Tag Archives: Golden Age Superheroes

BLACK SATAN: ANOTHER CHESLER SUPERHERO

Balladeer’s Blog’s recent look at the superhero pantheon of Harry A Chesler Publishing was pretty popular. To meet demand here is another Chesler superhero. I went ahead and added him to the main list, too. For many more Chesler heroes click HERE 

BBlack SatanLACK SATAN

Secret Identity: Howard Flynn, District Attorney

Origin: Like many in law enforcement Howard Flynn wearied of seeing powerful gangsters going unpunished. 

He adopted the costumed identity of Black Satan and went after those criminals that the law couldn’t touch.

First Appearance: Yankee Comics #1 (September 1941).

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SUPERHERO PANTHEON OF HARRY A CHESLER PUBLISHING

Superhero cosplay for Halloween has begun threatening to overtake horror themes in recent years. In recognition of that, Balladeer’s Blog has been including a look at a different superhero pantheon during each October’s Halloween celebration. This year it’s the superheroes from Harry A Chesler ‘s publishing company. 

Alias the Dragon 1THE DRAGON

Secret Identity: Bill Norton, Police Scientist

Origin: Tired of being relegated to the scientific end of crime solving, Police Scientist Bill Norton decides to seek out some action. He devises a flame-thrower pistol for himself plus a costume and starts fighting crime as the Dragon in his series titled Alias the Dragon.

First Appearance: Skyrocket Comics #1 (March 1944).

Powers: The Dragon had the strength and agility of a very athletic man. He wielded a pistol which could shoot fire like a flame-thrower and the dragon-scale cape of his costume was bullet-proof. In addition this hero was a first-rate scientist in criminology.

Comment: The Dragon was one of those Golden Age superheroes who didn’t care if he killed the criminals he fought. As Bill Norton our hero serves under Captain Donovan, no first name given. This character’s willingness to kill and his flame-thrower gimmick can’t help but remind a Bad Movie Fan like me of Robert Ginty’s two-movie character the Executioner.

Yankee GirlYANKEE GIRL

Secret Identity: Lauren Mason, wealthy socialite 

Origin: Lauren Mason’s family line included practioners of the mystic arts, but the only spell-casting Lauren herself ever employed was a magic conjuration employing the words “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” (I guess her delivery made all the difference.) Chanting those three words transformed her, Shazam-style, into the super-powered Yankee Girl. 

First Appearance: Either Red Seal Comics #17 (July 1946) or Dynamic Comics #23 (November 1947). There is still some dispute. 

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KALTHAR: NEGLECTED SUPERHERO

Superhero movies continue to dominate at the box office, so Balladeer’s Blog figured it was time to look at another neglected comic book star: in this case Kalthar, from MLJ Publishing. FOR MY BIG LIST OF NEGLECTED MLJ SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE

KaltharKALTHAR THE GIANT MAN

Secret Identity: None. Kalthar is his real name. 

Origin: The father of the infant who would become known as Kalthar the Giant Man gave his life saving the Urgana African tribe from Muslim slave traders. To thank the dead hero for his role in keeping them free the Urgana people raised his infant son as one of their own and named the child Kalthar.

As he reached adulthood Kalthar formed a Tarzan-like bond with all the jungle animals around the Urganas’ Congo River locale. Kalthar so impressed Ta-Lo, the High Priest of the tribe, that the medicine man chose the adopted young man to receive the gift of the secret grains which Urgana medicine men discovered in the jungle. Those grains enabled Kalthar to grow to giant size and helped him battle evil-doers throughout Africa.     

First Appearance: Zip Comics number 1 (February 1940). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1941.

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THE FLAG: NEGLECTED ACE PERIODICALS SUPERHERO

Flag 2Superheroes continue to practically own pop culture right now. Balladeer’s Blog’s readers wanted more, so I recently posted a look at the Superhero Pantheon of Ace Periodicals. Here is another of their characters that I just added. FOR THE ORIGINAL ITEM FEATURING NEARLY TWENTY MORE FORGOTTEN HEROES AND HEROINES CLICK HERE 

FlagTHE FLAG

Secret Identity: Jim Courtney, flag-maker 

Origin: An unnamed baby was left on the doorstep of crippled World War One veteran John Courtney in 1920. Courtney, a flag-maker, was intrigued by the American Flag birthmark on the infant’s chest. He named the boy Jim and raised him as his son, teaching him his flag-making trade.

On Jim’s 21st birthday he was visited by the ghosts of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln who told him he was a super-powered being and that his powers were ready to be used now that he was an adult. Jim donned a costume and fought the forces of evil as the Flag.

