A Doc’s Corner Special! – Things You Might Have Missed!

October 3, 2022 Docs Corner, Reviews

Every now and then, a few comics escape my notice. Most of the time it’s no big deal but this past week, there were two big ones that I have no idea how they were missed. So we’re going to give them the Doc’s Corner treatment in this special blog presentation! 


We have all heard the story of how in 1938, the Man of Steel made his debut by smashing a car on the cover of National Allied Publications newest comic, Action Comics. And while that is a reason to celebrate with a full reproduction version that is not why we are taking a deep dive on this one. While Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s creation is impressive and made the whole comic industry stand up and take notice, the comic itself is a marvel of it’s time. Weighing in at a whopping 64 pages, Action Comics was an anthology with multiple characters and storylines giving the reader who was willing to plop down his shiny dime a diverse choice. Magicians, cowboys, reporters, fighter all graced the pages of Action Comics. Unfortunately, most of these characters fell by the wayside as National figured out which storylines the readers identified with. Opening the cover, we are immediately greated by an amazing gimmick for the time! The serial Chuck Dawson had been intentionally left uncolored so that you the reader could color it! And if you ripped the self-colored page out of the comic and sent it back to DC you had a chance of winning one of twenty-five dollar prize cash payouts! Now I can hear everyone screaming “NOOOOOOOO!!!” at the thought of tearing a page out and coloring it yourself thus destroying this priceless treasure. However, back then, this was just another ten cent funny book for the kids. And in 1938, a dollar was a hefty sum! It makes me wonder if there are any copies floating around out there missing that one page.

And just how did a colorless Chuck Dawson end up in the pages of Action? Remember that back then as I mentions most comics were anthologies. Trying to provide entertainment to all facets of the public. Aside from cowboy Chuck Dawson, you had millionarre, world traveller, Tex Thompson who, although dressed as a cowboy for this story, would be popular enough to find himself in a red, white, and blue leotard and cape as Mr. America in later stories. Scoop Scanlon, five star reporter, would find adventure for several more issues of Action before fading into obscurity. Fighter Pep Morgan fared a little better as he was a carry over character from More Fun Comics! We also marvelled at the Adventures of Marco Polo for our history lesson and for the comical efforts of Sticky-Mitt Stimson who showed us that crime doesn’t pay! (Who says that comics don’t teach anything!) With a serialized text story, the final character was Zatara, Master Magician who at this point didn’t have a moustache, had an assistant named Tong and was doing his best to imitate the popular Mandrake the Magician. Soon enough though, he’d let Tong retire, grow a moustache, get married and have a delightful fishnet hosed daughter who can be seen in the Justice League Dark titles. What this Facsimile issue does is remind us of what we have lost to the annals of time. So when you scoop this one up remember to keep reading after you get past the Superman story, it is well worth it.


Well, they’re baaaaack! And I’m still confused as ever but I don’t care. This wonderful choatic title caused me to try a deep dive on issue one and all I got for my troubles was a headache! So this time I’m not going to try and figure it out and just enjoy. When villains Spit, Shin, and Weird A.I. Ankhovic come up with a lazer virus that causes people to turn purple and start saying Nerp, things get weird. Think about that Smurfs episode when the whole village got infected. Its like that. Good to see Ambar using her sister’s love interest as a human shield against the infected. With a mini-poster, strange ads (read them carefully), and a prayer page to Saint Isidore(?) this second issue of Archie comics on drugs will have you scratching your head. Too bad the bees could only make a cover appearance this time out. Hard to find but tough to miss.