Public Domain Hero Day: 13 & JINX! UPDATED-He’s a VERMONTER!

UPDATE: I’m so glad to have found out that 13 is a Vermont Superhero! Interested? Then read on true believer!

13 & Jinx, Kirby Style!Click Here For a HERO-SIZED VERSION!

Truly one of the least popular, most obscure and oddly named Public Domain Superhero is 13. Created by writer Dick Wood(!), co-creator of Airboy, and artist Bernard Klein(Dr. Fate, Green Arrow).I couldn’t find any anecdotes to explain why this numerical nonpareil of nomism and his nitid nupsom, Jinx , were created, other than to be another half-baked Batman and Robin crime-fighting duo that Lev Gleason hoped to cash in on(and likely fill pages in the latest issue of Daredevil Comics).

Quote the entry on the PDSH Wikia, ” Harold Higgins was always a lucky child growing up…until he turned 15 and his parents where murdered. He then dedicated his life to capturing murderers, first as a private-eye and then as a superhero named 13. He is assisted by 16 year old Darrel Creig who takes the sidekick identity of Jinx. 13 seems to possess superhuman luck, but it is unclear if it is truly a superpower.”

I thought that his age at the time of his parent’s death was stupid- Harold should have been 13 years old, not 15, right?!? Anyways- The thing I love about this guy is the weird uselessness of him; the odd name, which forces me to imagine some editorial session before deadline- crazed smoking comic book creators up till 3 in the morning rushing to fill that 6 pages with whatever came to fevered minds. I love the look and the hackneyed gimmick, so I took a crack at the character.

What came to me was a Jack Kirby Bronze-Age take on the character. What if old Jack had an idea during his stint at DC during the 70’s to reinvent old Harold? I kept the elements- boots, gloves, bare-legs and the head-gear; only I gave them a bronze-age Kirby upgrade. First off- I ditched the cape and made the cowl into a skull-cap helmet.The cape became a bulky armored collar. I did retain the scale-mail look- I also kept his logo on the chest, upgrading it to a stenciled roman numeral XIII. Last, a pair of energy batons for proper ass-kicking of enemies!

XIII as he is called in my version is one of a set of clones made from the original “13”. A genetically engineered super-soldier made by some fiendish organization like E.Y.E. or The Nixon Administration, Monanto, MicroExxx, Roxxon– SOMEONE like that. Clone-soldier XIII, has some kind of “free will” that has made his programming go ka-flooey- destroying his evil creators lab and escaping with his armor-housed, artificial-intelligence mega-computer “Jinx 2.0“! Jinx  is capable of 360-degree analysis of his surroundings and can activate his XIII’s “luck”; actually, “short burst altered-quantum singularity fields” that are focused through good luck charms on each pod on his belt, to deal with a myriad of “bad scenes”, daddy-o. I thought it would be a cool idea for his luck to be a sci-fi/magic kind of thing- tip of the hat to Kirby on that score too.

So as you can see, after making the design and the origin I LOVE 13! Hope you do too. lateroonio.

Here’s a pulse-pounding adventure of 13 in thrilling Embedded PDF-O-VISION:

[ipaper id=27083600 width=600 height=500]

13 at the Public Domain Superheroes Wikia

International Hero Entry

Another 13 & Jinx story at The Golden Years Comic Book Library

Download Daredevil Comics(Lev Gleason Publications- not Marvel) #3-17

UPDATE: Upon doing some blog edits on this post and others I’ve come to find out that my obsession with the numerically negative negator of nemeses has developed ANOTHER layer of intrigue! Apparently, old 13 is a FELLOW VERMONTER! I found yet another reference to 13 on BLAKLION’s Lev Gleason’s Comic House, a repository of all things Lev Gleason Publishing. In the HEROES section there was a great page on 13 with transcriptions of the narration of several issues, including his origin!

In a small town, buried in the maze of rising hills which cover New England’s picturesque Vermont, Harold Higgins was born. And with his birth on Friday the thirteenth, the hand of Fate placed a bony hand against his throat and proclaimed him possessor of a fearsome plague to man — the curse of “13”, nemesis number of all time. Such was the beginning.

Click this for the full page art

PICTURESQUE VERMONT! So there you have it- 13 is a Vermonter. So cool. I’m so into this guy, I’m definitely doing more drawings of him, particularly my redesign. I think we VT comic creators should adopt Harold Higgins and make a whole anthology or something. If anyone has thoughts on this idea, let me know.

7 Replies to “Public Domain Hero Day: 13 & JINX! UPDATED-He’s a VERMONTER!”

  1. Gregory, I love this XIII ! You did a very authentic looking remodel on him. Totally Kirby Bronzed Out!
    Your background origin with the whole ‘Nixon Admin’ – ‘Roxxon’ is hilarious. Your whole take, the visual and the back story are awesome, man!

