This weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero post from Balladeer’s Blog will look at the Charlton Comics heroes based on how they were BEFORE DC Comics bought them from the defunct company. I will cover more than just the heroes depicted in pastiche form in Watchmen.

charlton yellow jacketYELLOWJACKET

Secret Identity: Vince Harley

First Appearance: Yellowjacket Comics #1 (September 1944)

Origin: Best-selling mystery novelist Vince Harley suffered a home invasion at his mansion home, where he indulged in his longtime passion of raising bees. During the stress of that attempted robbery, Harley’s superpowers manifested as a self-defense mechanism. From then on, he fought crime as the costumed superhero Yellowjacket. 

yellowjacket picPowers: Yellowjacket was a probable mutant with the power of mentally controlling bees. He used his armies of those insects to sting, distract or harass opponents in battle. In addition, this hero was in peak physical condition and excelled at unarmed combat.

Comment: Yellowjacket’s love interest was Judy Graves, and her jewels were the targets of those behind the home invasion during his origin story. Vince Harley had an 11-year-old nephew named Tom Burton, who had likewise inherited the genetic trait of bee control. In Tom’s lone appearance he was called “Buzz” and “Yellowjacket Jr.” and had his own adventure. He was never a sidekick for Yellowjacket.

captain atom


Secret Identity: Captain Allen Adam

First Appearance: Space Adventures #33 (March 1960)

Origin: Air Force Captain Allen Adam was atomized in a freak accident while in an experimental rocket. His mind survived the unusual incident and was gradually able to reconstruct his body. He had been endowed with superpowers and went on to fight criminals, communists, aliens and supervillains as Captain Atom.

captain atom 2Powers: Captain Atom could fly at incredible speeds, even traveling to other star systems under his own power. He was virtually indestructible and could generate atomic energy to power himself, like with his nuclear punches.

Comment: This hero’s niches in Trivia Heaven are the fact that he was the very first superhero co-created by Steve Ditko AND the fact that he was the inspiration for the character Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. Captain Atom’s love interest was the superheroine Nightshade.

miss musclesMISS MUSCLES

Secret Identity: Helen Purnoutsky (?) 

First Appearance: Mr. Muscles #22 (March 1956)

Origin: Miss Muscles started out as a scrawny, mousy human female, but thanks to the secret muscle-building system of superhero Mr. Muscles (Brett Carson) she became the superheroine called Miss Muscles.

miss muscles in actionPowers: This extremely tough heroine was stronger than any normal man, was very agile and was proficient at unarmed combat.

miss muscles on topComment: Typical of my superhero items here at Balladeer’s Blog, when a male and female pair have the same origin and powers, I list only the woman to make up for the comparative scarcity of Golden Age superheroines.

        Miss Muscles thrived on her celebrity status and dated assorted male sex symbols like movie stars.


Secret Identity: Hadley “Rip” Jagger

First Appearance: Special War Series #4 (November 1965)

Origin: During World War Two, U.S. Marine Hadley Jagger was the sole survivor of a sneak attack on his unit. After being nursed back to health by a Japanese woman whose family opposed Emperor Hirohito, Jagger was tutored in judo by the woman’s grandfather. Earning his black belt, he became a special operative for the military in the costumed identity of Judomaster.

judomaster picturePowers: Judomaster combined his boxing skills with the judo, karate and jiu-jitsu that his Sensei had taught him. He could outfight multiple armed or unarmed opponents.

Comment: This hero used the Japanese flag as part of his costume design to honor the anti-Hirohito Japanese who had nursed him back to life and trained him. Judomaster adopted the superhero custom of endangering youngsters by letting a Japanese boy named Tiger Tanaka become his sidekick.

        If I was revising this character I would have made him a Japanese-American and had him start out as one of the Yankee Samurai of World War Two. They were the famed military unit consisting of Japanese-Americans, many of whom had loved ones undergoing internment back in the U.S. yet still fought for their new country. A modern depiction of such a hero could delve into his inner conflict about fighting for a nation that imprisoned his loved ones.   


