Heroes (great comic book of)

série: Etude Comics
dessinateur / scénariste: Feiffer Jules
éditeur: Bonanza EO 1965
genre: Etude
classement: biblio1
date: 1965
format: cartonné, avec jaquette
état: TBE/BE
valeur: 15 €
critère: **
remarques: English Book, volume cartonné avec jaquette,
188 pages, couleur

compiled, introduced and annotated by Jules Feiffer

- the first comic book was "Famous Funnies", 64 pages color (1929),
the three mythic archetypes: Pat Ryan (Terry and the Pirates),
Flash Gordon and Mandrake,
- at that time, the comic heroes were rather silly, hapless persons
(hapless = unfortunate, hap being another word for fortune or luck)
and the first real super hero was of course Superman,
appearing in No. 1 of Action Comics, June 1938,
- he was a superman not only for his power,
but in the concept of his alter ego
- in drawing style, both in figure and costume,
Superman was a simplified parody of Flash Gordon,
but if Alex Raymond was the Dior for Superman,
Joe Shuster set the fashion from then on
and it was a chizoid and chaste ménage à trois
(Superman, Clark Kent and Lois Lane)

n.b. schizoid personality disorder (SPD) is a chronic
and pervasive condition characterized by social isolation
and feelings of indifference toward other people

- then Captain Marvel came next, not an alien but a pure
American citizen who received his power from the magic word Shazam
(S for Salomon's wisdom, H for Hercules'strength,
A for Atlas' stamina,Z for Zeus'power (not for Zorro!),
A for Achilles'heel and M for the million things you've)
- as for captain America he possesses the Shield, symbol of
Americanism which stands for truth, justice, patriotism and courage

- afterwards followed Batman, a mysterious and adventurous figure,
but not a super hero in his true sense, he was fighting
for righteousness and apprehending the wrongdoer and
in his lone battle against the evil forces of society,
his identity remains unkown but he had also a double identity
and what made him interesting, was his story line, better
plotted, better villained and better looking than Superman

- further heroines were Wonder Woman as well as
Sheena, queen of the jungle who was a voluptuous Tarzan
and the star of Jungle Comics

- not to underestimate was the Spirit, appearing December 1945,
operating out of Wildwood Cementary, he was Denny Colt,
a young criminologist presumed by the public, but who continues
to assist society behind the mask of the Spirit
- he was unknown to all but commissionner Dolan and his daughter
Ellen and what more with the Spirit, he had a sense of humour

- finally there was Hawkman, foe to crime, reincarnation
of an ancient Egyptian warrior, he fights the evil
of the present with his collection of the weapons of the past,
Hawkman started in Flash Comics January 1940
and he had great swipes (big blows)

>> p. 42 the explanation of dr Wertham explaining to a child
why he should not read comics
>> p. 44 Wertham goes on to point to Wonder Woman as
the lesbian counterpart to Batman, for boys Wonder Woman
is a frightening image, for girls she is a morbid ideal

second part
- as from page 57, there are short stories in color
about the origins and (as printed first in comic books)
of the classic super-heroes glorious adventures

1) Superman by Jerome Siegel and Jo Shuster
2) captain Marvel (only one excerpt = short extract as reprint
has not been permitted, this because of an unsettled legal case)
3) the legend of Batman by Bob Kane with Robin, the boy wonder
against his best enemy: the Joker
4) the Human Torch and Toro the flaming kid by Carl Burgos
>> p. 84 as a name for a character, the Human Torch was more
wishful than accurate, he may have been a torch but he was,
by no means, human having been laboratory created
as a synthetic being, he was mostly fighting the villain,
the Hag, an awful woman!
5) the Flash by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert, reincarnation
of the winged Mercury, swifter than the speed of the light itself
6) the Green Lantern by Mart Dellon and Bill Finger
who has come to life out of a meteor crashing in China
7) the Spectre by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily,
no one knows that Jim Corrigan hard-fisted detective is in reality
the earthbound Spectre whose mission is to rid the world of crime
8) Hawkman by Shelly, the winged Phantom of the night who from
immemorial has fought the cause of justice against the force of evil
>> p. 140 quite an erotic image for that period
9) Wonder Woman by Charles Moulton,
in this short story, she fights the evil forces
of German and Italian nazis
10) Prince Namor, the sub-Mariner by Bill Everett
if Wonder Woman hated men, the Sub-Mariner went her one better,
he hated everybody, he came from the lost continent of Atlantis ,
a place of under-sea-super beings, some of whom looked even like fish
11) Captain America by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
as the ruthless war-mongers of Europe focus their eyes
on a peace-loving America, the youth of the country heed the call
to arm for defense and it was the time of captain America
with his shield, symbol of America
12) Plastic Man by Jack Cole, from time to time, the comic world
welcomes a new sensation such was Plastic Man,
the most fantastic man alive, issued from an accident
at the Crawford chemical works
13) the Spirit by Will Eisner,
the origin of the Spirit far away from Wildwood Cemetery

- mostly retrospective of the charges of dr. Wertham
against the comics which were considered by him as junk
( = refers to rubbish, trash or items of little or no value)

>> p. 185 from the code of the comics magazine association of America
"respect for parents, the moral code and for honorable behaviour
shall be fostered ( = encourage)
- policemen, judges, government officals and respected institutions
shall never be presented in such a way as to create disrespect
for established authority,
- in every instance good shall triumph over evil and the
criminal be punished for his misdeeds"

>> quite a good book written in a particular style
but most interesting in respect of the early adventures
of the above super heroes as printed in the first comic books

- cover of the book
- a list of great heroes
- cover of reprint 2003

Copyright 2008 - 2024 G. Rudolf