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February 15

Michael Pointer worked as a postman in North Pole, Alaska, not knowing he was a mutant with the ability to absorb the energy, abilities, and even personalities of other mutants. He inadvertently became the focal point of the mutant energy displaced after the Decimation event, maintaining the disembodied mind of the deceased mutant Xorn, amongst others. After absorbing the energy, Pointer became the being known as the Collective. He first appeared in New Avengers #16 (February 5, 2006) as the Collective. With his body possessed by Xorn’s consciousness, Pointer went on a rampage across North America, killing over 2,000 people. Upon entering Canada, the Collective killed most of the original members of Alpha Flight. The Collective went to Genosha and began to transfer its powers to the recently depowered Magneto. After the ensuing battle between Magneto and the Collective and the New Avengers, Pointer still possessed a large amount of residual energy. After the super-hero Civil War, he was forced to join Omega Flight as a means of atoning for the damage he caused while being the Collective. As a member of Omega Flight, Pointer wore a suit designed by Reed Richards to regulate his mutant absorption powers.

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February 16

Translated from Latin as “it does not follow”, Non Sequitur is often political and satirical, though other times, purely comedic. First published on February 16, 1992, the strip has undergone many changes through its history. Originally, the comic was a single panel gag cartoon. It grew more political in tone during the 1990s, to the point where it often became a borderline editorial cartoon. Today, the comic has become more traditional, with a multi-panel format and recurring characters. The horizontal daily strip is sometimes used as a single panel. The Sunday strip is vertical. Characters Danae, Joe and “Offshore” Flo were separate characters in their own segments but their storylines were eventually fused and they were billed as being family. Joe and his daughters moved to his native New England to live near his mother following his divorce and withdrawal from major media outlets.

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February 17

Doc Savage, Clark Savage, Jr., is a physician, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and musician. A team of scientists assembled by his father deliberately trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, a mastery of the martial arts, and vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices. His novels featured a bronze-haired, bronze-skinned Doc Savage with an exaggerated widows’ peak, usually wearing a torn khaki shirt and under the by-line “Kenneth Robeson” (Lester Dent). He was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L. Nanovic at Street & Smith Publications, with additional material contributed by the series’ main writer, Lester Dent, and debuted in Doc Savage Magazine #1 (February 17, 1933). Into the 21st century, Doc Savage has remained a nostalgic icon in the U.S., referenced in novels and popular culture.

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for February 18-24, 2022...

290 years ago February 22, 1732 George Washington is born. OK, yeah, but he’s appeared in a bunch of comic book stories over the years, just saying. Have you read “The Marvel Family Battles the Democracy Smasher”? Or “Supergirl’s Three Time Trips!”?

135 years ago February 19, 1887 Cartoonist, screenwriter, director, and Terrytoons producer Paul Terry is born.

105 years ago February 18, 1917 Golden Age writer and editor Ruth Ann Roche is born. She writes stories starring Phantom Lady, Sheena, and Flamingo, among other features.

105 years ago February 22, 1917 Reed Crandall is born. The Golden Age artist is especially noted for his work for Quality Comics (through the Eisner-Iger shop) and goes on to work on the EC line and Warren and Tower comics.

100 years ago February 21, 1922 British critic and artist Derek Chittock (who also works as “Droc” and “Lucian”) is born.

80 years ago February 22, 1942 Underground comix creator Rand Holmes is born. He’s especially known for his Harold Hedd comic strip.

70 years ago February 20, 1952 Writer, historian, colorist, and editor of a line of Shadow and Doc Savage reprints Anthony Tollin is born.

70 years ago February 23, 1952 Fleetway’s Lion #1 introduces Robot Archie by E. George Cowan and Ted Kearon.

70 years ago February 24, 1952 Award-winning writer-artist Bryan Talbot is born. His work includes The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and The Tale of One Bad Rat.

65 years ago February 20, 1957 Writer-artist Randy Glasbergen is born. He produces The Better Half and creates Glasbergen Cartoon Service.

65 years ago February 19, 1957 Award-winning artist Gerry Shamray is born. He works on Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor and Tom Batiuk’s John Darling and writes and draws Cleveland and Wyse Advice.

65 years ago February 23, 1957 Writer-artist Eric Lurio is born.

55 years ago February 18, 1967 The British comics magazine Fantastic begins.

55 years ago February 20, 1967 Voice artist Kath Soucie is born. She’s known for such roles as Phil and Lil on Rugrats, Kitty Pryde on Pryde of the X-Men, Cubert on Futurama, and Kanga on Winnie the Pooh.

55 years ago February 21, 1967 Writer-artist Brian Douglas Ahern is born. He signs his work “Briz.”

45 years ago February 18, 1977 Character actor Andy Devine dies of leukemia at age 71. His roles as a cowboy sidekick led to licensing his name and image to Fawcett comics for Andy Devine Western.

45 years ago February 21, 1977 Award-winning animator John Hubley dies at age 62 during heart surgery. Initially a Disney artist, the Mr. Magoo creator co-founded Storyboard Studios with his wife, Faith.

40 years ago February 18, 1982 Dutch artist Jan Rot dies at age 89.

35 years ago February 20, 1987 Eisner Hall of Fame artist Wayne Boring dies of a heart attack at age 81. He was especially known for his work on Superman stories.

35 years ago February 20, 1987 Edgar P. Jacobs dies at age 82. The Belgian writer-artist was a pioneer of the European comics movement and created Blake et Mortimer.

35 years ago February 22, 1987 Influential pop artist Andy Warhol dies from post-operative complications at age 58.

25 years ago February 23, 1997 Artist Larry Antonette (also known as Dean Carr) dies at age 87. He worked via the Eisner-Iger shop and Funnies Inc. and became director of the Northwest School of Art.

20 years ago February 22, 2002 Award-winning animator, artist, writer, producer, and director Chuck Jones dies of heart failure at age 89. He was especially known for the Warner Brothers “Road Runner” cartoons.

15 years ago February 18, 2007 Italian writer-artist Alfio Consoli dies at age 61.

15 years ago February 18, 2007 Writer-artist Bob Oksner dies at age 90. He created the second Marvel Boy in the Golden Age and was especially noted for his work on Angel and the Ape and on such licensed humor comics as The Adventures of Jerry Lewis, as well as superhero stories. He wrote Dondi for a while and co-created (with Don Weldon) and drew the Soozi strip.

15 years ago February 21, 2007 Lifelong actor Hal Stone dies at age 75. In a career beginning on Broadway at age 7, he went on to play Jughead on the Archie Andrews radio show. His autobiography was titled Aw … Relax, Archie! Re-lax!

15 years ago February 22, 2007 Award-winning artist Irwin Caplan dies at age 87 of complications relating to Parkinson’s disease. He co-founded Graphic Studios and created Famous Last Words for The Saturday Evening Post. He also produced the syndicated feature 48 States of Mind and taught art.

10 years ago February 24, 2012 Cartoonist Jan Berenstain dies of a stroke at age 88. With her husband, Stan, she co-created the It’s All in the Family magazine series and the “Berenstain Bears” series of kids’ books.

5 years ago February 18, 2017 Italian writer-artist Giacomo Pueroni dies from complications of ALS at age 53. He was especially known for his work on science fiction comics.
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February 18

Pharmacist Bob Benton, formulated a chemical he called “formic ethers”, which gave him various superpowers. It is then that he became the nemesis of evil, The Black Terror. Believing that Bob may need help to wage his war on crime, his assistant Tim took it upon himself to take the Formic Ethers and develop the same powers as the Black Terror. Together they were known as the “Terror Twins”. The Black Terror was originally published by Standard Comics also called Pines, Nedor, Better and other names as well. He first appeared in Exciting Comics #9 (February 18, 1941). By the 1980’s other comic companies utilized Black Terror as the character fell into the public domain. Every company put their own spin on the Golden Age Superhero, some choosing to give him a brand new origin, while others retained his origin and furthering his stories and adventures.