Secret Identity: None

First Appearance: Charlton Premiere Vol 2 #1 (September 1962)

Origin: Professor S.S. Duba was trying to create an artificial life form in humanoid form. He combined assorted chemicals and organic material into a sculpted figure and bombarded it with “hypertensity white aura-light ultra-ebonized light”. No combination was working, but one day his nephew Kevin Boyd caused a lab accident which brought the being to life. The artificial life form fought communist spies while developing a personality. 

shape facePowers: The Shape was able to morph its body or any part of its body into whatever shape it desired. For examples, it could turn one hand into a large blunt object and the other into a sharp one, or turn its feet into wheels, or sprout wings, etc.

        The being also possessed far greater than human strength and was almost completely immune to sensations of “pain.”

Comment: The Shape started out with a nearly childlike mind but learned and adapted quickly. Its journey of self-discovery would likely have played out in typical science fiction fashion if the character lasted longer.


Secret Identity: Eve Eden

First Appearance: Captain Atom #82 (September 1966)

Origin: Eve Eden was the hybrid daughter of American Senator Warren Eden and Magda, a woman from another dimension called the Land of the Nightshades. When Eve was old enough, Magda explained her unearthly heritage and told Eve about the superpowers that she had inherited from her.

        Eve went on to fight menaces from her mother’s home dimension as well as Earthly menaces as the superheroine called Nightshade. In addition to her mask and costume, she wore a wig as Nightshade but was actually a blonde.

nightshade emerging from shadowsPowers: Nightshade could teleport to multiple Earth locations, both near and far, by darting into and out of shadows and could also teleport to her mother’s dimension. In battle, this teleportation ability was a big advantage. This heroine was also skilled at unarmed combat, having been trained by Judomaster’s now-adult (by 1966) former sidekick Tiger. 

Comment: Captain Atom became Nightshade’s love interest since they both worked for the government. Nightshade was the character that Watchmen‘s Silk Spectre and the Silhouette were based on, except those two ladies had no superpowers. Idiotically enough, Alan Moore made Dr. Manhattan the only superpowered figure in Watchmen.

mercury manMERCURY MAN

Secret Identity: Merco

First Appearance: Space Adventures #44 (February 1962)

Origin: Long ago, the planet Mercury was home to a scientifically advanced culture. Unfortunately, their warlike nature led to the devastation of their world, leaving it an uninhabitable wasteland. The sole survivor was Merco, who eventually flew to the Earth to prevent humanity from following the same self-destructive path taken by his own people.

        mercury man againOn Earth, he formed a friendship with scientist Erika Penn PhD and took to changing his skin color to look human when he was not in action. 

Powers: Mercury Man could fly through the atmosphere and through space at incredible speeds. He had a degree of super-strength and a high level of invulnerability. He could shoot disintegration rays from his hands and could locate someone anywhere on Earth through their minds, but he was not an actual telepath.

Comment: During his brief run, Mercury Man stopped multiple nuclear wars from breaking out on Earth and even took several world leaders on a tour of his ruined home planet to show them what could happen to Earth. This hero could only use his powers when in his Mercurian form, with skin like the later Silver Surfer.

blue beetle dan garrettBLUE BEETLE

Secret Identity: Dan Garrett, later Ted Kord

First Appearance: Dan Garrett version – Blue Beetle Vol 2 #1 (June 1964) Ted Kord Version – Captain Atom #83 (November 1966)

Origin: Garrett – Charlton Comics bought the rights to the Blue Beetle character from Fox Features, whose Golden Age character it was. Charlton reinvented the figure, keeping the secret identity of Dan Garrett but making Garrett an archeologist. Dan discovered the tomb of Pharaoh Kha-ef-Re, and among the relics he found a magical blue scarab. Affixed to his belt buckle, that scarab granted him superpowers, so he fought the forces of evil as Blue Beetle.

blue beetle ted kordKord – When Ted Kord’s professor and friend Dan Garrett died saving the world from Ted’s evil uncle Jarvis, he passed the Blue Beetle identity on to him. He could not pass the mystic scarab on to Ted because it was now buried under tons of wreckage. Kord decided to become Blue Beetle using his own scientific genius to create weaponry.

Powers: Dan Garrett could fly, possessed super-strength and could shoot bioelectrical beetle-blasts from his hands. His mystic scarab let him change from his civilian clothes to his costume by uttering the words “Kaji Dha.”/ Ted Kord, on the other hand, was merely in peak physical condition, a skilled fighter and flew a beetle-shaped aircraft that could fly or hover. In addition, he wielded a gun that fired powerful air-blasts.

