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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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March 13

Daniel Ketch first appeared in Ghost Rider #1 (March 13, 1990). One night, Daniel and his sister Barbara were attacked by gangsters. With his sister grievously wounded by Deathwatch, Daniel fled and hid in a junkyard, where he found a motorcycle bearing a mystical sigil. Upon touching the sigil, he was transformed into the Ghost Rider. This Ghost Rider was nearly identical to the previous, though his costume and bike had undergone a modernized tailoring. He beat the gangsters, but was unable to save Barbara, who had slipped into a coma as a result from her injury. She was eventually killed by Ketch’s mortal enemy, Blackout. Ketch later learned the origin of Zarathos from the mystical dream lord Nightmare, who believed the entity to which Ketch was bound was Zarathos reborn and freed from the Soul Crystal. Ghost Rider denied this, though others, including Mephisto, believed otherwise. Ketch and Johnny Blaze later learned they were long-lost brothers and that their family was the inheritor of a mystical curse related to the Spirits of Vengeance.

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March 14

Professional hit-man Johnny LaMonica takes the name “Black Spider” when he is sent to kill the crime lord Black Mask. He first appeared in Batman #518 (March 14, 1995). He is thwarted by Batman and sent to prison. He sustains injuries during this incident that leaves his face a disfigured web of scars, giving his choice of code name an ironic touch. He is later killed by Detective Crispus Allen during a gang shooting. Black Spider had opened fire on Detective Renee Montoya, preparing to kill her, when Allen unloaded his magazine on the villain. Jim Corrigan sold the bullet that killed Black Spider on the black market.

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March 15

A dying member of Psi Division has a precognitive vision that Mega-City One will be destroyed unless the Judges can find the “Judge Child”, a boy called Owen Krysler with extreme telepathic and precognitive powers. The titular character and storyline debut in 2000 AD prog 156 (March 15, 1980). He also has a birthmark on his head shaped like the Judges’ Eagle. Krysler is destined to rule Mega-City One in its direst hour. Dredd is sent after the boy and tracks him across the Cursed Earth to Texas City where the Judge Child falls into the hands of the Angel Gang who escape from Earth. Dredd uses the ship Justice 1 to pursue the gang and the Child across a number of star systems and through various strange encounters with alien worlds. Finally catching up to the Judge Child on the planet Xanadu, Dredd looks into his eyes and sees that he is evil. Believing that the ruler of his city has to be pure and uncorrupted, and that Owen Krysler is unfit to rule, Dredd abandons him on the planet and returns home.

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March 16

Jarella was the princess of the sub-atomic world of K'ai. She first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #140 (March 16, 1971). Although outwardly primitive, her world has remnants of long-forgotten high technology and sorcery. Jarella’s city is threatened by a number of menaces ranging from attacks by the gigantic warthos to the armies of the Warlord Visus. The Hulk appears in K'ai during an attack of the warthos and drives the huge monsters away. The people come out to greet him, and the Hulk is especially taken with the lovely and gentle Jarella. She leads him into the city and calls on her sorcerers to help the Hulk learn their language. The spell succeeds and also allows the human personality of Bruce Banner to emerge in the Hulk’s body. The Hulk and Jarella fall in love and she proclaims him her husband. After Visus attempts to assassinate Jarella she exiles him from the city. However, Psyklop snatches the Hulk away from K'ai.

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March 17

Debuting in Aquaman #16 (March 17, 2004), Lorena Marquez is on a date at the San Diego Zoo when an earthquake shakes San Diego and causes it to sink deep into the sea, killing thousands — including Lorena’s entire family. She comes into contact with Aquaman, who nurses her back to health as she discovers that she has developed the ability to breathe underwater like an Atlantean. The two manage to locate the other survivors of the quake, as well as Anton Grist, the scientist responsible for the catastrophe. Lorena and Aquaman have no choice but to begin rebuilding the city as “Sub Diego.” When Ocean Master switches lives with Aquaman, Lorena assumes the identity of Aquagirl, adopting an aquatic costume. After Aquaman exposes Ocean Master’s scheme, Lorena keeps her Aquagirl costume and identity, and the two carry on protecting Sub Diego.

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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 18-24, 2022...

145 years ago March 18, 1877 Dutch political cartoonist Albert Hahn is born.

140 years ago March 24, 1882 French writer-artist “Bertall” (born Charles Albert d’Arnoux) dies at age 61.

130 years ago March 24, 1892 Rex Maxon is born. The Tarzan artist who follows Harold Foster on the strip co-creates Turok with Matt Murphy.

110 years ago March 23, 1912 German editorial cartoonist and illustrator Franz-Werner Richter-Johnsen is born. He draws Detektiv Schmidtchen and Taró.

100 years ago March 20, 1922 American comedian and writer Ray Goulding is born. He teams with Bob Elliott, and together they provide decades of comedy creations including contributions to Mad.

100 years ago March 20, 1922 Out Our Way by J.R. Williams begins, distributed by NEA. The single panel feature features a variety of themes including “Why Mothers Get Gray” and “Born Thirty Years Too Soon.”

95 years ago March 23, 1927 French writer-artist-editor Raymond Chiavarino is born; he works as “Maric.”

95 years ago March 24, 1927 Bobby Thatcher by George Storm begins.

90 years ago March 19, 1932 Henry by Carl Anderson begins in The Saturday Evening Post.

90 years ago March 20, 1932 Wimpy first says, “I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” in E.C. Segar’s Thimble Theatre.

85 years ago March 20, 1937 Pioneering and prolific Spanish comics artist Ramón Cilla dies at age 77.

85 years ago March 22, 1937 Buck Ryan by Jack Monk and Don Freeman begins.

75 years ago March 21, 1947 Comics historian and expert Don Markstein is born. He writes and edits the Toonopedia comics information website.

70 years ago March 19, 1952 Letterer and artist Willie Schubert is born.