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February 19

Eric Henderson and Woodrow (“Woody”) Van Chelton are adoptive brothers. After years of estrangement they are brought together by the mysterious death of their father. They set out to find their father’s killer and, in the course of their investigation, are accidentally imbued with powers. Straitlaced and earnest Eric Henderson always strove for a life of disciplined achievement—in school, in the Army and in his career. In contrast, Woody, has been irresponsible and undisciplined, living on the streets, gregarious but promiscuous, and leading a life of petty crime. Where their father Derek is killed at his top-secret experimental energy lab, the brothers reconnect at the funeral which leads to a fistfight and resultant jailtime. Distraught, suspected of murder, and determined to bring the real killers to justice, Eric and Woody decide to investigate the crime themselves, despite having no qualifications for doing so. They break into Derek’s lab to gather clues, but they accidentally activate a machine which emits strange energy to which they are exposed before causing a massive explosion. Miraculously, they survive and moreover, they possess the ability to shoot energy and generate shields of pure power. However, another result requires them to slam their metal wristbands to each other’s every 24 hours to avoid being dissolved. Utilizing their unstable energy powers, Eric and Woody learn of a mysterious group, Edison’s Radical Acquisitions (ERA), which was seeking Dr. Henderson’s research. Calling themselves Quantum and Woody, the duo infiltrate a ERA gathering in Washington, DC. They debuted in Quantum and Woody #1 (February 19, 1997).

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February 20

Claw is a wanderer and a barbarian in an apparently prehistoric age who battles various wizards, thieves, monsters, and warriors who cross his path. Claw has a deformed, claw-like right hand, the result of a curse which has been placed on his family. Claw the Unconquered #1 (February 20, 1975) debuted in a period when DC Comics launched a record number of new titles. The adventures of Claw, whose real name was Valcan, took place “in the realm of Pytharia” in a vaguely defined setting which resembled Earth’s prehistory. His first adventure pitted him against “Occulas of the Yellow Eye,” an evil sorcerer and king who was revealed to have murdered Claw’s father, who had also had a deformed hand like his son. Occulas had received a prophecy which predicted that a claw-handed man would defeat him, and that prophecy became his reason for persecuting Valcan and his father. In later stories it was revealed that Claw existed on the same world (Pytharia) as the original Starfire, which is apparently not Earth. Both Starfire and Claw were revealed as two of the “eternal champions of the Sornaii.” The implications of this revelation were never explored.

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February 21

René Hausman was born in Verviers, on February 21, 1936. After meeting already famed comics author Raymond Macherot when he was 18 years old, he quit his studies and made illustrations for local magazines. A few years later, he started working for Le Moustique, a family magazine from publisher Dupuis. From there, he moved to Spirou, the Franco-Belgian comics magazine of the same publisher, where he contributed in 1957 Saki et Zunie. In the following years, he provided more than 500 illustrations for the magazine, specializing in animals and local folklore, which earned him the nickname “Bard of the Ardennes”. In the following decades, he widened his oeuvre to more adult comics, including erotic fables in the French magazine Fluide Glacial, but he got his major breakthrough in 1985 when he created Laïyna, a fairy story in two parts. Also known as a sculptor and a bagpipe player, Hausman never had a major commercial success, but got wide recognition for his use of colours and the use of the fantastic in his stories.

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February 22

First appearing in Detective Comics #469 (February 22, 1977), a crack in a reactor core causes Dr. Alex Sartorius to get “five million slivers of (radioactive) red-hot sand” into his body. Nuclear reactions caused the silicon in the sand to be booted up by one proton each, to phosphorus. Burning forever, he starts a quest for revenge against the people he blames for his terrible fate, getting into conflict with Batman on a few occasions. He is one of many villains to sell his soul to the demon Neron. In exchange for his soul, he is granted greater power and more control. Then he is hired by the Mist to kill the original Starman, Ted Knight, but is defeated by the retired hero. However, they face each other a second time; this time, Phosphorus has given Knight a significant dose of radiation, which gave him terminal cancer. In a third and final confrontation, Knight is determined to ensure that Phosphorus would harm no one else. During the battle, he uses his cosmic rod to tear the pavement from beneath Phosphorus and drive him into the earth, apparently killing him. Doctor Phosphorus has burning skin, toxic emissions, and can manipulate radiation. When he sells his soul to Neron, he is granted better control of his powers so his clothes won’t burn off.

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February 23

Maria Hill, who was born in Chicago, joins the United States armed forces and later becomes an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. She first appeared in New Avengers #4 (February 23, 2005). Hill suspects the latest incarnation of the Avengers are harboring an illicit agenda in connection with the “House of M” affair. She earns Iron Man’s respect when she ignores the President’s orders to nuke an island while the Avengers are on it. Later, Captain America refuses to assist Commander Hill in preparations to arrest any superheroes who refuses to comply with the Superhuman Registration Act. Hill, arguing that Captain America must obey the will of the American people, attempts to arrest him. Captain America fights his way out of the Helicarrier and escapes. After the Act passes into law, Hill is one of its leading enforcers. After foiling an attack on Stark Tower, Hill admits to Tony Stark that she does not want her job as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and thinks she should not have been offered it in the first place. She suggests that the only other person besides Nick Fury who should lead the organization is Stark himself. At the conclusion of the Civil War, the President of the United States appoints Tony Stark the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a displeased Maria Hill his acting deputy director.

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February 24

Faora Hu-Ul, was introduced in Action Comics #471 (February 24, 1977). She was a beautiful Kryptonian woman whose unexplained hatred for men led her to torture and kill 23 men in a secret concentration camp. For this, she was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone to complete a sentence of 300 Kryptonian years, the second longest term after Jax-Ur. Ironically this allowed her to survive her homeworld’s destruction, along with the other Phantom Zone prisoners, albeit in an invisible ghostlike form. While imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, she was often depicted plotting against Superman with General Zod and Jax-Ur. Faora was an expert at the Kryptonian martial art of Horo-Kanu, which utilized the pressure points on the Kryptonian body. This made her an extremely dangerous foe for Superman to face in hand-to-hand combat-—he was forced to flee from their first encounter.

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for February 25 through March 3, 2022...

145 years ago February 26, 1877 Rudolph Dirks is born. He creates The Katzenjammer Kids, which later changes its name to Hans and Fritz and, later, The Captain and the Kids.

135 years ago February 27, 1887 British comic book artist Edgar Henry Banger is born. His work includes features “Enoch Hard,” “Tubby and Trot,” “Jolliboy Farm,” “Koko the Pup,” and “Kiddyfun.”

120 years ago February 26, 1902 French writer-artist Jean Bruller is born. He works as “Vercors,” is known for his illustrated novels, and co-founds the publishing house Editions de Minuit with Pierre de Lescure.

120 years ago March 2, 1902 National Cartoonists Society president, syndicate owner, art editor, and cartoonist Al Smith is born. He draws Mutt and Jeff for 48 years.

115 years ago February 27, 1907 British artist Dudley D. Watkins is born. He works for DC Thomson and creates “Morgyn the Mighty.”

115 years ago February 27, 1907 German artist and animator Egon Von Tresckow, who worked as “Tres,” dies at age 45.

