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