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). Continue reading “Public Domain Hero Day: 13 & JINX! UPDATED-He’s a VERMONTER!”

Public Domain Hero: Miss Masque!

WOW, I keep getting later and LATER with this really cool blogging concept- that never happens, ever- on any blog, no never! I guess i better make this a weekly thing for now. To prime my lazy pump(don’t tell my girlfriend)- I bring you MISS MASQUE!

Miss Masque premiered in Exciting Comics #51, September 1946 by Standard/Better/Nedor Comics- I’m not sure which iteration of that company. Quoting Bill Black’s The Official Golden Age Hero and Heroine Directory , a steal at FIVE BUCKS from AC’s bookstore.

By way of Wikipedia :

Miss Masque is the secret identity of Diana Adams, a young socialite who decides to fight crime and injustice in disguise. Miss Masque has no super powers but relies on her wit and a pair of pistols. Her original costume was a mini-skirted red dress with red hat, gloves and cape, and a domino mask; yellow double “M” emblems on her chest and hat completed the ensemble. A later version of the costume had a bare midriff and shorter sleeves

Miss Masque first appeared in Nedor Comics’ Exciting Comics #51 (September 1946). She also appeared in America’s Best Comics (not to be confused with the DC Comics imprint (see below)), Fighting Yank, and Black Terror; her final Golden Age appearance was America’s Best Comics #31 (July 1949).

There was no writer or artist credited for Miss Masque’s first appearance. Alex Schomburg and Frank Frazetta provided art for later cover appearances, and Ralph Mayo penciled some splash pages.[1]

Now this is my version- and I will admit to a cheat here- I originally drew this 2 years ago for one of Warren Ellis’ REMAKE/REMODEL’s on Whitechapel or might have been the forum that preceded it. Either way, I really think  this MMasque design still holds up after a couple years.
miss masque, originally uploaded by flameape.
I modernized Miss M., giving her a decidedly fetish look. and some really over-sized Bisley-esque armaments. The Full-face, Balaclava-style fetish mask was the finishing touch. Originally she had a domino mask and a crew-cut, but I realized the redesign needed to be edgier- so i drew the mask, and scanned and popped it in with Ye Olde Photoshoppe. Thanks to Adobe for the Warp tool which made the mask placement even more spot on! The thing about MM that I find cool(besides the simple design) is that she is a truly powerful female superhero that doesn’t rely on being merely a female version of a male character- she also doesn’t have to wear a see-thru or skimpy outfit, ala, Phanthom Lady to be a beauty. As far as the Nedor line goes, she’s their best tough as nails gun-totin’ crimefighter detective type superhero. She’s was their  Batman, Manhunter or Crimson Avenger, IMHO. To clumsily paraphrase



D. W. Griffith and, later, Godard, “all you need to make a great crimefighting superhero is a girl and a gun.”

Public Domain Hero Day: KID TYRANT!

Here is today’s public domain superhero KID TYRANT!

from - http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Kid_Tyrant

Kid Tyrant appeared only once, in a Chameleon story in the back of  Target Comics Vol. 3 No. 1.  He was “Ragsy”, the sidekick of The Chameleon- a rough-n-tumble, Bowery Boys type. Ragsy decides to take on the persona of his favorite kid superhero to solve a case and then shelves his costume – all under the nose of his crimefighting pal. Click here to read the whole story on the Pure Exitement Comics website!

And now, on to my version – Continue reading “Public Domain Hero Day: KID TYRANT!”

Public Domain Hero-A-Day: BLACK SATAN

I’m still off by a day finishing off these characters- ah well, that’s the way it goes. I’m catching up though! By tomorrow I’ll have Jan. 6th’s KID TYRANT and  Jan. 7th’s done. I’m thinking of going with either PHANTASMO, MAGNO or BLUE TRACER, not sure yet. Let me introduce you to BLACK SATAN!

Created by Charles Sultan for YANKEE COMICS #1 (published by the Harry Chesler company)- Black Satan only appeared one time. Too bad.

Quoting his entry on the Pdsh Wikia:

“Black Satan was a district attorney [named Howard Flynn ] during the day, but at night, he became the Black Satan to fight against crime. He had no powers, but he did carry a special gun that could blind his foes temporarily.”

So Howard goes out at night slappin’ those criminals silly in a costume eerily similar to that of AMERICOMANDO or MR. AMERICA.  The gun-device that blinds his foes comes up again in the silver age of Charlton comics with their 2nd revival of BLUE BEETLE. Many interesting bits and details considering Black Satan was abandoned by its readers and publisher after only one appearance! He wasn’t a prolific character, but he had a kind of swagger and panache that resonates with me. Plus, seriously, any superhero with Satan in his name is definitely cool.


Now on to my drawings. On the left is old Howard- pretty much as he comes(click the image for full size). There are a few minor changes- I gave him a Zoot Suit gold chain and watch, no clue why. also some inverted pentagrams and, finally, a complete redesign of his pistol. i made it bigger- deco-styled and gave the projector lens an inverted pentagram, too. My thinking is the weird ray that blinded enemies might bedazzle them with a vision of a pentagram! Cool right? On the right, you can see more additions. I thought he needs horns and facial hair. Gives him a bit more “Satan-y” appearance.

Now for my last variation. I decided to take some liberties with his colors- Now Black Satan is actually BLACK, or at least allot more-so. this is the version I like best color-wise- although I think I like version 2 as well.

FYI-you can download a .cbr format scan of Yankee Comics #1 and the sole appearance of Black Satan here.

UPDATED Public Domain Hero-A-Day: The STEEL FIST!

Jan. 4th’s hero is THE STEEL FIST! Look him up here- http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Steel_Fist and here: http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/s/stelfist.htm Now I have to run and make pizza for 20- Wish me luck!

UPDATE! A quick note about this sketch. if you check out the links above you will see that Steel Fist had 2 costumes What I did was combine the various elements, redesigned the helmet and added detailing that I thought would he in line with previous versions- the boot and belt and collar- which match the existing left bracelet. I thought if he’s “the Steel Fist”, the costume needed more iron work motifs.

You can read a few Steel Fist stories at BCHAT’s  My Opinion Doesn’t Matter Golden Age comics blog. GO GO GO!

Public Domain Hero-A-Day: ATOMAN!

Back again for the new year- hope you all didn’t miss me too much! I decided that since I was back to blogging regularly that I’d return to my “sketches every day” routine- with a new angle of course. I decided to take on the discipline of sketching a public domain superhero every day. I really love these golden and silver age heroes; too some they are more than a bit dated but I think they’re real gems. My first – ATOMAN!

ATOMAN From SKETCHES 1-10

Continue reading “Public Domain Hero-A-Day: ATOMAN!”