Monday, August 1, 2011

Retro in 3D

One of the things in comics that really drives me crazy is to hear or read somebody say that some certain super heroes are “outdated”. I think of it this way: Today's outdated is tomorrows retro! (don't ask me what I means, it just comes to me sometimes.

In 1952 the movie industry started experimenting with the concept of 3-D movies. By 1953, everybody had to see one, and the craze was born (Or so I have been told, I am not THAT old you know). It seemed that by that time, everybody wanted to jump on the 3-D bandwagon. Including comics. There was 3-D Batman comics, Tor, House of Terror, Mighty Mouse! However, only one company actually gave the go-ahead to create a super hero especially for the 3-D fad.

Dated December 1953, Harvey Comics released Captain 3-D #1 (complete with the glasses of course.

Editor's Note: You can download this issue, but you'll need a pair of classic green and red 3D Glasses to enjoy the 3D effect. - Jim



[ Captain 3D ]

The good Captain was created by the team of Simon and Kirby. (And as a special side note, it was also one of the first assistant jobs performed by none other than Steve Ditko) Captain 3-D was actually created 50,000 years before by a Doctor Five. I am actually surprised that they did name him Dr.Three, but that is just the way my mind works. The Doctor created the “chosen one” to combat the race of cat-people, and he was kept as a two dimensional drawing in what was called the book of D (D was everything to this advanced civilization. They even had weapons which used D power.) To make a very long story short, the cat people's contenant sank, and the remainder of the race had to go into hiding.

Skip to modern times, (or back in 1953 anyway) the current guardian of the book of D is wounded by the cat people, stumbles into a book store, hand the book to the owner, Danny telling him not to sell that one. Just then the cat-people follow him in and shoot him dead. Danny then chases they cat-people with guns off, and starts to examine the book. (I will tell you right now, if I had a dead person on my floor, I would not be taking the time to examine a book. But again, that is just me.)

Danny sees the drawing, puts on the special glasses (which I forgot to say was the way the drawing became 3-D) and releases Captain 3-D from the book.

There was only 1 issue of Captain 3-D. They were in the middle of production on the second when Harvey found out that the 3-D fad was already beginning to lose it's luster, so they put a halt to it.
By 1955, the whole 3-D craze was losing it's popularity.

But one issue was enough to inspire Roy Thomas to create a new 3-D hero in Marvel Premiere #35, 1977, 3-D Man! Although the origin wasn't as long, and you didn't have to use the special glasses to read the comic, 3-D man had a uniqueness about him.



However, he only had a handful of appearances, much to my disappointment. (Though he did most recently appear in Jeff Parker's Agent's of Atlas before it was cancelled.)

Through the years, I have read a few articles about both these heroes, but in each one, the term “outdated” was used. Now I can't help but think, with all the 3-D movies, TV and other technologies, maybe now they would be “retro”.

- Clayton

4 comments:

Jamdin said...

I'm still waiting for the return of Holo-Man

MattComix said...

I remember 3-D Man and Holoman from Jeff Rovin's book The Encyclopedia of Superheroes. I think I checked it out from my local library at least a billion times so this is a true flashback for me.

"Outdated" gets tossed around a lot. The one I hate more is "hard sell". Both get strung around Superman's neck all the time. Which is as amusing as it is annoying considering the entire industry is still using a graphic novel from 1986 as its holy style-guide. Who's *really* being "outdated"?

Popbox Entertainment said...

lol I actually wanted to include Holo-Man in the article, Jamdin. Space is limited, so he will be the subject of another article, I promise!

And, Mattcomix...I used to have that Encyclopedia. I think that is how I first found the Zebra! And I agree..."hard sell" does get strung around many heroes necks! I think that is why some companies cancil theor books way too early (in my opinion). They don't give them the chance to build a true reader following. And I do hope that your flashback was a good one!

Thank you for the comments, guys!

Clayton

Kor Watkins said...

Have you ever checked out AC Comics? Bill Black did a 3D Man revival called Commando D, who has appeared in various AC titles - mostly older stuff from the 1980's, tho I think he showed up in an issue of the Fighting Yank comic and Retro Comics. www.accomics.com

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