In 1944, Ken Crossen (creator of the Golden Age pulp hero, The Green Lama) launched a comic-book company to publish the adventures of his then-famous character as well as a small stable of other heroes.
Called “Spark Publications,” the three titles published by the company prominently featured the work of Mort Meskin, Jerry Robinson and Mac Raboy, who were among the most distinctive and skilled creators of the era.
(Unfortunately, such quality didn’t translate into sales and Spark Publications folded in 1946.)
Aside from the Green Lama, the most notable characters of the Spark line were Atoman and Golden Lad.
Created by Meskin, Golden Lad was a young boy who discovered he could access the strength of a “thousand martyred warriors” by grasping an ancient Aztec artifact and intoning the magic words, “Heart Of Gold.”
The Freddy Freeman-esque hero only lasted five issues, which was at least enough time to introduce a “Golden Girl” spin-off. Meskin’s typically excellent storytelling skills – which included his trademark “Johnny Quick” super-speed effect – made the series memorable enough to win the hearts of most Golden Age comics devotees.
From Golden Lad #5 (Spark Publications, June 1946), here’s “The Chinese Vase” by Mort Meskin.