Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Sometimes We All Feel Like Punching An Elephant In The Face!! Strange Adventures #180, September, 1965
When Julius Schwartz, a former literary agent for Science Fiction writers, became Editor-in Chief of DC Comics, the connection between Silver Age Super Heroes and Sci-Fi was cemented once and for all.
Starting with a revival of the Flash (in Showcase #4) and moving quickly to more sci-fi oriented re-envisionings of Green Lantern Hawkman, and the Atom, it was clear that the DC superhero of the late 50's and early 1960 was probably going to have some "scientific" explanation for his/her powers.
At the time, it was quite unusual for a new character (or even a new version of an established character) to debut in their own title. DC had comics devoted solely to trying out new material, such as Showcase and The Brave and the Bold. Showcase debuted the new Flash, Green Lantern, B'wanna Beast, The Atom, etc. The Brave and the Bold debuted the JLA.
But, with the aforementioned connection between the new breed of hero and Sci-Fi, is it any wonder that one such hero would find his home in the pages of one of DC's Sci-Fi anthology books, Strange Adventures?
Enter "The Man with the Animal Powers" . Or, as he would be known as of issue #190, Animal Man.
No, you won't find the familiar, orange and blue superhero duds here. A-Man's debut is very much in the vein of any other one-off Strange Adventures tale. Except he kept going. And going. Until eventually, he got his own catchy hero name and costume.
Sadly, he was not a big seller in his own time. It was not until the 1980's that Animal Man reached wide exposure in a landmark series by writer Grant Morrison and as a team member of Justice League Europe.
Interestingly, the character who would later be depicted as a very adamant animal rights activist, would make his debut punching an elephant in the face.
Check it out yourself. Enjoy "The Man With The Animal Powers" from Strange Adventures #180. September 1965 by Dave Wood and Carmine Infantino-
Will Buddy save those kids? Will he live to pop the question to Ellen?? Will he pummel more animals for our amusement??? For the answers to these and other questions, tune in tomorrow. Same Man With The Animal Powers time, same Man With The Animal Powers channel!!