8 early Marvel comic book heroes

 

8 early Marvel comic book heroes

The Marvel publisher of comic books has been around for almost eight decades and meanwhile it has produced a wide range of famous superheroes, such as Captain America, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and in the early 1950s changed its name to Atlas Comics. Those early years were called the Golden Age. Let’s see whose adventures you could read about more than half a century ago:

1. Ka-Zar

Ka Zar And Lion

The Ka-Zar magazine only had three issues and it featured for the first time Ka-Zar, a boy raised by lions to become a figure similar to Tarzan. Ka-Zar’s real name is David Rand; his parents’ plane crashes in the Congo jungle and the young boy is raised by jungle animals. Ka-Zar becomes a strong man who defeats a greedy man called Paul De Kraft who enslaves the natives and gathers emeralds. The creators or Ka-Zar were Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

2. Namor the Sub-Mariner

This character has debuted in 1939 and was created by Bill Everett. Namor was one of the three Marvel characters in the Golden Age of comic books. Namor is the son of a human sea captain and of a princess from the Atlantis kingdom. His superpowers include super-strength, aquatic abilities, and the ability to fly. What makes Namor unique is the fact he was the first known comic book antihero, acting like a villain.

3. Human Torch

Human Torch

Human Torch was created by writer-artist Carl Burgos and he appeared for the first time in Marvel Comics #1. An android developed by scientist Phineas Horton, Human Torch can surround himself with flames and when he is not taking his real appearance, he works as a police officer for the New York City Police Department. The Human Torch is one of the early three signature characters, along with Captain America and Namor the Sub-Mariner. The character was forgotten in the 1950s, but in 1961 Stan Lee and Jack Kirby took over Human Torch and transformed him into Johnny Storm, a member of the Fantastic Four.

4. Angel

Angel is the true identity of Thomas Halloway, a wealthy former surgeon. Because his mother died in childbirth, Thomas was raised by his father in prison, as he was a warden. Unlike other heroes, Angel did not wear a mask to conceal his identity, in spite of his costume. Another distinctive trait of Angel is that he does not have any superpowers – he just has a deep insight of the underworld due to his raising. Angel re-appeared in 1990s comic books as an older character and was featured as the leader of the Scourges of the Underworld group, which eliminated a large number of villains.

5. Electro

Electro was a robot hero with superhuman powers and who could run at 100 mph. Electro first appeared in the Marvel Mystery Comics magazine and was created by Steve Dahlman. Electro also appeared in Marvel Mystery #4 in the early 40s and is revived in The Twelve by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston, in 2008 and 2012. In this series, the robot is part of the heroes trapped in a secret bunker during the Battle of Berlin to be examined by Nazi scientists. After the fall of the Third Reich, the eleven heroes are left in suspended animation to be recovered and sent back to New York sixty years later.

6. Black Widow

Black Widow or Claire Voyant is an antiheroine killing villains to deliver their souls to Satan, her master. Her first appearance was in Mystic Comics #4; her first five appearances are made throughout the Golden Age, and she returns several times in the 90s and 2000s, including the 12 issues of The Twelve. Abilities include superhuman strength, flight, mental suggestion, invisibility, death touch, immortality, and the ability to communicate with the dead.

7. Vision

The Vision was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in Marvel Mystery Comics #3 in November 1940. The Vision continued to appear in the superhero anthology in issue #48 and was also featured in an eight-page story in Kid Comics #3 in summer 1943. Vision was taken to the modern age by Rick Jones and appeared together with the superhero team the Avengers during the Kree-Skrull War in The Avengers # 97 in March 1972. His last appearance was in the All-New Invaders series in 2014.

8. Captain America

Captain America

Captain America was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 in March 1941. He was a very popular character during the wartime period as he was depicted as a patriotic supersoldier who fought the Axis powers of World War II. Captain America entered into obscurity in the 1950s as superheroes lost their popularity after war. However, the character was revived in 1964 and never removed from the publication again.

From forgotten superheroes like Ka-Zar to famous ones such as Captain America, who is still being featured in comic books today, the Golden Age of Marvel has delivered us some captivating figures. Which one is your favourite?