115 years ago February 28, 1907 Award-winning writer-artist Milton Caniff is born. He creates Terry and The Pirates, Male Call, and Steve Canyon and co-founds the National Cartoonists Society. His donated collection helps form the basis for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University.

105 years ago February 28, 1917 Political cartoonist and teacher Taizo Yokoyama is born. The creator of Pu-san (“Mr. Poo”), he helps found the magazine Eheh.

105 years ago March 2, 1917 Cartoonist Alex S. Graham is born. The Fred Basset creator also draws the classic March 1953 New Yorker cartoon in which aliens from a nearby flying saucer say to a horse, “Kindly take us to your president.”

100 years ago March 1, 1922 EC publisher and co-editor William M. Gaines is born. He presides over Mad for decades.

100 years ago March 3, 1922 Artist Harry Bishop is born. He draws such licensed Western strips in the U.K. as Gun Law and Bonanza – as well as the licensed Tarzan strip.

100 years ago March 3, 1922 Cartoonist, painter, author, and actor Brummett Echohawk is born.

90 years ago February 26, 1932 John Calnan is born. The artist is especially known for his DC work.

90 years ago February 28, 1932 Nancy E. Murphy is born. She works for Marvel Comics for more than 40 years, managing the subscription department and archiving original art.

85 years ago March 3, 1937 Italian artist Dino Leonetti is born. He founds Dino Leonetti Studios.

75 years ago February 25, 1947 Journalist and pioneering comics fan Gary Brown is born. He creates the longtime CAPA-alpha fanzine Ibid.

75 years ago February 27, 1947 Pioneering Turkish artist Cemal Nadir Güler dies at age 44. He created Amcabey and was often referred to as “Father of Turkish Comics.”

70 years ago March 1, 1952 Joyce Brabner is born. The writer is a sometime collaborator with her husband, Harvey Pekar.

70 years ago March 2, 1952 Comics and animation writer, editor, expert, interviewer, blogger – and historian – Mark Evanier is born. (Apologies: I have not provided enough nouns to convey his pop culture contributions.)

70 years ago March 2, 1952 Writer, actress, comedian, and voice artist Laraine Newman is born.

70 years ago March 3, 1952 Lucy van Pelt makes her first appearance in Charles Schulz’ Peanuts.

65 years ago March 1, 1957 Artist and animator Andrew Cleveland Hutchison dies at age 72. He was known for such comic strips as Major Sunshine and Colonel Grouch. For the Lee-Bradford Corporation, he participated in production of the “Red Head Comedies” (1923), the first cartoon series in color.

65 years ago March 1, 1957 Caricaturist George Kochell is born.

60 years ago February 27, 1962 Artist Andy Kubert is born. He’s especially known for his work on X-Men and Batman projects.

60 years ago February 27, 1962 Comic Shop News co-publisher and co-editor (with Cliff Biggers) and Atlanta Game Fest and Game-o-Rama organizer Ward Batty is born. He’s also creator-writer of TruFan Adventures.

60 years ago March 2, 1962 British writer-artist James Francis Horrabin dies at age 77. He was known for the daily The Adventures of the Noah Family and for the Dot and Carrie strip.

55 years ago February 25, 1967 The British comics magazine Tina begins.

50 years ago February 26, 1972 The Big Sister King Features strip (created by Leslie Forgrave and continued by Bob Naylor) ends.

50 years ago March 3-5, 1972 Cosmicon (at the York University Winters College in Toronto) was an early Canadian comics/SF/horror convention. (Note: The Torcon World Science Fiction Convention had been held July 3-5, 1948.)

45 years ago February 26, 1977 IPC’s 2000 AD #1 introduces “Tharg the Mighty” as editor and revives Dan Dare.

40 years ago February 27, 1982 Italian writer-artist Carlo Bisi dies at age 91. He created “Sor Pampurio.”

40 years ago March 1, 1982 Long-time fan writer Carol Kalish goes to work at Marvel as Mike Friedrich’s assistant sales manager.

35 years ago February 27, 1987 Smokey Stover creator Bill Holman dies at age 83.

35 years ago February 27, 1987 Artist Darrell McClure dies at age 84. He took over the Little Annie Rooney comic strip from Ben Batsford in the 1930s.

35 years ago February 28, 1987 French writer-artist Roland Moisan dies at age 79.

30 years ago February 28, 1992 CBS begins the Fish Police TV series from Hanna-Barbera: a series based on Steve Moncuse’s comic book.

15 years ago February 28, 2007 The 30th anniversary issue of 2000 AD (Prog #1526) kicks off Nikolai Dante by Robbie Morrison and Simon Fraser, Flesh by Pat Mills and Ramon Sola, and Savage by Pat Mills and Charlie Adlard.

15 years ago March 1, 2007 BeanoMAX #1 is a monthly spinoff of The Beano.

15 years ago March 3, 2007 Italian animator and artist Osvaldo Cavandoli dies at age 87. He created the “La Linea” character.

10 years ago February 29, 2012 Singer-songwriter, musician, and actor Davy Jones dies of a heart attack at age 66. The Monkees band member was featured on photo covers of Dell’s Monkees series.

10 years ago February 29, 2012 Artist Sheldon Moldoff dies at age 91. Known for his Golden Age Hawkman art and for long-term ghosting of work signed by Bob Kane, he co-created Poison Ivy (with Robert Kanigher), Mr. Freeze (with Dave Wood), and Bat-Mite (with Bill Finger), among other characters.

And here are the anniversaries spanning the month of March…

85 years ago March 1937 The cover of Dell’s The Comics #1 announces a Tom Mix feature, his first comic book appearance. Other features cover announced are Arizona Kid, Eric Noble, G Man Jim, Magic Pages, Myra North, Prairie Bill, Tom Beatty, Sky Clipper, and Stamp Page. Not named on the cover are Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy (clearly not drawn by Roy Crane, though the feature inside is). And the contents include several other items from NEA. (The series is, by the way, not to be confused with The Comics Magazine from 1936 with its early Walt Kelly comic book contribution.)

85 years ago March 1937 Is the most notable thing about Detective Comics #1 that it may have the first comics cover to feature a villain? (It’s Fu Manchu, by the way.) Is it that it introduces Slam Bradley (by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) and Speed Saunders (by Creig Flessel)? Or is it that this issue kicks off a series that will introduce Batman eventually – and give its name to an entire line of comics?

80 years ago March 1942 Archie’s Blue Ribbon Comics ends with #22, cover featuring Captain Flag.

80 years ago March 1942 Quality’s Police Comics #8 introduces Manhunter in a story by Tex Blaisdell and Alex Kotzky.

80 years ago March 1942 Street and Smith’s Shadow Comics #15 (which it numbers as Vol. 2 #3) introduces “a riot!” in Supersnipe. Created by George Marcoux, Koppy McFad is a comics obsessive with whom many of his readers can (cough) identify.

70 years ago March 1952 The founder of Duckburg is identified as Cornelius Coot in Carl Barks’ Donald Duck story in Dell’s Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #138.

60 years ago March 1962 “Now that I have the entire Justice League at my fingertips, nothing can stop me from casting my evil spells over the Earth!” Eek! DC’s Justice League of America #10 introduces Felix Faust in “The Fantastic Fingers of Felix Faust!” by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Bernard Sachs.

60 years ago March 1962 “In this great, collectors’ item issue, you will see, for the first time: the amazing Fantasti-Car, the colorful new Fantastic Four costumes, and other startling surprises!” In Marvel’s Fantastic Four #3, you, “Also, learn the secret of the Fantastic Four’s skyscraper hide-out!!” Contents are by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Sol Brodsky.

