One Panel #263: The Mighty Atom!

From Atom: "Action at the College Ball" by Bill O'Connor, Ben Flinton an Leonard Sansone, All-American Comics #20 (November 1940)

Al Pratt gets a costume in his second appearance, and though he's just a short boxer, the comic decided that was enough to give him improbable strength, as the above panel can attest! I wouldn't want to meet THIS guy in the ring!

Hey, maybe it's symbolic. He's not quite so insanely powerful one the narrator's done retelling his legend.

Speaking of legends... An anonymous tip on the last One Panel post sent me looking for Al Pratt's likely inspiration, famous strongman Joe Greenstein (1893-1977).
At 5'4" - 3 inches taller than Al Pratt - Greenstein nevertheless made a name for himself as a diminutive circus strongman billed as "The Mighty Atom", and was apparently able to bend horseshoes and nails with his great strength. His interest in unlocking the mental powers associated with strength was sparked by an incident in which a Texan, obsessed with Greenstein's wife, shot him between the eyes at 30 feet. He somehow survived, the bullet flattened on his skull! He was still doing incredible feats of strength for audiences at age 84, when he finally succumbed to cancer. That's some JSA vitality right there!

Further parallels with the Golden Age Atom include the story of his seeing a "No dogs and Jews allowed" sign on a building, and having fled Poland exactly because of this kind of bullshit, went to get his baseball bat, and proceeded to knock it off. 20 Nazis rushed out and jumped him. They didn't fare well, several ending up in the hospital. He also taught the NYPD jujutsu.

And it runs in the family. Just a couple years ago, Greenstein's 93-year-old son appeared on American's Got Talent pulling a 3500-pound car with his teeth!

So wait, how many Justice Society members were real people?!

1 comments:

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

Wow. Never heard of this Mr. Greenstein until now, but yeah I'd say he REALLY was the real-life Al Pratt based off the information you provided. Ha ha, no kidding about how many other real life JSAers' existed. Well at least the non-super powered ones like Dr. Midnight, The Sandman and Dr. Midnight.

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like (21) Activities (23) Advice (74) Alien Nation (34) Aliens Say the Darndest Things (8) Alpha Flight (25) Amalgam (53) Ambush Bug (46) Animal Man (17) anime (52) Aquaman (70) Archetypes (14) Archie Heroes (10) Arrowed (20) Asterix (9) Atom (30) Avengers (58) Awards (33) Babylon 5 (140) Batman (677) Battle Shovel (13) Battlestar Galactica (134) Black Canary (22) BnB 2-in1 (40) Books (60) Booster Gold (16) Buck Rogers (11) Buffy (6) Canada (70) Captain America (69) Captain Marvel (55) Cat (156) CCGs (50) Charlton (12) Circles of Hell (6) Class (11) Comics (3958) Comics Code Approved (12) Conan (15) Contest (13) Cooking (15) Crisis (77) Daredevil (33) Dating Kara Zor-El (5) Dating Lois Lane (23) Dating Lucy Lane (13) Dating Princess Diana (11) DCAU (404) Deadman (9) Dial H (128) Dice (10) Dinosaur Island (16) Dinosaurs (67) Director Profiles (9) Doctor Who (1676) Doom Patrol (22) Down the Rabbit Hole (7) Dr. Strange (17) Encyclopedia (28) Fantastic Four (56) Fashion Nightmares (19) Fiasco (14) Films Within Films (6) Flash (83) Flushpoint (86) Foldees (12) French (49) Friday Night Fights (57) Fun with Covers (56) FW Team-Up (37) Galleries (9) Game design (26) Gaming (111) Geekly roundup (762) Geeks Anonymous (47) Geekwear (13) Gimme That Star Trek (60) Godzilla (53) Golden Age (431) Grant Morrison (75) Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction (8) Green Arrow (50) Green Lantern (87) Hawkman (39) Hero Points Podcast (13) Holidays (241) House of Mystery (15) Hulk (44) Human Target (8) Improv (34) Inspiration (45) Intersect (5) Invasion Podcast (44) Iron Man (50) Jack Kirby (87) Jimmy Olsen (74) JLA (94) JSA (25) K9 the Series (30) Kirby Motivationals (18) Krypto (202) Kung Fu (98) Learning to Fly (11) Legion (129) Letters pages (6) Liveblog (12) Lonely Hearts Podcast (21) Lord of the Rings (18) Machine Man Motivationals (10) Man-Thing (6) Marquee (89) Masters of the Universe (9) Memes (39) Memorable Moments (35) Metal Men (5) Metamorpho (65) Millennium (72) Mini-Comics (5) Monday Morning Macking (7) Movies (457) Mr. Terrific (6) Music (73) Nelvana of the Northern Lights (8) Nightmare Fuel (21) Number Ones (59) Obituaries (41) oHOTmu OR NOT? (76) Old52 (11) One Panel (290) Outsiders (165) Panels from Sheena (5) Paper Dolls (7) Play (76) Podcast (487) Polls (5) Questionable Fridays (13) Radio (18) Rants (20) Reaganocomics (8) Recollected (11) Red Bee (26) Red Tornado (10) Reign (563) Retro-Comics (3) Reviews (52) Rom (116) RPGs (539) Sandman (21) Sapphire & Steel (37) Sarah Jane Adventures (70) Saturday Morning Cartoons (5) SBG for Girls (4) Seasons of DWAITAS (100) Secret Origins Podcast (8) Secret Wars (25) SF (30) Shut Up Star Boy (1) Silver Age (368) Siskoid as Editor (34) Siskoid's Mailbox (10) Space 1999 (51) Spectre (20) Spider-Man (100) Spring Cleaning (15) ST non-fiction (19) ST novels: DS9 (8) ST novels: S.C.E. (19) ST novels: The Shat (2) ST novels: TNG (9) ST novels: TOS (13) Star Trek (1711) Streaky (2) Suicide Squad (38) Supergirl (89) Superman (1060) Supershill (11) Swamp Thing (23) Tales from Earth-Prime (7) Team Horrible (4) Teen Titans (83) That Franchise I Never Talk About (53) The Orville (29) The Prisoner (5) The Thing (54) Then and Now (4) Theory (51) Thor (52) Thursdays of Two Worlds (43) Time Capsule (8) Timeslip (7) Tintin (23) Torchwood (62) Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms (5) Toys (65) Turnarounds (7) TV (193) V (6) Waking Life (1) Warehouse 13 (9) Websites (102) What If? (103) Who's This? (203) Whoniverse-B (11) Wikileaked (3) Wonder Woman (82) X-Files (246) X-Men (102) Zero Hour Strikes (25) Zine (5)