The Last Sub-Mariner Story (of the 1950s)

In 1953, after an absence on the newsstands of four years, Martin Goodman resurrected his company's three big successful super hero characters from the 1940s; Captain America, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. By all accounts, this decision to bring back these heroes appears to be in response to the strong reaction the new ADVENTURES … Continue reading The Last Sub-Mariner Story (of the 1950s)

The First X-Men Parody

We covered one of the previous SHOWCASE issues featuring the Inferior Five not that long ago--and in fact, here's a link to that piece for anybody who missed it. https://tombrevoort.com/2022/10/15/the-first-hulk-parody/ But the gist is that the Inferior Five were the brainchild of writer E. Nelson Bridwell, originally conceived as a satire of the Fantastic Four … Continue reading The First X-Men Parody

The First Hulk Parody

By 1966, there was no way for industry leader DC/National Comics to be unaware of the growing appeal of upstart publisher Marvel--especially given that both companies' output was distributed by an outfit owned by National's owners. Marvel's growth was often scoffed at and decried as a passing fad, but as the firm started making inroads … Continue reading The First Hulk Parody

The First Spider-Man Parody

The Marvel revolution of the early Silver Age took those toiling in the field entirely by surprise. That's entirely due to the fact that, prior to 1961, Martin Goodman's publishing enterprise, whether it was known as Timely or Atlas or Marvel had been producers of enormous amounts of shlock. Goodman's professed publishing strategy was to … Continue reading The First Spider-Man Parody

The First Comic Book Crossover

The crossover story has become an ubiquitous part of the lore of comic books, so much so that it's entirely unremarkable in these days when every publisher speaks about their "universe" or "multiverse" or "omniverse" of characters. But there was a point where such encounters between heroes was rare, even unheard of. So what was … Continue reading The First Comic Book Crossover

The First Marvel Spider Man Story

Well, not really. But that hasn't stopped some dealers from selling this issue as a "prototype" to Marvel's more famous web-slinger. And because of that, there's a bit more interest in this one throw-away one-off fantasy story than pretty much anything else that was put out by Marvel (known as Atlas) that month. So all … Continue reading The First Marvel Spider Man Story

Spy Smasher in Peacetime: The Last Spy Smasher story

Spy Smasher was introduced in the first issue of Fawcett's WHIZ COMICS (numbered as #2 so as to account for an ashcan edition created solely to secure copyright to the title.) The brainchild of Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, he became one of the most popular characters in the Fawcett publishing line, appearing in his … Continue reading Spy Smasher in Peacetime: The Last Spy Smasher story

The First Ghost Rider Story

The original Ghost Rider made his debut in 1949, in the pages of Magazine Enterprises' TIM HOLT #11. Nobody involved could have anticipated that the character, in a series of transformative forms, would still be a going concern today--and might have starred in a pair of big budget movies. While the publishers at Magazine Enterprises … Continue reading The First Ghost Rider Story

The First Legacy Hero

The concept of a Legacy hero, someone who steps into the identity of a predecessor to carry on their heroic legacy, is a relatively new development in the world of comic book super heroes, for all that it's at the same time a widespread phenomenon throughout the field. The earliest prominent Legacy characters were the … Continue reading The First Legacy Hero

The First (Marvel) Thor Story

As we spoke about a week or two back, VENUS was a strangely schizophrenic title published by Marvel/Timely in the 1940s and early 1950s. It concerned the Roman goddess Venus coming to Earth and falling in love with the publisher of a women's magazine, BEAUTY, and becoming its editor. It was a bizarre mix of … Continue reading The First (Marvel) Thor Story