Daring Mystery Comics

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Daring Mystery Comics
Daring Mystery Comics #8 (Jan. 1942). Left to right: Captain Daring, the Fin, the Thunderer, Citizen V, the Blue Diamond, and (inset) the Silver Scorpion. Cover art by Jack Kirby & Joe Simon.
Publication information
Publisher Timely Comics
Schedule variable (nominally monthly or bimonthly)
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date January 1940 - January 1942
Number of issues 8
Creative team
Writer(s) Joe Simon, Bill Everett, Jack Kirby
Artist(s) Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, Alex Schomburg, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby
Editor(s) Martin Goodman, Joe Simon

Daring Mystery Comics is an American comic-book series published by Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics, during the 1930-1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books. Primarily a superhero anthology, it ran eight issues from 1940 to 1942, and is notable for work by Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, Alex Schomburg, and the team of Joe Simon & Jack Kirby.

Daring Mystery Comics #8 (Jan. 1942) features the first appearance of the Golden Age superhero Citizen V, who decades later appears in flashback in the Marvel series Thunderbolts, where his family and the Citizen V identity play a major part. A small handful of other Daring Mystery superheroes have been revived or have made guest appearances in modern-day titles, such as the World War II-set flashback series The Invaders and the feature "Liberty Legion" in Marvel Premiere.

Publication history[edit]

Daring Mystery Comics came from publisher Martin Goodman's Timely Comics, which by the early 1960s would evolve into Marvel Comics. The first five issues were nominally edited by Goodman, but were in fact mixtures of material bought from Funnies, Inc. or the Harry "A" Chesler studio, both prominent comic-book "packagers" who produced stories or even complete, outsourced comics on demand for publishers entering the fledgling medium. Timely's first in-house editor, Joe Simon, relaunched the series with issue #6 as his second project for Goodman and remained for the last few issues.[1]

Following Daring Mystery Comics #1-8 (Jan. 1940 - Jan. 1942) and a publishing hiatus, the series' numbering continued under different titles.[2] In a quirk of publishing involving U.S. Postal Service regulations and mailing costs, and a World War II, paper-supply-related moratorium on launching new series, publisher Goodman somehow continued the series numbering as both Daring Comics for four issues from 1944 to 1945,[3][4] and as Comedy Comics for 26 issues from 1942-1946,[5][6] both of which launched with an issue #9.

Characters[edit]

Daring Mystery Comics #6 (Sept. 1940), debut of the first 1940s Marvel Boy. Cover art by Jack Kirby & Joe Simon

An anthology with no regular star, the series included a number of obscure, mostly single-appearance features. Due to Golden Age comics work often going unsigned, comprehensive credits are difficult if not impossible to ascertain, and in many early cases, a feature's artist is also the uncredited writer.

The best known superheroes to debut in its pages were the Blue Diamond, by artist co-creator Ben Thompson; writer-artist Bill Everett's the Fin; and the Thunderer, created by writer John H. Compton and notable for artist co-creator Carl Burgos. All three heroes were introduced in issue #7 (April 1941). In the 1970s, the Blue Diamond resurfaced in period stories in Marvel Premiere, as a member of the homefront World War II team the Liberty Legion. He also appeared in writer Paul Jenkins' 2011 miniseries All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes (2011).[7] Two characters introduced here, writer-artist Joe Simon's Fiery Mask, and writer Will Harr and artist Maurice Gutwirth's Laughing Mask, who became the Purple Mask,[8][9] appeared in present-day stories after awakening from suspended animation alongside 10 other Timely heroes in Marvel Comics' 2007-2008 and 2012 miniseries The Twelve.

