34 – The Dripping Claws of the Red Dragon

Detective Comics brought not only lengthier stories, but also stories of a more graphic nature.  April 1937 featured the continuation of “The Claws of the Red Dragon” by Tom Hickey.  This series followed Bruce Nelson through a “Yellow Peril” story.  Like other forms of period racism, reading these stories can make one uncomfortable.  We are […]

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33 – The Spy’s Just Not That Into You

By 1937, Siegel & Shuster had five comic strips going in National Allied Publications / DC Comics.  “Spy” debuted in Detective Comics #1, but the dynamic between Bart Regan (newly minted spy for Uncle Sam) and his ex-fiance Sally Norris started taking shape in the second issue, March 1937.  Sally became Bart’s reluctant sidekick / […]

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32 – Slam Bradley!

In February 1937, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, the owner of National Allied Publications, put out its third comic book title, Detective Comics.  The book was published by “Detective Comics Inc” due to a partnership Wheeler-Nicholson entered into to get out of some debt. Detective Comics was notable for having much longer stories than was normal for the […]

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31 – Dope Fiend!

The Federal Men start the new year (January 1937) by taking a bite out of drugs, or something like that.  Steve Carson takes on a “dope” ring and is captured and threatened with becoming an addict.  Of course he escapes and arrests the ring leader. New Adventure Comics #13 also features a 12-page story “Foe […]

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30 – New Adventures for Federal Men

The science fiction angle continues for Siegel and Shuster in this Federal Men tale from December 1936.  In it, this four page “imaginary tale” from the futuristic year 2000 shows federal agent Jor-L fighting bandit queen Nira-Q.  The name Jor-L was of course re-used for Superman’s father on Krypton. This issue also shows the title […]

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29 – DC introduces DC

National Allied Publications started advertising their newest upcoming comic book title, “Detective Comics” in late 1936.  Above is a full-page ad inside New Comics #11, November 1936, though the magazine wouldn’t come out for three more months.  “Detective Comics” of course became the official name for the comic book company in the 1970s and years […]

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28 – Steve Smash Robot

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster continue to lean heavy into the sci-fi angle for their comic strips.  In October 1936, New Comics #10 features Steve Carson, an FBI agent infiltrating a secret criminal organization and then heroically commandeering an out-of-control giant robot. I really love the art here by Joe Shuster, the use of the […]

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27 – Federal Men Go Sci-Fi

It’s pretty clear that by mid-1936, Siegel & Shuster were trying to make their strips more exciting and fantastical.  In September 1936, “Federal Men” took a turn from its G-Man roots towards science fiction when Steve Carson made his way on to a submersible in order to infiltrate the “Invisible Empire”, resulting in a costume […]

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26 – Capes and Flying

August 1936 creeps the industry ever-closer to a full-fledged superhero, with Doctor Occult meeting The Seven, donning a skin-tight uniform with a symbol on its chest and a red cape, and then flying through the ether to Egypt.  Clearly Siegel and Shuster were playing with their crazy Superman idea in other strips. Note that this […]

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25 – Next Ish

In More Comics #13 (July 1935), the Doctor Occult story featured a “next issue!” blurb.  I think this is the first time I’ve seen the creators excited enough to tease the next issue storyline.

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