Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Guide To Golden Age Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite and Hourman Reprints

Next up in our look back to where to find the greats of the Golden Age, the Justice Society members....and their stories represented in the more modern ages, and all thanks to Roy Thomas and Rich Morrisey's work in this previously...

...a look at Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman and the Atom!

Dr. Mid-Nite


Charles McNider premiered back in All-American Comics #25 (April, 1941) with the story "Dr. Mid-Nite, How He Began" (title added later; original story by writer Charles Reizenstein and artist Stan Aschmeir), with the doctor preparing to testify against racketeer Killer Maroni, and losing his sight to a bomb.  Still, Charles found he could see in the dark when an owl crashes through his window, and the doctor develops "Blackout bombs" to take away the light, infra-red goggles to see in the day, rescues the owl (and names him, Hooty), and adopts the identity of Dr. Mid-Nite!

This tale was reprinted in Justice League of America #95 (December, 1971) under a groovy cover by Neal Adams, without the doctor making the cover!  This issue also had Golden Age Dr. Fate reprint, so the doctors are in!

All-American Comics #88 (August, 1947) is the next tale of the doctor's to be reprinted, wherein "Tarantula Unmasks Dr. Mid-Nite" by John Broome and Alex Toth.  Crooks kidnap Dr. McNider thinking they'd find out if he's Dr. Mid-Nite, but the doctor proved too smart for them, beating them with hypnosis, no less.



This story was retold in 100-Page Super-Spectacular DC-20 of September, 1973, and the doctor shares the book with Golden Age tales of Batman, Black Canary, the Spectre and more!


Last, but not least is the Dr. Mid-Nite story from All-American Comics #101  (September, 1948) and the "Case of the Talking Shadows" by John Broome and Rudolph Palais.  The doctor and his assistant, Myra Mason, face off against the criminal, the Great Ludwig.


This story was reprinted in Detective Comics #445 (February-March, 1975) under a Batman cover by Jim Aparo (and a few other reprints in the book, though no JSAers)...

...and the doctor only had one more adventure, that of All-American Comics #102 (October, 1948) in the Golden Age, or at least that how it appeared back then.


But, there was an unpublished Golden Age adventure, that was published in Adventure Comics #418 (April, 1972) called "The Sight Stealers, written by John Broome, and inked in the modern day by Sal Amendola.

Oddly, this tale was recently reprinted in the Justice Society of America 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 of 2000, along with a solo Silver Age of the Golden Age Flash, a team-up of Starman and Black Canary from the Silver Age, and some team action of the JSA as well.

Sadly, the doctor only found the first five of his individual tales, those from All-American Comics #25 to All-American Comics #29 (August, 1941) in the JSA All-Stars Archives #1 of 2007 (along with the next two JSAers and more), with the rest of his Golden Age tales being with the Justice Society.


These tales were reprinted in the All-Star Comics Archives, including a solo Dr. Mid-Nite tale from All-Star Comics #6 (August-September, 1941) in All-Star Comics Archives #1 from 1992 (along with the JSA tales from All-Star Comics #3 to #6)...


...and you can read on how Dr. Mid-Nite joined the JSA here!



Hourman


Rex Tyler started popping pills to become the man of the hour with Adventure Comics #48 (March, 1940) by Ken Finch and Bernard Bailey, in the tale later titled "Presenting Tick-Tock Tyler, the Hour-Man", facing jewel thieves at the request of a friend who was worried about her husband...

...and having to do all this in an hour, as that's as long as his super-strength would last!


This story was reprinted in Justice League of America #96 (February, 1972) under a cover by Neal Adams, in an issue which also featured a Golden Age Wildcat reprint.




Hourman's next reprint done in the 20th century was in Adventure Comics #57 (December, 1940) with the story of "The Menace of Dr. Togg" by writer Gardner Fox and artist Bernard Baily (title created later), where Hourman and his Minute Men of America faced Dr. Togg and his Gombezi (genetically created creatures the doctor controlled).


This story was reprinted in 100-Page Super-Spectacular DC-18 of July, 1973, with a cover by Nick Cardy (and Dr. Togg and his creations returned later to face the robotic Hourman and his friends!).


Hourman got another reprint, thanks to the fellow who replaced him in the Justice Society, Starman. Adventure Comics #61 (April, 1941) with "The Runaway Dinosaurs" by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily (title created later)...

...where Hourman and the Minute Men of America faced off against Mr. Whistle, who stole mechanical dinosaurs from a museum to use in other robberies.



This reprint came about in the Millennium Edition: Adventure Comics #61 (December, 2000), which was a reprint that came from a vote by the fans, and proved how popular Starman was (with Hourman and his fans also being one of the lucky recipients of that popularity!).


The last of Hourman's Adventure Comics run reprinted was Adventure Comics #72 (March, 1942) was the tale of "Dr. Glisten" by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily (title created later), where Hourman faced glowing hypnotic foe, Dr. Glisten.

