Monday, August 22, 2011

Ibis and Sargon

I've talked about Ibis The Invincible here before, but today, Clayton shares his thoughts on Fawcett's favorite wand waver.

It will never cease to amaze me that with the wealth of characters that DC Comics acquired from companies like Quality and Fawcett, that so very few were ever given a chance to recapture their former glory.

Heroes such as Ibis the Invincible, who first appeared in Fawcetts Whiz Comics #2, 1940 and lasted until the early 1950's. This was the last Ibis was seen until Justice League of America #135 in the 70's. As part of the Earth-S Squadron of Justice.

This was my first encounter with this guy, and right away, I could see all kinds of possibilities for the hero which had this mystical Ibistick that to me, could do almost anything!

But didn't happen. He was given a few appearances, but for some reason I always felt they downplayed what he once was, and could have been again. I mean, this was Prince Amentep! The guy who Beat the Black Pharaoh before putting himself and his love Taia (who was wounded by a poison arrow during this battle) into suspended animation for centuries!

OK, just a little side note here before I continue my rant...If I was like him, and woke up in a museum dressed in mummy wrappings, that would be embarrassing! I can think of soooo many possibilities for just this part of the story alone!

What I think would have been cool is if they had bothered to explore the relationship between Ibis and Sargon the Sorcerer! Sargon was another long forgotten mystic in the DC who first appeared in All-American Comics 26 in 1941.

 Long forgotten during the Silver Age, he was reintroduced to Bronze Age readers in Justice League of America 98 in a classic Mike Friedrich/Dick Dillan story. (Editor's note: He would be forgotten after that until the Dark Age of comics when he was killed multiple times, as it the way of things.)

They were both similar characters. Ibis had the Ibistick, and Sargon had the Ruby of Life. They both wore suits and turbans. They were both magicians. This would have been a cool mini-series! Especially if they had brought back (or heck, Sargon appeared the year after in 1941 it could have been a great WWII team-up) Ibis villains like the Flying Dutchman, or Dr. Hookah (I can only imagine what would have happened if they had updated this last one).

What is interesting is that DC sort of just sat on both of these characters (as well as Dr. Fate) for the better part of 3 decades while Marvel had some limited success with Dr. Strange in just about every age of comics. I suspect that science minded Editor Julie Schwartz at DC in the Silver Age is the reason. Instead of a Dr. Strange, you get a space-bound Adam Strange. Outside of The Spectre and Phantom Stranger, DC never really had much luck with their supernatural characters, at least not up until you get into the Vertigo era and at that point one might argue it's the more adult type of stories that are the key to success and not the arcane angle of the comics.

Alas, we can still enjoy the classic adventures like today's free comic thanks to the dedicated scanners at Golden Age Comics UK who are doing such a great job archiving old comics so they won't be lost to the ages. This issue is another amazing scan from Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. and if you enjoy it, please consider donating to his Postage Fund which he uses to cover the costs of such scans.

- Have a great day!


Trey said...

I think that Ibis story would be more intriquing if it was called "The Devil's Lipstick."

Seriously, though I like these suit and turban wearing magician types.

JimShelley said...

Wow! Took me a bit of fruitless googling before I realized you were referring to today's Free Comic cover! I thought that was a reference to some unknown Glam Band! :D

And you are right!


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