Golden Archers

Golden Arrow
The Time Bullet continues to defy the boundaries of the Fourth Dimension! It’s Day Four of Wild West Week, a mere two-and-a-half weeks after Day Three!!

Emerging today from the mists of history is the Golden Arrow, a second-tier Fawcett character that enjoyed a 13-year run in Whiz Comics and even managed to headline his own title for a handful of issues.

Created by Bill Parker and Pete Costanza, the Arrow’s origin was familiar to anyone who followed Tarzan or the Lone Ranger. Roger Parsons orphaned and left for dead in the Wild West after his father – a noted inventor – and mother were murdered by a greedy businessman.

Raised by a kindly prospector, Parsons developed exceptional strength and reflexes as he grew and became an expert archer. The young man dubs himself the “Golden Archer” and with the help of his mighty steed, White Wind, avenges his father’s death and becomes the “Robin Hood of the Wild West.”

Although Parsons’ adventures were supposedly set in the Old West, Golden Arrow did manage to team up with Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher a time or two. It seems Fawcett creators scoffed at the time and space continuum as much as we do …

From Whiz Comics #30 (Fawcett, October 1942), here’s “A School Of Justice.” The Grand Comics Database guesses the artist was Al Carreno.

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Bedridden and insane! Golden Age justice!!

Coming Next: Believe it or not, there’s one more to go!!

To The Moon!

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Today is the 92nd anniversary of Kurt Schaffenberger’s birth! He was one of those veteran artists I encountered often during my ’70s adolescence (being an avid reader of DC’s Superman Family), but never quite appreciated as much as flashier, younger superstar creators like Jim Starlin and Marshall Rogers.

As I grew older, however, I saw the brilliance of Shaffenberger’s ability to balance cartoon-like characters with realistic settings. Few artists outside of C.C. Beck could make Tawky Tawny a viable part of a super-hero universe and qualify as one of the medium’s better Good Girl artists.

Few characters suited Schaffenberger’s style better than the original Captain Marvel (aside from Superman, perhaps, but that’s six of one/ half-a-dozen of another). From Whiz Comics #120 (Fawcett, April 1950), here’s “Rockets To The Moon” with pencils and inks by the great Kurt Schaffenberger.

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He’s Your Puppet

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Has any story concerning a ventriloquist and his or her puppet ever ended well for the person who purportedly held the strings? Since we’re well into the 13 Days Of Halloween, it’s a good bet the answer is “no.”

“The Devil Puppet” originally appeared in Worlds Of Fear #5 (Fawcett, July 1952). The story was drawn by Mike Sekowsky.

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Well … it was kinda sorta a happy ending for somebody.

Coming tomorrow: Another relationship gone sour! I could have posted most of these stories on Valentines’ week!!

Along Came A Spider Man

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The Time Bullet is briskly moving along at a two-post-per-month clip these days, which by my estimation should ensure this site’s eventual domination of the Blog-O-Net by the year 3025.

Of course, by that time, blogging about pop culture artifacts should be obsolete – if it isn’t already. We at Time Bullet Central are not concerned about such mundane matters, however, as long as there are still action-packed Golden Age comics scans to unearth and share with the unseen masses.

Here’s one such story featuring one of our favorite super-heroes, Bulletman, taking on one of comics’ many arachnid-themed super-villains. As always, the adventure is enlivened by the presence of Bulletgirl, one of the more competent super-heroines of the Golden Age.

“The Black Spider” originally appeared in Bulletman #1 (Fawcett, Summer 1941). The story was penciled and inked by Charles Sultan, a prolific artist whose long career included illustrating pulps and men’s magazines.

There is no writer credit.

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Poor Suzy! I guess that’s why the Comics Code was created…

Making Magic

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DC Comics has taken to depicting Billy Batson as a delinquent Harry Potter, but as today’s tale proves the Golden Age Captain Marvel’s familiarity with magic began and ended with Zeus’ lightning bolt. After that, as writer Nate Cosby once stated, his arsenal generally consisted of punching bad guys real hard.

(And if that didn’t work, he could always punch them even harder …)

Other than that, the Captain generally approached supernatural menaces with the same determined, good-hearted attitude that made him one of the most popular characters of the 1940s and early ’50s. If a little strategy was required, well … let’s just say Billy Batson generally relied on his intelligence a bit more than the guy who supposedly possessed the wisdom of Solomon.

The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “The Witch Of Haven Street.” It originally appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #136 (Fawcett, September 1952). The writer was Otto Binder and the artist was C.C. Beck, two of the all-time greats among comic-book creators.

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Billy, Mr. Morris and friends in drag might have been the scariest part of the story. Good thing Tawky Tawny wasn’t asked to dress up…

Coming tomorrow: Face-Off: The Prequel!

