Friday, June 10, 2011

Captain Wizard

In the Golden Age of comic books, there were plenty of short-lived heroes, but few got bounced around as much as Captain Wizard did.

Captain Wizard debuted in the pages of "Red Band Comics # 3" (which was reprinted in issue #4 and is today's 1st story), published with a cover date of April 1945. His next appearance (today's 2nd story) came about eight months later in "Meteor Comics # 1", cover date November 1945, with Captain Wizard gracing the cover. Both of these appearances were published by Lindsay L. Baird, Inc. Neither of the character's first two stories carried any type of credits, but something about both reminds me of the work of John Giunta, especially the splash page of the Meteor Comics story. I'm not saying either story was by Giunta (I'm not an art expert), but there are enough similarities between work I know to be by Giunta and these two stories that I'm left wondering if he might have had something to do with either, perhaps just providing layouts.

Captain Wizard would next appear in "Captain Wizard Comics # 1", published by Croydon Publishing Company in 1946. The Grand Comics Database lists "April" for the cover date, but neither the cover nor the indicia lists a month for the book. The "GCD" also lists John Giunta as the cover artist, which I'm inclined to agree with. For this story (today's 3rd), Jack Alderman would sign the splash page. For some reason, this story contains a redesigned costume for our hero.

And finally, we come to the cover of "Atomic Bomb", published by Jay Burtis. The "GCD" says that we're looking at Captain Wizard on the cover (for which GCD does not list an artist), but there isn't a Captain Wizard story inside the book, which GCD states was published in 1946 even though no cover date is listed anywhere on the cover or inside the book that I see. The costume design for the character on the cover is similar to what our hero wore in his last story, albeit with a different color scheme. On the other hand, it's a fairly generic superhero costume that we're looking at, so it could be anybody on Atomic Bomb's cover. Take that mask off the hero and we're looking at The Duke of Darkness. If I had to guess who drew the cover, I would say that, to me, it looks like John Giunta drew something quick, chucked it in the trash can, and then Jay Burtis fished it out and said "I can use this!"

If you want to read the complete issues today's stories & covers were taken from, head on over to your favorite Golden Age comic book download site.

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