THE SUPERHERO PANTHEON OF GREAT PUBLICATIONS

Superhero cosplay has begun to rival and even exceed monster cosplay at Halloween time. Here’s another forgotten pantheon of superheroes.

Fire Eater 2FIRE-EATER

Secret Identity: Mike O’Malley

First Appearance: Choice Comics #1 (December 1941)

Origin: Circus performer Mike O’Malley devised special pills that gave him superpowers then set out to fight crime as the superhero called Fire-Eater.

Fire EaterPowers: Fire-Eater, as his name would imply, could “eat” and suck in large flames as well as blow fire-blasts from his mouth. He was also impervious to fire and was skilled at unarmed combat.

Comment: This hero performed his circus tricks AND fought crime under his masked identity. As Mike O’Malley he kept a low profile and had a girlfriend named Louise Peters, the Head Nurse at State Hospital.

Madame StrangeMADAME STRANGE

Secret Identity: Never revealed

First Appearance: Great Comics #1 (November 1941)

Origin: Scientifically developed to fight spies and other forces of evil, Madame Strange went on missions to safeguard America.

She often traveled under the guise of a reporter.

Madame Strange 2Powers: Madame Strange was strong enough to rip iron bars out of a jail cell’s window, was bullet-proof and could run at greater than human speed. She was also an expert at unarmed combat and was skilled with a riding crop AND at knife-throwing. In addition this superheroine had her own personal plane from which she could drop bombs.

Comment: In her very first story Madame Strange was already a well-known figure. She stopped a ring of Imperial Japanese agents from sabotaging Pearl Harbor, eerily prescient since this would have been written just a few months before the real-life attack on that naval station.

Atlas the MightyATLAS THE MIGHTY

Secret Identity: Atlas

First Appearance: Choice Comics #1 (December 1941)

Origin: A descendant of the ancient Greek Titan named Atlas, this hero fought crime and Axis supervillains in Canada. (Canada?)

Powers: Atlas possessed incredible super-strength and unbelievable stamina.

Comment: When people needed help they could contact Atlas in Canada – sometimes via telegram (?). This is NOT the same “Atlas” superhero from IW Publishing, who came along years later.

Secret CircleTHE SECRET CIRCLE

Secret Identities: Jim Storm, Larry Storm and Mac Storm

First Appearance: Choice Comics #1 (December 1941)

Origin: Jim, Larry and Mac Storm were Olympic athletes who donned costumes to fight crime after their police commissioner father was murdered by a mobster.

Powers: Each of the Storm brothers were in peak human condition and excelled at unarmed combat. In addition they had primed reflexes and were as agile as acrobats.

Comment: These imitations of Dell Comics’ Triple Terror team drove a souped-up car called the Midnight Racer.

Great Zarro 2THE GREAT ZARRO

Secret Identity: Never revealed, but created by Larson Wells, which would make a good name for him.

First Appearance: Great Comics #1 (November 1941)

Origin: Criminals burned down a circus when its owner refused to pay protection money. The only survivors were the circus owner’s son and a former member who performed under the name Eagle Man. An old Gypsy woman gave the performer herbs which granted him superpowers so he could take revenge on the criminals.

Powers: The Great Zarro could fly at high speeds, was very acrobatic and excelled at unarmed combat.

Comment: This hero adopted the superhero tradition of endangering youngsters by taking the teen boy Rags as his sidekick. Rags (no relation to the YT reviewer) was the son of the circus owner and the younger brother of Zarro’s girlfriend. Both died in the fire that destroyed the circus.

FuturoFUTURO

Secret Identity: None. Futuro was his real name.

First Appearance: Great Comics #3 (January 1942)

Origin: Possessed of “unworldly” powers, this mystic/ super-scientific figure guarded America and fought the forces of evil across time and various dimensions.

Powers: Futuro, “Master of Time and Space,” could see the future and project images of it for others to see. He could also fly, turn invisible and travel across dimensions at will.

In addition, this hero was skilled with a sword and used a sand-filled hourglass for time travel.

Futuro owned a flying white dog named Nimbus.   

Comment: This intriguing and enigmatic hero once took Hitler to Hell but the evil dictator made a bargain with Satan that got him released back to the Earth to finish his vile work.

Like many Pulp Heroes of old, Futuro had a team of assistants, in his case called the Futurians (one female, four male). Their names were Faith, Freedom, Truth, Courage and Justice, all of them American twenty-somethings from the 1940s.

Kangaroo Man 2KANGAROO MAN

Secret Identity: Jack Brian

First Appearance: Choice Comics #1 (December 1941)

Origin: American explorer Jack Brian decided to use his trained kangaroo Bingo as a partner to help him fight Axis agents in America and Australia. 

Kangaroo ManPowers: Jack Brian was in peak human condition and excelled at unarmed combat. He was also more agile than an Olympic athlete and had trained his large kangaroo Bingo to an extraordinary level.

Bingo could use his incredibly powerful legs and tail to fight multiple opponents at once and was so highly trained he could even drive a motorcycle. (How was this NEVER turned into a movie starring Paul Hogan after his first two Crocodile Dundee films?)     

Comment: Professor Stanford of Tech Institute sometimes tipped Kangaroo Man off about enemy sabotage rings.

FaithFAITH 

Secret Identity: None. Faith was her real name.

First Appearance: Great Comics #3 (January 1942)

Origin: Faith was a 1940s American recruited by Futuro, the Master of Time and Space, to fight at his side against the Axis nations. 

Powers: Faith was able to fly via an “aerogene” rocket-pack provided by Futuro. The rocket-pack was powered by inexhaustible “cosmic gas.”

Faith 2In addition, Faith wielded a futuristic “super-maxim” gun in battle and was very skilled in all manner of self-defense. 

Comment: Futuro’s flying white dog Nimbus was particularly fond of Faith.

She seemed fairly fond of the faithful little pooch, too.  

FOR THE FICTION HOUSE SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE 

FOR THE HARVEY SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE FOX FEATURES SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE NOVELTY PRESS SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE LEV GLEASON SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE PRIZE COMICS SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE SPARK COMICS SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE HARRY CHESLER PUBLISHING SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE DELL SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK HERE

FOR THE AUSTRALIAN SUPERHERO PANTHEON CLICK  HERE

FOR MORE SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE:  Superheroes

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

14 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

14 responses to “THE SUPERHERO PANTHEON OF GREAT PUBLICATIONS

  1. WOW, Balladeer!!! This was one of my favorites!!! And I’m going to make a confession…I am Madame Strange!!! That’s right. It’s me! I’m immortal. They started writing about me in the 40s and I asked them not to reveal my true identity….but now I don’t care! And also….You NEVER, ever make mistakes….but I have to tell You that the true Identities of the Secret Circle were the Three Stooges, who were dear friends of mine! 😅Ok. But SERIOUSLY! This was a really fun read. And once again I’m absolutely stunned at all You know/find/share! Thank You and Cheers!!! 😃💕

  2. Gary

    Fire-Eater is pretty awesome!

  3. Barry

    Kangaroo Man? Madame Strange? I am so there!

  4. Foster

    Madame Strange really is kinky with that riding crop!

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