60 years ago March 1962 “Forged out of fire – spring the world’s most startling heroes – the battling Metal Men – Platinum, Gold, Mercury, Iron, Lead and Tin … in the book length blockbuster … ‘The Flaming Doom!’” That about says it. DC’s Showcase #37 introduces the team, created by (Will Magnus? I mean …) Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito.

55 years ago March 1967 He was introduced in Fightin’ Five #40 (November 1966), and now Charlton gives Peacemaker his own series (The Peacemaker, yes) by his creators, Joe Gill and Pat Boyette.

55 years ago March 1967 Dell puts Dracula on hiatus with #4 and also cancels Frankenstein with #4.

55 years ago March 1967 Moby Duck is introduced in “A Whale of an Adventure” by Vic Lockman, Tony Strobl, and Steve Steere in Gold Key’s Donald Duck #112.

55 years ago March 1967 Gold Key publishes its first (and only) issue of Space Ghost, featuring stories by Don R. Christensen and Dan Spiegle.

55 years ago March 1967 “The world’s most outnumbered crime fighter returns!” but #2 is the last issue of Harvey Comics’ The Spirit. Sigh. Guess that’s the last we’ll ever hear of Will Eisner’s character. Or …

50 years ago March 1972 DC’s House of Mystery anthology series reaches #200 – and keeps on going.

50 years ago March 1972 Marvel Team-Up #1 begins the second ongoing Spider-Man series. Spidey teams with The Human Torch in “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas!” by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito. (By the way, in #64, it’s revealed that the woman saved from a mugger in this first issue is Misty Knight. Just saying.)

50 years ago March 1972 Gold Key launches Mystery Comics Digest, with the issue devoted to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – which, if you go by this anthology, seems to focus largely on weird events. (The cover describes the contents as “Weird! Eerie! Authentic!”) Many stories are reprints, but “Mask of the Mummy” by Don Glut and Jesse Santos introduces the mummy Ra-Ka-Tep, who’ll appear in Dr. Spektor stories.

50 years ago March 1972 Marvel’s Amazing Adventures #11 (whose cover announces, “Featuring BEAST,” and “Lo! A Beast is born!”) introduces Hank McCoy’s leaving The X-Men and mutating into the furry Beast. “The Beast!” (yes, that’s the story’s title) is by Gerry Conway, Tom Sutton, and Syd Shores.

50 years ago March 1972 Stan Lee is promoted to publisher and editorial director of Marvel Comics Group, which is made a separate division of Magazine Management Co. by owner Cadence Industries.

50 years ago March 1972 William M. Gaines informally joins the staff of DC Comics as a consultant.

50 years ago March 1972 Last Gasp introduces Justin Green’s Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary.

50 years ago March 1972 The cover of Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #14 announces “The coming of Elric.” “A Sword Called Stormbringer!” introduces Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone to comics in an adventure by Moorcock, Roy Thomas, Jim Cawthorn, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Sal Buscema.

45 years ago March 1977 DC’s Kobra ends with #7. So goodbye to that series, but – “We interrupt this comic to bring you a word from your new publisher …” This issue and many other DC comics this month introduce Jenette Kahn as the company’s new publisher.

45 years ago March 1977 Marvel’s Werewolf by Night ends with #43.

45 years ago March 1977 Marvel’s The Eternals provides several more Celestials in #9: Eson, Hargen, Nezarr, and Oneg. Oh, and Eternal Sprite, too. “The Killing Machine” is by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.

45 years ago March 1977 DC begins its 80-page Dollar Comics format (64 pages of new stories) with House of Mystery #251 (“Your friends will hate you if you reveal the endings of the 7 chilling tales inside!” – the previous price being 30¢) and The Superman Family #182 (“Sensational new stories” – the previous price being 50¢).

45 years ago March 1977 The previous issue, #301, was Our Army at War. DC retitles it Sgt. Rock (“blasting into his own battle book”) beginning with #302.

45 years ago March 1977 As noted last month, comics that used to be published by National Periodical Publications, Inc. have this publication date on titles published by the newly named DC Comics Inc.

45 years ago March 1977 Created by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga for All-Star Western #10 five years earlier, Jonah Hex gets his very own title with DC’s Jonah Hex #1. (“The weirdest Western hero now in his own magazine!”)

40 years ago March 1982 DC’s Secrets of Haunted House #46 is the last of the series.

40 years ago March 1982 Western’s Flash Gordon #37 ends the series. (Well, this series, anyway. There will be more. Just saying.)

40 years ago March 1982 DC’s Warlord #55 begins a “thrilling mystical adventure in prehistoric Atlantis!” The story introducing Arion, Lord of Atlantis is written by Paul Kupperberg and drawn by Jan Duursema.

40 years ago March 1982 Marvel’s The Spectacular Spider-Man #64 cover features the introduction of Cloak and Dagger in a story by Bill Mantlo, Ed Hannigan, and Al Milgrom.

40 years ago March 1982 Quality’s Warrior #1 celebrates the return of psychotic cyborg Alex Pressbutton. But hey! What’s being teased on the left of the cover? Not only is there a plug for the new series “V for Vendetta” (by Alan Moore and David Lloyd), but there’s also a silhouette teasing about “A Hero Reborn.” Who could that be? Well, that hero also happens to be in a story written by Moore; the artist is Garry Leach. And who’s back? That’d be Marvelman. (Maybe you know him now as Miracleman; there was an eventual name change for U.S. readers.)

40 years ago March 1982 “A 72-page anniversary epic,” DC’s Justice League of America brings fans a “super-sized, star-studded 200th issue” featuring a “jam” story.

40 years ago March 1982 “Have no fear … The Zoo Crew is here!” Following their introduction in The New Teen Titans #16 last month, DC’s Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! begins, with the team sharing the cover with a kryptonite endangered Superman. “The Pluto Syndrome!” is by Roy Thomas, Scott Shaw!, Ross Andru, and Bob Smith.

40 years ago March 1982 “This is it!” What is it? It’s Marvel Fanfare #1, a title aimed at the fan market. This issue features contributions from John Byrne, Terry Austin, Chris Claremont, Michael Golden, Al Milgrom, Roger McKenzie, Paul Smith, Frank Miller, and Jim Shooter.

40 years ago March 1982 Easy Reader says, “This comic book is easy to read!” Marvel’s Spidey Super Stories #57 is the last issue of the series collaboration between Marvel Comics and The Electric Company. Contents are by Steven Grant, Win Mortimer, Mike Esposito, Nino Balbaa, Jack Abel, and Al Milgrom.

35 years ago March 1987 Marvel’s Epic line wraps up Swords of the Swashbucklers with #12.

35 years ago March 1987 The Puppet Master gets the cover of Marvel’s Fantastic Four #300, in which Johnny Storm marries Alicia Masters – but (Spoiler Warning!) there will turn out to be (shall we say?) complications. “Dearly Beloved …” is by Roger Stern, John Buscema, and Sal Buscema.

35 years ago March 1987 Time to say goodbye to a couple of long-running series: Archie’s Pep #411 is its last issue, and DC’s G.I. Combat #288 announces on the cover that it’s the “Action packed final issue!”

35 years ago March 1987 DC brings a new Captain Atom to comics. He’s Nathaniel Adam and is introduced in Captain Atom #1. “After they blow him to bits … the adventure begins!” “Point of Origin” is by Cary Bates, Pat Broderick, and Bob Smith.

30 years ago March 1992 In “The Return of Scarface” by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, Rene Montoya is introduced in Batman #475.