Comment: After DC Comics bought the Charlton characters in the 1980s they, too, changed the Blue Beetle. In their new version, the figure came across a scarab that was an extraterrestrial object which granted its owner a high-tech battle-suit.

         Obviously, the Ted Kord Blue Beetle and his frequent partnership with the Question were partial inspiration for the 2nd Nite Owl and his former partnership with Rorschach in Watchmen.

nature girl flyingNATURE GIRL

Secret Identity: Never revealed

First Appearance: Nature Boy #5 (February 1957)

Origin: Not shown, but presumably similar to her male counterpart Nature Boy, which would mean that personifications of the forces of nature selected her to wield their power as a superbeing fighting the forces of evil. Nature Boy was gifted when lost at sea, while Nature Girl seems to have been gifted while in the jungle, where she had a pet elephant named Bongo.

nature girl and bongoPowers: Control of nature, including animal life, plant life, winds and the force of gravity. Nature girl could manipulate trees and vines to the point where they would even move at her command to help her in her adventures. Her control of gravity and the winds let her fly, levitate other objects, etc.

Comment: Once again, with a male and female figure spawned from the same series, etc, I am listing the female character to help compensate for the comparative scarcity of superheroines long ago. 

thunderbolt picTHUNDERBOLT

Secret Identity: Peter Cannon

First Appearance: Thunderbolt #1 (January 1966)

Origin: Peter Cannon’s parents were American medical workers who died while helping to combat a plague in Tibet. Peter was still a child and from then on was raised in a lamasary in the Himalayas. Because he started his training at such a young age, by the time he reached adulthood his mastery exceeded that of his teachers.

        Wielding all the wisdom of the ancient scrolls, Peter Cannon returned to America, became wealthy and adopted the costumed identity of Thunderbolt to combat criminals and other villains.

thunderboltPowers: Utilizing his complete control of body and mind, Thunderbolt was incredibly agile, amazingly skilled at unarmed combat, and could shut out pain (thereby seeming to give him superhuman strength) or control his own bleeding and body temperature.

        In addition, this hero had a photographic memory, could speak dozens of languages, and had more stamina than even the most physically fit normal humans.

Comment: Thunderbolt served as the partial inspiration for Ozymandias in Watchmen.

son of vulcanSON OF VULCAN

Secret Identity: Johnny Mann

First Appearance: Mysteries of Unexplained Worlds #46 (May 1965)

Origin: Johnny Mann, a journalist who had lost a leg serving in the Korean War, was covering civil strife in the Mediterranean. In the ruins of an ancient temple on a fictional island, he bemoaned all the atrocities he had seen and screamed at the heavens that the gods had abandoned humanity.

        The Roman god Jupiter teleported Johnny to Mount Olympus to be judged by the gods for his blasphemy. Vulcan and his wife Venus interceded on Mann’s behalf. Vulcan bestowed superpowers on him and sent him back to the world of mortals to fight evil as the Son of Vulcan.

son of vulcan under attackPowers: The one-legged Johnny Mann could transform into his superpowered form and back again at will. As Son of Vulcan he wore indestructible armor forged by Vulcan and carried a shield & battle-axe made of the same supernatural material. He also had a degree of super-strength and could hurl fireballs.

Comment: I would have called this hero just plain Vulcan or Vulcanson or something. This character may have been a variation of Marvel Comics’ Thor but he had a lot of potential which, Charlton being Charlton, they wasted.

winnie the witchTHE WITCH

Secret Identity: Winnie (last name never revealed)

First Appearance: Ghost Manor #13 (July 1970)

Origin: The Witch was a practitioner of the occult who had been immersed in the craft long enough for her skin to have turned blue.

Powers: This character wielded the traditional eldritch powers of witches, and could also conjure up images and engage in remote viewing.

Comment: Winnie used her powers purely in her role as a Horror Hostess in one of Charlton’s many horror comic books. Just like Marvel eventually made their similar Horror Host character Digger active in their superpowered community I would do the same with this Witch. Needless to say, it would help by adding another female figure.


