(March 1940)

Marvel, 1940 Series
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Volume:
1
Price:
0.10 USD
Pages:
68
Indicia frequency:
monthly
Indicia / Colophon Publisher:
Timely Publications
Editing:
Martin Goodman
Color:
Full Color
Dimensions:
Standard Golden Age U.S.
Paper Stock:
Newsprint
Binding:
Saddle-Stitched
Publishing Format:
Was Ongoing

Issue Notes

MYSTIC COMICS published monthly by Timely Publications at 330 West 42nd St. New York City. Application for second class matter pending at the Post Office at New York, N. Y. under the Act of March 3, 1879. Yearly subscription in U. S. $1.00 . Vol. 1 No. 1.
Entire contents copyright 1940 by Timely Publications.
Printed in U.S.A.

The majority of the stories in this issue appear to come from the Chesler shop, but several appear to have been freelance or are from unclear sources. The next two issues of this series, however, are all or almost all Chesler.

Art spotting as noted in the Masterworks credits unless otherwise noted. The Masterworks credits Newt Alfred as Alfred Newton based on biographical information that has since been called into question on the Timely Atlas list.


["It was a million to one against the Blue Blaze"] (Table of Contents)

Blue Blaze / cover / 1 page (report information)

Pencils:
Alex Schomburg
Inks:
Alex Schomburg
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
The Blue Blaze [Spencer Keen]
Reprints:

["Conquer Space, Explore the Universe with this Magic Eye 60 Power Telescope"] (Table of Contents)

Brownscope Co. Telescope / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Letters:
typeset

Indexer Notes

Inside front cover. Indicia is printed at the bottom.

[Introducing Flexo the Rubber Man] (Table of Contents)

Flexo the Rubber Man / comic story / 8 pages (report information)

Script:
Will Harr (signed)
Pencils:
Jack Binder (signed)
Inks:
Jack Binder (signed); E.C. Stoner
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Flexo the Rubber Man (introduction); Dr. Joel Williams (introduction); Dr. Joshua Williams (introduction); Dr. Breeze (villain); Dr. Murdo (villain, mad scientist)
Synopsis:
Brothers Joel and Joshua Williams use their creation Flexo for the first time to thwart a mad scientist who tries to steal radium from a hospital.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

The blurb at the end of the story invites the reader to follow Flexo's adventures in the next issue of Daring Comics (note title mismatch - the feature remains in Mystic Comics).

Michael Vassallo, Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. and Hames Ware believe that E.C. Stoner may have assisted Binder on this, probably on inks and not pencils.

From the Chesler Shop.

[The Origin of the Blue Blaze] (Table of Contents)

The Blue Blaze / comic story / 10 pages (report information)

Script:
Harry Douglas [as Harry / Douglas] (signed)
Pencils:
Harry Douglas [as Harry / Douglas] (signed)
Inks:
Harry Douglas [as Harry / Douglas] (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
The Blue Blaze [Spencer Keen] (introduction, origin); Dr. Keen (introduction, death); Butch (villain); "Killer" Skehan (villain); Professor Maluski (villain, death)
Synopsis:
Spencer Keen gains strength and durability after a death-like hibernation caused by a mysterious blue blaze his father had been studying. Having apparently died in 1852, he revives in 1940 and thwarts a mad scientist who intended to take over the world with an army of mind-controlled corpses.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Contrary to various other published theories including Who's Who and the Masterworks, "Harry / Douglas" was an editor/artist named Harry Douglas, as confirmed by Michael J. Vassallo upon interviewing Harry Douglas, Jr. after the younger Douglas contacted the author of this blog post: http://monomythic.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/marvel-mystery-monday-stuporm...

Probably Chesler Shop material, as Who's Who lists a "Harry Douglas" as possibly a member of that shop c. 1939-40, independent of its other theories about the "Harry / Douglas" signature.

[Journey to Cygni] (Table of Contents)

Zephyr Jones / comic story / 10 pages (report information)

Script:
Joe Cal Cagno (signed)
Pencils:
Fred Schwartz (signed)
Inks:
Fred Schwartz (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
science fiction
Characters:
Zephyr Jones; Corky Grogan; Professor Reagan Lexico [aka The Mad Astronomer] (introduction); Tasi Lexico (introduction, the Professor's daughter); The Cygnian Dwarfs (villains, introduction for all, all die?)
Synopsis:
Zephyr and Corky try again to reach Mars but are forced by a stowaway professor and his daughter to journey to the star Cygni instead.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Last appearance. Last appeared in Daring Mystery Comics (Marvel, 1940 series) #2. Strip was titled "Zephyr Jones and His Rocket-Ship".

Who's Who and other sources list "Fred Schwab" for this, but this is a typo introduced somewhere along the way. The signature is clearly Schwartz both in Daring Mystery #2 and in this issue, and the credit has been confirmed by the art spotters for the Masterworks reprint.

Not enough is known about Schwartz to place the origin of this feature. Cal Cagno was on staff at Timely eventually, and possibly already at this point. He had been at Chesler in 1937 according to Jerry Bails' Who's Who, but this feature lacks the typical thick panel borders of Chesler work.
Probably in-house / freelance work.

[The Green Terror] (Table of Contents)

The 3 X's / comic story / 8 pages (report information)

Script:
Robert O. Erisman [as ROE] (signed)
Pencils:
Newt Alfred
Inks:
Newt Alfred
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
adventure
Characters:
The 3 X's [1X; 2X; 3X] (introduction); Maisie Leeds; Carol Carson; Ted Barry (Carol's fiancee); un-named Commissioner; the Green Terror and his thugs (villains, introduction for all)
Synopsis:
The Green Terror, a mysterious organization, is kidnapping young, healthy men and women.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Newt Alfred was at Chesler but this lacks the typical thick borders of Chesler Shop work (including other Alfred work for that shop). Erisman was from Goodman's pulp organization.

