Author Archive | D. Jason Cooper


Ra’s al Ghul

Batman was a joke. They were going to cancel him but someone at ABC thought he’d make a good comedy. That’s right, the TV show saved the comic book for a little while. But the comic went camp with the show and when the TV show collapsed so did comic book sales. Then came Denny […]

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Physically, Richards and Richards begin to look less like superheroes and more like parents. In this picture, Reed is shorter than either Johnny or Ben.  Sue's figure isn't as sharp and it's a little unrealistic and she has a zipper as if she has to be mindful of a little LBL now and then.

The Cosmic Fantastic Four

We tend to forget that, up until late 1961, Stan Lee’s professional career was a failure. Prior to the Fantastic Four, Lee has two things to his credit. For years, comic books had to have two pages of text to meet the requirements for cheap postage, so comic books usually had a story for these […]

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They have been cancelled several times, but they always come back because they are the Legion.

The Legion of Super-Heroes

It was the first superhero team of the Silver Age. It was the first group composed entirely of costumed kid heroes. It was the first group of kid heroes none of whom had an adult mentor. It was the first superhero group to be set anyplace other than in present-day American cities. Yet for all […]

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Possibly the first kid hero group, but even here Bucky and Toro are sold in relation to their adult partners

The Coming of the Kid Heroes

Costumed kid heroes sort of begin with Robin, who first appeared in April 1940. Super-powered sidekicks sort of begin with Toro, who appeared in  “Autumn 1940,” though with the tradition of comics coming out prior to their publication dates, he probably first saw the light of day in August. Where adult heroes started with superpowers […]

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That's him, officer, J Jonah Jameson, I saw his face as he operated the robot

Spider-Epic Fails

The rogues gallery of Batman and Spider-Man share some interesting features. Among them is the sheer number of insane members of a rogues gallery. Batman has the Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Mad Hatter, Two-Face, and others. Spider-Man has the various Goblins, the Lizard, the Iguana, the Jackal, and others. Both have had classic villains. Spider-Man has […]

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I do not know why Ming is the star of this cover.

Defenders of the Earth

I confess a certain sympathy for the smaller superhero universes. Whether Dell’s THUNDER Agents and UNDERSEA Agents (if they’d have lasted, SPACE Agents were probably next), Gold Key’s Dr Solar, Magnus, Tiger Girl, and Dr Spektor, or Dynamite’s Shadow, Green Hornet and Kato, and Miss Fury, and the Charlton many, I’m inclined to have a […]

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Hating Captain America

  There have been about 50 red-white-and-blue superheroes (RWBs). They came thick and fast in World War II, but from the Silver Age on they have mostly been holdovers (Wonder Woman), revivals (Uncle Sam), satires (Fighting American and American Flagg), criticism (The American), or nonentities (Charlton’s Liberty Belle). Yet of all the RWBs, the head […]

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So You Want To Be Hawkeye

So You Want To Be Hawkeye

So you want to be Hawkeye. You want to take a bow and arrows and fight crime. Fair enough. But is it really possible? And if it’s possible, can you afford it? Being Hawkeye might not be as expensive as being Batman or Iron Man, but it’s not cheap. Let’s assume you have the fitness, […]

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When comic books began, they were for children at home and soldiers at the front. For the first group they were aspirational, for the second group they were escape. As such the center of the stories was a young man free to act. Family was restricted to wards who were partners to the hero (Robin, […]

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Oliver Queen, Family Man?

We have all seen the discomfort comic book editors have with family. Spider-Man never was married after Joe Quesada did a deal with Mephisto and blamed Peter Parker for it. He said it was difficult to write good stories with a married Spider-Man. So having to beat the villain in time to do something for […]

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Kirby’s Significant Other

Jack Kirby did everything in comics, staying with comics in its darkest days and brightest nights. He covered every genre, including romance, which he co-invented. He developed new comics techniques like the Kirby krackle and the use of photo collage. He created a dynamism to characters that was later called the Marvel style. Jack Kirby […]

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Jack Kirby and The Kid, Part II

  In 1953, Atlas tried to revive Captain America and Bucky. It didn’t work, and it annoyed Simon and Kirby because they thought it infringed on their work on Captain America. So they went out to outdo Atlas’ version. What they came up with was Fighting American and Speedboy. Initially, Fighting American fought Communists the […]

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.