65 years ago March 20, 1957 Award-winning artist, letterer, and teacher Arthur Lewis dies at age 83.

65 years ago March 25, 1957 Golden Age comic book artist Ed Smalle dies at age 44. He worked for companies including Archie, DC, Parents Magazine Press, Hillman, and Marvel and produced a newspaper feature called True Comics.

60 years ago March 21, 1962 Writer, editor, and comics trivia expert Mark Waid is born. He writes for and is editor in chief of Boom! Studios, and his work includes Marvel’s Captain America, eight years on DC’s The Flash, and the revamp of Archie’s Archie.

60 years ago March 22, 1962 British artist-editor Steve Dillon is born. He’s especially known for work with writer Garth Ennis on Hellblazer and Preacher.

55 years ago March 19, 1967 Animator, artist, and producer Gil Turner dies at age 53. He worked for such studios as Disney, Warner Brothers, MGM, Lantz, UPA, and Hanna-Barbera – and drew comics featuring some of the characters from those companies, as well as others.

55 years ago March 20, 1967 Norwegian artist Anders Bjørgaard, who drew Jens von Bustenskjold, dies two days after his 76th birthday.

55 years ago March 22, 1967 Writer and colorist Lisa Moore is born.

45 years ago March 19, 1977 Leonardo by Phil Collins ends.

45 years ago March 20, 1977 Dutch artist Han Krug dies at age 86.

45 years ago March 22, 1977 Tintin contains the first installment of “Thorgal” by Jean Van Hamme and Grzegorz Rosiński.

45 years ago March 23, 1977 Artist Ed Dobrotka dies at age 59. One of Joe Shuster’s early assistants, he co-created Toyman with Don Cameron for DC’s Action Comics #64.

40 years ago March 22, 1982 Neal S. Pozner begins work as DC’s design director.

35 years ago March 22, 1987 Danish animator and artist Ib Steinaa dies at age 60.

30 years ago March 24, 1992 The British weekly humor magazine Punch ends.

25 years ago March 22, 1997 The last episode of Steve Dowling’s Garth is published.

20 years ago March 18, 2002 Belgian writer-artist Marcel Denis dies at age 79.

15 years ago March 21, 2007 Poison Elves creator Drew Hayes dies of a heart attack at age 37.

15 years ago March 24, 2007 Artist Marshall Rogers dies at age 57 of a possible heart attack. He was especially known for his work on DC’s Batman and his creation Cap’n Quick & a Foozle.

5 years ago March 18, 2017 Award-winning artist Bernie Wrightson dies at age 68. Specializing in horror comics art, he co-created Swamp Thing with Len Wein for DC and worked on several collaborations with Stephen King.

5 years ago March 21, 2017 Dutch artist Gerard Wiegel dies at age 90. He was known for his Professor Cumulus newspaper comics feature.
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March 18

Sargon the Sorcerer debuted in All-American Comics #26 (March 18, 1941). He was a stage magician, dressed like a swami complete with turban, to disguise the fact that he wielded true mystical powers, passing off such feats as illusions. As a child, he came into possession of the mystic Ruby of Life which allowed him to control anything he touches. Taking his professional name from the ancient king of the same name, Sargon has had a checkered career, acting mostly as a hero in the Golden Age, aided by his sidekick/manager Maximillian O'Leary as he battled crooks, spies and his azure-skinned archenemy the Blue Lama, Queen of Black Magic. In the Silver Age, his villainous activities were the result of certain side effects of possessing the Ruby of Life.

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March 19

Mitchell “Mitch” Shelley became a lawyer who found himself an unwilling test subject for experimentation in nanotechnology, involving specialized devices nicknamed “tektites” by an organization known only as “the Lab”. The experiments cost Shelley his memory for several months but also rendered him immortal albeit with a twist: he could still be killed but the death would last a matter of seconds and he would be reborn with a superpower influenced by the way he was last killed. He first appeared in Resurrection Man #1 (March 19, 1997). Shelley’s travels in search of the truth of his identity and his newfound powers would take him across the United States, leading him into an ongoing feud with assorted adversaries including Vandal Savage, the Body Doubles and others, as well as alliances and friendship with various members of the Justice League.

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March 20

Mantis is the half-Vietnamese, half-German daughter of Gustav Brandt, aka Libra. She first appeared in Avengers #112 (March 20, 1973). In her childhood, her father leaves her in Vietnam at the Temple of the alien Priests of Pama, a sect of the Kree. The Kree believe she might become the Celestial Madonna and mate with the eldest Cotati on Earth to become the mother of the Celestial Messiah, “the most important being in the universe”. She excels in her martial arts studies, but when she reaches adulthood, she is mind-wiped and sent into the world to gain life experience. She becomes a prostitute and barmaid in a Vietnamese bar, where she meets the Swordsman. She helps him regain his self-respect and follows him when the former villain attempts to rejoin the Avengers. She becomes an Avengers ally when the Swordsman rejoins the Avengers, and she battled the Lion God alongside them. With the Avengers, Mantis has many adventures. She battles the original Zodiac, and learns that Libra is her father and that she was raised by the Priests of Pama.

Writer-artist Frank Miller was recruited to create The Dark Knight Returns. Miller said that the comic series’ plot was inspired by Dirty Harry, specifically the film Sudden Impact, in which Dirty Harry returns to crime-fighting after a lengthy convalescence. Miller also said his own increasing age was a factor in the plot. The Dark Knight Returns tells an alternative story of Bruce Wayne, who at 50 years old returns from retirement to fight crime and faces opposition from the Gotham City police force and the United States government. The first issue debuted on March 20, 1986. It is set in a dystopian near-future version of Gotham City. Bruce Wayne decides to return to his role as Batman and on his first night as Batman he puts a stop to multiple assaults- including one on two young girls, Carrie Kelley and her friend Michelle. Inspired by Batman’s rescue, Kelley buys herself an imitation Robin costume and searches for him, seeking to help him. Wayne decides to keep Kelley as his new sidekick. The immense popularity of The Dark Knight Returns served both to return the character of Batman to a central role in pop culture, but also started the era known as the Dark Age of Comic Books.