This Hourman was reprinted in Wanted, the World's Most Dangerous Villains #7 (March-April, 1973), with a cover by Nick Cardy, and also contained Golden Age Hawkman and Johnny Quick reprints, in a series edited by E. Nelson Bridwell (who was responsible for so many Golden Age reprints finding new life).

The last Golden Age Hourman story was in Adventure Comics #83 (February, 1943), but we still have a few more of his reprints to cover!

Hourman's first five tales of Adventure Comics #48 to Adventure Comics #52 (July, 1940) made it into the JSA All-Stars Archives #1 of 2007 (along with Dr. Mid-Nite, next JSA to be covered the Atom, where you'll see the cover to this book, and more).

Next up for the man of the hour is New York World's Fair Comics #2 (1940) with the story "At The World's Fair" by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily, where Hourman fights crime at...well, you get the idea.



This, and stories with the Golden Age Sandman, Johnny Thunder, Superman, Batman and more is presented in DC Comics Rarities Archives #1 of 2005, and this volume will be referenced back to many more times to come!



Hourman also appeared in the first two issues of All-Star Comics that preceded the JSA, with solo tales in All-Star Comics #1 (Summer, 1940) with "The Forest Fire" by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily, and in All-Star Comics #2 (Fall, 1940) with "Dr. Morte, Spiritualist" also by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily.

 
These two tales, along with stories about Flash, Spectre, Hawkman and more soon to be JSAers were reprinted in the special All-Star Comics Archives #0 from 2006, and is also a great source of individual JSA solo tales before the JSA existed as such, even if Hourman couldn't make the covers of these books....

...and you can read of Hourman's short Golden Age JSA career here, which also details his later involvement with groups like the Freedom Fighters and the All-Star Squadron!


The Atom


Last this time around is the little man with a mighty punch, Al Pratt, also known as the Atom, who premiered in All-American Comics #19 (October, 1940) in "Introducing the Mighty Atom" by Bill O'Connor and Ben Flinton, where diminutive college student Al gets fed up with being picked on (especially when a mugger shames him in front of his girl, Mary James), secretly trains with homeless fighter Joe Morgan, and returns full of energy to fight crime as the Atom (though he doesn't get a costume until his next appearance!).

This tale is reprinted in  the Secret Origins of the Super DC Heroes of 1976 (in both hardcover and soft cover) with a cover by Neal Adams, which is one of the best sources for anyone who gets confused about the Golden and Silver Age differences between DC heroes.

Sadly, none of the Atom's appearances in All-American Comics were reprinted in color at the time of release of America vs. the Justice Society (and all too few afterwards!).

Atom did see one of his tales of this period reprinted, his story in the Big All-American Comic Book (1944) by Joe Greene and Joe Gallagher, and the entirety of that book (along with appearances by Mr. Terrific, Wildcat, Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and more Golden Age greats) was reprinted in the  DC Comics Rarities Archives #1 of 2005.

Atom's last appearance in All-American Comics was in All-American Comics #72 (April, 1946), then he moved over to Flash Comics #80 (February, 1947) for a regular feature, and was also in Comic Cavalcade #22, #23 and #28 in 1947 and 1948.

Atom's next reprinted story was from Flash Comics #90 (December, 1947) with "Murder On A Star", with a little murder mystery that finds the Atom falsely accused of a crime.

This story was reprinted in the 100-Page Super-Spectacular DC-18 of July, 1973 with a cover by Nick Cardy, and has Golden Age reprints of TNT, Captain Triumph and Hourman....and a few tales of some guy with a red cape as well!


Flash Comics #98 (August, 1948) features the debut of Atom's new costume (with the fin on top and atomic symbol on his chest) in the story "Terror Rides The Rails" by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino, where the Atom demonstrates super-strength as well, and fights railroad saboteurs (details about the Atom's change and how it happened were later revealed as part of the retroactive continuity of Roy Thomas' tales of the All-Star Squadron, and it was quite the ride!).



This story is reprinted in Justice League of America #99 (June, 1972) under a Nick Cardy cover, and also has a Golden Age Sandman reprint.



Atom's series ran until Flash Comics #104 (February, 1949) and one last tale in Sensation Comics #86 (February, 1949), until an unpublished story surfaced, "Danger In The Totem's Eye", originally planned for Flash Comics #105, by writer Arthur Adler and artist Arthur Peddy, with Atom fighting robbers in a museum.  This story appeared in Batman #238 (January, 1972) and is also known as DC 100-Page Super-Spectacular DC-8, under a Neal Adams cover that includes almost everyone...except the Golden Age Atom!

Atom's JSA career as a charter member gets a little more coverage here.


Modern Archives weren't too kind to the little man either, the Atom's first five stories from All-American Comics #19 to #23 (February, 1941) were reprinted in the JSA All-Stars Archives #1 of 2007, along with Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite...

 
...and Johnny Thunder, the Red Tornado, Mr. Terrific and the Wildcat, whom we will cover soon!

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