Super-Heroes Vs. Super-Horrors Week concludes with one of my favorite underutilized Golden Age characters: Spy Smasher!
(Honestly, you think DC could do more with the concept in a post-9/11 world than concoct a short-lived nemesis for Barbara Gordon in Birds Of Prey. Then again, DC is not exactly firing on all cylinders creatively these days …)
Oh well. At least the character headlined a number of memorable adventures in his heyday, including the time the very mortal Spy Smasher seemingly encountered death itself and was condemned to an eternity of suffering in Hell.
What does that have to do with smashing spies, you may ask? Read the story and find out!
From Spy Smasher #5 (Fawcett, June 1942), here’s “Death Over Washington.” The art is credited to Emil Gershwin.
Day 6 of Super-Heroes vs. Super-Horrors Week stacks the deck against everyone’s favorite “Good Girl,” Matt Baker’s Phantom Lady, as the sexy sleuth takes on “An Army Of Walking Dead.”
The story originally appeared in Phantom Lady # 15 (Fox Feature Syndicate, December 1947) and was drawn, naturally enough, by Matt Baker. The Grand Comics Database believes the plot is courtesy of the Iger Studio’s prolific staff writer, Ruth Roche.
Don’t underestimate the Phantom Lady just because she’s drawn like Jessica Rabbit! Coming tomorrow: Spy Smasher gets in a fist-fight with Death! (Spoiler: It doesn’t go too well for the hero…)
Fred Kelly’s Mr. Monster is best remembered today as the inspiration for one of the best independent comics of the 1980s (and – sporadically – to this day), Michael T. Gilbert’s Mr. Monster.
The legend goes that Gilbert found a coverless copy of the Golden Age Mr. Monster comic – Super Duper Comics #3 – and was so taken by the character and primitive allure of the story itself to devise a new mythology that recast the Doc Stearne’s alter-ego as a hereditary title i.e. Lee Falk’s Phantom.
The original Golden Age comic even featured prominently in an excellent Dark Horse miniseries that chronicled the origins of the modern Mr. Monster.
Reading the “Terror Of Trezma” today, it’s easy to see what Gilbert found so invigorating. While there were certainly more complex and slick super-hero comics by 1947, there’s definitely an addictive rush to the tale of a masked hero taking on a mummified Frankenstein with nothing more than his fists and a trusty revolver.
Super-Heroes vs. Super-Horrors Week continues with Fred Kelly’s Mr. Monster! The “Terror Of Trezma” originally appeared in Super Duper Comics #3 (F.E. Howard Publications, May-June 1947).
Dang .. Doc Stearne could show The Punisher a thing or two. Coming tomorrow: Matt Baker’s Phantom Lady vs. an army of zombies!
It wouldn’t be the Halloween season without a mad scientist seeking to create a hulking monstrosity out of used body parts. Enter Doctor Pain, a would-be Victor Von Frankenstein who is too impatient to even wait for his patients to die before harvesting their organs.
Kid Eternity answers the bell for the fourth day of Super-Heroes Vs. Super-Horrors Week to face his most macabre foe yet in “A Tale of A Door… A Doctor … and A Dreaded Cat.”
The story originally appeared in Hit Comics # 26 (Quality, February 1943). The art is by Ruben Moreira.
Keep an eye out for a surprise appearance by one of the Time Bullet’s favorite Golden Age characters …
Remember Time Bulleteers …. if you need someone skilled in the art of Golden Age justice, Blackhawk is your man! Coming tomorrow: The original Mr. Monster!!
Super-Heroes Vs. Super-Horrors Week enters Day 3 just in time for Cat-Man And Kitten to square off against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!
That’s a pretty tall order for a guy and a pre-teen girl dressed up like cats.
“The Four Horsemen Of Doom” originally appeared in Cat-Man Comics #23 (Et-Es-Go Magazines, March 1944). The art is by one of my favorite Golden Age creators, Don Rico.
Coming tomorrow: Kid Eternity and a special surprise guest!!
Super-Heroes vs. Super-Horrors Week continues with the second, and final, bout between Airboy and the nefarious army of rats! Will humanity survive?
(Probably … since we’re here to read the story today. Doesn’t make the comic any less awesome, however.)
“Airboy Vs. The Rats, Part 2” originally appeared in Airboy Comics vol.5 #12 (Hillman, January 1949). The art is once again by Ernest Schroeder.
Coming tomorrow: Cat-Man and Kitten vs. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! That doesn’t sound like a very fair fight!!
As promised, it’s Super-Heroes Vs. Super-Horrors Week! First up is one of the most famous Golden Age terror tales of all time, the two-part “Airboy And The Rats.”
I first heard of this story in the second volume Jim Steranko’s History of Comics. Although his breathless description of the teen aviator’s apocalyptic battle against an army of rodents left me enthralled, I never had a chance to actually read the comic-book in question until bloggers like Mr. Door Tree and public-domain comics repositories like the Digital Comic Museum emerged on the Internet nearly 30 years later.
It was definitely worth the wait. Time Bulleteers who have yet to read this instant classic will hopefully agree after today’s post.
From Airboy Comics vol. 5 #11 (Hillman, December 1949), here’s the first part of “Airboy And The Rats.” The Caniff-inspired art is by Ernest Schroeder.
Tomorrow: The senses-shattering sequel!