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March 21

Tomar-Re is a Xudarian, a race of aliens from the planet Xudar in Sector 2813. He was a scientist on his homeworld before joining the Green Lantern Corps and becoming the Green Lantern of Sector 2813. Tomar-Re became a pivotal member of the Corps, training new members, like Arisia, and serving in the Honor Guard. He was close friends with Abin Sur, Green Lantern of neighboring sector 2814. He was also the first Lantern to meet Sur’s replacement, Hal Jordan, and the two got along equally well. They first met in Green Lantern #6 (March 21, 1961) when Tomar contacted Green Lantern about a threat to a world in his sector, which was happening at the same time alien invaders were attacking Tomar’s world. Hal stopped the threat, then helped Tomar defeat the invaders, who hastily left the world. Hal first found out about the Guardians from Tomar, who mentioned they wanted the Green Lanterns to be equal which is why the Power Battery recharges their rings for the same time period.

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March 22

Abe Sapien began his life as Langdon Everett Caul, a Victorian scientist and businessman who became involved with the Oannes Society, an occult organization who believed in life and all knowledge having come from the sea. After retrieving a strange jellyfish-like deity from an underwater ruin, Caul and the other members performed an arcane ritual that inadvertently ended with the creature’s release and Caul being turned into an ichthyo sapien. Believing him to be Oannes reborn, the society sealed the developing icthyo sapien’s body in a tube of water in the hidden laboratory beneath a Washington, D.C.. hospital until such time as he was fully formed. Forced to abandon the site by the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Society never found occasion to return for Caul, and there he stayed until he was found by workmen in November 1978. With no memory of his life before, the icthyo sapien received a new name. Abe Sapien was taken to the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) for a gruelling round of research by curious BPRD scientists, and was saved from vivisection by an empathetic Hellboy. Thereafter, Abe entered the ranks of the BPRD as a valued field agent. He first appeared in Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction (March 22, 1994).

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March 23

Michael Cray was born to US Navy Admiral Phillip James Cray and Elizabeth Cray. He first appears in Darker Image #1 (March 23, 1993). After his parents were slain by terrorists, he joins the US military to avenge their deaths. He became a Navy SEAL prior to being transferred to International Operation’s newly formed Team 7. It was around this time that he took the handle, Deathblow. Like all members of that group, he was a highly experienced Special Forces operative. The team believed they had been sent on a mission, but were instead exposed to the Gen Factor. Unlike the other surviving members of Team 7, Michael’s powers did not manifest until many years later. Michael Cray left I.O. when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He wanted to atone himself for all the innocent men and women he killed during his missions. He got his chance when he became involved with the Order of the Cross. Their adversary, the Black Angel, awoke a demonic entity bent on killing a young boy with miraculous abilities. It turned out that Cray’s cancer was in fact a result of the Gen Factor, giving him regenerative abilities. It would also give him the ability to manifest psionic shields to protect himself, but he could not control it and was not even aware it existed. Cray defeated the Black Angel with the help of Sister Mary, his ex-wife Gabrielle, and several of his Team 7 colleagues. After the death of the Black Angel, the young child restored the damage he had done by rewriting reality, but in the new reality, Gabrielle had died during their honeymoon.

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March 24

Granted the gift of immortality, Gilad Anni-Padda is a master tactician and one of the greatest warriors on the planet. He first appears in Solar: Man of the Atom #10 (March 24, 1992). When in danger Earth calls for her Eternal Warrior to prevent calamities and mete out justice. For countless centuries, these messages have been relayed to Gilad by the Geomancers, an unbroken line of mystics in tune with the voice of the planet. The geomancer of a given era and Gilad work together to do the bidding of the Earth. The Eternal Warrior’s journey began millennia ago in the ancient city-state of Ur when found Gilad-then a flesh-and-blood-mortal-was killed during an adventure in the mythical land of the Faraway with his brothers Aram and Ivar. As grief curdled Ivar’s mind, Gilad’s brother convinced himself that a mysterious machine captured in the Faraway could restore his brother to life. However, when activated, this device-known as “the Boon”-annihilated the ancient Ur, draining the life force from thousands and ruining the city, bestowing him with immortality. Gilad’s dense molecular structure not only renders him immortal, but also grants him super-strength, some invulnerability, and a regenerative healing process. His millennia of life has also made him a master of all-known combat and weaponry.

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March 25

Nuke was a test subject of the Weapon Plus program, the supersoldier program that had created Captain America and would later have their Weapon X facility transform Wolverine into a killing machine. The enhancing and conditioning process went awry, leaving Nuke seriously deranged. He first appeared in Daredevil #232 (March 25, 1986). The disturbed son of a wealthy, abusive, alcoholic, upper-class woman in Ohio, Frank Simpson soon developed an unhealthy affection for his babysitter, the only real maternal figure in his life. The young woman, who was harboring feelings for his father Charles, capitalized on Frank’s affection and talked the boy into killing his mother. Wolverine, who at that time was an operative for Weapon Plus, had been sent to kidnap Frank. He then stalked Charles Simpson and the babysitter, eventually shooting the girl with Charles’ gun, after which Charles committed suicide. Wolverine then went to Frank’s place and abducted him for the supersoldier project.

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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 25-31, 2022...

205 years ago March 27, 1817 Pioneering Swiss comics artist Fritz von Dardel is born.

115 years ago March 31, 1907 Pioneering manhua artist and creator of “Mr. Wang” Ye Qianyu is born.

100 years ago March 29, 1922 Spanish artist Manuel Cuyás is born.

95 years ago March 25, 1927 The Dutch-Flemish comics magazine De Humorist begins.