First Appearance: Our Flag Comics #2 (October 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1942.

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SUPERHERO PANTHEON OF ACE PERIODICALS

Readers cannot get enough items on superheroes! Whenever I go too long without a blog post on this topic the reminders to do another one start rolling in. Here is a look at the neglected Golden Age superhero pantheon from Ace Periodicals.

Captain Victory bigCAPTAIN VICTORY

Secret Identity: Jack Wilson, Diplomatic Attache

Origin: Jack Wilson was serving as a Diplomatic Attache at the American Embassy in the fictional Central American nation of Centralvo. While there he gained superpowers but Ace Periodicals’ writers never got around to explaining how during this character’s brief run.

First Appearance: Our Flag Comics #1 (August 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came that same year.

Captain Victory smallPowers: Captain Victory (No relation to the Jack Kirby character of that name) could fly and had massive super strength. The upper limits of his flying abilities and his strength were never established before the character disappeared. 

Comment: Since America had not yet entered World War Two, Captain Victory’s adventures had to walk a fine line. The hero thwarted an Axis Powers attempt to trick Centralvo into entering the war on their side, stopped a Nazi sub from secretly sabotaging the Panama Canal and – in a prescient bit – defeated a Japanese sneak attack on the American Navy. 

Lightning GirlLIGHTNING GIRL

Secret Identity: Isabel Blake

Origin: When Isabel’s Naval Officer father John was brainwashed by Lash Lightning’s supervillain foe the Teacher and forced to help the Japanese forces against the U.S. When Lash Lightning was in one of the Teacher’s death traps he transferred some of his power to Isabel so she could help him.

Her father was freed from his brainwashing and died a hero. Isabel vowed to continue fighting the Axis nations to avenge her father and became Lightning Girl, Lash Lightning’s partner.

First Appearance: Lightning Comics Volume 3 #1 (June 1942). Her final Golden Age appearance came in 1946.

Powers: Lightning Girl could fly at lightning speed, shoot lightning bolts from her hands, generate lightning-heat and track Lash Lightning through their shared electrical impulses.

This superheroine could recharge herself with any electrical outlet. Continue reading

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THE ZEBRA: ODDBALL SUPERHERO

With superheroes dominating popular culture right now Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at another odd Golden Age figure: the Zebra.

The ZebraTHE ZEBRA

Secret Identity: John Doyle, Attorney

Origin: John Doyle was framed for murder by corrupt politicians who wanted him out of the way. Just two days before his scheduled execution Doyle escaped from prison, lost the pursuing authorities and set out to clear himself.

Using his striped prison outfit as the basis for a costume, John added a mask, gloves, boots, a cape and a “Z” belt buckle to complete his ensemble. After proving his innocence, John Doyle resolved to continue fighting crime under the nom de guerre Zebra.  

First Appearance: Pocket Comics #1 (April 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1946.  

Powers: The Zebra was in peak human condition, excelled at unarmed combat and was more agile than an Olympic athlete. As an interesting twist for Golden Age superheroes the Zebra’s specialty was French Kick-Boxing aka Savate. 

Those “Zebra Kicks” helped justify this unusual hero’s handle. It was sometimes implied that the Zebra’s legs were in such incredible shape from Kickboxing that he could run faster than most ordinary men, too.    

Comment: Created by artist Pierce Rice and an unknown writer working under the alias “Ellery King,” the Zebra was one of the Golden Age superheroes published by Harvey Comics.

STORIES: Continue reading

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THE SUPERHERO PANTHEON OF RURAL HOME – CROYDON – ENWIL PUBLISHERS

With superhero cosplay starting to take over Halloween what better time of year for a look at the neglected male and female superheroes of the Rural Home/ Croydon/ Enwil/ Orbit and McCormick conglomeration.

Captain WizardCAPTAIN WIZARD

Secret Identity: Joseph Preston

Origin: Joseph Preston was unjustly suspected of a murder he did not commit. While fleeing the police he took shelter in a haunted wax museum where he encountered a wax figure who was really the magician Theophrastus.

The magician’s powers told him Preston was innocent so he gave the man a mystical cape, costume and mask which granted him superpowers. Calling himself Captain Wizard our hero caught the real murderer and went on to fight the forces of evil on a regular basis.

First Appearance: Red Band Comics #3 (April 1945). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1946. 

Powers: Thanks to his enchanted costume Captain Wizard had super-human strength, could fly and was invulnerable. He also never required sleep. In addition he could switch from his street-clothes into his costume and vice-versa simply by saying “Abracadabra.”   Continue reading

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