Brand Echh – Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1

By the very beginning of the 1980s, what we now know as the Direct Market for comic books--specialty shops devoted to the product who would buy new issues on a non-returnable basis, thus eliminating the enormous amount of waste the Newsstand consignment system generated--had grown to the point where it looked as though there might … Continue reading Brand Echh – Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1

Brand Echh: Mighty Crusaders #4

The combination of the super hero fad and a bit of an overlapping nostalgia boom led to the creation of this issue of Archie/Mighty Comics' MIGHTY CRUSADERS #4, one of the best-remembered bad comic books of its era. For in its pages, having brought back a couple of its golden age heroes in prior adventures, … Continue reading Brand Echh: Mighty Crusaders #4

Brand Echh – Blue Beetle #54

This obscure issue of Charlton's BLUE BEETLE series--not the version re-conceptualized by Steve Ditko but the earlier, super-powered version, seems like any other throw-away Charlton comic of the era--good for a few moments of entertainment, but not at all memorable for any particular reason. But this issue is noteworthy for being one of the earliest … Continue reading Brand Echh – Blue Beetle #54

Brand Echh – Life With Archie #42

As the super hero boom of the 1960s began to reach its fever pitch, even those publishers who eschewed costumed crime-fighters as a rule began to dip their toe into the masked avenger pond. So it was that even Archie Comics attempted to produce a sub-line of stories featuring the red-headed kid next door as … Continue reading Brand Echh – Life With Archie #42

Brand Echh – Demon Hunter #1

I've written here before of the short-lived Atlas Comics line of titles that appeared for a brief year in 1975 before vanishing without a ripple. But just to recount the basics for newcomers: after Martin Goodman sold Marvel to Cadence Industries, his expectation was that his son Chip, whom he'd been grooming for the role … Continue reading Brand Echh – Demon Hunter #1

Brand Echh – Plastic Man #16

As interest in comic books and super heroes began to grow in the 1960s, several fly-by-night companies attempted to get in on the action. One such organization was Super Comics, published by Israel Waldman. Waldman's M.O. was to try to make a buck as cheaply as possible, and so for his Super Comics output, he … Continue reading Brand Echh – Plastic Man #16

Brand Echh – Captain Flash #1

The Golden Age craze for super heroes only truly lasted a couple of years, immediately following the debut of Superman and the entry of the United States into World War II. That said, it was a genre that was virtually unique to comic books, and so fortune-minded publishers would continue to toy with it for … Continue reading Brand Echh – Captain Flash #1

Brand Echh – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #9

We've spoken before about how Wally Wood, the master illustrator and cartoonist, was wooed by new start-up company Tower to create a series for them. What Wood and his collaborators came up with was THUNDER Agents, a fun hybrid of spies and super heroes that is fondly remembered by those who read them, even though … Continue reading Brand Echh – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #9

Brand Echh – Nukla #1

Dell was a powerhouse in the industry from the mid-1940s all the way up to the start of the 1960s when a series of bad decisions cost them their market share and also bifurcated the company into two competing operations, Dell and Gold Key. Their big money was made on their Disney comics, and they … Continue reading Brand Echh – Nukla #1

Brand Echh – Fightin’ 5 #40

Here's a great example of the fact that you never know what's going to become a successful property over time. This issue of Charlton's FIGHTIN' 5 comic--a series that featured the adventures of a group of Blackhawk-like non-powered adventurers--also showcased, unheralded, the first appearance of a character who remained a footnote in comic book history … Continue reading Brand Echh – Fightin’ 5 #40