The First New Captain Atom Story

We've spoken before about the launch of Captain Atom in the pages of Charlton's SPACE ADVENTURES series at the very beginning of the 1960s. The character failed to catch on at that point, and was eventually pulled from the series. That perhaps should have been the end of things. But the super hero fad just … Continue reading The First New Captain Atom Story

Lee & Kirby & Simon: Captain America Before and After 1

As the Marvel line began to grow in the 1960s, editor Stan Lee decided that he had a problem. He based this supposition on some of the fan mail that he'd been receiving no doubt--mail that would ask questions about how a given Marvel character could be in the midst of life-or-death jeopardy in one … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Simon: Captain America Before and After 1

The Last Quicksilver Story

We've talked about Quicksilver in the past, and how this perennial back-page filler for Quality Comics' NATIONAL COMICS was brought back decades later by writer Mark Waid in the pages of FLASH and transformed into a virtually new character, Max Mercury. Quicksilver had never been a headliner, but he was a reliable supporting player, and … Continue reading The Last Quicksilver Story

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