It's time to be archaeologists. Our forefathers (not your four fathers, geez the modern family can get complicated) left us comics long since forgotten. Buried treasures... or dinosaur poop? We may never know... or may we? For they are lost no longer as Siskoid's Blog of Geekery unearths and opens a...
The label says April 1975...
1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #1, DC Comics, April 1975
Poor 1st Issue Special. It thought it could be the new Showcase, but few of the new concepts it featured ever made it to the big leagues. Case in point Jack Kirby's Atlas, who only recently showed up to fight the Last Son of Krypton in James Robinson's Superman. Who was he before he became Doomsday Redux? Before he got pwned by Krypto the Super-Dog?
The comic is itself a time capsule that takes us back to the Time of Myth, where a young boy's entire village is destroyed by slavers who kill anyone they do not capture, including the boy's father. And there, the boy, who guess what, is named Atlas, meets the man responsible, the "lizard man" Hyssa. And a handsome one he is.
Amazingly, Lil' Atlas bops him one and runs into the field to hide.
And there he is ambushed by the wizard Chagra, who will become his friend and mentor (phew!). Once the slavers are gone, Atlas runs for his house and his magic crystal, a family heirloom undoubtedly responsible for his amazing strength. He grows up and accomplishes many great deeds along the way, including...
...fighting a prehistoric rhino!
Holding a shoddy bridge!
And breaking bricks with his armpits for money!
And so the legend grew!
Let's not forget the occasional beat down (a Kirby specialty).
And some cold badassery.
But came the day when Atlas crossed paths with Hyssa again. His revenge was at hand. How did it go?
Nobody wrote in. A great saga doesn't begin after all. Kirby's DC star was waning fast already, and like Omac and other projects, Atlas was aborted before his story could be told.
In the end end, the great saga was told in a two-page spread in Superman #678. Atlas defeats Hyssa and wins the world, but he has a tendency to scare his concubines with the raw power of his fists. Or so the legend goes. A legend that ends like this:
If your beginnings aren't memorable, at least your ending can be.
SO HAVE OUR FOREFATHERS SPOKEN!
Next time: Who the heck is that Beowulf who showed up in Wonder Woman last year? Archaeological investigations continue on the SBG.