95 years ago March 27, 1927 Cartoonist Hy Eisman is born. He writes and draws The Katzenjammer Kids and Popeye Sunday strips.

85 years ago March 26, 1937 Popeye is honored with the dedication of a statue of the E.C. Segar creation in Crystal City, Texas (“Spinach Capital” of the U.S.).

80 years ago March 25, 1942 Richard O’Brien is born. The pop culture creator and performer is especially known for creation of the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Caliber Press produces a comic book adaptation in 1990.

70 years ago March 25, 1952 German artist and animator Egon Von Tresckow (who worked as “Tres”) dies at age 45.

70 years ago March 27, 1952 Bulgarian artist and teacher Georgi Atanasov dies at age 48.

70 years ago March 27, 1952 Fearless Fosdick, star of Li’l Abner’s favorite comic strip (yes, in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner strip), gets married. Which means that Abner (who took an oath to do whatever Fosdick does) … Well …

70 years ago March 29, 1952 Abner and Daisy Mae marry in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner. “Ah now pronounces yo’, yo’ panic stricken lout – an’ yo’, yo’ bootiful, tremblin’, young morsel, man an’ – wife!!”

70 years ago March 31, 1952 The cover feature of Life magazine is Li’l Abner. It’s the first cartoon cover for the magazine.

65 years ago March 28, 1957 Influential writer and artist Jack Butler Yeats dies at age 85. In 1893, he created what may have been the first serial comic strip, Chubblock Homes, for Comic Cuts.

65 years ago March 29, 1957 Anima writer and co-creator (with Paul Witcover) Elizabeth Hand is born.

60 years ago March 27, 1962 Inker John Floyd is born.

60 years ago March 28, 1962 DC staffer, Alfred Hitchcock expert, editor of many DC projects, and DC Marketing Communications Manager Adam Philips is born.

50 years ago March 26, 1972 Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean begins from Field Enterprises.

50 years ago March 31, 1972 Influential Bulgarian artist Aleksandar Denkov dies at age 46. He was credited with creating the first Bulgarian animated film, Little Thief, in 1945.

45 years ago March 28, 1977 Superman begins filming with Christopher Reeve in the DC character title role.

45 years ago March 31, 1977 Award-winning Russian illustrator and political cartoonist Alexey Komarov dies at age 97.

40 years ago March 27, 1982 IPC Media relaunches Eagle.

40 years ago March 28, 1982 Underground comix creator Dave Sheridan dies of a brain hemorrhage at age 38. His output included creation of “Dealer McDope,” the design for the “Black Death Malt Liquor” shirt worn by “Dr. Johnny Fever” on WKRP in Cincinnati, and his collaboration (with Gilbert Shelton and Paul Mavrides) on The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

35 years ago March 27, 1987 Patrick Troughton dies of a heart attack at age 67. He played the second Doctor in the BBC’s Doctor Who series and was featured in comics starring the character.

30 years ago March 26, 1992 Topps announces creation of its comics division, edited by Jim Salicrup.

20 years ago March 28, 2002 Italian artist Nicola Del Principe dies at age 74. He worked on humorous and action comics for Alpe and Bianconi publishing houses.

15 years ago March 27, 2007 Bulgarian artist Boris Dimovski dies at age 81.

15 years ago March 29, 2007 Writer Leslie Waller dies at age 83. He co-created the pioneering “picture novel” It Rhymes with Lust with Arnold Drake, Matt Baker, and Ray Osrin and dies 17 days after Drake.

15 years ago March 31, 2007 Italian artist Massimo Belardinelli dies at age 68. His comics included material for Fleetway’s 2000 AD.

10 years ago March 26, 2012 Nicole Hollander’s Sylvia ends.

5 years ago March 26, 2017 Award-winning Taiwanese manga artist Chen Uen dies of a heart attack at age 58.

5 years ago March 27, 2017 Prolific Italian artist and teacher Leone Cimpellin dies at age 90. Some of his work appeared in Fleetway and DC Thomson comics in England.
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March 26

First appearing in Sandman #26 (March 26, 1991), Nuala was a faerie gift to the Lord Morpheus. She was beautiful initially, but Morpheus, being simplistic, took her faerie glamour away, leaving a thin, brown-haired pixie instead of a beautiful blonde faerie woman. From then on she took on the housekeeping duties of The Dreaming, only stopping when her brother Cluracan brought her back to Faerie. Before she left, Morpheus granted her a boon, which was that she could call on him if she needed to, in exchange for her years of servitude. Nuala had been nursing a crush on Morpheus for some time and eventually called on him. Returned to Faerie, Nuala renounces the glamor that goes with her title, choosing to present her true elfen form. This infuriates the queen of the faeries, but Nuala is steadfast in her decision, and ultimately leaves Faerie over the conflict. She is later found by Lucien the librarian working in The Green Dragon bar in New York City, where she has come to terms with her former employer’s death and her minor role in it. Lucien offers to let her return to The Dreaming, but she declines, saying that she is happy with her new life and that returning would feel like a step backward.

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March 27

Mary MacPherran is the name of a real-life Marvel production assistant who was asked by Jim Shooter if it was permissible to name a character after her. Titania was introduced in Secret Wars #3 (March 27, 1984), and has appeared in many Marvel comics since then. Born prematurely in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, Mary MacPherran grew up scrawny and short-statured. Consistently bullied since childhood, Mary grows resentful and bitter, and fantasizes about gaining superpowers to become admired, and exact retribution on her tormentors. Later, when the Battleworld appears over Denver, Mary and her friend Marsha are chased into the forests for Battleworld. Scared and exhausted, the two girls are found by Doctor Doom, who was in need of further metahuman operatives to further his ambitions. Mary and Marsha both agree to Doom’s offer of power in exchange for serving in his army of supervillains. Using the highly advanced alien technologies found in Doombase, the villain headquarters, powered by immense energies from the ferocious alien storm outside, Doom recreates both women, inducing high-level metahuman abilities of specific and particular design. Titania’s physical changes bring a new personality to the fore. Where Mary MacPherran had been small and timid, the newly named Titania, so called because of strength like a titan, is brash and seemingly confident.

