Wet Works

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After creating the iconic Sub-Mariner, the great Bill Everett devised yet another water-based hero for Eastern Color Printing, the company responsible for the first “modern” comic-book.

Unlike Prince Namor, however, Hydroman didn’t merely swim through water; he literally transformed into the stuff!  (OK …. before I start hearing cracks about the Wonder Twins let me assure one and all that Everett possessed more than enough creative mojo to make such a power appear formidable.)

Although Everett didn’t stay with the character for all that long, Hydroman proved popular enough to last until 1945. The hero languished in limbo for quite some time thereafter, unless you count the fairly lame Spider-Man villain that goes by the same name.

Everett’s Hydroman was finally revived in Dynamite’s Project Superpowers series, but to be quite honest Time Bulleteers I’m not overly fond of Alex Ross’ grim ’n’ gritty revamp.

From the first three issues of Eastern’s Reg’lar Fellers Heroic Comics (1940), here’s the complete origin of one of comics’ more obscure – but no less enjoyable – Golden Age greats. The story and art are by Everett.

And, as always, be wary of the embarrassingly outdated racial stereotypes that lie ahead!

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