 

8 forgotten comic book characters

 

8 forgotten comic book characters

Marvel and other publishers of comic books have had a long history of creating popular heroes; these fictional figures were a part of many people’s childhoods and there are many adults as well who haven’t forgotten their passion for comic books. The worldwide gallery of comic book figures is immense and also includes some characters that have been discontinued or forgotten for one reason or another. Do you know any of the forgotten characters in the list below? Then you must be a real comic books fan!

1. Swordsman

This Marvel character was created by Aaron Lopresti for the Earth-9047 universe. Its first appearance was in 1964 in Avengers #19. Swordsman was Clint Barton’s mentor when he came to the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders; although Clint tried to become his equal, he never achieved to reach his master’s level. With the purpose of trying to get away with his crimes, The Swordsman tried to infiltrate the Avengers. However, he was identified by Clint, now the heroic Hawkeye, and subsequently sent away.

2. Barbarella

The sexy heroine was created by French comic book artist and writer Jean-Claude Forest in 1962. The V magazine made Barbarella a quick success and her emancipation made her a symbol of the sexual revolution that lasted from the 60s to the 80s. The blonde adventurer was translated into multiple languages and reprinted by the American magazine Heavy Metal in 1978. Barbarella’s name was linked to various celebrities, including Jane Fonda who starred as Barbarella in a 1968 movie, and the Duran Duran band, who took their name after one of Barbarella’s characters, scientist Durand Durand. Unfortunately no other movies have been made and the Barbarella comic book was discontinued.

3. Lady Death

Back to the United States with this dark heroine, who was created by Brian Pulido and Steven Hughes and published by Eternity Comics in 1991. Her looks are quite scary – white hair, white skin, no eyeballs, and dressed in black or purple, with a cape and carrying a sword. Multiple comic books have published her, and her last appearance dates from 2004, when Lady Death inspired a Korean animated movie.

4. Vampirella

Dark characters have always fascinated audiences, and this is also the case with Vampirella, a sexy heroine created by Forrest J. Ackerman and Trina Robbins in 1969. The last issue where Vampirella appeared was published in 1983. The beautiful vampire comes from a planet called Drakulon, where rivers that used to feed vampires blood ran dry; she reaches the Earth in an attempt to save her dying race with blood from humans. The character’s looks have been inspired by former model and actress Barbara Leigh.

5. Shamrock

Shamrock is a Marvel heroine with Irish origins. Her real name is Molly Fitzgerald, and she first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes: Contest of Champions #1, in June 1982. Shamrock hosts Irish poltergeists who were victims of wars or innocent victims of crimes. Shamrock gets any leftover luck these people didn’t use and thus is capable of affecting probability fields within twenty feet around her. Unlike other forgotten comic book characters, Shamrock is scheduled to make a return in a short story published in Girl Comics #2.

6. The Spirit

Few people remember this character because it was featured in a series of comic books published by Quality Comics in 1940. The main character in the book, Denny Colt, seems to die in the first issue, but in reality he is placed in suspended animation through an experiment performed by Dr. Cobra. Denny choses to fight crime as his alter ego, called The Spirit. His true identity is known only by his assistant Ebony White and by Commissioner Dolan.

7. American Eagle

This Native American hero is one of the few Indians who have made it to the comic book universe, in spite of the very rich Native American folklore. Many comic books enthusiasts feel this demographic is underrepresented in comic books, although it can deliver very interesting heroes and villains. American Eagle, also known as Jason Strongbow, gained his superpowers as he tried to stop a mining company; the sound ray that blasted him in combination with uranium made Jason Strongbow superhuman and provided him with enhanced senses.

8. Kalimán

Kalimán first started as a radio program in 1963, created by Rafael Cutberto Navarro and Modesto Vázquez González. The concept was made into a comic book which was published for almost three decades until the 1990s. Kalimán is a beautiful character with blue eyes and wearing a white outfit; of Indian origin, he is a descendant of the Kali goddess. The character has been adopted by King Abul Pasha who found him as a baby floating in the river. Instead of following his adoptive father on the throne, he prefers to travel the globe and do justice for people who cannot defend themselves.

What other comic book character would you include in this list and why? We know there are many other forgotten heroes who would have deserved more and could have been successful even today, and we are looking forward to continuing this list.

The Ultimate Comic Blog Fan Site