603 – Sub-Mariner’s Last Hurrah

The Sub-Mariner makes his last appearance of the 1950s in Sub-Mariner #42 (July 1955), closing out the last of an attempted resurgence of Marvel (Atlas) characters, just as DC is warming up the engines of its full Silver Age. Atlas Comics gave Sub-Mariner two years, but I guess it wasn’t enough to ignite an interest […]

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593 – The Black Knight!

In January 1955 Atlas (Marvel) put out The Black Knight #1 – a new comic book featuring a new character. The Black Knight had the secret identity of the foppish Percy of Scandia in King Arthur’s court, an ally of Merlin’s who battled against barbarians and occasionally King Arthur’s nephew Modred, who was married to […]

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592 – Comics Code Authority Arrives

In 1955, all DC and Marvel comics began having the “Approved by the Comics Code Authority” seal displayed prominently on the cover. The CCA was voluntarily put into effect by many players in the comics industry in response to Senate hearings around juvenile delinquency, championed by Dr. Wertham. This spells the end to EC comics, […]

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588 – Namor Power-Up

In Sub-Mariner #38 (Nov 1954), Namor is called into the Emperor’s castle underneath Antarctica. In a quick exposition, we are told that the Sub-Mariner used to have incredible powers: super-strength, flight, invulnerability, but that he has lost them over his extended time interacting with land dwellers: Namor is told that their scientists have discovered how […]

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575 – Namor, the Original Aquaman

Psst, Atlas! Your superhero revival attempt seems tinged with DC-envy when you describe Namor as “the original Aquaman”. Yes, Namor was introduced two years before the DC aquatic character. Yes, your anti-hero character is more complex and has a more interesting mythology. Yes, your character actually has a supporting cast. Not only that, your character […]

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574 – Electro! Kinda!

In Captain America #78 (May 1954), Atlas (Marvel) continues to try to make their superheroes exciting by adding new super-villains. This time, the Commies create their own version of a “super soldier” to square off against Captain America. Ivan Kronov is given electrical powers and the name Electro. Like electric cars, he has one slight […]

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570 – Namor Anti-heroing Again

Atlas (Marvel) make the unusual move to turn Namor and Namora back into outsiders / antiheroes again in Men’s Adventures #28 (March 1954). After thwarting a commie plot, the red convinces a “yank” that Namor was responsible for the invasion. Namor and Namora plunge into the sea before they can be seized and Namor swears […]

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566 – Betty Betty Betsy

Oddly, all the Atlas/Marvel superheroes that were revived in 1953 happen to have girlfriends named Betty / Betsy. Someone must have loved that name – Stan Lee perhaps? Betty Wilson was introduced as a minor character for the Human Torch. Betsy Ross (no relation to the Hulk’s Betsy Ross?) used to be Golden Girl, but […]

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565 – Cap in the Army Again

After taking Captain America out of retirement, Atlas (Marvel) puts Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes back into the Army where they belong, leaving his teaching job behind in Captain America #76 (January 1954).

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563 – Slap Them Together

In the Captain America story in Young Men #26 (Dec 1953), a sneaky Kremlin secret agent calls together all the heroes in the Atlas/Marvel universe to fight the Reds, giving them the name “Champions”. By this time, DC had given up on the Justice Society of America three years ago and, apart from a Batman/Superman […]

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