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March 28

Chthon, a demonic Elder God who was the Earth’s first practitioner of black magic, was the principal author of the Darkhold. The book is first shown in Marvel Spotlight #4 (March 28, 1972). Being academic, Chthon wrote all his collected knowledge of magic into the iron-bound scrolls that served as the first form of the Darkhold. It remained as the Darkhold after most of the Elder Gods were slain by the Demogorge except for Chthon and Set. The Darkhold’s power is so vast it took the combined strength and will of both Merlin and St. Brendan to contain it. Even together, they were unable to destroy it or its power. Humans first found the Darkhold during the time before Atlantis sunk into the ocean. When Kull slew Thulsa Doom, Doom’s followers, the Darkholders, used the Darkhold to create the first vampire, Varnae, dying due to wounds suffered in battle with Kull. Varnae consumed one of the Darkholders who attempted to command him, and began creating other vampires. After the Hyborian Age, Egyptians, Babylonians, and Hebrews came to possess the Darkhold scrolls. Morgan Le Fay bound the scrolls into book form for the first time circa the 7th century. It is around this time they were translated from Chthon’s arcane script into Latin. The Darkhold was also responsible for the curse of the werewolf; an 18th-century man named Grigori Russoff had been tainted by the Darkhold, and was subsequently bitten by a werewolf who served Dracula. Grigori passed this curse of lycanthropy on to his descendents, including eventually Gregor Russoff and his son Jacob Russoff.

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March 29

Created by Moore and Bolland as their own take on the Joker’s source and psychology, The Killing Joke provides an origin story for the supervillain the Joker, loosely adapted from the 1951 story arc “The Man Behind the Red Hood!”. It was released on March 29, 1988. Taking place over two timelines, The Killing Joke depicts the Joker attempting to drive Jim Gordon insane and Batman’s desperate attempt to stop him. It became famous for its origin of the Joker as a tragic character; a family man and failed comedian who suffered “one bad day” that finally drove him insane. Moore stated that he attempted to show the similarities and contrasts between the two characters. The story’s effects on the mainstream Batman continuity also included the shooting and paralysis of Barbara Gordon. The book explores Moore’s assertion that, psychologically, “Batman and the Joker are mirror images of each other”. The comic book, however, delves deeper in order to present Batman’s own psychology - that he is, in his own way, just as insane as the Joker, and that he and the Joker perceive the world according to differing points of view, with the Joker’s interpreted through a joke.

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March 30

Spike and Suzy was first published in De Nieuwe Standaard on March 30,1945. The books revolve around the adventures of the eponymous Spike and Suzy, two children, along with their friends and family. The stories combine elements of comedy, fantasy, and science fiction, such as talking animals, time travel and ghosts. In the first regular comic, Suzy and her Aunt Sidonia meet the orphan Spike and unrelated Professor Barabas. Later they also meet Ambrose. In the earliest stories, Willy Vandersteen used fictional countries like “Chokowakije” (“Chocolaslovakia”) and “Amoras” (a tropical island). He dropped the use of those after a few stories, although some later stories revisit Amoras.

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March 31

The first Atari Force comics, which only counted five issues, were created mainly to illustrate story lines for home console games being released by Atari, Inc. The minicomics were packed in with the games Defender, Berzerk, Star Raiders, Phoenix, and Galaxian. The original Atari Force was a team of humans from different nations using the multi-dimensional starship Scanner One to search for a new planet for humanity to inhabit as the Earth was facing ecological devastation. The team was handpicked by A.T.A.R.I. (Advanced Technology And Research Institute), and consisted of Martin Champion as mission commander, Lydia Perez as pilot and executive officer, Li-San O'Rourke as security officer, Mohandas Singh as flight engineer, and Dr. Lucas Orion as medical officer. A semi-sentient alien creature, named Hukka because of the noise he made, later joined as team mascot. The team debuted in Atari Force #1 (March 31, 1982).

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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 April 1-7, 2022...

155 years ago April 2, 1867 Pioneering British comics artist and Punch contributor Charles H. Bennett dies at age 38.

140 years ago April 6, 1882 Artist and publisher Salvador Bartolozzi is born. The Spanish comic strip pioneer founds Pinocho and creates Pipo y Pipa.

135 years ago April 6, 1887 Newspaper cartoonist Ray Hoppman is born.

130 years ago April 4, 1892 Spanish artist Ramón Escaler creates an early comic strip with speech balloons. It’s published in La Semana Cómica.

120 years ago April 2, 1902 British artist Mike Hubbard is born. He works for Amalgamated Press and adapts such novels as Treasure Island into comics format. He assists on and then takes over the Jane comic strip.

120 years ago April 4, 1902 British cartoonist Brian White is born. He creates The Nipper for The Daily Mail and produces animated work, including contributions to Animal Farm.

120 years ago April 6, 1902 Simon Simple by Ed Carey begins in the New York World.

120 years ago April 6, 1902 Artist Wilson McCoy is born. He’s especially known for his work on the Phantom newspaper strip.

115 years ago April 2, 1907 Dutch artist Jacobus Grosman is born. He creates Gijsje Goochem.

115 years ago April 6, 1907 Award-winning magazine gag cartoonist Chon Day is born. He creates the Brother Sebastian panel for Look magazine.

115 years ago April 7, 1907 Belgian artist Jacques Laudy, one of the original artists for Tintin magazine, is born.

110 years ago April 5, 1912 Franco Caprioli is born. He draws Il Vittorioso, Toppolino, and Il Giornalino adventure stories and creates Gino e Piero.

105 years ago April 1, 1917 Sheldon Mayer is born. The artist, writer, and editor is instrumental in bringing Superman to Action Comics and creates Sugar and Spike, Scribbly, Black Orchid, and Three Mouseketeers.