Secret Identity: Christopher Smith

First Appearance: Fightin’ 5 #40 (November 1966)

Origin: American diplomat Christopher Smith was a noted pacifist in his public persona, but was secretly affiliated with the Pax Institute’s covert operations arm.

        When peaceful solutions to an international situation hit a dead end, Smith donned the costume of his alter ego Peacemaker, who used violence against global dictators and other aggressors to nip potentially larger conflicts in the bud.

        This hero’s adventures were every bit as focused on Cold War situations as early Marvel Comics stories were in Iron Man and the Hulk.

peacemaker in flightPowers: Peacemaker was in peak physical condition and was a master of armed and unarmed combat. His action outfit included body armor, a jetpack for flight, plus a helmet for protection AND for radio communication. This hero’s weapons included his powered blaster gun.

Comment: Peacemaker was the model for the Comedian in Watchmen, but the original Charlton version was neither the violent maniac of Watchmen nor the buffoonish character from recent movies and television shows.


Secret Identity: Aaron Piper

First Appearance: Charlton Premier Vol 2 #1 (September 1967)   

Origin: Museum owner Aaron Piper discovered the Moonstone Amulet during one of his archeological expeditions to Central America to recover ancient relics. That amulet grants him superpowers which he uses to retrieve priceless objects as Spookman.

Powers: Spookman could teleport through time by concentrating rays from the Moonstone Amulet around his neck on the surviving fragment of an ancient object and be transported to the time of its creation. Among the other powers the amulet granted him was greater than human strength and the ability to understand any ancient language being spoken to him. 

        spookman 2The Moonstone Amulet also transformed Aaron Piper into Spookman. Among this hero’s other weapons was a Malacca cane with an owl headpiece. 

Comment: The name Spookman is pretty silly, but the look and origin of this hero had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the story introducing him was too disjointed. It featured Doctor Who elements at times, but was too slipshod at other times. The character should have been granted entirely different powers by the Moonstone Amulet in my opinion.

arachne coffinPROFESSOR COFFIN

Secret Identity: Arachne Coffin

First Appearance: Midnight Tales #1 (December 1972)

Origin: Arachne Coffin followed in the footsteps of her uncle, Professor Cyrus Coffin, both by becoming a professor at Xanadu University and by investigating supernatural phenomena and chronicling firsthand experiences with the unknown.

Her uncle was also known as the Midnight Philosopher.

professor coffinPowers: Professor Coffin drew upon her encyclopedic knowledge of monsters and horrific lore from around the world to deal with any situation she encountered. She was courageous and very skilled at self-defense. 

Comment: During her years as an assistant to her Uncle Cyrus, Arachne Coffin faced carnivorous plants, reanimated mummies, a cat-lizard-dinosaur monster, a Hell Train, a large double-faced ape-creature with suction cups on its long tongue, and living human-sized marionettes plus many more oddities.   


Secret Identity: Vic Sage

First Appearance: Blue Beetle Vol 4 #1 (June 1967)

Origin: Vic Sage was a successful investigative reporter noted for his exposes at WWB TV in Crown City. Scientist Aristotle Rodor, a former professor of Sage’s, approached Vic about investigating a former aide who stole one of his inventions and was ruthlessly selling it around the world despite its toxic side effects.

        Because of the high stakes involved, Sage wanted a way of conducting this investigation while keeping his identity secret. Professor Rodor supplied Vic with Pseudoderm, a synthetic flesh, and other items to hide his features. After solving this case, Vic Sage continued his crusades as the Question.

the questionPowers: To become the Question, Vic Sage would press the button on his belt buckle, releasing the Pseudoderm in its gaseous form which temporarily grafted itself to his face like an artificial skin that he could see through. Rodor’s gas also changed the color of Vic’s hair as additional misdirection and would change the color of whatever suit that Sage was wearing at the moment.

        The Question was in peak physical condition, was incredibly agile and excelled at unarmed combat. He was also a master investigator.

Comment: This hero was known for his ruthlessness, since he was patterned after Steve Ditko’s earlier superhero Mr. A. The Question inspired Rorschach in Watchmen, but was nowhere near as unhinged as that character was.  