Other heroes included the Challenger, drawn by Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski under the pseudonym Nick Karlton;[10] Dynaman, by artist and possibly writer Steve Dahlman;[11] and the superheroine the Silver Scorpion, created or co-created by artist and sometime-writer Harry Sahle using the pen name Jewell, which comics historian Michael J. Vassallo believes marked a collaboration with another, unknown artist.[2][12]

The final three issues contained work by the commercially popular team of writer-inker Joe Simon and penciler and sometimes co-scripter Jack Kirby. They collaborated on the covers of #6 (July 1940) and #8 (Jan. 1942), the former of which also featured a 10-page Simon & Kirby story introducing the single-appearance superhero Marvel Boy (the first of several Marvel Universe characters to take that name), and 10-page story starring the previously introduced Fiery Mask. Issue #7 (April 1941) contained an eight-page Simon & Kirby story introducing the obscure Captain Daring (taken over for the next and last issue by artist Frank Borth, and continuing as Captain Dash in Comedy Comics #9).[13] One of the first superhero parodies — Stuporman, by Harry Douglas who signed his name "Harry / Douglas" leading to much confusion and many theories over the possibility of two creators[14] — debuted in issue #6 (Sept. 1940).[2]

Non-superhero features included "G-Man, Don Gorman", a single-issue cover character by unknown creators, though inked by future notable Dick Briefer; "Soldier of Fortune, John Steele" and "Monako the Master Magician" a.k.a. "Monako, Prince of Magic", both by artist co-creator Larry Antonette (under the pseudonym Dean Carr for "John Steele");[15] "K-4 and the Sky Devils", by uncertain creators;[16] "Whirlwind Carter of the Interplanetary Secret Service", by writer-artist Fletcher Hanks;[17] the jungle-lord adventure "Trojak the Tiger Man", by artist co-creator Joe Simon using the byline Gregory Sykes;[18] artist co-creator Ben Thompson's single-appearance Western "Robin Hood of the Range", featuring the first of two Marvel characters called the Texas Kid;[19] and the college football-set Flash Foster at Midwestern, by writer and artist Bob Wood.[20]

The comic's first five covers were by artist Alex Schomburg.[2]

Collected Editions[edit]

  • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Daring Mystery Vol. 1 (collects Daring Mystery Comics #1-4)
  • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Daring Mystery Vol. 2 (collects Daring Mystery Comics #5-8)

In other media[edit]

The Thunderer appeared in the "Seven Forgotten Warriors" episode of one of the Spider-Man animated television series.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murray, Will (2010). "Introduction". In Cory Sedlmeier. Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Daring Mystery Comics, Vol. 2. New York: Marvel Publishing, Inc. pp. vi–xi. 
  2. ^ a b c d Daring Mystery Comics at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ Daring Comics at AtlasTales.com
  4. ^ Daring Comics (1944-1945) at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
  5. ^ Comedy Comics at AtlasTales.com
  6. ^ Comedy Comics at The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
  7. ^ All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes at the Grand Comics Database.
  8. ^ "Enter the Laughing Mask", Daring Mystery Comics #2 at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ "Mystery of the Swabert Mansion," starring the Purple Mask, Daring Mystery Comics #2 at the Grand Comics Database
  10. ^ "Meet the Challenger", Daring Mystery Comics #7 at the Grand Comics Database
  11. ^ "The Origin of Dynaman", Daring Mystery Comics #7 at the Grand Comics Database
  12. ^ "The Silver Scorpion", Daring Mystery Comics #7 at the Grand Comics Database
  13. ^ "Scourge of Fear", Comedy Comics #9 at the Grand Comics Database.
  14. ^ "The Man After the Man of Tomorrow", Daring Mystery Comics #6 at the Grand Comics Database
  15. ^ Daring Mystery Comics #1 at the Grand Comics Database
  16. ^ Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Daring Mystery Vol. 2 credits Jack Alderman, but historian Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. disputes this at the Grand Comics Database entry for "Introducing K-4", Daring Mystery Comics #2, which lists the creative personnel as unknown for reasons given there.
  17. ^ "Mars Attacks", Daring Mystery Comics #4 at the Grand Comics Database
  18. ^ "King of the Jungle, Daring Mystery Comics #2 at the Grand Comics Database
  19. ^ Untitled story, Daring Mystery Comics #1 at the Grand Comics Database
  20. ^ "The Football Fixing Scheme", Daring Mystery Comics #1 at the Grand Comics Database

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]