Bozo the Iron Man
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|Bozo the Iron Man|
Bozo on the cover of Smash Comics No. 5, 1940
|First appearance||Smash Comics #1 (Aug. 1939)|
|Created by||George Brenner|
|Full name||Hugh Hazzard|
Hugh Hazzard and his Robot, Bozo the Iron Man is a fictional character, first appearing in Quality Comics series, Smash Comics #1 (Aug. 1939). The character's adventures were written and crudely drawn by Quality Comics editor George Brenner.
Fictional character biography
In the first installment (called Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man, by Wayne Reid), the origin story, Commissioner Hunt contacts Hazzard by signal flare and brings him into the investigation of crimes committed by a mysterious robot. Seeing the robot robbing a jewellery store, Hugh manages to temporarily deactivate it and climbs inside its hollow chest to hitch a ride to the robot's home base. This turns out to be the laboratory of an evil scientist, Dr Von Thorp who is taken to the police by his own robot and later declared insane. The robot is again deactivated, and placed on a garbage scow for disposal at sea, but Hugh Hazzard has ideas of using the robot as a crime-fighting tool. He saves the robot from its watery fate, then names the robot Bozo.
In the next installment, Hazzard is shown examining the robot's blueprints, and stating that the robot can be modified to fly. The modified robot, shown flying with a tiny spinning propeller on its head, is again used to foil a crime. Flying would be a part of all subsequent appearances.
After the pattern of the first adventure, Hugh Hazzard tended to encounter criminals committing crimes with scientific gadgetry, and these criminals tended to become the victims of their own weapons.
In 1956, Quality Comics characters were sold to DC Comics. Quality's Blackhawk continued to be published without interruption, but most of their other characters languished. While most of the classic Quality superheroes saw print again many years later, Hugh Hazzard has not returned. A robot resembling Bozo did make a single-panel appearance in an issue of James Robinson's Starman, where the inactive robot was in a store-room with a Japanese collector's horde of Golden Age superhero artifacts.
Justin Gray said that the character concept for the villain Gonzo the Mechanical Bastard was derived from a character proposal by Grant Morrison updating Bozo. The final Gonzo character eventually became something very different: a psychotic android that can impersonate a world leader.
- Williams, Paul (2010). The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts. University Press of Mississippi. p. 66. ISBN 978-1604737929.
- Bozo the Robot (a.k.a. Hugh Hazzard and His Iron Man) at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015.
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