105 years ago April 7, 1917 Dutch artist Ko Doncker dies one day after his 43rd birthday.

95 years ago April 4, 1927 Writer-artist-editor Joe Orlando is born. He begins his comics career at Fox but first attracts fan attention for his work for the EC line. After joining the DC staff, he is the 1976-1983 DC Universe executive editor.

95 years ago April 5, 1927 Italian artist Nicola Del Principe is born. He works on humorous and action comics for Alpe and Bianconi publishing houses.

90 years ago April 2, 1932 Artist Loron A. Taylor, known for the NEA Mom’n Pop strip, dies by suicide at age 32.

80 years ago April 1, 1942 Writer-artist Charles H. Wellington dies at age 58. He was known for his strip Pa’s Imported Son-in-Law (which became That Son-in-Law of Pa’s, then Pa’s Son-in-Law).

80 years ago April 5, 1942 Award-winning Spanish artist Enric Sió is born. He creates Mara and creates and edits La Oca.

75 years ago April 1, 1947 Artist Crawford Young dies six days after his 61st birthday. He created the strips Clarence and Pearl Button.

75 years ago April 3, 1947 The Flemish comics magazine ’tKapoentje begins.

70 years ago April 3, 1952 Writer-artist F. Newton (“Butch”) Burcham is born.

70 years ago April 3, 1952 House Representatives E.C. Gathings of Arkansas and Edward H. Rees of Kansas sponsor House Resolutions 596 and 597 calling for an investigation of “offensive” and “undesirable” comic books and magazines.

70 years ago April 7, 1952 Artist Jacques Boivin is born. He is best known for Melody, written by Sylvie Rancourt.

65 years ago April 3, 1957 Mark Nevelow is born. He edits DC’s Piranha Press output including Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, Epicurus the Sage, and Why I Hate Saturn.

65 years ago April 3, 1957 Yves Chaland is born. The French artist representative of the retro “atomic style” produces Bob Fish, John Bravo, Adolphus Claar, and Freddy Lombard.

65 years ago April 5, 1957 Writer Roger A. Brown is born.

65 years ago April 7, 1957 Artist Larry Nadolsky is born.

55 years ago April 1, 1967 Billy the Cat and Katie by David Sutherland begins in The Beano #1289.

55 years ago April 4, 1967 Charles Schulz’ Peanuts introduces Woodstock, who becomes Snoopy’s sidekick and will be given a name three years later.

40 years ago April 2, 1982 Swedish artist Birger Malmborg dies at age 72. He created the Götlund comic strip.

35 years ago April 1, 1987 Following work as the Capital City Florida warehouse manager, Lou Bank begins work as Marvel’s assistant direct sales manager.

30 years ago April 6, 1992 Science popularizer and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov dies of heart and kidney failure at age 72. He created The Three Laws of Robotics, used by countless science fiction writers who followed.

30 years ago April 7, 1992 Art Spiegelman wins a special Pulitzer Prize for Maus.

25 years ago April 4, 1997 Artist Billy Graham dies at age 61. He worked for Warren (eventually as art director) and then for Marvel, where he helped create Luke Cage. He worked with Don McGregor on Black Panther and Sabre.

20 years ago April 2, 2002 Australian artist Stanley Pitt dies at age 77. In addition to his Australian comics contributions, his science fiction and fantasy work appeared in such DC comics as The Witching Hour and such Gold Key series as Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery and The Twilight Zone.

20 years ago April 4, 2002 Italian artist Camillo Zuffi dies 15 days before his 90th birthday. He co-created Il Piccolo Sceriffo with Tristiano Torelli.

15 years ago April 5, 2007 Bryon Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland graphic novel is released.

15 years ago April 7, 2007 Johnny Hart dies of a stroke at age 76. He created B.C. and (with Brant Parker) co-created The Wizard of Id.

And here are the anniversaries spanning the month of April…

85 years ago April 1937 With Ace Comics #1, David McKay Publications brings Blondie, Jungle Jim, Krazy Kat, and more to comic book anthology form.

80 years ago April 1942 Marvel’s Joker Comics #1 introduces Basil Wolverton’s Powerhouse Pepper.

80 years ago April 1942 The cover of Lev Gleason’s Boy Comics #3 (which is, yes, the first issue) boasts, “We give you The Crimebuster created by Charles Biro and Bob Wood, who gave you Daredevil Comics! Remember we did it first!” It also introduces Bombshell, but CB turns out to be a major kid hero for the line – especially in conflict with Iron Jaw, who’s also introduced.

80 years ago April 1942 “Introducing The Newsboy Legion with The Guardian!” is DC’s Star Spangled Comics #7. The story is by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and their kid team consists of Big Words, Gabby, Scrapper, and Tommy Thompkins. (Also introduced in the issue: Robotman by Jerry Siegel, Leo Nowak, and Paul Cassidy.)

80 years ago April 1942 The super-heroic cover reminds us to “Remember Pearl Harbor!” But it should also be noted that Archie’s Pep Comics #26 is the first time we meet Veronica Lodge, created by Bob Montana.

70 years ago April 1952 Yeah, there were only two issues of Harvey Comics Library. Why didn’t it catch on? After all, this month’s #1 cover-features “Teen-Age Dope Slaves”! (Hey, wait a minute, in tiny type, it also says, “As exposed by Rex Morgan, M.D.” So … Licensed strip reprints, maybe? Strip writer is Nicholas P. Dallis, and artists are Marvin Bradley and John Frank Edgington.)

60 years ago April 1962 In “The Kookie Super-Ape,” DC’s Adventure Comics #295 introduces Bizarro-Titano. (He am using blue kryptonite vision in a story by Jerry Siegel and John Forte.)

55 years ago April 1967 Lightning Comics’ Fatman the Human Flying Saucer #1 introduces Fatman (“the only comic hero with 3 identities”), created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck.