30 years ago March 1992 Cletus Kasady first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 (in “Hearts and Powers” by David Michelinie, Erik Larsen, and Randy Emberlin), but now … In #360 Carnage makes a brief appearance in “Death Toy!” by Michelinie, Chris Marrinan, and Keith Williams.

25 years ago March 1997 Dork #4 from Slave Labor features “The Eltingville Comic Book Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Role-Playing Club in: The Marathon Men” by Evan Dorkin. It will win the Eisner Award for Best Short Story of the Year.

20 years ago March 2002 “Now, More than Ever – For Truth, Justice & The American Way!” DC’s Adventures of Superman #600 is a “super-sized anniversary issue!” Features bring readers up to date, including “…But That Life Ended Fighting Doomsday!” and continuing, “And Still He Returned – Faster than a Speeding Bullet.”

15 years ago March 2007 DC’s Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #214 (featuring Deadshot) is its last issue.

15 years ago March 2007 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #1 from Dark Horse (by Joss Whedon, Georges Jeanty, and Andy Owens) provides a start for the series – which will win the Eisner Award for Best New Series of the Year.

10 years ago March 2012 Marvel’s Scarlet Spider #1 features “Life after Death” by Christopher Yost, Ryan Stegman, and Michael Babinski.

10 years ago March 2012 Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples team to bring readers the science fiction Saga series from Image. Awards will be forthcoming – including the Eisner for Best New Series of the year.

5 years ago March 2017 Dark Horse kicks off the first of its American Gods connected publications with American Gods: Shadows #1 by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, and Scott Hampton.

5 years ago March 2017 Valiant’s Bloodshot Reborn #0 wraps up that 19-issue series.

5 years ago March 2017 Marvel’s Deadpool the Duck #1 and #2 star – well – Deadpool the Duck. It’s by Stuart Moore and Jacopo Camagni.

5 years ago March 2017 Several of the 13 variant covers of Marvel’s Monsters Unleashed #1 conjure up memories of the logo of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Just saying. The story inside is by Cullen Bunn, Steve McNiven, and Jay Leisten.

5 years ago March 2017 DC’s Justice League/Power Rangers #1 co-stars (yes) Justice League and Power Rangers members. The story is by Tom Taylor and Stephen Byrne and has variants (17, I think).

5 years ago March 2017 There have been a number of comics titled X-O Manowar, but this first issue from Valiant might have the most variant versions. (I count 35.) “Soldier Part One” is by Matt Kindt and Tomás Giorello.

5 years ago March 2017 But hey. What release has the most variants this month? Could it be U.S. Avengers #1 from Marvel? Could be … (I count 62. Collect them all.) “$kullocracy Part One” is by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, and Juan Vlasco.
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February 25

Little is known about Dakota North’s early life, other than after she retired from successful modeling career she chose a career as a freelance private investigator. She debuted in Dakota North #1 (February 25, 1986). Her business is apparently quite successful, in that it currently supports four branch offices across the world. Her earliest recorded case involved being hired by famous fashion designer Luke Jacobson to guard both him and his newest designs. This case was the first time she butted heads with her rival Carolina South. Dakota North is skilled in several forms of hand-to-hand combat. She has trained herself to be extremely physically agile and moderately adept at gymnastics. Her excellent physical condition provides her with reflexes, recovery time, and stamina above the norm for a woman of her physical age and build. North is also proficient with a variety of firearms, and is an excellent marksman.

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February 26

Tharg is depicted as an alien from Quaxxann, a fictional planet that orbits the star Betelgeuse. He has green skin, a white mohawk hairstyle and a red device called the rosette of Sirius on his forehead. He is the narrator for the British comic anthology 2000 AD and eats polystyrene cups. He first appeared when the comic debuted on February 26, 1977. 2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction comics anthology which serialises stories in each issue. It is most noted for its Judge Dredd stories, and has been contributed to by a number of artists and writers who became renowned in the field internationally. Tharg writes the comic’s introduction, answers letters, and doles out prizes to readers - winners could choose payment either in pounds sterling or in “galactic groats”. Tharg speaks mostly in English, but with various pithy Betelgusian aphorisms thrown in for colour. He terms his readers “Earthlets”. Tharg even appears in his own comic strips.In addition to the editorial duties in 2000 AD being attributed to Tharg all writing, art, lettering, sub-editing and PR is attributed to malcontent, feckless and long-suffering droids that appear as caricatures of their actual counterparts. When the robots “went on strike”, Tharg wrote and drew a whole issue himself, but when he ran it through the quality-control “Thrill-meter”, the device melted down on extreme overload. The offending issue had to be taken away, by blindfolded security guards, to a lead-lined vault where there was no danger of anyone seeing it accidentally.

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February 27

The Green Team is a team of rich-kid adventurers. In its initial appearance, the group was subtitled “Boy Millionaires”. The only prerequisite for joining the Green Team is one million dollars. The boys paid fortunes to anyone who could offer them a worthy adventure. In their first and only published story in 1st Issue Special #2 (February 27, 1975), they funded the “Great American Pleasure Machine”, a sort of roller coaster ride that brings so much pleasure, it drives the villain of the piece insane. Their jumpsuit uniforms had many pockets for money, with special locks, and they carried ticker-tape wristwatches, a chain of keys that would unlock any of their many labs and money vaults in far-flung lands, and a quarter-million dollars each that any of them could whip out at any time in the name of adventure.

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February 28

Lucifer Morningstar, the Biblical fallen angel and Devil of the Abrahamic religions, first appeared in The Sandman #4 (February 28, 1989). While Lucifer had previously appeared in various stereotypical guises in earlier DC books, Gaiman’s version was premised on English poet and prose writer John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Lucifer had ruled as Lord of Hell for 10 billion years after rebelling three seconds after Creation. Over that time, he had manipulated the various demons of Hell against each other, provided a place for dead mortals to be tormented, and led the war against Heaven. However, at some point during his rule, he had become bored with his existence. He became tired of the various stereotypes and prejudices that mortals held of the Devil, such as the idea that he purchased and traded for souls, which were largely untrue, and that he forced mortals to commit evil acts. He had become tired of his reign over Hell, and felt it an unfair punishment that he should have to rule there forever simply because he once rebelled. Lucifer expels all demons and damned souls from Hell before locking Hell’s gates and handing over the key to Hell to Dream of the Endless. Eventually, control of Hell was handed over to two angels, Duma and Remiel, while Lucifer simply retired to Earth, initially to Perth, Western Australia and later to Los Angeles, California.

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March 1

In 1986, in honor of Marvel Comics’ 25th anniversary, Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter launched the New Universe line of comics. This was to be a distinctly separate world, fully divorced from the mainstream continuity of the Marvel Universe, consisting of its own continuing characters and stories in a more realistic setting. There would be no hidden races, gods, mythological beings, magic, or super technology. Superhuman characters and powers would be limited and thus more subdued in their activities, yet their actions would have more realistic consequences. Adding to the sense of realism, the New Universe titles were designed to operate in real-time: a month would lapse in the universe for each month that passed in reality. The limitation of fantasy elements, and the low-key nature of the characters’ activities in the New Universe, gave the imprint verisimilitude, to seem like “the world outside your window,” which was the series catchphrase.

