(July 1940 (August 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

Most copies of this issue have "JULY" somewhat blacked out but still readable on the cover with "AUGUST" displayed clearly right under the issue number. This has led to inconsistent reporting of the date of this issue. The indicia lists July.

MYSTIC COMICS published monthly by Timely Publications at Meriden, Conn. Entered as second class matter at Post Office at Meriden, Conn., under Act of March 3, 1879. Yearly subscription in U. S. $1.00. Vol. 1, No 4, July 1940. Entire contents copyright 1940 by Timely Publications, 330 W. 42nd St., N. Y., N. Y. Printed in U. S. A.
For advertising write Marvel Group, 330 W. 42nd St., N. Y. C.

With this issue, the Chesler connection vanishes, with even familiar features being drawn mostly by Funnies, Inc. which had been packaging Marvel Mystery Comics from the start. Some stories are of less clear origin as noted below.

Art spotting as noted in the Masterworks credits unless otherwise noted.


["The onrushing train was bent on destruction - could Hercules be in time?"] (Table of Contents)

Hercules / cover / 1 page (report information)

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

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Hercules David; President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Reprints:

Become a Stamp Collector (Table of Contents)

Frasek Company Stamps / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

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

Indexer Notes

Inside front cover.

[The Trustees of Hate] (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]; Senator Coyne (orator of Borsia); Lor (villain, hangman of Horror Hall, death); "The Trustees of Hate" [Dr. Vortex (death); Weasel (death); Lara] (villains, many un-named)
Synopsis:
The Blue Blaze, who is now described as returning to the grave between adventures, takes on an organization that's using a hate ray to goad two neighboring countries to war.
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.

There is a teaser for a story in which the Blue Blaze fights the Vampire of Doom next issue, but that story never appeared.

[Earthquake] (Table of Contents)

Hercules / comic story / 7 pages (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Malcolm Kildale
Inks:
Malcolm Kildale
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Hercules David; un-named friend of Hercules; Lemo (villain, inventor, death)
Synopsis:
Hercules fights a mad scientist who wants to rule the world or smash it to bits with his monster earth-shaking machine. The scientist captures Hercules and tries to mentally enslave him, but Hercules is too strong.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Art spotting by Ron Goulart.
Funnies, Inc. material.

[Origin of the Thin Man] (Table of Contents)

Thin Man / comic story / 8 pages (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Klaus Nordling [as K. Nordling] (signed)
Inks:
Klaus Nordling [as K. Nordling] (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Thin Man [Bruce Dickson] (introduction, origin); Council of Elders; Olalla (daughter of the Elder's Chief); un-named Police Commissioner; Clip Walton (villain)
Synopsis:
Bruce Dickson stumbles on a utopia in the Himalayas and its people welcome him, granting him the power they all have to become exceedingly thin through surgery with their electric rays. He is shown their science and their peaceful communication with the Martians, but convinces them to let him return to the outside world to fight crime. The Elder's daughter, Olalla, goes with him and on their first adventure they put a stop to a protection racket.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

This story probably came from the Iger shop. Unlike other artists and writers seen in this issue, Klaus Nordling had no known connection to Funnies, Inc. Note that the Fletcher Hanks-drawn stories in Daring Mystery Comics (Marvel, 1940 series) around this same time also suggest an Iger shop connection.

[The Teutonian Agents] (Table of Contents)

Flexo the Rubber Man / comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script:
Ben Flinton [as FOS] (signed)
Pencils:
Bill O'Connor [as FOS] (signed)
Inks:
Leonard Sansone [as FOS] (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Flexo; Joel Williams; Joshua Williams; Professor Winston; un-named agent of Teutonia (villain); un-named Dictator of Teutonia (villain, death?); un-named Secretary of Teutonia (villain)
Synopsis:
The Williams brothers take Flexo to Teutonia to retrieve a stolen explosives formula.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

We (and the Masterworks art spotters) have Ben Flinton listed as the writer, even though Who's Who has him down as pencils/inks. There is a teaser for another Flexo story in the next issue but it never appeared.
Funnies, Inc. material.

[Introducing the Black Widow] (Table of Contents)

The Black Widow / comic story / 7 pages (report information)

Script:
George Kapitan (signed)
Pencils:
Harry Sahle (signed)
Inks:
Harry Sahle (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
The Black Widow [Claire Voyant] (anti-hero, introduction, origin); James Wagler (death); Mrs. Wagler (death); Pat Wagler (death); Satan (villain)
Synopsis:
Spirit medium Claire Voyant, momentarily influenced by Satan, curses a family after they doubt her skills. When the mother and daughter of the family die, the son blames Claire and kills her. Satan claims her soul and transforms her into the Black Widow. After giving her a tour of Hell, he allows her to go back to earth and avenge herself by killing her own murderer. Satan then tells the Black Widow that her role will be to collect the souls of evil men on earth at his direction.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Funnies, Inc. material.

The Black Widow (anti-hero) is the first known super-powered woman in comics, predating Owlgirl, Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman, which all appeared in 1941.