55 years ago April 1967 Yeah, yeah, yeah, the cover of Marvel’s Tales to Astonish #90 features Sub-Mariner, Byrrah, and other characters from the Sub-Mariner story. But it’s “The Abomination!” Hulk story by Stan Lee and Gil Kane that introduces (you guessed it!) The Abomination.

55 years ago April 1967 “Birds of a feather fight together!” Gold Key’s The Owl #1 reintroduces the Crackajack Funnies character in a story by Jerry Siegel and Tom Gill. Admittedly, the series lasts only two issues.

50 years ago April 1972 DC begins publishing Tarzan with #207, acquired from Western/Gold Key. Book One of “Origin of the Ape-Man” (based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel) is edited, written, and illustrated by Joe Kubert.

50 years ago April 1972 DC suspends Green Lantern with #89. (It’ll be back, but not for more than four years.)

50 years ago April 1972 Bill DuBay is named Warren magazines’ art director and production manager.

50 years ago April 1972 Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula begins with a story written by Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas and drawn by Gene Colan.

50 years ago April 1972 “Tomorrow’s superhero … today!” Marvel Premiere #1 features The Power of … Warlock. Mind you, the character was officially known as “Him” when introduced nearly five years earlier. Nevertheless, he’s back and revamped. The story is by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, and Dan Adkins.

45 years ago April 1977 Heavy Metal from the publishers of National Lampoon begins the U.S. version of Métal Hurlant.

45 years ago April 1977 He’s “DC’s boldest new superhero!” In the “Thunderous origin issue!” Black Lightning #1 introduces Black Lightning by Tony Isabella, Trevor Von Eeden, and Frank Springer. (It also introduces Peter Gambi.)

45 years ago April 1977 Marvel cancels Two-Gun Kid with #136 and Marvel Spotlight with #33.

45 years ago April 1977 Rip Off Press introduces Rip Off Comix.

40 years ago April 1982 “Bullseye vs. Elektra One wins. One dies.” OK, we know what happens in Marvel’s Daredevil #181, right? No spoilers here, but you can guess. “Last Hand” is by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson.

35 years ago April 1987 Archie ends Laugh Comics with #400 and Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica with #347. (The cover of Archie’s Girls says, “The last issue!!! … Or is it?” The answer is yes.)

35 years ago April 1987 Paul Chadwick’s Concrete series begins from Dark Horse. (It will win a Harvey Award and five Eisner Awards.)

35 years ago April 1987 Fantagraphics publishes Carol Lay’s Good Girls #1.

35 years ago April 1987 Sorry, completists! Capital City Distribution announces that to buy one copy of each black and white and color comic book in April will cost $376.55.

35 years ago April 1987 “One moment of anger … and their lives are changed forever!” Marvel’s Fallen Angels #1 by Jo Duffy, Kerry Gammill, and Tom Palmer is the start of a limited series.

35 years ago April 1987 Look who’s here! DC’s Spectre #1 brings the character (who was introduced in More Fun Comics #52 (February 1940)) back yet again, this time for vengeance. “Vessels” is by Doug Moench, Gene Colan, and Steve Mitchell – and introduces Kim Liang as a supporting character.

35 years ago April 1987 Star Blazers comes to comic books via Comico, complete with a summary of the first two seasons of the anime. “S.O.S. Argo” is by Phil Foglio, Doug Rice, and Mike Chen.

30 years ago April 1992 DC cancels Starman with #45.

30 years ago April 1992 Xenozoic Tales #12 from Kitchen Sink features “Two Cities” by writer-artist Mark Schultz. It will win the Eisner Award for best Short Story of the year.

30 years ago April 1992 “At last! The spawn of Venom!” (Yeah, not that Spawn; that’ll come next month from Image. This is the Marvel spawn. Of Venom.) Cletus Kasady becomes Carnage in “Savage Genesis” by David Michelinie, Mark Bagley, and Randy Emberlin in The Amazing Spider-Man #361.

30 years ago April 1992 Woo hoo! “1st issue collectors’ item! Unleashing the power!” With Cage #1, “Marvel’s hottest action hero returns!” Which is to say, it’s not an introduction, but you knew that already, right? “The Drowning Man” is by Marc McLaurin, Dwayne Turner, and Chris Ivy. It’s a new set-up with Luke Cage working for a Chicago newspaper.

30 years ago April 1992 OK, sure, we got a peek at the super-team in Megaton: Explosion in 1987, but now Rob Liefeld’s gang gets its own Image series (with dialogue by Hank Kanalz), starting with Youngblood #1.

25 years ago April 1997 Marvel cancels Punisher with #18. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last; noted anyway.

25 years ago April 1997 Archie’s Cheryl and Jason Blossom were introduced in Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica #320 and Jughead #325 (October 1982), and she got a three-issue showcase in 1995. Now, Cheryl Blossom #1 marks the start of her very own series.

25 years ago April 1997 “From the pages of Starman by James Robinson and Gene Ha,” it’s DC’s The Shade #1 featuring “A Family Affair: Piers 1838.”

25 years ago April 1997 “Discover the shocking secret behind Marvel’s newest champions!” Thunderbolts #1 provides “double-sized debut excitement.” “Justice … like Lightning!” is by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, and Vince Russell and introduces Dallas Riordan and Hallie Takahama. (The team first appeared earlier in the year, but this issue reveals stuff. Spoilers!)

20 years ago April 2002 DC’s Batman #600 features the first part of “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” by Ed Brubaker, Scott McDaniel, and Andy Owens. (The second installment of the story (by Greg Rucka, Steve Lieber, and Mick Gray) will be in Detective Comics #768 (May 2002).)

15 years ago April 2007 Marvel’s Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #1 brings the Stephen King character to comics in a story by King, Robin Furth, Peter David, and Jae Lee.

