Captain America after Pearl Harbor

Behind this excellent Alex Schomburg cover (rife though it is with unfortunate racial stereotypes) lay not only a pair of adventures of the Young Allies, the kid gang team led by Captain America's young pal Bucky and his rival, Toro the Flaming Kid, but an after-the-fact account of Captain America's experiences after the bombing of … Continue reading Captain America after Pearl Harbor

The Unknown Vince Colletta

An awful lot has been written about longtime inker Vince Colletta, most of it not good. These days, the man's primary claim to fame is having inked several years' worth of Jack Kirby's pencils on THOR. In doing so, Colletta would routinely simplify backgrounds and eliminate details or even whole figures in order to make … Continue reading The Unknown Vince Colletta

The Short Career of Atoma

The Golden Age of Comics is littered with one-hit wonders, characters who appeared a single time and then vanished into obscurity, only known to those of us who bother to excavate these disposable treasures of yesteryear. Sometimes, some pretty innovative work was done on these stories, which is why it pays to bring them to … Continue reading The Short Career of Atoma

Lee & Ditko: The Non-Prototype of Uncle Ben and Aunt May

As the back issue marketplace for certain key old comic books began to truly heat up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and sums undreamed of were beginning to be demanded for and gotten for comics of a relatively recent vintage (comics that are in much greater supply than the Golden Age books that … Continue reading Lee & Ditko: The Non-Prototype of Uncle Ben and Aunt May

The Last Gasp of the Sub-Mariner

Here's a weird little throwback adventure, one that some have theorized might have represented an earlier unpublished Sub-Mariner adventure being burned off, but that I think simply amounts to something of an inside joke. In this 1956 premiere issue of ADVENTURE INTO MYSTERY, there's a short 4-page story drawn by Tony Mortellaro about an undersea … Continue reading The Last Gasp of the Sub-Mariner

The First Quicksilver Story

Quicksilver was one of the many second banana super heroes who profligated throughout the Golden Age of Comics, filling up the back pages of assorted anthology titles and providing thrills but not being so memorable or distinct that they ever became stars themselves. Occasionally, one of these back-page crime-busters would break out and become a … Continue reading The First Quicksilver Story

Lee & Kirby & Ortolani: Farewell to the King

In response to having serialized his final Fantastic Four story, the wonderful Leonardo Ortolani sent me over an additional tale very much in the same spirit which I had never seen before. He told me that he had done it in early 1994, right after Jack Kirby passed, and that it ran in a fanzine … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ortolani: Farewell to the King

The First and Last of Herbie

Herbie Popnecker was introduced in a short one-off story that originally saw print in FORBIDDEN WORLDS #73. It was intended as a throwaway tale, one more short strange adventure to fill the pages of the anthology series. But the story and the character proved popular with readers, and creator Richard Hughes subsequently brought him back … Continue reading The First and Last of Herbie

Lee & Kirby & Ortolani: The Last Fantastic Four Story, Part Five

This is the back half of the fourth and concluding installment of the Final Fantastic Four story that Italian creator Leonardo Ortolani produced for the tenth issue of the Italian fanzine MADE IN USA in 1994. It was set immediately after the last FF issues produced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and was intended … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ortolani: The Last Fantastic Four Story, Part Five