The Star Brand was created by Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter to be the flagship series of the New Universe beginning with Star Brand #1 (March 1, 1986). The name “Star Brand” was taken from an unused concept by Archie Goodwin. Jim Shooter’s run on Star Brand was unique in that, unlike nearly every other superhero comic up to that time, it was not told from omniscient point-of-view, and instead showed only protagonist Ken Connell’s firsthand experiences. The Star Brand is a brand granting the bearer infinite power, limited in application only by their imagination. Though it exists on several different worlds and takes slightly different forms on each, it always resembles a multi-point star burst. One user transferred the power of the Star Brand to an an asteroid in order to rid himself of the power. The brand, unchecked by a higher intelligence, released a huge amount of energy in a single blast. This energy bombarded Earth, mutating a portion of the population and endowing them with various paranormal traits or abilities, an occurrence called the White Event. The Old Man is the first known wielder of the brand. After his failure to get rid of the Star Brand by placing it on an asteroid in space, he returned to Earth and gave the brand to Ken Connell. Kenneth Connell is a car mechanic from Pittsburgh who receives the Star Brand from the Old Man in the woods while dirtbiking. Ken tries to use his powers to help others, but is plagued by his limited knowledge of the power and questions of how much he can do without abusing it.
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March 2

Mayo Kaan, born March 2, 1914, was a professional bodybuilder. In November 1997 Mayo Kaan placed advertisements in several newspapers and magazines claiming that he was the first person to don the Superman costume and was the model for the Superman character. His claims were denied by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of the Superman series. The publishers of the Superman comic, DC Comics, stated that Shuster and Siegel were the sole creators of Superman and that this was established years before Kaan’s claims. Superman collector Danny Fuchs believes it was possible Kaan had “history confused”, and that he had modeled for the Fleischer Studios animations based on Superman. Superman collector Mike Curtis believes Kaan played Superman in personal appearances and a short film for Macy’s Superman ride promotion for the Krypto Ray Gun.

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March 3

Gruagach was once a shapeshifting warrior of the Tuatha De Danann, who would later become the Daoine Sidhe (Fair Folk) of Ireland. However, he fell in love with a mortal woman who wished to see the beast-like form he assumed during his kind’s conflict with the giants. Though there is a law that decrees that he would be sent to a purgatorial land of mist should she scream at the sight of his form, Gruagach agreed. Though she resisted screaming at the sight of his form before Gruagach turned into a songbird, he ends up being sent to the netherwordly spirit realm while she screamed to warn him of the nearby cat. Though Gruagach eventually returned to the world, he lost most of his power and was reduced to a changeling. Gruagach first encounters Hellboy in The Corpse (March 3, 2004) when he assumed the identity of a kidnapped baby Alice Monaghan in order to repopulate their dying race. Gruagach took delight in tormenting the infant’s parents with glimpses of his true nature before the B.P.R.D. send Hellboy to investigate the parents’ claims, exposing Gruagach by seizing him with iron tongs which burn him and reveal his true form.

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March 4

The Stranger is a cosmic entity and principally a scientist and surveyor of worlds, first visiting Earth out of curiosity. He debuted in X-Men #11 (March 4, 1965). After an encounter with the X-Men and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who first think he is a powerful mutant, the entity departs, taking Magneto and his servant Toad off-world for further study after encasing them in special cocoons. Magneto escapes and returns to Earth using a spaceship he repairs when the Stranger leaves the planet. However, the Stranger recaptures the villain after Professor X telepathically alerts the Stranger. The Stranger later reappears convinced that mankind is dangerous and sets out to destroy the Earth using the Hulk, allowing a better race of humanity to take over. He transports to Earth a machine that increases his mental power over the Hulk. He is dissuaded by the Hulk’s alter-ego, Bruce Banner. He then takes Abomination into space with him, thinking him truly evil. The Stranger possesses the ability to channel and manipulate cosmic power on a scale comparable to that of Galactus and the Celestials, with feats including levitation; force field creation; size shifting and molecular manipulation of matter; light speed space travel; intangibility and energy projection and assembling a planet from segments of inhabited worlds from across the universe.

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for March 4-10, 2022...

180 years ago March 4, 1842 Canadian cartoonist, journalist, and lawyer Hector Berthelot is born. He founds the satirical weekly Le Canard.

150 years ago March 5, 1872 The pioneering Quebec comics artist Joseph Charlebois is born.

145 years ago March 10, 1877 Artist and political cartoonist Norman E. Jennett is born. He eventually becomes art director at McFadden Publications.

140 years ago March 4, 1882 Dutch political cartoonist Tjerk Bottema is born.

120 years ago March 9, 1902 Gus Dirks’ Latest News from Bugville ends. (He will commit suicide three months later.)

115 years ago March 8, 1907 Dutch artist, film critic, and political cartoonist Charles Boost is born.

105 years ago March 6, 1917 OK, there’s not enough room to sum up his career here, but it is of interest to historians that Will Eisner is born on this date. He writes, he draws, he presides over an art studio, he’s an entrepreneur, and he lends his name to the comics industry’s annual professional awards. He creates The Spirit, The Dreamer, and more, more, more. If you really haven’t yet seen his work, check it out. You’re in for a treat.

105 years ago March 7, 1917 Dutch artist Hans Brouwer (who works as “Ipse”) is born. He’s known for Fed en Vetertje in Priktolland.

100 years ago March 8, 1922 Jack Rickard is born. The artist is especially known for his work on Mad, Li’l Abner, and Pauline McPeril.

90 years ago March 4, 1932 Artist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth is born. He creates the hot-rod “Rat Fink” character.

90 years ago March 6, 1932 Roland Davies’ Come on, Steve begins.

85 years ago March 6, 1937 Award-winning Flemish political cartoonist Pol de Valck is born. The prolific artist works as “Brasser” and produces a daily current events cartoon.

85 years ago March 8, 1937 Spanish artist Carlos Ángel Díaz Huertas dies at age 70 or 71.

80 years ago March 6, 1942 The Captain Marvel villain Ibac is introduced in Fawcett’s Captain Marvel Adventures #8.

70 years ago March 9, 1952 Rick Burchett is born. He’s an award-winning writer-artist of such characters as Batman, Flash, and She-Hulk.

65 years ago March 10, 1957 Brazilian artist Glauco Villas Boas is born.

60 years ago March 4, 1962 Artist Simon Bisley is born. He’s especially known for his work on ABC Warriors, Lobo, and Sláine.

60 years ago March 5, 1962 Dutch writer-artist-editor Cornelis Veth dies two days after his 82nd birthday.

60 years ago March 9, 1962 Animator and cartoonist Mike Kazaleh is born. His projects include Adventures of Captain Jack, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mighty Mouse.

55 years ago March 6, 1967 Artist Kieron Dwyer is born. He draws for titles ranging from Marvel’s Captain America and DC’s Action Comics to his own LCD.

50 years ago March 4, 1972 Writer-artist-editor Charles Biro dies at age 60. His creations included Airboy and Steel Sterling, and he was known for his work on Daredevil Comics for Lev Gleason. He also helped to create the “crime comics” genre for Gleason.

50 years ago March 5, 1972 Dutch artist Frans Meijer dies three days before his 72nd birthday. He drew comics for the publisher Helmond.

50 years ago March 8, 1972 The Amicus horror anthology film Tales from the Crypt is released, adapting five EC stories and featuring Ralph Richardson as the Crypt Keeper.

45 years ago March 5, 1977 IPC’s 2000 AD #2 introduces Judge Dredd (and Judge Goodman) in the story “Judge Whitey” by Peter Harris, Mike McMahon, and Carlos Ezquerra.

30 years ago March 4, 1992 Award-winning Disney and UPI animator Arthur Babbitt dies of heart and kidney failure at age 84. He designed the witch in Snow White and Gepetto in Pinocchio and led the 1941 Walt Disney Studios strike.

