Brand Echh – Unearthly Spectaculars #2

Upon hearing that Captain America co-creator Joe Simon had joined forces with Harvey Publications to release a new line of super hero titles to capitalize on the new wave of costumed hero popularity, both Martin Goodman and Stan Lee were concerned. They both had a ton of respect for Simon’s commercial abilities, and feared that he’d give the new Marvel line a real challenge. As it turned out, that wasn’t the case, and the books that Simon oversaw were a real mish-mosh of odd ideas, inconsistent execution and not having any true grasp on the innovations that Marvel was bringing to the field. Many of these comics are downright awful–but many of them also contain little hidden gems, like this one.

Miracles Inc. was the brainchild of Wally Wood, who both wrote and illustrated this initial 5-page chapter. The Grand Comics Database seems to be uncertain as to whether Dan Adkins helped out on the inking, so we’ll mention him as well just in case. It’s a broad comedic take on the super hero concept, one that I believe Wood initially came up with as an animation pitch that failed to take flight.

The art job on this is really nice, and Wood’s sense of comedic timing is wonderfully at play.

Most of the members of Miracles Inc play like broad parodies of the kinds of super heroes that Marvel and DC had been creating.

There was a second Miracles Inc story in the following issue, but Wood didn’t have anything to do with it, and it was really pretty bad, very much in line with the majority of the short-lived Harvey super hero initiative.

ADDITION: Will Murray reminded me that I had a copy of this unused Miracles Inc cover in my files–so here it is!

One thought on “Brand Echh – Unearthly Spectaculars #2

  1. When I was a kid, I was always more of a Marvel fan than DC — and still am — but one of the things that DC did that I liked was when they purchased the rights to characters from defunct companies and added them to the DCU. That was back before intercompany crossovers were commonplace. I’d always wished that Marvel would add characters from defunct companies to the Marvel U. I used to imagine seeing the THUNDER Agents going after Magneto, or the Harvey heroes getting a Marvel makeover. Interestingly enough, the one time Marvel did purchase characters from another publisher — Malibu’s Ultraverse — it didn’t work out so well.

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