Tag Archives: MLJ superheroes

THE SHIELD: HIS FIRST TWENTY STORIES

Balladeer’s Blog’s readers have made it clear they love these light-hearted superhero posts on weekends, so here we go with the first twenty stories of the MLJ character the Shield. 

ShieldTHE SHIELD

Secret Identity: Doctor Joe Higgins, a chemist.

Origin: On his deathbed Joe’s father Tom revealed to him the secret of a chemical formula he had been working on. That formula could bestow superpowers on a normal human being. As Joe grew older he got his PhD in chemistry, finished his father’s formula and used it on himself, gaining superpowers. He devised a special costume and fought the forces of evil as the Shield, a super-powered operative of the FBI. 

First Appearance: Pep Comics #1 (January 1940). His final Golden Age appearance came in late 1945. 

shield picPowers: The chemical formula that the Shield rubbed onto his skin followed by bombardment with flouroscopic rays endowed him with massive super-strength plus invulnerability and the ability to leap enormous distances. His name came from an acronym for the areas of the human anatomy affected by his chemical formula: S – Sacrum H – Heart I – Innervation E – Eyes L – Lungs D – Derma. The Shield also wore an indestructible costume which encased his torso like a shield.

Comment: The Shield was America’s first star-spangled superhero, beating Captain America into print by more than a year. He eventually had a youthful sidekick called Dusty and a private detective sweetheart named Betty Warren. His archenemy was the Vulture. His adventures continued until December of 1945. Only J Edgar Hoover knew the Shield’s secret identity. Yes, J Edgar Hoover was the head of the FBI, proving that even back then the FBI was a crooked and politically corrupt organization.

pep 1PEP COMICS #1 (January 1940)

Title: The Shield, G-Man Extraordinary

Villains: A Stokian spy ring

Synopsis: The Shield is given his first assignment. He must destroy a spy ring from the fictional nation of Stokia after the ring blows up a munitions factory, sabotages commercial shipping and assassinates U.S. military personnel. Our hero defeats all of the villains and survives their explosion of the Hotel Braganza. 

NOTE: This is the first time readers see the Shield attach wires from his earpieces to telephone wires so that his enhanced hearing can “bug” the room of his targets. Continue reading

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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.

Powers: Continue reading

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TOP FOUR SUPERHERO PANTHEONS COVERED AT BALLADEER’S BLOG

australian-superheroesWith superhero Cosplay rivalling monster themes for Halloween these days I figured it was a good time to showcase the various superhero pantheons that Balladeer’s Blog has examined in a style similar to my mythology posts.

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Dark NebulaAUSTRALIAN SUPERHEROES

Sampling: Vixen – She’s part human and part fox … The Jackaroo – Picture a costumed Crocodile Dundee … The Technocrat – She’s a mutant technopath with a flying rocket-skateboard … The Southern Squadron – Australia’s home-made team of superheroes.  

Top Hero On List: Dark Nebula – A cosmic and mystical hero whose adventures combine science fiction and the supernatural, like Doctor Strange meets Green Lantern. 

Comment: For this list I went ONLY with superheroes created by Australian writers and artists and published in Australia.

FOR THE OTHER AUSTRALIAN HEROES CLICK HERE  Continue reading

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THE SCARLET AVENGER: FORGOTTEN SUPERHERO

Superheroes are dominating the box office these days and are well-represented on the small screen, too. Reaction to Balladeer’s Blog’s look at the forgotten MLJ superheroes has been so impressive I’m throwing in a bonus hero from MLJ.

Scarlet AvengerTHE SCARLET AVENGER

Secret Identity: Jim Kendall

Origin: Jim Kendall, his wife and child were on board an airplane which was also transporting a shipment of gold bullion. A criminal gang tried to hijack the plane to get the gold and in the resulting mayhem the plane crashed near a remote mountain.

Kendall was the only survivor, his face paralyzed from the crash and never able to smile again. (Shades of the Avenger from Justice, Inc.) He vowed to wage war on the type of criminals who caused his wife and child’s death. Believed dead, Jim Kendall covertly used the fortune in gold bullion to finance his crusade against crime.  

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

Powers: Continue reading

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