  2. The underground laboratory in Bethesda, Maryland was thrumming with
    activity. Project Higgins was so far beyond the Dolly cloning
    experiment, it would have blown away any number of conferences, if it
    hadn’t also been Top Secret. The NSA, CIA, and NIH were working
    hand-in-glove on this new super-soldier project; the NSA had developed
    Jinx 2.0 during the Cold War, and dusted off that project in the Age
    of Terrorism.

    NSA Scientist: And the brilliance of it is that the artificial
    intelligence is reactive! Against the Commies, we always had to have
    a plan. But against terrorists, we have to change plans in an instant
    to react to their wild killing sprees.

    CIA Scientist: But you still need a human agent to implement your
    computer’s ideas.

    NIH Scientist: Agents, plural. We have two dozen growing now, from
    that old WWII super-soldier of yours.

    CIA Scientist: Well, from our predecessors of the OSI. Old Higgins
    never knew he was working for us.

    The three lab-coated men survey isolation tank after isolation tank of
    identical men, taking interest in the various instruments which show
    their life signs. They inspect each of the tanks, but the button on
    the sleeve of the NSA scientist catches on the latch of the thirteenth
    tank. The button pops off, unbeknownst to the scientists, and rolls
    under the tank. As the men leave, the plastic of the button melts
    against one of the pipes under the tank, and a puff of smoke comes up
    from the pool of slag. This smoke curls and coats a wire, which
    shorts out, and tank #13 flashes a red light and the emergency release
    opens the latch.

    The thirteenth clone of Harold Higgins stumbles out of his tank. He
    is wearing a blue jump-suit with the Roman numeral “XIII” stenciled on
    the chest. He lurches forward, grabs a rolling gurney for balance,
    and it slides into a set of drawers which open to reveal boots, a
    cowl, a belt with several strange devices along it, and a small
    circular piece of machinery which obviously plugs into the cowl. XIII
    pulls these accessories on.

    Jinx 2.0: Project Higgins Sample Number One, await further orders.

    XIII: Where are you? I can’t see you!

    Jinx 2.0: That is not surprising, as I am mounted on your forehead
    between your eyes.

    XIII looks around until he finds a reflective metal surface. He sees
    the glowing circle, and starts to poke at it with a large meaty
    finger.

    Jinx 2.0: Do not touch me. I am a sensitive receiver.

    XIII: Aren’t you worried that you’ll be hit by accident?

    Jinx 2.0: No. Nothing will touch me, as long as you don’t. This
    spot on your head will never even itch.

    XIII: How lucky for you!

    Jinx 2.0: Yes. Precisely.

    Suddenly, the smoldering around the now-empty tank set off the smoke
    alarms. Klaxons sound. XIII jumps, and this jostles the two batons
    from the shelf that contained his accessories. XIII grabs them as
    they pop into the air, and the instant they’re in his hands, they
    start to glow.

    XIII: It looks like we’d better get out of here!

    Jinx 2.0: No. You should put out this fire and then await further orders.

    XIII looks around the room, spots a fire extinguisher, and quickly
    douses the fire around his tank. Then Jinx 2.0 starts to hum, and
    then says:

    Jinx 2.0: Higgins Sample Number One! We are under attack by
    terrorists! You must stop them! Stopping terror is your primary
    function!

    So XIII bounds out the door that the three scientists exited earlier,
    and finds that it’s at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Up the
    stairs he runs, where he finds the three lab-coated men dead, bleeding
    on the floor, and three dirty, bearded, and heavily-armed men.

    Terrorist #1: This lab is an abomination toward nature! Life is the
    sole province of God!

    Terrorist #2: There is no self-destruct mechanism! How will we destroy it?

    Terrorist #3: We will purify it with fire!

    XIII hurls himself into the fray, striking left and right with his
    energy batons. The third terrorist sneaks up behind him, and hoists a
    large piece of electronic equipment to bludgeon XIII with. But
    suddenly a four-leafed clover on XIII’s belt starts to shine, and the
    hoisted electronics smacks into a ceiling-mounted sprinkler, dousing
    the machinery, and electrocuting the cowardly terrorist.

    XIII turns to look at the smoldering attacker, when he sees he full reflection.

    Jinx 2.0: My mistake. You are not Higgins Sample Number One. You
    are Higgins Sample Number Thirteen. Hello, Thirteen. You may call me
    “Jinx”.

    XIII: Hello, Jinx. I get the distinct feeling that we should not
    stay in this place.

    Jinx: Do you have a plan?

    XIII: Not exactly. But I do feel, quite strongly, that we should head north.

    Next month! XIII and Jinx go to Philadelphia, see the Mummers Parade, and save the Liberty Bell!

    1. REALLY COOL, Mark- imagery and dialogue totally fit the new 13- I’d love to see more! Anyone else have the itch to tell the “TALES OF 13 & JINX”?

    1. WOW- thanks TBolt! I caught your work here & here – I think that is a totally great idea, go for it! My only question is, how could I get one? Cash or trade for art maybe? Thanks again.

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