15 years ago April 2007 Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #1 begins “an all-new Shazam adventure by the award-winning creator of Bone!” Jeff Smith’s version of Fawcett’s Captain Marvel comes from DC.

10 years ago April 2012 Resident Alien #0 from Dark Horse is by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. (Note: It includes material that appeared in the September 2011 Dark Horse Presents #4.) Alan Tudyk will eventually star as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle in the TV series.

10 years ago April 2012 He was introduced in Archie’s Veronica #202 (November 2010), created by Dan Parent, and now he gets his own ongoing series! Kevin Keller #1 replaces Veronica (and carries the statement of ownership for that series).

10 years ago April 2012 Let’s face it: Marvel’s Winter Soldier #1 and #2 don’t introduce Bucky Barnes, nor are they even the first issues of a Marvel comic book with “Winter Soldier” in the title. Nonetheless, they kick off a Winter Soldier series with a story by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice.

5 years ago April 2017 Included in a bunch of DC Universe “Rebirth” releases, Super Sons begins. “When I Grow Up” is by Peter J. Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez.

5 years ago April 2017 Archie titles it Riverdale, One-Shot – and that’s what it is. Stories feature Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead.

5 years ago April 2017 Marvel releases some first issues with variant covers. There’s Kingpin #1, with Wilson Fisk asking Sarah Dewey to write his biography. (“Born Against” is by Matthew Rosenberg and Ben Torres.) And Bullseye #1. And Elektra #1. And Star Wars: Darth Maul #1. Collect them all!
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April 1

The Golden Age of Comic Books describes an era of American comic books from the late 1930s to circa 1950. During this time, modern comic books were first published and rapidly increased in popularity. The superhero archetype was created and many well-known characters were introduced. The first recorded use of the term “Golden Age” was by Richard A. Lupoff in an article, “Re-Birth”, published in the first issue of Fanzine’s Comic Art on April 1, 1960. An event cited by many as marking the beginning of the Golden Age was the 1938 debut of Superman in Action Comics #1, Superman’s popularity helped make comic books a major arm of publishing, which led rival companies to create superheroes of their own to emulate Superman’s success. Although DC and Timely (Marvel) characters are well-remembered today, circulation figures suggest that the best-selling superhero title of the era was Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel with sales of about 1.4 million copies per issue. The comic was published biweekly at one point to capitalize on its popularity. As comic books grew in popularity, publishers began launching titles that expanded into a variety of genres. Dell Comics’ non-superhero characters outsold the superhero comics of the day. The publisher featured licensed movie and literary characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Roy Rogers and Tarzan. Additionally, MLJ’s introduction of Archie Andrews in Pep Comics #22 gave rise to teen humor comics, with the Archie Andrews character remaining in print well into the 21st century.

Swamp Thing first appeared in House of Secrets #92 (April 1, 1971), under the name Alex Olsen. The comic is set in the early 20th century, when Olsen, a scientist, is caught in a lab explosion caused by his co-worker, Damian Ridge, who intended to kill him to gain the hand of Olsen’s wife Linda. Olsen is physically altered by chemicals and the forces within the swamp. He is transformed into a monstrous creature who kills Ridge before the latter can murder Linda, who has started to suspect Ridge of murdering Alex. Unable to make Linda realize his true identity, he returns to the swamp. After the success of the short story in the House of Secrets comic, the original creators were asked to write an ongoing series, depicting a more heroic, more contemporary creature. Len Wein came up with the idea for the character while riding a subway in Queens. He later recalled, “I didn’t have a title for it, so I kept referring to it as ‘that swamp thing I’m working on.’ And that’s how it got its name!”

Storm first appeared in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (April 1, 1975). Storm’s mother, N'Dare, was the princess of a tribe in Kenya and descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses with white hair, blue eyes, and a natural gift for sorcery. N'Dare falls in love with and marries American photojournalist David Munroe. They move to Harlem in uptown New York City, where Ororo is born. They later moved to Egypt and lived there until they die during the Suez Crisis in a botched aircraft attack, leaving six-year-old Ororo as an orphan. Her violent claustrophobia is established as a result of being buried under tons of rubble after that attack. She becomes a skilled thief in Cairo under the benign Achmed el-Gibar and wanders into the Serengeti as a young woman. She is worshipped as a goddess when her powers appear before being recruited by Professor X for the X-Men. Storm is one of the most powerful mutants on Earth and has demonstrated a plethora of abilities, most of which are facets of her power to manipulate the weather.

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I'm slackin' off here lol!

April 2

Oumpah-pah le Peau-Rouge (Ompa-pa the Redskin) features the adventures of Ompa-pa, a Native American of the Flatfeet tribe, and his friend, the French officer Hubert Brussels Sprout, whom Ompa-pa calls Two-scalp, a reference to his wig. The series is set in the eighteenth century during the age of French colonization in America. Ompa-pa is strong and quick, and loves to eat pemmican. He is an honest and trustworthy brave. Hubert Brussels Sprout, whom the Flatfeet initially hold as a prisoner, subsequently serves as a mediator between the Europeans and the Native Americans, and is also an ally against the tribe known as the Sockitoomee, the sworn enemies of the Flatfeet. Ompa-pa was the very first character created by Uderzo and Goscinny, but initially failed to raise the interest of any publisher. The idea remained shelved for several years until the concept was adapted for publication in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin. The finished series made its debut on April 2, 1958.

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April 3

Uncle Sam first appeared in National Comics #1 (April 3, 1940), which was published by Quality Comics. He was depicted as a mystical being who was originally the spirit of a slain patriotic soldier from the American Revolutionary War, and who now appears in the world whenever his country needs him. DC Comics acquired the character as part of its acquisition of the Quality characters in the 1950s, and he was used as a supporting character in Justice League of America in the 1970s. This established Uncle Sam as the leader of the Freedom Fighters, a team of former Quality characters that briefly received its own title. This team was initially based on a parallel world called Earth-X, where World War II had lasted into the 1970s.

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