Secret Identity: Wnndwar

First Appearance: Cheyenne Kid #72 (May 1969) 

Origin: This being was an alien from Sirius 5. He was an intergalactic merchant, and one day space pirates attacked his starship. Wnndwar outfought them and destroyed their vessel, but his own craft was so damaged that he crash-landed on Earth.

        The last expedition from his race had visited Earth a few hundred years back, so Wnndwar spoke in very old-fashioned English, sort of like Marvel’s Thor. Earthlings misunderstood his name as “Wander” (Why not wanderer?). He battled evildoers while searching for materials to someday repair his non-working spaceship.

wander crouchingPowers: Wander possessed a large degree of super-strength, could leap several yards at a time, had very hard skin and an intellect far superior to human beings. He also wielded a ray-gun which fired melting rays.

Comment: Despite this character’s potential and the fact that he made more appearances than many of Charlton’s other superheroes, Wander has been all but forgotten over the decades.


Secret Identities: None

First Appearance: Charlton Bullseye #4 (November 1981)

Origin: In the far-off Alpha Star System, its three inhabited planets were involved in a war of independence from the tyrannical Overlords. Three superpowered women, called the Vanguards, were the greatest fighting force on the side of the rebels.

celestra        CELESTRA, the group’s founder and leader, was from the planet Talus. CEREBRA, the youngest member, was, thanks to being rescued by Celestra, the sole surviving member of a psionic race on the planet Onym. 

        CORONA, a medical technician from the planet Aris, was a mutant who joined the team when Celestra and Cerebra freed her family from the Overlords.    

cerebraPowers: Celestra (above right) could fly plus wield forcefields and energy blasts via the Electron Force she controlled.

Cerebra (at left) possessed incredible telepathic and psionic powers.

coronaCorona (right) wielded the Solarforce, which let her fly and fire solar energy blasts.

Comment: What a terrific trio of characters to be left forgotten since the 1980s. Any one of them or all three could easily have visited the Earth to interact with Charlton’s other superheroes over the years. 


Secret Identity: Never revealed

First Appearance: Thunderbolt #60 (November 1967)

Origin: In Ultrapolis, the government held absolute power and had even banned humor, art, music and literature. An unnamed man allied himself with fellow dissident Dr. Hiram Grave, who provided him with high-tech gadgets and weapons from his secret laboratory. Adopting the costumed identity Prankster, this rebel fought Ultrapolis’ dictator Bane and his right-hand man, Captain Ludovic Wratt.

Powers: Prankster was a master of karate, was more agile than an acrobat and was very skilled with the high-tech devices provided by Dr. Grave. This hero’s equipment included high-tech camouflage, a jet-propelled aircraft capable of hovering, a “flute” which was really a sonic weapon, a magnet powerful enough to disarm an entire firing squad, and a laughing gas spray which enabled him to disable opponents non-fatally.

prankster without helmet onComment: This valiant rebel mocked and embarrassed and otherwise foiled his tyrannical foes with well-executed hit and run strikes. He also spread anti-Bane graffiti, saved people sentenced to death by the government when he could, and helped political prisoners escape.

        Charlton could have incorporated Ultrapolis into their shared universe by treating it like Marvel’s island nation dictatorship Genosha. 

iron corporal coverTHE IRON CORPORAL

Secret Identity: Ian Heath

First Appearance: Army War Heroes #22 (November 1967)

Origin: Ian Heath ran away from America and the family fortune to serve in the Australian Army against the Axis Nations, since the U.S. was not yet in the war when he enlisted. A horrific injury in battle would have killed him, but his steel industrialist father had special replacement ribs and metal coverings made to replace Ian’s original bones and flesh.

As the Iron Corporal, the young man served as an operative for the ANZACS in the Pacific Theater until the end of the war.

iron corporalPowers: Ian Heath was well-trained at armed and unarmed combat by the Australians. He was a deadly marksman and could utilize commando tactics when needed. His iron prosthetics enabled him to take a direct hit from a tank shell in his chest without being wounded. On the downside, they weighed him down so much that he could not hope to swim, and had to be careful to avoid drowning.

