Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"C": Things I learned from "The Superhero Book"

  • The syndicated, semi-animated "The Marvel Super-Heroes" show from 1965 was a daily. Monday: Captain America; Tuesday: Incredible Hulk; Wednesday: Iron Man; Thursday: Mighty Thor; Friday: Sub-Mariner. Also, the process used on the show was called "Xerography." Makes sense to me.
  • Captain Atom by Steve Ditko predated the Marvel Age by a bit under two years. He was also a violent Commie smasher, though his first run lasted only 10 issues. Ditko's return to Charlton after Spider-Man was better received, but was still canned after 11 issues. His second costume was only worn for about half of the latter. Also, he was always a government agent, something I previously assumed began Post-Crisis.
  • I've never "gotten" Captain Britain, and it doesn't seem like anyone else ever has either. His creation was inorganic, and his life thereafter seems more a curiosity than anything.
  • I've never "gotten" Captain Canuck either, but I've never read any of his comics, and his entry doesn't make me want to. A Boy Scoutmaster struck by alien rays? But hey, his native country put him on a postage stamp, which is all the reason anyone needs to start lobbing cracks at Canada again. Eh.
  • I didn't know Carol Danvers was introduced at the same time as Captain Mar-Vell. That legitimizes her more in my eyes. Maybe I'll pick-up that upcoming "Essential" collection and read up on the pre-Starlin material.
  • Why have we never seen, to my knowledge, Captain Marvel Junior's rogues gallery in modern times? Dr. Eternity? Pied Piper? Captain Nippon? Wait, I think I understand that last one.
  • Shazam briefly had a "sambo" comic relief named "Steamboat?" File with Captain Nippon.
  • I've grown very tired of deconstructionist super-hero tales, but someone like Rick Veitch needs to go all "Brat Pack" on Cat-Man. Your vocabulary word of the day is ephebophilia.
  • Since I used to pull odd issues of Charlton's Action Heroes with high numbering out of cheapie bins in my 80's childhood, I always assumed they were plentiful and long-lived. Turns out few lived much past the two year mark. Shame I no longer have any. They were fun, especially Peter Cannon... Thunderbolt.


DamonO said...

It'd be nice to see someone do a good modern interpretation of Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt. In fact, it'd be nice to see someone do a good modern interpretation of all of the Charlton characters. So far, DC has killed off Peacemaker, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Son of Vulcan, Judomaster, and the Question. Even Captain Atom has been turned into a bad guy now.

Diabolu Frank said...

Another dream project of mine: A two volume pseudo-sequal/response to Watchmen featuring the Charlton Action Heroes. The first volume would explore the original Charlton incarnations, while also exploring the DC reworkings, and allowing those characters a last hurrah. The second volume would explore or introduce modern versions of those same heroic identities, hopefully with enough of a twist to enliven that dicey bunch. I'd be especially anxious to play with a new Peacemaker in the current geo-political context. I'd even work in Peter Cannon sideways, since DC lost the rights to that character years ago.

I wish someone good would buy Thunderbolt off the Pete Morisi estate. Maybe they could pick up Johnny Dynamite off Collins & Beatty as well...


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