[Suicide Mystery] (Table of Contents)

The Invisible Man Known As Dr. Gade / comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
George Harrison [as Geo. Harrison] [as G.H.] (signed)
Inks:
George Harrison [as Geo. Harrison] [as G.H.] (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Invisible Man [Dr. Gade]; Janet Wayne (actress, death); Mary; Fatty (villain, death); Slade (villain, death)
Synopsis:
The Invisible Man discovers a murder behind an apparent suicide.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Strip now titled "The Invisible Man". Several of Dr. Gade's speech balloons start with parenthetical notes like "(Thinking)" or "(Loudly)". There is a teaser for another Dr. Gade story in the next issue, but it never appeared. Next appearance in All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes (Marvel, 2011 series) #1.
Funnies, Inc. material.

Devil-God (Table of Contents)

text story / 2 pages (report information)

Script:
Andrew McWhiney (signed)
Pencils:
Bill Everett (signed)
Inks:
Bill Everett (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Characters:
Dr. Karl Strang (naturalist); Tom Barron (big game hunter/explorer); Mannlicher (villain, a dinosaur, death)
Synopsis:
Karl and Tom are on a journey in deepest Africa to find the natives' devil-god, and discover that a colossal dinosaur is the devil-god which has the natives living in fear.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Funnies, Inc. material.

[The Train Wreck] (Table of Contents)

Merzah the Mystic / comic story / 8 pages (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
Russ Lanford (signed)
Inks:
Russ Lanford (signed)
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Merzah (introduction); Diana (introduction); Jose (introduction); Ivan (villain); Agent Nasaki (villain); Togo (villain); Matsu (villain, international spy, death)
Synopsis:
After a train is wrecked by sabotage, Merzah, his assistant Diana and his driver Jose take down the spy/sabotage organization which is trying to steal plans for an unsinkable lifeboat.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

The last panel shows a telegram to Merzah giving his address as "Mystic Comics, New York City NY".
Next appearance in All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes (Marvel, 2011 series) #1.
Russ Lanford is not known to be associated with any of the studios that supplied material to Mystic Comics. This may have been freelance work, or we may just be missing the connection as this is his only known comics work.

[The Jewelry Store Robbers] (Table of Contents)

Dynamic Man / comic story / 9 pages (report information)

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

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
Dynamic Man [Curt Cowan]; Chief Hopkins; Professor Monte (villain, death); Prentiss (villain, death)
Synopsis:
Dynamic Man investigates jewelry store robberies in which only gold was stolen. He discovers a scientist who is using a "magnet" that affects only gold to commit crimes. The scientist uses his new dirigible with this magnet to steal more gold, and Dynamic Man must chase him across the Atlantic Ocean.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

The source of this story is unclear. Last golden age appearance. Next appearance in The Twelve (Marvel, 2008 series) #1

What Six Things are Wrong With This Picture? (Table of Contents)

activity / 0.5 page (report information)

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

Characters:
Johnny; Dan
Synopsis:
Single panel has six boys in different positions in the scene, and each scene has something wrong with it that the reader is invited to discover.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Upper half of the page. The source (shop or freelance) of this artwork is unknown. The artist is probably not the same as the lower half of the page.

["The boy is wrong!"] (Table of Contents)

activity / 0.5 page (report information)

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

Synopsis:
Readers are invited to see if they can spot the seven hidden profiles of Indians in an art panel.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Lower half of the page. The source (shop or freelance) of this activity is unknown. The artist is probably not the same as the upper half of the page.

Make Your Own Records at Home (Table of Contents)

Home Recording Co. Home Recording Unit / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

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

Indexer Notes

Inside back cover.

The Leading Comic Magazine Now at Your Newsdealer! (Table of Contents)

Marvel Mystery Comics #8 / promo (ad from the publisher) / 1 page (report information)

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

Genre:
superhero
Characters:
The Angel [Thomas Halloway]; The Human Torch [Jim Hammond]; Sub-Mariner [Prince Namor]
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Back cover. Contains a nearly full-size non-colored reprint of the cover to Marvel Mystery Comics (Marvel, 1939 series) #8.

Editing

Table of Contents

  1. 0. ["The onrushing train was bent on destruction - could Hercules be in time?"]
    Hercules
  2. 1. Become a Stamp Collector
    Frasek Company Stamps
  3. 2. [The Trustees of Hate]
    The Blue Blaze
  4. 3. [Earthquake]
    Hercules
  5. 4. [Origin of the Thin Man]
    Thin Man
  6. 5. [The Teutonian Agents]
    Flexo the Rubber Man
  7. 6. [Introducing the Black Widow]
    The Black Widow
  8. 7. [Suicide Mystery]
    The Invisible Man Known As Dr. Gade
  9. 8. Devil-God
  10. 9. [The Train Wreck]
    Merzah the Mystic
  11. 10. [The Jewelry Store Robbers]
    Dynamic Man
  12. 11. What Six Things are Wrong With This Picture?
  13. 12. ["The boy is wrong!"]
  14. 13. Make Your Own Records at Home
    Home Recording Co. Home Recording Unit
  15. 14. The Leading Comic Magazine Now at Your Newsdealer!
    Marvel Mystery Comics #8
This issue was most recently modified by:
  • Henry Andrews
  • Patrick Lemaire
  • Charles Underwood
  • Jim Van Dore
  • Craig Delich
  • Peter Croome
Issues in this series have been indexed by:
  • Gene Reed
  • Tony R. Rose
  • Henry Andrews