Comment: The potential for drama was high with this character and his dark, mature wartime experiences, but Charlton, as usual, failed to carry through.  

countess von bluddCOUNTESS VON BLUDD

Secret Identity: Countess Rosa H. Von Bludd

First Appearance: Scary Tales #1 (August 1975)

Origin: In Eastern Europe during the 1400s, Count Gregor Von Bludd, a vampire, forced the reluctant beauty named Rosa to marry him. He turned her into a vampire like himself, but she and her maid Olga engineered Gregor’s death by wooden crossbow bolt.

Over the centuries, Countess Von Bludd moved to America, where there was a much larger pool of potential victims to draw from.

countess von bludd with whipPowers: Countess Von Bludd had the supernatural strength of a vampire, and was immune to all weapons except wooden stakes, holy water and sunlight.

Rosa wielded a whip to deadly effect and to disarm vampire hunters. She was compelled to drink human blood to survive.

Comment: Like Winnie the Witch and Professor Arachne Coffin, Countess Von Bludd deserved to be a big horror star for Charlton Comics.

sarge steelSARGE STEEL

Secret Identity: None. His name was literally Sargent Steel (like Sargent Shriver and others)

First Appearance: Sarge Steel #1 (December 1964)

Origin: When Charlton introduced this character, he was a former soldier who had served in Vietnam and lost his left hand. At first he was depicted as a private investigator but then his adventures were jazzed up by making him a superspy instead.

sarge steel handPowers: Sarge Steel’s left hand was replaced by a semi-functional one made of steel. He was in top condition, was skilled at armed and unarmed combat and had the full complement of espionage capabilities.

Comment: Only Charlton could have missed the opportunity to have this hero’s prosthetic hand be a customized weapon and team him up with the Iron Corporal. His hand could have even been made using updated technology (since World War Two) similar to how the Iron Corporal got his prosthetics. “Sarge Steel and the Iron Corporal” practically writes itself.


Secret Identity: Cindy Carson

First Appearance: Thunderbolt #54 (October 1966)

Origin: Aspiring folksinger and actress Cindy Carson was on hand when brilliant scientist Dr. Kolotov was mortally wounded by the lackeys of a supervillain called the Mind-Bender. Before dying, Kolotov gave Cindy one of his high-tech inventions which gave her superpowers. As Mentalia, she fought villains like Mind-Bender, the Titan and Communist China.

Powers: Mentalia trained herself extensively in unarmed combat. Dr. Kolotov’s device let her read minds, project her thoughts, immobilize opponents psychically and implant visions. She could also free people from the mind control of others.

mentalia againComment: Once again, I’m listing the female character when it comes to men and women who have the exact same origin. Mentalia received one of Dr. Kolotov’s devices, while her fellow folksingers Helio (Rick Strong) and the Brute (Crunch Wilson) also got some of his inventions which gave them superpowers.

        Helio could become lighter than air and fly, while the Brute wore items that increased his already considerable physical strength. The trio were called the Sentinels, but were incredibly bland and forgettable. Hell, I would write out the two men and just have Cindy Carson use all three of Dr. Kolotov’s inventions and wield all three powers – her own, plus flight and a degree of super-strength – and be called the Sentinel.


Secret Identity: Clay Boone

First Appearance: Six-Gun Heroes #57 (June 1960)

Origin: Clay Boone was a traveling gunsmith in the Old West. The wagon he rode from town to town was chock-full of firearms and also housed the costume and equipment for his alter ego Gunmaster, who fought crime in his travels.

Powers: Gunmaster was an incredible marksman with all manner of firearms, from six-guns, derringers, rifles, gatling guns, etc. In addition, he excelled at unarmed combat and was a skilled horseman. This hero packed more trick-guns than the Spaghetti Western hero Sartana.

gunmaster gatlingComment: For a brief period, Gunmaster had a young sidekick called Bullet, the Gun Boy (Bob Tellub).

        Charlton should have made the Gunmaster identity one of those like the Phantom (Kit Walker), handed down from generation to generation in one family or tight circle. Assorted Gunmasters could have had adventures in World War One, the Roaring Twenties, Vietnam, and so on. 


Secret Identity: Sonya (last name never revealed)

First Appearance: Peacemaker #1 (March 1967)

Origin: Sonya was a former Soviet spy who defected to the west and then carried out missions for the U.S.