25 years ago March 7, 1997 Writer-editor Kim Yale dies of breast cancer at age 43.

25 years ago March 10, 1997 Stanley Drake dies at age 75. He was the artist (and co-creator) of The Heart of Juliet Jones and Kelly Green and drew Blondie.

15 years ago March 5, 2007 Influential and award winning Belgian writer-artist-translator Yvan Delporte dies at age 78. The 1955-1968 Spirou editor in chief helped found Union Professionelle des Créateurs d’Histoires en Images et de Cartoons.

15 years ago March 6, 2007 Albert Uderzo is made a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

15 years ago March 6, 2007 Italian cartoonist Lina Buffolente dies at age 82. The “Nadia” creator, called “la Signora del fumetto,” worked on a wide variety of comics for six decades.

15 years ago March 8, 2007 2000 AD artist Massimo Belardinelli dies at age 68.

15 years ago March 9, 2007 Flemish artist Hugo Leyers dies at age 77.

10 years ago March 5, 2012 Spanish animator and writer-artist Joaquim Muntañola dies at age 97.

10 years ago March 10, 2012 Comics historian and expert Don Markstein dies of respiratory failure 11 days before his 65th birthday. He wrote and edited the Toonopedia comics information website.

10 years ago March 10, 2012 Jean Giraud dies of a pulmonary embolism from a lymphoma at age 73. The internationally acclaimed and influential writer-artist also worked as “Moebius” and “Gir” and was co-creator (with Jean-Michel Charlier) of Blueberry and known for such works as Arzach and The Incal. He co-founded Métal Hurlant.

5 years ago March 5, 2017 Artist Dave Hunt dies of cancer at age 74. His comic book work included projects for Marvel, DC, Disney, and Hanna-Barbera.

5 years ago March 5, 2017 Teacher, writer-artist-editor, comix archivist, and underground comix pioneer Jay Lynch dies of lung cancer at age 72. He created Nard n’ Pat and Bijou Funnies and was one of the producers of Topps’ trading cards for the Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids lines.
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March 5

Ted Knight is an astronomer and an expert scientist who developed a gravity rod (later cosmic rod) which allows him to fly and to manipulate energy. Initially intending them for use as a possible power source, Ted was convinced by his cousin, Sandra Knight, the Phantom Lady, to use his invention to become a costumed crime fighter. Starman first appeared in Adventure Comics #61 (March 5, 1941). Originally, Starman operated out of Gotham City. He was a frequent ally of the FBI and a member of the Justice Society of America. Like other mystery men of the time, he also served in the wartime All-Star Squadron. In 1942 Ted enlists in the U.S. Army Air Force and serves very briefly as a pilot during World War II. At this time, the love of Ted’s life is a woman named Doris Lee, who often chastises her layabout playboy boyfriend for his pretended laziness and hypochondria, unaware of Ted’s costumed persona. Doris is tragically murdered in the late 1940s and this event, combined with Ted’s role in the creation of the atom bomb, causes him to suffer a nervous breakdown. He was confined to a mental institution for a number of years as a result.

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March 6

David Angar was born in San Francisco, California. He became a hippie and a radical social activist, who volunteered for an experiment that would give him superhuman powers. Moondragon provided a crooked lawyer named Kerwin J. Broderick with a machine built on Titan. The machine subjected Angar’s vocal cords to a bombardment with hypersound. As a result, Angar could scream very loudly and cause people to hallucinate. These hallucinations usually were disturbing and violent in nature. Angar was immune to his own powers, and could make his victims lose all memory of his attacks. Moondragon intended for Angar to be an ally against the mad Titan Thanos, but Broderick hired Angar as an assassin. In his first appearance in Daredevil #100 (March 6, 1973), Angar tried to kill Daredevil and Black Widow. Angar was defeated and would fight many Marvel superheroes over the years. He tended to attack crowds of civilians for little or no reason.

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March 7

Craig Hollis discovers that he is immortal, and he decides to fight crime as Mr. Immortal. After being shot by a group of thieves and left for dead, he realizes that operating alone may not be feasible. He places an advertisement for costumed adventurers in the local paper and assembles the Great Lakes Avengers, recruiting Dinah Soar, Big Bertha, Flatman and Doorman. Mr. Immortal refuses one candidate, Gene Lorrene, a leather fetishist calling himself Leather Boy. Turned down because he has no superpowers and is therefore ineligible, Lorrene takes the rejection personally. Debuting in The West Coast Avengers #46 (March 7, 1989), the team is first seen in public by Avengers Hawkeye and Mockingbird, who watch the group as they foil a robbery attempt. Although annoyed by the team’s naiveté and their use of the Avengers name without permission, Hawkeye and Mockingbird agree to act as the team’s mentors. The team has changed its name on several occasions. When Hawkeye first protests their use of the name “Avengers”, the Gret Lakes Avengers are sent a cease-and-desist order by the Maria Stark Foundation. The team renamed itself the Lightning Rods after fellow super-team, the Thunderbolts.

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March 8

In 1974, in response to the success of the D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd war comic Warlord, IPC hired freelance writers Pat Mills and John Wagner to develop a rival title. Battle Picture Weekly, at various times also known as Battle Action Force, Battle and Battle with Storm Force, was a British war comic book magazine that debuted on March 8, 1975. Most stories were set in World War II, with some based on other conflicts. A notable feature of the comic, suited to its era of circulation, was its letters page with readers sending in stories of their fathers’ and grandfathers’ exploits during the First World War and the Second World War, often in an effort to win a nominal star letter prize. The comic at various times printed color pinups of tanks, planes, ships, etc. in the centerfold or the back page.

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March 9

Psyklop is the last survivor of an intelligent insectoid semi-humanoid race which evolved from insects and existed on Earth and dominated the planet in prehistoric times. Psyklop’s race prospered, but they soon fell out of favor with the Dark Gods they worshiped and were put into a state of hibernation. Eons later, Psyklop is awakened by the Dark Gods in his first appearance in Avengers #88 (March 9, 1971), who charge him with the responsibility of finding a power source for them. If he did so, his race would be awakened and allowed to conquer the Earth. After covertly organizing a voodoo-based cult in New Orleans through surrogates, Psyklop discovers that the Hulk possessed the power he needs to energize the Dark Gods, and captures him for study. He does this by shrinking the Hulk to a size where his molecular structure can be examined better. Psyklop loses track of the Hulk, accidentally sending him to a “micro-world”, when Psyklop is distracted by the Avengers and the Falcon, who has traced Psyklop to his base. Battling the Avengers, Psyklop manages to blast them with a device that erases their memories and teleports them to a subway platform in New York.

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March 10

In the Authority #1 (March 10, 1999), Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch created the Authority, a team of superheroes who got the job done by any means necessary. The original line-up consisted of Jenny Sparks, a British woman who could generate and turn into electricity; Jack Hawksmoor, who was psychically bonded to cities in order to communicate with them and receive powers from them; Swift, a Tibetan woman who possessed wings and sharp talons; Apollo, a bio-engineered Superman pastiche; Midnighter, a bio-engineered Batman pastiche who possessed the ability to foresee his opponents’ moves in combat; The Engineer, a scientist who had replaced her blood with nine pints of nanotechnology and could create solid objects with it; and The Doctor, a Dutch drug addict and shaman who possessed the combined powers of the hundreds of shamans who came before him. They showed increasingly dangerous enemies such as an international terrorist; an invasion from an alternate Earth; and “God”, the hostile alien creator of the Solar System. The Authority’s base of operations is the Carrier, a sentient, gigantic, interdimensional “shiftship” existing everywhere on Earth at the same time and capable of moving through every imaginable plane of existence.

