John Jos. Miller’s Creature Feature

In JohnJosMiller by JohnJosMiller4 Comments


Pulp Cover Friday was delayed due to the inordinate amount of time we had to spend on other stuff during the past week or so including driving up to Santa Fe four times in nine days. Then, among other things, we had to put together the exercise bike I bought on Amazon. That actually went fairly smoothly, except for what Gail has dubbed “The Fork Incident,” which is better glossed over. I actually used it today for the first time and did pretty well except for my butt. When did they start making such uncomfortable bicycle seats?

Anyway, here we are back on the Public Domain Super Heroes internet page, for more funny-book fun, looking at various heroes currently enjoying their well-deserved retirement.

First up is Black Terror (Exciting Comics #9, 5-41), who does have a rather cool costume, even if it would look more appropriate on a villain. Or a pirate. The Black Terror is pharmacist Bob Benton, who, while screwing around with a formula to help “run down people” accidentally adds formic acid to the mix. Instead of immediately killing him, it gives him the usual super-strength and invulnerability. (If comic book fans had grown up to be scientists, they’d all be dead by now from ingesting random poisons with the hope of gaining super-powers.) Along the way he picks up the de rigeur teen sidekick, and they become known as the Terror Twins. They should really look up the meaning of the word “twins.”

Amazing Man (Amazing Man Comics #5, 9-39) is just your typical orphaned lad who’s trained by the Tibetan Council of Seven to mental and physical perfection and then returns to America to fight crime with the usual super-strength, invulnerability, and the ability to disappear in a mist of green gas. His Teen Sidekick is Tommy The Amazing Kid. I’m guessing they weren’t too concerned with hiding his real identity.

There are probably more super-heroes with “Black” in their name than “Captain.” Here’s the second in this post, Black Satan (Yankee Comics #1, 1941). A crusading DA during the day, he becomes Black Satan to fight crime at night. Oddly, Black Satan is actually White, though he does wear red pants. He has no powers.

Doll Man (Feature Comics #27, 1939) is a chemist who discovers a formula that allows him to shrink to six inches in height yet retain his normal strength. (Where have we heard this before?). The thing I find charming about this character is that he uses both a bald eagle and a German Shepard named Elmo for transport purposes. I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty skeptical about hanging around a bald eagle if I was the size of a rat. His sidekick is Doll Girl. I can’t decide if that’s more or less appropriate than, say, Timmy The Amazing Kid.


The Green Turtle (Blazing Comics #1, 1944) was a real man of mystery. His name and even his race are unknown. He may have been Chinese, as he fought Japanese invaders in China. He had no powers, but he did have a Turtle Plane, a sidekick named Burma Boy (pictured), and a cool cape.

Captain Fight (Fight Comics #16, 1941) has a side-kick named Yank Adams and he fought Nazis.

He is not to be confused with Captain Flight (Captain Flight Comics #1, 1944) who also fought Nazis and probably has the least dramatic super-hero costume, ever.

I see that I might not make it out of the Captain column, but I’ll try. Captain Red Cross (War Victory Adventures #3) was so feeble that his first adventure was his last. Blood Plasm, really?

I offer the Gay Desperado (Punch Comics #14, 1945) and his sidekick Patsy without much comment, except to note that while apparently his adventures were set in the days of the old west, everyone had cars. I don’t know what model the Gay Desperado drove. No powers, just a do-gooder.

Here’s an unusual one. A kid who goes off on his own to be a super-hero rather than hang around a mentor. Golden Lad (Golden Lad #1, 1945) finds an artifact in his grandfather’s antique shop called the Aztec “heart of gold” which is powered by “the blood of a thousand martyred Aztecs.” Sure, I’d wear that. What could possibly go wrong kharmically with that source of power? Anyway, among the usual powers the “heart” makes him unrecognizable, so he doesn’t have to mess around with a mask that wouldn’t fool anyone anyway.

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