1X does the detecting for the team, 2X is a walking encyclopedia, and 3X is the strong arm.

Tough Hombre (Table of Contents)

text story / 2 pages (report information)

Script:
Leo Stalnaker (signed)
Pencils:
Lorence Bjorklund ?
Inks:
Lorence Bjorklund ?
Colors:
?
Letters:
typeset

Genre:
western-frontier
Characters:
Tex Carr; Stella (Tex's fiancee); Tim (older cowhand in love with Stella); Bat Butler
Synopsis:
Disressed because Stella prefers Tex to him, a cattle foreman decides to do nothing and allow a heated gunfight occur betwwen the slower-on-the-draw Tex and Bat Butler.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Art spotting by Dr. Michael J. Vassallo. According to Edgar Loftin, both Bjorklund and Stalnaker worked more in pulps than comics, leading to speculation that this text piece may even have been bought for one of Goodman's pulp magazines originally.

The Deep Sea Demon (Table of Contents)

Dave Dean / comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script:
Norman Daniels (signed in the original printing)
Pencils:
Fred Guardineer
Inks:
Fred Guardineer
Colors:
?
Letters:
Fred Guardineer ?

Genre:
adventure
Characters:
Dave Dean (introduction); Janet [aka Jane]; Shorty; Wing Po (rival of Dean); Philip (villain)
Synopsis:
Dave Dean searches for pearls but finds a mysterious demon guarding the waters.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Artist redit from Jerry Bails's Who's Who (listed under "Deep Sea Demon" rather than "Dave Dean"). Letterer credit by Craig Delich 2012-2-17.
First published by the Harry "A" Chesler-edited Ultem Publications, Inc., this was reprinted twice by Centaur after it bought out Ultem before being reprinted a third time here.

The Blooded Ruby of Chung (Table of Contents)

Dakor the Magician / comic story / 8 pages (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
adventure
Characters:
Dakor (introduction); Williams (introduction, Dakor's assistant); John Hargate (death); George Hargate (millionaire banker, father of John); Tom Denver [aka Smith] (villain, death); The Tuaregs (villains, enemies of the Foreign Legion, some die)
Synopsis:
For a fee of $50,000, Dakor locates a sacred ruby stolen from a banker and returns it to the idol from which it originally came.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Chesler Shop material.

[The Origin of Dynamic Man] (Table of Contents)

The Dynamic Man / comic story / 11 pages (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Daniel Peters (signed)
Inks:
Daniel Peters (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Dynamic Man [Curt Cowan] (introduction, origin); Professor Goettler (introduction, death); Chief Hopkins (introduction); Tohnson; King Bascom (villain, millionaire banker); Morgan (villain)
Synopsis:
Professor Goettler creates Dynamic Man, a perfect man, but dies of a heart attack as his creation is born. Taking the name Curt Cowan, Dynamic Man becomes an F.B.I. agent in his civilian identity and uses his position to find crime to fight as a superhero.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

While the name "Dynamic Man" is strongly associated with Chesler, and the stories in issues #2 and #3 were produced by Chesler personnel, this story lacks the characteristic thick panel borders. Almost nothing is known about Daniel Peters, so his signature does not help place the source of the feature.

Probably *not* from the Chesler Shop, but the actual origin is unknown.

Read the Cartoon-Strip Magazines of Tomorrow -- Today! (Table of Contents)

Marvel Mystery Comics; Daring Mystery Comics / promo (ad from the publisher) / 1 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Alex Schomburg
Inks:
Alex Schomburg
Colors:
?
Letters:
typeset

Characters:
Sub-Mariner; Phantom Bullet
Synopsis:
Illustrated promotional house ad for Marvel Mystery Comics #4 and Daring Mystery Comics #2 (with covers), plus announcement of an unusual special prize contest (announced in both magazines) offering 20 prizes in all.
Reprints:

Pick Your Prize (Table of Contents)

Lancaster County Seed Co. / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Letters:
typeset

Indexer Notes

Inside back cover.

Amazing New One-Man Shop (Table of Contents)

Peck Brothers "Little Man" Printing Press / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
? (photo)
Inks:
? (photo)
Letters:
typeset

Indexer Notes

Back cover.

Editing

Table of Contents

  1. 0. ["It was a million to one against the Blue Blaze"]
    Blue Blaze
  2. 1. ["Conquer Space, Explore the Universe with this Magic Eye 60 Power Telescope"]
    Brownscope Co. Telescope
  3. 2. [Introducing Flexo the Rubber Man]
    Flexo the Rubber Man
  4. 3. [The Origin of the Blue Blaze]
    The Blue Blaze
  5. 4. [Journey to Cygni]
    Zephyr Jones
  6. 5. [The Green Terror]
    The 3 X's
  7. 6. Tough Hombre
  8. 7. The Deep Sea Demon
    Dave Dean
  9. 8. The Blooded Ruby of Chung
    Dakor the Magician
  10. 9. [The Origin of Dynamic Man]
    The Dynamic Man
  11. 10. Read the Cartoon-Strip Magazines of Tomorrow -- Today!
    Marvel Mystery Comics; Daring Mystery Comics
  12. 11. Pick Your Prize
    Lancaster County Seed Co.
  13. 12. Amazing New One-Man Shop
    Peck Brothers "Little Man" Printing Press
This issue was most recently modified by:
  • Jim Van Dore
  • Henry Andrews
  • Craig Delich
Issues in this series have been indexed by:
  • Gene Reed
  • Tony R. Rose
  • Henry Andrews