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“Come on! Get your own origin!” – Feature Comics #38, November 1940

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Comic books superhero origins have always been a bit of a dicey subject. It’s very tough these days to come up with a truly original (no pun intended) concept for how a costumed hero or heroine obtained his or her powers. Most of the combinations of origins have already been used, so unless your new, exciting comic book character got his powers because he was a billionaire mutant who’d been bathed in gamma radiation after being struck by lightning at the exact moment as he was bitten by a radioactive wombat which had been exposed to cosmic rays and, as our hero recoiled from the bite, fell into a vat of chemicals but was saved from drowning by Cuchulain, who is secretly his father and anoints our hero heir to his legendary powers, his origin has probably already been done before. More

Sorry, kids, but your folks have to go

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I’m always hearing people saying these are tough times in which to be a child. Honestly, though, every generation says this same thing; people were saying it when I was a kid decades ago. It’s tough to be a kid, period, no matter what era you live in – I’m not disputing that. But I will propose the notion that the late 1930’s and early 1940’s were a tough time to be a parent, for one simple reason.

In order for a child to become a Golden Age comic hero, it was a requirement that his or her parents first had to die. More

The Origin of Blackhawk – Military Comics #1, August 1941

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Aviator comics were really big sellers during comics’ Golden Age, and for a couple of very obvious reasons. During the ghastly hell that was World War I, one group of military men lived under a chivalrous code (mostly, or at least gave the appearance of doing so): the aviators, who fought and died in flimsy canvas and wire contraptions thousands of feet in the sky. The stories of their exploits thrilled millions on the homefront. Later, in May 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to successfully fly a plane solo across the Atlantic Ocean; the feat instantly made him the most famous man on earth.  More

GREAT “Doctor Fate” Fan Flick!

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My blogging friend The Acrobatic Flea got himself knighted; he’s now Sir Timothy of Kent. And his blog has changed names from Heropress to I’d Rather Be Killing Monsters. All of which is cool and good, except that I’ve always had a really hard time posting comments to his blog (Firefox doesn’t like his host site), and now that people who comment there are referred to as “serfs”…well, I’ll just have to compliment him here instead of there for discovering (and posting) a real gem hidden in the pile of endless dross which mankind knows as YouTube. More

DC Comics cancels pulp-based “First Wave” titles

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Bleeding Cool broke the story this morning that DC Comics’ (small) line of First Wave comics (First Wave, Doc Savage, The Spirit) has been canceled. Aside from one exception, I can’t say that I’m the least bit surprised. Although I’ve purchased every issue since the line was introduced, I have to say that the core First Wave title and Doc Savage have been nothing but abominable; The Spirit was the only satisfying title of the bunch.

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Superman goes emo (because you don’t understand how he feels)

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I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish this post — that’s how hard I’m laughing.

Superman has a new look, “re-imagined for the modern reader” according to DC Comics: More

Why I Love Golden Age Comics #2

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Why do I love 1940’s comics? In part it’s because of all the fast thinkers, smooth talkers, and major operators.

Take, for instance, Cliff Cornwall. He was a special FBI agent who made his debut in Flash Comics #1 (Jan. 1940). Cliff parachutes into Alaska (which wasn’t a state back then, kids) to investigate the mysterious disappearance of dozens of aircraft. More