Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Double Disguise

Avengers #119 (Jan. 1974) continued a comic book tradition of acknowledging the real-life Rutland Halloween Parade, where residents of the Vermont town celebrate in superhero attire. For several years in a row, Marvel Comics depicted parade organizer Tom Fagan dressed as Nighthawk, an ironic decision since Nighthawk was still a villain at the time.

Within the comic book, the devious Collector capitalized on this situation during Rutland's Fourteenth Annual Halloween Parade by wearing a Nighthawk costume to disguise himself as Tom Fagan. Anticipating that the Avengers would attend the festivities, as they had in the past, the Collector laid a trap to capture the heroes.

On a serendipitous note, the actual Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond) would soon reform from his criminal ways in Defenders #13 (May 1974) and redesign his costume as a hero.

Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 119. January 1974. "Night of the Collector." Steve Englehart (author), Bob Brown (artist), Don Heck (inker), Artie Simek (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Roy Thomas (editor).

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Lost City of Atlantis

While investigating the disappearance of the S.S. Luxuria in the pages of Amazing Adventures #2 (June 1961), Dr. Droom discovered that the people of Atlantis had captured the ship as a first step in launching an all-out invasion of the surface world.

At the end of the story, Dr. Droom successfully hypnotized the green, fish-like Atlanteans into believing the surface world was an uninhabited wasteland. Concerned that knowledge of Atlantis would make humans too apprehensive to travel the seas, Dr. Droom also hypnotized the Luxuria passengers to forget their experience.

Perhaps coincidentally, the events in this story were compatible in a roundabout way with Sub-Mariner suffering from amnesia in Fantastic Four #4 (May 1962), his first published appearance in years.

When Weird Wonder Tales #22 (May 1977) reprinted this Dr. Droom tale, changing the character's name to Dr. Druid, an additional change occurred. The title of the story remained "The World Below!" But the underwater civilization changed from Atlantis to Aquatica, with no discernible ties to Sub-Mariner.

Weird Wonder Tales. Vol. 1. No. 22. May 1977. "The World Below!" A Stan Lee • Jack Kirby Masterwork. Inks by Dick Ayers.