Man Of Steal, Part Two

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In 1940, DC Comics threatened to sue Fawcett Publications over a character the former company claimed was too close to their most valuable property: Siegel and Shuster’s Superman.

The offending character was not, surprisingly, Captain Marvel but a blonde, blue-eyed hero known as “Master Man.”

Master Man’s curriculum vitae certainly sounded familiar. The self-described “Wonder Of The World” was said to be “stronger than untamed horses, swifter than the raging winds, braver than mighty lions, wiser than wisdom and kind as Galahad.”

The super-man, however, gained his powers from a magic capsule (“The Vitacap!”) and monitored the Earth from a stone castle he build upon the highest mountain peak. Lacking a secret identity and supporting cast, Fawcett probably could have made the case that Master Man was distinctly different from the Man Of Steel.

Since the publisher already had the infinitely more original and successful Captain Marvel, though, Master Man disappeared after appearing in six issues of Master Comics – later home to Captain Marvel Jr.

To be honest, much like Fox Publication’s Wonder Man, Fawcett’s “Wonder Of The World” wasn’t a particularly inspired creation. (In fact, it isn’t really known who created the character although artist Newt Alfred drew Master Man’s first adventure.) The most notable aspect of today’s adventure is the apparently irony-free spectacle of a blonde, blue-eyed “Master Man” tormenting  a Hitler analogue.

So much for the Aryan physical ideal.

“The World’s Greatest Scourge: War” originally appeared in Master Comics #2 (Fawcett, April, 1940) The art is by Newt Alfred.

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For The Birds

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Mac Raboy’s tenure on Captain Marvel Jr. produced some of the most beautifully illustrated stories of the Golden Age. His style, which was much more realistic than C.C. Beck’s take on Captain Marvel, were matched up with tales that were a shade or two darker than the Big Red Cheese’s kid-friendlier adventures.

While Dr. Vultur, for instance, was a garden variety evil Nazi genius, Junior’s methods of foiling the villain’s nefarious plans were as cold-blooded as any modern vigilante – even if they were masked with a smile.

From Captain Marvel Jr. #18 (Fawcett, April 1944), here’s “The Birds Of Doom.” The art is by Raboy.

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The Marvel Age

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To celebrate Free Comic Book Day, here’s the complete Captain Marvel Adventures #78 (Fawcett, November 1947), advertisements and all.

This particular issue features two of my favorite Captain Marvel stories: the hero’s epic battle against Mr. Atom and an excellent human interest tale entitled “The Street Of Forgotten Men.”

According to the Grand Comics Database,  the issue was produced by the following creators: “Captain Marvel Meets Mr. Atom” was written by Bill Woolfolk and drawn by C.C. Beck and Pete Costanza; “Lucky Boy” was written and drawn by George Marko; “Climbs To New Heights” was drawn by Al Liederman; Captain Marvel Saves Sivana was written by Woolfolk and drawn by Beck and Costanza; “Stone Head” was written and drawn by Marko; “The World Stealers,” a Jon Jarl text adventure, was written by Otto Binder under the pseudonym Eando Binder and “The Street Of Forgotten Men” was written by Binder and Costanza.

Anything else that wasn’t ad-related was written and/or drawn by the ubiquitous “Anonymous.”

The issue was scanned, of course, by the good people at the Digital Comic Museum.

Hoppy Easter

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The Easter Bunny isn’t the only memory of the family Leporidae working this weekend! Hoppy, the only comic-book rabbit courageous enough to gain membership in the Marvel Family,  faces his greatest challenge as “Captain Marvel Bunny Becomes A Jitterbug!”

The story originally ran in Fawcett’s Funny Animals # 29 (Fawcett, May 1945). The art is by Hoppy’s creator, Chad Grothkopf.

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Exit, Bat-Girl

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As comic-book tropes go, you could do worse than falling back on the old “girlfriend corrupted by a vampire” bit.

Fortunately for the intended victim of this particular story, the boyfriend attempting to avert the evil deed is none other than the resurrected Egyptian prince known as Ibis the Invincible!

This adventure varies from run-of-the-mill super-hero horror mash-ups by starting with a situation that wouldn’t have seemed out of place in an episode of I Love Lucy (ditzy heroine goes to extraordinary lengths to shop for clothes) before slowly ratcheting up the danger to the point where the situation is resolved in a shockingly violent manner.

(Shocking, at least, for Whiz Comics … home to the all-ages adventures of Captain Marvel.)

“The Vampire Cloak” originally appeared in Whiz Comics #114 (Fawcett, October 1949). The story and art are not credited.

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As a Time Bullet bonus, here’s an installment of Basil Wolverton’s “Culture Corner” that ran in the very same issue of Whiz Comics. Enjoy!

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