One Panel #197-199: A Real Boy's Club

This month on the stands, Quality Comics added two new books to their roster, filled with new stars. DC (that is to say, National Periodicals) also premiered one of its most enduring heroes. I wish I could celebrate Wonder Woman's movie release by telling you at least one of them was a woman, but no. Not yet. Comics are a real hot dog stand at this point.
From Dr. Fate: "The Menace of Wotan" by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman, More Fun Comics #55 (May 1940)

That enduring DC character is Dr. Fate, here seen saving a still gutsy Inza from Wotan in his first appearance (before throwing the villain off a high-rise building). His helm is a little pointy, and he's perhaps more physical than he is today, but the DCU's Sorcerer Supreme adds his power to the Spectre's to make More Fun, More Mystical, and Fate would eventually take over the book's covers.

From Red Bee: "Origin of the Red Bee" by Toni Blum and Charles Nicholas, Hit Comics #1 (July 1940)

Over at Quality, Hit Comics would introduce a trio of new powered or masked heroes, including Hercules and Neon the Unknown, but the only one we give a damn about is the Red Bee. Despite his goofiness, I still hear a lot of buzz about this character. Most of it coming from myself, granted.

From "The Coming of Uncle Sam" by Will Eisner and Dave Berg, National Comics #1 (July 1940)

Can we call Uncle Sam a new character? Well, I don't think he's ever been a superhero before. It takes a lot of balls, I think, to take a public domain character currently being used for army recruitment and repurpose him to headline an action comics; I've always liked the idea. In his first appearance, he breaks the president of the U.S.A. out of a prison, POTUS hanging by his coattails. It's that nuts. Less enduring superheroes who premiered in this issue include Merlin the Magician, Wonder Boy and (sort of) Cylone.


American Hawkman said...

The best part of Dr. Fate viciously murdering Wotan is that he takes Inza with him to hell next issue to make sure Wotan made it there. People go on about the Spectre being brutal, but Fate matches him at several points in the run.


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