From my point of view the genius of this work is in the way the authors peel back the layers of a complex text like Doctor Who, and start back at the beginning, when we didn’t know anything about the series or what it would eventually evolve into.
This allows us to see the ways in which the universe was expanded,
sometimes carefully, often times not. We get to see undeveloped themes
and the earliest examples of new themes.
Like an evolutionary biologist studying our small, brown furred
burrowing human ancestors, we get a look at the way things were without
the baggage of the way things are.
Marvel Comics Golden Age DisContinuity 002:
Fiery Mask: The Fantastic Thriller of the Walking Corpses
Soldier of Fortune, John Steele
The Texas Kid, Robin Hood of the Range
Monako, Prince of Magic
The Thundering Terror of Gold Creek
Flash Foster at Midwestern
Phantom of the Underworld
Barney Mullen, Sea Rover
Publication Date/On Sale Date:
Jan 1940/October 30, 1939
Entitled “The Fantastic Thriller of the Walking Corpses” we are introduced to Dr. Jack Castle, who has been asked by Police Captain Benson “to analyze a strange case.” Artist Joe Simon wastes no time as we are plunged right into the strange case when a ray beam suddenly brings a dead man to life, who instantly attacks our heroes! The “zombie” attacks Dr. Castle but is shot dead (again?) by Captain Benson.
Dr. Castle’s analysis is ridiculous: “I can’t understand it, Captain… He didn’t have sleeping sickness or any disease known to science… yet… He just kept standing and staring as if he were not alive… that face… so green!!” How exactly do those who are not alive stand and stare?
Eventually the arrive at a lab, where a twenty foot tall green skinned mad scientist decides to turn Dr. Castle into a zombie!
Enraged, the mad doctor turns the machine all the way up to eleven, causing the machine to explode! Instead of being killed Jack Castle gets super powers of course.
He easily kills the 20 foot tall mad doctor, and
rescues the girl. With his super breath Jack dispatches the buzzards,
crashing them into the ceiling.
Jack then leaps with the girl out of the
underground lair and out of the ramshackle house.
He drops the girl off
without so much as a how do you do.
Continuity- John Steele, Soldier of Fortune
Continuity- The Texas Kid, Robin Hood of the Range
Continuity- Monako, Prince of Magic
|Daring Mystery Comics 004|
Turns out that Monako knows the girl, named Josie, and he also knows the man in the car, a Japanese villain named Mr. Muro. Muro’s driver is named Tashu. The fact that Monako and Mr. Muro have tangled before indicates and unseen adventure.
translucent, ghostly version of himself, to observe things from afar
while his body is fully functional. In a sense, it allows Monako to be
in two places at once.Dr. Strange will use a similar gimmick years later, but his body, when he sends out his astral form, is an empty vessel when he does so. Monako’s power allows him to essentially be in two places at once.
Vision sees on the wall through his eyes. Monako’s Vision can also
penetrate. Is it magically warded or made of an impenetrable substance? It
doesn’t matter, because Monako arrives at the door and discovers a
small hole. He shrinks himself to get through the hole. This is
outright magic. Then he uses his wand to make footprints, normally
invisible to the naked eyes, glow so he can follow Mr. Muro.
Desperate, Mr. Muro straps Monako and Al to a table and swings a blade back and forth over them, Pit and the Pendulum style!
Monako shrinks himself and Al, and they hide from their pursuers in a wall crack. Monako and Al escape just in time to see Mr. Muro abduct Josie! The villains tie Josie up in an old tugboat, and leave a can of gasoline attached to a long fuse that Mr. Muro calls an “ingenious bomb.”
sets up some tricks to stop Mr. Muro in his tracks. Mr. Muro gets to a
seaplane and takes off, and Monako hears Josie yelling from the tugboat,
and rescues her in a nick of time, non-magically.
We are promised future Monako adventures, and we’ll get to them, in the coming weeks.
Continuity- Flash Foster
Continuity- Phantom of the Underworld
The art, by Maurice Gutwirth, reminds me of Red Meat by Max Cannon.
Barney Mullen is contracted to deliver gold to help the allies during the early days of WWII. After a series of adventures involving aerial bombers and submarine attacks, Mullen delivers the goods, at the cost of his boat. It’s hard to see what his continuing adventures would be like, and fortunately we don’t have to find out. This is his only appearance.