When did you first become aware of Public Domain and/or Golden Age Comics?
Thinking on that question caused me to retrace my steps as it were to find out where I first encountered Public Domain and Golden Age superheroes. My first kneejerk answer was (wrongly) The Invaders. I think because I have such a love for that series but also because the stories were rooted in the World War II era, so they feel more Golden Age to me.
However, almost as soon as I thought of the Invaders, I realized that was wrong because I had read about the Freedom Fighters in the pages of Justice League of America 106 and 107.
And as soon as I thought of this issue, I remembered Justice League of America 100 where the JLA teamed up with the JSA and the Seven Soldiers of Victory. I bought this issue as a kid off a 7-11 Spinner Rack. This was most definitely the first comic I read which reintroduced Golden Age heroes.
And I somewhere on this timeline I also acquired a copy of Jules Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes. I want to say this was in the fourth grade, so I would have been 9 years old. Still that book, while a great introduction to the Golden Age primarily focuses of heroes from either Timely or National (DC/Marvel) - with The Spirit, Captain Marvel and Plastic Man being the lone exceptions (going on memory here, so bear with me...)
So, to my young 9 year old brain, the Golden Age was this nebulous time when some heroes were created (no more than 12 going by Feiffer book) with newer heroes like Freedom Fighters and Metal Men getting created in my lifetime in the pages of Brave in the Bold or JLA. If I had read the text pages of the book, I would have realized this was wrong, but as a 9 year old, Feiffer's erudite commentary pieces failed to hook me. It would take Stan Lee's similar pieces in Origin of Marvel Comics to convince me that there might be something worthwhile in them.
What sooner corrected my perception of all this was another Justice League of America comic. This one containing all the heroes acquired when DC bought the Fawcett characters - Crisis in Eternity.
By the time this issue came out, I had read how DC was now able to publish the adventures of Captain Marvel because DC had bought the heroes from another, older company. (Not sure where I read this - in the pages of Shazam! perhaps?) This led me to realize that these other heroes appearing with the Marvel Family in this story were most likely from that same company.
So while I still had no idea how many other companies had existed outside of Timely and National, I now knew there *had* been others. When and How I discovered how many others will be the subject of another post. ;)
With that, I am happy to present today's free Comics - two issues of the character who, along with Ibis, really grabbed my attention from JLA 135: Spy Master!
[ Spy Master 5 ]
[ Spy Master 6 ]