Continuing my "A 'Slight' History of Golden Age Comic Book Super Heroes" look into the lineups of the great anthology comics, we move from "Action Comics" to "Adventure Comics" and it's first super hero star, Gardner Fox's "The Sandman"!
The Sandman was created in 1939 and was one of the first in the big glut riding the new "Superman Craze". He made his official debut in Adventure Comics #40, but just weeks before a Sandman adventure had appeared as part of the big "New York's World's Fair 1939" comic, which also featured Superman and a bunch of DC?Nationals features from "Action Comics".
Being this early on in the super hero output (even beating The Batman by a few months), originally The Sandman was strongly modeled after the pulp heroes of the '30's and even The Green Hornet of radio, more than the colorfully suited-tight wearing guys that would soon hog the scene.
The Sandman was Wesley Dodds, bored wealthy playboy, who was originally wrongfully accused of a crime and was "sought by both the police and the underworld" just like "The Green Hornet" but he slowly became a more straight-forward crime-stopper and was even a charter member of "The Justice Society of America". Only his girlfriend Dian Belmont knew hsi dual identity and shared in his adventures as he donned a green double-breasted suit, a subdued purple cape and a gas mask. Armed with his gas gun which fired a gas that both put criminals to sleep, or sedated them enough to open their minds and give up information, he was a dark figure of the night and skurge of bad guys everywhere.
Here's Adventure Comics #67 and a very typical Sandman story of that era...
By issue #69, the powers that be at DC/National decided the old suit and fedora look was too old-fashioned for the bustling days of colorfully garbed mystery men, and put forth a story in which Dian Belmont is killed (a horrible tradgedy for Dodds, to be sure) and the wealthy playby adopted as his ward, her nephew Sandy Hawkins.
Now following in the tradion begun by Batman's Robin, he gained a kid side-kick "Sandy, the Golden Boy" and squeezed himself and his ward into flashy purple & gold and red & gold suits! NOW they could flex their muscles!
That's right, just a couple issues later, the dynamic team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby came on board the National payroll, and they took on The Sandman & Sandy as their first assignment!
Here's a little dash of the dash of Simon/Kirby Sandman from Adventure Comics #91! That my friend is some swash-buckling derring do!
Zap! Bang! Kazowie!
I'll be back for more "A 'Slight' History of Golden Age Comics Book Super Heroes" and more of the heroes of Adveenture Comics next Tuesday. Until then, I hope you keep coming back to see what else is in my head for "OTR Friday with Vic & Sade", "Unca Jeffy's Toy Box Saturday", "Sunday Funnies" now in glorious full color! and "Mad COMIC BOOK Monday".
Thor tries to crash Jeffy's "A 'Slight' History of Golden-Age Comic Book Super Heroes" and infuriates Jeffy...NOT just because the lines betwixt Golden-Age and Silver-Age shouldn't be crossed, but mainly because Jeffy fears the "Thor" movie will cross the line that "Fantastic Four" crossed and be pure crap!
Whew...THAT was a bullet dodged. I want to thank all you blog readers for all the cards and letters, FAXes, Tellex's, CableGrams and International Trans-Oceanic Distpatches of concern that our Jeffy might be harmed taking on a Norse God and all...but you needn't have worried. You see, not only is Jeffy's head abnormally large for a biped, but see...that's solid BONE up there.
Jeffy was never in any danger of being harmed. Witness this "Jeffy's noggin to Mjolnir" experiment performed in our "Blogging Test Labs" just this week!
As I continue re-posting some of my favorite posts of the past year, here's the exciting conclusion to the tale of how The Illuminati tried to kill me and then changed their minds, from a week in April 2010.
Our Story: While the Mysterious Shadowy Figure confabs with Jeffy, Bigfoot and Bob the Alien enjoy the ambiance of The Drink Hole from the other end of the bar...
You'll see that as the story played out, the action shifted every other day between Bigfoot and Bob drinking at the end of the bar awaiting the order to do away with me, and Marco "The Mysterious Shadowy Figure" Torre explaining the situation to me...at some point, Superman tried to intervene on my behalf...
Our Story:...While Jeffy has a word with the Mysterious Shadowy Figure, Superman comes to his aid!
Meanwhile, Rusty set her sites on the "new meat" in her hunting grounds...
Our story: Bigfoot and Bob the Alien mingle with the "Normals"...Rusty makes her move!
As "The Mysterious Shadowy Figure" continued to try and strike fear into my heart, Jeffy reminds him there's a blog to be written here...
Our story:...The Mysterious Shadowy Figure is about to exact retribution from Jeffy when...
...here is where I did my tribute to "Mandrake, the Magician" and "The Phantom" creator Lee Falk on his birthday...I've excluded it here for the sake of the tightly woven story playing out around it...
Now back to out thrilling, edge-of-your seat serial!
Bob the Alien and Bigfoot learn about "bar tabs"...
Our story thus far: While The Mysterious Shadowy Figure struggles with making Jeffy take his threats seriously, Bigfoot and Bob the Alien realize they have more "real world" issues...
Jeffy's Angels are a very generous, charitable and giving lot for most things...but ya gotta pay fer yer own beer, boys!
If you want to dance, you've gotta pay the piper...if you buy the land, you've gotta deal with the Indians!
Once again I waylay "The Mysterious Shadowy Figure's" hastening of his plans as I remember it's Willie Nelson's birthday and the duties of the blog call...
Our story thus far: The Mysterious Shadowy Figure tires of Jeffy's lolly gagging...and Jeffy likewise the Mysterious Shadowy Figure's!
Inserted here was a lengthy tribute to Willie... now back to our story!
...which turned out to be a VERY bad thing for Marco.
Our Story thus far: - The Mysterious Shadowy Figure, Bigfoot and Bob the Alien, ostensibly working for The Illuminati, track Jeffy down to The Drink Hole and accuse him of not paying proper homage to them in his "Ode" to his blog for repairing his damaged hard drive. Willie Nelson plays The Drink Hole Amphitheatre on his birthday and...
From Wikipedia:- Illuminati (plural of Latin illuminatus, "enlightened") is a name that refers to several groups, both historical and modern, and both real and fictitious. Historically, it refers specifically to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776. In modern times it is also used to refer to a purported conspiratorial organization which acts as a shadowy "power behind the throne", allegedly controlling world affairs through present day governments and corporations usually as a modern incarnation or continuation of the Bavarian Illuminati. In this context, Illuminati is often used in reference to a New World Order. Many conspiracy theorists believe the Illuminati are the masterminds behind events that will lead to the establishment of such a New World Order.
From Jeffy's Head: - The Illuminati would be an organization of Artisans and Scientists who would like to lead the world to embrace the arts and sciences as the highest pinnacle of man's experience - and in doing so would do away with petty human trifles which cause anguish, grief and all human suffering (up to and including needless death) caused by bureaucracies and organized religion. Up with the enlightened, down with the ignorant time and life wasters, say I!
From Jeffy's Head Addendum: - In my mind the Illuminati would include membership by such art and science minded people as Stephen Hawking, Willie Nelson, Steve Jobs and Jerry Beck. Ryan Seacrest may or may not be a member, but if he is, he was "kissed in" by a former member, much the same way he gets to host "Rockin' New Years Eve".
Well...wasn't that a fun waste of time? I thought so!
And so we all lived happily ever after...all thanks to Willie Nelson. It's all a pretty true story...kind of.