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TURNING POINTS by Maggie Thompson

Here’s the latest installment of Maggie Thompson’s ongoing look at important beginnings, middles, and ends, this time for March 11-17, 2022...

175 years ago March 17, 1847 French artist Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard Grandville dies at age 43.

170 years ago March 13, 1852. The first printed symbolic figure of Uncle Sam makes his debut in an uncomplimentary New York Lantern cartoon by Frank Henry Bellew.

160 years ago March 17, 1862 Dutch artist Patrick Kroon is born.

130 years ago March 13, 1892 Ethel Hays is born. The writer-artist is known for her creation of several comics features featuring flappers: Ethel, Flapper Fanny, Marianne, and Vic and Ethel.

130 years ago March 16, 1892 The first issue of the Swedish illustrated children’s magazine Kamratposten is published.

125 years ago March 11, 1897 Albert Engstrom begins the cartoon heavy Swedish humor magazine Strix.

120 years ago March 15, 1902 Australian writer-artist Alex Gurney is born. The creator of the Bluey and Curley strip earlier develops the first Australian strip based on continuing characters (Stiffy and Mo, a radio comedy).

105 years ago March 11, 1917 The Spanish comics magazine TBO begins.

105 years ago March 12, 1917 German teacher and artist Werner Klemke is born.

100 years ago March 16, 1922 Jørgen Mogensen is born. The Danish artist creates Poeten og Lillemor.

95 years ago March 11, 1927 French artist-editor-publisher Edouard Pépin dies at age 84.

95 years ago March 16, 1927 Award-winning Italian writer-artist Gino d’Antonio is born. He creates Il Storia del West and Bella e Bronco for Bonelli.

95 years ago March 16, 1927 Voice artist Dick Beals is born. Although he is best known as the voice of such characters as Gumby, Davey Hansen, and Speedy Alka-Seltzer, he also creates a wide variety of other child voices for use in animation.

85 years ago March 15, 1937 Artist Dan Adkins is born. He draws science fiction magazine illustrations and works on a variety of comics, including Doctor Strange and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

85 years ago March 15, 1937 Influential fantasy writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft dies of cancer at age 46.

85 years ago March 17, 1937 British artist Harold C. Earnshaw dies at age 50. He created the Daily Mirror comic strip The Pater.

80 years ago March 15, 1942 Tailspin Tommy (drawn by Reynold Brown by this time) ends.

75 years ago March 14, 1947 Comic strip writer-artist Tom Batiuk is born. He creates Funky Winkerbean, John Darling, and Crankshaft.

70 years ago March 14, 1952 Brian Walker is born. Mort Walker’s son, he works in the Walker comics studio, helps produce material including Hi and Lois, and writes comics histories.

65 years ago March 14, 1957 Artist Mike DeCarlo is born. His work includes comics featuring Warner Bros. characters.

65 years ago March 16, 1957 Writer-artist-editor and Cat-Head Comics publisher Steve Lafler is born. He’s especially known for Dog Boy.

60 years ago March 12, 1962 Comic book and comic strip artist Graham Nolan is born. His work includes Batman, Phantom, Rex Morgan, and Sunshine State.

60 years ago March 15, 1962 Windrider Games head, former Fantasy Flight Games game producer, and games designer Steve Kimball is born.

50 years ago March 15, 1972 Writer Robert S. Elinskas is born.

50 years ago March 17, 1972 Award-winning Cuban artist Antonio Rubio (born Antonio V. Rubio Nuñez) dies of cardiac arrest at age 51. He was founder and president of the Cuban Cartoonists Association.

45 years ago March 11, 1977 Walt Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh opens, linking three already produced featurettes with a fourth.

45 years ago March 13, 1977 The last installment of Conchy by James Childress is published. (He’d committed suicide January 22.)

45 years ago March 15, 1977 Tintin contains a teaser for “Thorgal” by Jean Van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosiński, which will begin next week.

45 years ago March 17, 1977 Russell Patterson dies of heart failure at age 83. The award-winning artist, art teacher, designer, and comic strip creator was best known for Mamie.

30 years ago March 12, 1992 Hans Kresse dies at age 70. The Dutch creator of Eric de Noorman was a prolific realistic artist on features ranging from Tarzan, Bonanza, and Disney material to his own creations.

20 years ago March 15, 2002 Underground comix creator Rand Holmes dies at age 60 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was best known for his Harold Hedd comic strip.

20 years ago March 16, 2002 Dutch artist Paul Schindeler dies at age 46.

15 years ago March 12, 2007 Writer Arnold Drake dies at age 83 of pneumonia and septic shock. With Leslie Waller, Matt Baker, and Ray Osrin, he co-created the pioneering graphic novel It Rhymes with Lust. He later co-created such features as Deadman (with Carmine Infantino), The Doom Patrol (with Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani), and Guardians of the Galaxy (with Gene Colan).

15 years ago March 15, 2007 Underground comix expert and King Features Syndicate Editor in Chief Jay Kennedy drowns in a riptide at age 50.

10 years ago March 11, 2012 Artist Sid Couchey dies at age 92 of Burkitt’s lymphoma. He was a prolific anonymous Harvey Comics contributor to features starring such characters as Richie Rich, Little Lotta, and Little Dot.

10 years ago March 15, 2012 Prolific writer-artist Fran Matera dies at age 87 of prostate cancer. He took over Steve Roper and Mike Nomad in 1985, and his other work included contributions to Charlton’s comics and “Chuck White” for Treasure Chest.

5 years ago March 12, 2017 New Zealand artist Murray Ball dies at age 78. Known for his comic strip Footrot Flats and for his contributions to Punch including “Stanley the Palaeolithic Hero,” he was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

5 years ago March 16, 2017 Underground comix pioneer writer-artist Skip Williamson dies of multiple organ failure (a week and a half after fellow underground star Jay Lynch) at age 72. He was known for such creations as “Snappy Sammy Smoot.”

5 years ago March 17, 2017 Dutch artist Joost Rietveld dies at age 85.
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March 11

The Adventures of Patsy originated as a fantasy. The story began on March 11, 1935 with five-year-old Patsy carried away in a kite to the magical kingdom of Ods Bodkins. During her fanciful journey, Patsy was accompanied and often rescued by the masked Phantom Magician. When they returned to Earth, the Phantom Magician doffed his duds for conventional clothing and assumed the identity of Phil Cardigan, Patsy’s uncle. With stories situated in Hollywood, Uncle Phil worked as a screenwriter and Patsy was a young movie actress for producer J. P. Panberg. After Phil was eventually written out of the strip, Patsy’s new sidekick was Hollywood agent Skidd Higgins.

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March 12

The Awesome Android debuted in Fantastic Four #15 (March 12,1963) as the creation of the Mad Thinker. He was created as an artificial lifeform based on the research notes of Mister Fantastic. A synthesis of ape DNA and unstable molecules incorporated into an almost indestructible body with a microcomputer and a solar-power source, the newly christened Awesome Android is directed against the Fantastic Four, although the superhero team defeats both the Android and the Thinker. The Awesome Android, still as a pawn of the Thinker, returns to battle the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men before being deactivated by Professor X. The Awesome Android has limited artificial intelligence and no capacity for self-motivated activity, and is totally dependent on its programming or on the spoken commands of its programmer, and usually deactivates itself when not active. The Android has super strength and durability, and can also mimic an ability after touching an opponent. The Android is given one weakness by the Thinker: a collection of nerve ganglia underneath the left armpit that if struck will cause the Android to shut down.

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