (Beauty), Minerva (Wisdom). Despite the fact that
ole Zep is a male deity.
Extended Marvel Family:
Master Man: Master Comics #1. A doctor
gives a weak boy a capsule "full of vitamins, containing
every source energy known to man!" This vitamin makes
him the strongest man on Earth and he builds himself a
castle on a mountain to watch over the world and combat
evil as it occurs. Master Man predates Captain Marvel
but has many similar powers. His name was later co-opted
by Roy Thomas for his Captain Nazi villain in the Marvel
comic THE INVADERS.
Minute Man: Master Comics #11. Private
Jack Weston puts on a patriotic costume to fight the enemies
of America with nothing more than his natural agility
and quick wits.
1940, Master Comics 1. Detective character
Mr. Scarlet & Pinky: 1940, Wow
Comics #1. DA Brian Butler is the hard-hitting crime fighter
Mr. Scarlet. He's strong, agile, and acrobatic. As done
by Jack Kirby, Mr. Scarlet is a little more hard-boiled
and almost Satanic looking in costume. However, done by
others he looks a bit more like a swashbuckler, not helped
by taking on a sidekick with the unfortunate name Pinky.
Mr. Scarlet also carries a ray gun that he rarely uses,
usually relying on his wits and fighting ability. Pinky
belongs to the type of sidekick who has the same name
in costume as out: Dusty, Bucky being just two others.
Mr. Scarlet is also assisted by his secretary, Miss Cherry
Wade, who knows who he is which is something else that
distinguishes him a bit from his costumed counterparts.
1940, Master Comics 1. Hill-billy hero with science-fiction
Nyoka, Jungle Girl: 1932, The Land
of Hidden Men (Edgar Rice Burroughs); 1941, Jungle Girl
(Republic), 1942, Perils of Nyoka (Republic), and Jungle
Girl #1 (Fawcett). Another licensed property, based on
the "Jungle Girl" movie serials which was in turn supposedly
based on a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Nyoka was one
of the few jungle girls not raised in the wild and to
actually wear traditional safari outfits as opposed to
revealing fur bikini wear. Despite that obvious drawback,
she proved to be a capable and popular heroine.
Rick O'Shay: Master Comics #1. Pretty
much the standard adventurer. He is assisted by the Arabian
Phantom Eagle: 1940, Wow Comics #6.
Youth Mickey Malone wants to fight the Germans so bad
he builds his own plane. Eventually he's joined by other
fliers making up the Phoenix Squadron. After the war he
seeks the Golden Chalice which holds the secret of the
Formula for Peace. The Phoenix Squadron is made up of
Pierre (France), Hendrik Voorhees (Holland), Sven (Norway),
Josef (Poland), Hans (Denmark), Nickolas (Greece), Pierre
of France, Hendrik Voorhees of Holland, and their girl
Radar: 1944, Captain Marvel #35.
Pep Pepper is descended from circus folks and inherited
the abilities of his strongman acrobat father and mindreader
mother along with a clairvoyant "radar vision." Pep doesnt
wear a costume, but a reversable trenchcoat and fedora.
He was actually created as a propoganda piece for the
The Red Gaucho: 1940, Nickel Comics
#4. A modern day Zorro fighting European enemies in the
Shipwreck Roberts: Master Comics
#1. As his name suggests, Roberts is a seafaring adventurer
operating mainly in the South Pacific.
1941, Wow Comics. Professor Oscar Willard died
and the Keeper of the Gate allowed him to come back to
Earth to prevent evil with the aid of a cherubic angel
called Bensonhurst. Only thing is, he's a spectral skeleton
with glasses, bowtie and pipe. He needs to take over recently
unoccupied, i.e. dead, bodies to do anything. A humor
strip mostly but with similarities of the much later Deadman
Streak Sloan: Master Comics #1. Boy
reporter and detective.
Robert "Scoop" Smith: 1940, Whiz
Comics #2. Two-fisted ace reporter
Spy Smasher: 1940, Whiz Comics #2.
Virginian Alan Armstrong is the fiancce of Eve Corby,
daughter of Admiral Corby. When spies threaten, he puts
on a costume of brown (later green) shirt, safari pants
and aviator cowl and goggles to fight them as the Spy
Smasher. His first major foe was the Mask, who actually
managed to brainwash him into taking on Captain Marvel.
Eventually Eve discovered his secret. He flies the Gyrosub,
an airplane, submarine, boat combination vehicle.
Mark Swift: Slam-Bang Comics #1.
Mark Swift and friend Rodney Kent use Kent's Time Retarder
to travel through time and have all sorts of adventures
War Bird: Slam-Bang Comics #1. Tom
Sharp is an American mail pilot who enlists to fly in
the Orient and then the Spanish Air Force and then with
the French in the early days of World War II. By the start
of his strip he's on the Western Front and Captain of
the Eagle Squadron.
Warlock the Wizard: 1940, Nickel
Comics #1. A stage magician billed as the last of the
White Magicians, Warlock used a trunk filled with magical
items to fight otherworldly menaces.
White Rajah: Master Comics #1. The
White Rajah is caucasian youth David Scott, teenage ruler
of the kingdom of Ramistan. He has all sorts of adventures
Zoro: Slam-Bang Comics Man of mystery,
he uses all his strength and wits to fight evil and crime.
Has a sword cane and pet cheetah.