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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586 – Goodbye Johnny Quick!

In Adventure Comics #207 (October 1954), Johnny Quick has his last adventure of the 1950s, making him the last Golden Age superhero DC retires in this tail end of the superhero decline. It’s a forgettable tale (other than force-feeding his sidekick Tubby Watts hamburgers to drown his heartache), but it does mean that DC will […]

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580 – EC Under Siege

In DC’s Watchmen timeline, superheroes did not have a resurgence in popularity in comic books in the late 1950s. Instead, pirate-themed comic books took over the industry with “Tales of the Black Freighter” being popular. This apparently is based in some reality: EC’s Crypt of Terror #45 (August 1954), includes the above ad where they […]

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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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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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562 – The Vulture Returns!

The Human Torch and Toro are not the only ones who have returned from the Golden Age. One of the Golden Age villains called “The Vulture” makes an appearance. Actually it’s not clear this is the same Vulture that appeared back during World War II, since that was a Captain America villain, but nonetheless it […]

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549 – Don’t Forget Namor

Just like the Human Torch and Captain America, that same issue of Young Men #24 (August 1953) brings Namor, the Submariner, out of retirement. And what has Namor been up to for the last several years? Well according to Betty: A few years ago he retired – went back to his home at the South […]

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