Powers: Sonya was skilled at languages, impersonations, code-breaking and all other espionage talents. She was in peak physical condition and was an expert at armed and unarmed combat as well as the use of explosives. Sonya was provided with all manner of military equipment and high-tech spy gadgets by her bosses. She was also an experienced pilot. 

sonya 2Comment: This heroine was originally a member of the Fightin’ 5, a non-powered group of Charlton heroes. As usual, when a mix of male and female characters have basically the same origin and powers I list just the woman.

        A new Fightin’ Five could have consisted of Sonya, the Iron Corporal, Sarge Steel, the latest Gunmaster and one of the original Fightin’ Five characters, depending on who your favorite was. Maybe Granite Gallero since he and Sonya had a flirting/ fighting banter.

filipino kid 2THE FILIPINO KID

Secret Identity: Juan Manita (sometimes Martinez)

First Appearance: Yellowjacket Comics #1 (September 1944)

Origin: On December 8th, 1941 the Imperial Japanese army invaded the Philippines. Wealthy young Filipino Juan Manita’s father was killed by the invading army and his mother & sister died while being strafed and bombed by an airplane pilot. Juan wanted revenge, and in his first adventure located and killed the pilot who slew his mother and sister. For the rest of the war, he fought the occupying Japanese forces and Filipino collaborators. 

Powers: The Filipino Kid was in peak physical condition and proved to be a master at guerilla tactics all over the Philippines. Striking either solo or leading Filipino and American troops, this hero stung the occupying army over and over again, like a brutal Robin Hood of the Jungle.

        filipino kidThe Kid was proficient with all firearms and explosives, plus wielded a kampilan sword and bolo knife. Booby traps were part of his talents. Conversant in Tagalog, Japanese and English, Manita could blend in perfectly with Filipinos, Americans, Brits and the Imperial Japanese. 

Comment: The Filipino Kid was the first Filipino hero in Western World comic books. He had several Golden Age adventures and if writing new adventures for him now, crossovers with Judomaster or the Iron Corporal would be possible.

        This hero’s stories detailed actual Japanese atrocities against Filipinos. Sometimes he would pit his kampilan sword against the samurai swords of Japanese officers like one of his foes Captain Oshikama, “the murder master of Manila.” The Kid’s love interest was heroic Manila Maisie, guerilla radio broadcaster, real name Maria Manuel.  

diana the huntressDIANA THE HUNTRESS

Secret Identity: None

First Appearance: Yellowjacket Comics #1 (September 1944)

Origin: During World War Two, the god Jupiter sent the goddess Diana down from Mount Olympus to help the Greeks fight the Nazis.

Powers: Diana the Huntress could fly, had greater than human strength and a very high degree of invulnerability.

        She was also a deadly accurate shot with her magical bow and golden arrows. Her arrows were effective against tank crews as well as regular Nazi soldiers.

        diana flyingDiana also had a Robe of Concealment which, when donned, would let her pass among mortals as an ordinary woman until the time for action arrived.

Comment: Anyone who found one of this goddess’ arrows was able to summon her for help. Her Golden Age adventures ended in 1946. And yes, I know Diana was the goddess’ Roman name. Her Greek name was Artemis, but what can ya do?

flying nursesTHE FLYING NURSES

Secret Identities: Sally Smith (brunette) and Sue Smith (blonde)

First Appearance: My Secret Life #47 (September 1962)

Origin: Sally and Sue Smith, two top-rated nurses at Morse Medical Center in the American Midwest, longed for even greater challenges. They joined the International Emergency Corps Rescue Team and trained in parachuting, mountain climbing, martial arts and scuba diving, plus learned desert, jungle and extreme cold survival techniques.

        flying nurses againThe Flying Nurses then were on call around the clock to be flown to any disaster or crisis site anywhere around the world, including many war zones.

Powers: These heroines possessed excellent medical skills and were in peak physical condition. The risks they took and the dangerous situations they found themselves in proved that you don’t have to be fighting crime or supervillains to have riveting adventures. 

Comment: Among the war zones and natural disaster areas the Flying Nurses were sent to was Vietnam. 



Filed under Superheroes


  1. A real mix of characters here!!

  2. EsseGesse üçlüsünün Türkçe kitapları *Kinova- Tommiks* vazgeçilmezimdi. Yıl 1960 😁🥰

  3. Charles Kinbote


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s