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January 24

The Beyonder first appeared in Secret Wars #1 (January 24,1984) as an unseen, nearly omnipotent being who kidnapped the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe and had them do battle on another planet called Battleworld. The Beyonder is the sum total of an entire multiverse called the Beyond-Realm or simply “Beyond”, hence the name “Beyonder”. This dimension was originally believed to be accidentally accessed by lab technician Owen Reece. Part of the energy from the dimension escapes and imbues Reece with near-infinite powers, which he wields as the villainous Molecule Man. The remaining energy of the pocket dimension gains sentience and curiosity, and becomes the Beyonder. The Beyonder creates a planet called “Battleworld” out of pieces of various planets and abducts a number of superheroes and supervillains from Earth and forces them to fight each other so that he can observe the never-ending battle between good and evil.

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January 25

The Royal Flush Gang are a group of playing card-themed supervillains who are usually thwarted by the superheroes they encounter. They first appeared in Justice League of America #43 (January 25, 1966). Their code names based on an ace-high straight in poker: King, Queen, Jack, Ten and Ace. The original Royal Flush Gang was Professor Amos Fortune’s childhood gang. With Fortune himself as Ace, they fought the Justice League on two occasions, using Fortune’s luck-altering “stellaration” technology to realize the fortune-telling significance of playing cards. After Fortune abandoned the Gang, they attempted to steal paintings containing clues to a hidden treasure but were thwarted by the Joker’s manipulations. Fortune’s gang wore costumes based on the suit of clubs. The second Royal Flush Gang was set up by Green Lantern villain Hector Hammond. Hammond led the group as “Wildcard”. This version wore costumes based on the suit of spades. The gang split up and went on to have separate criminal careers before re-establishing themselves, without Hammond.

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January 26

Jack Taggert worked on an experimental pilotable suit for Project: Firepower for Edwin Cord. Taggert debuted in Iron Man #230 (January 26, 1988). The project was ostensibly designated by the U.S. Armed Forces, in conjunction with Senator Boynton, to serve as an ultimate deterrent against opponents of the United States. However, when Iron Man launched his “Armor Wars”, attacking armored villains and even government agents without provocation, the Firepower program was modified with the specific goal of stopping Iron Man. While Taggert continued to train for the fight with Iron Man using a simulator rig, Boynton invited Tony Stark out to the first formal demonstration of the Firepower suit, believing that Iron Man would somehow find out from his “ex-employer”, and hoping to lure the rogue Avenger into a trap. Stark chose to observe the tests from an SE helicopter, piloted by Jim Rhodes, thus allowing Stark to slip away as Iron Man and attack Firepower without his absence being noticed by Boynton or the military. Iron Man found that the massive Firepower suit was able to withstand his attacks, and Firepower was even able to ambush Iron Man through a canyon wall. However, Stark and Rhodey quickly realized that the military would consider them “acceptable losses” in stopping Iron Man, so just as Taggert was being ordered to target the chopper, Iron Man flew away. Taggert launched the “Terminax”, a low-power nuclear missile, and completely destroyed the Iron Man armor, leaving its bloody bits to fall to the desert floor.

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January 27

In 1898, Mina Harker (née Murray) is recruited by Campion Bond on behalf of British Intelligence and asked to assemble a league of other extraordinary individuals to protect the interests of the Empire. Together with Captain Nemo, Mina travels to Cairo to locate Allan Quatermain, then on to Paris in search of Dr. Jekyll; finally in London she forcibly recruits Hawley Griffin, The Invisible Man, who completes this incarnation of the League. Meeting with Professor Cavor, the League is sent against Fu Manchu in his Limehouse lair, who has stolen the only known sample of cavorite and plans to use it to build an armed airship, against which Britain would have little defence. Having eventually retrieved the cavorite, the League delivers it into the hands of their employer — none other than Professor Moriarty, who plans to use it in an airship of his own, with which he will bomb his adversary’s Limehouse lair flat, taking large parts of London and the League itself with it. An aerial battle above London commences, and the League eventually triumphs. Mycroft Holmes replaces Moriarty as the League’s employer, and the extraordinary individuals are given the task of remaining in the service of the Crown, awaiting England’s call. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen began adventuring in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1 (January 27, 1999).

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January 28

The Comics Code Authority (CCA) was revised a number of times during 1971, initially on January 28, 1971, to allow for, among other things, the sometimes “sympathetic depiction of criminal behavior… [and] corruption among public officials” (“as long as it is portrayed as exceptional and the culprit is punished”) as well as permitting some criminal activities to kill law-enforcement officers and the “suggestion but not portrayal of seduction.” Also newly allowed were “vampires, ghouls and werewolves… when handled in the classic tradition such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and other high caliber literary works. Zombies, lacking the requisite "literary” background, remained taboo.

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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 January 28 through February 3, 2022...

130 years ago February 2, 1892 James Crighton is born. The British artist works for DC Thomson and creates The Dandy’s “Korky the Cat.”

120 years ago February 1, 1902 Dutch artist and political cartoonist Huib de Ru is born.

110 years ago February 2, 1912 Golden Age artist-editor Creig Flessel is born. Especially known for his DC/National work for some of that company’s early comics, he also works for Magazine Enterprises, pulp magazines, and more.

105 years ago January 31, 1917 José Guadalupe Cruz is born. The Mexican writer-artist sometimes uses photo montages and is called the first Mexican comics artist to become independent and begin his own publishing house, Ediciones José G. Cruz.

95 years ago January 30, 1927 Award-winning Belgian artist and creator of the Jommeke series Jef Nys is born.

80 years ago January 29, 1942 Belgian writer and Spirou editor Thierry Martens is born.

75 years ago January 28, 1947 Daerick Gross is born. The artist and editor for such companies as CFW, Pacific, Innovation, Heroic, and Marvel is head of Studio G.

70 years ago January 27, 1952 Hey, remember last week, when I wrote for January 24, 1952, “Steve Leialoha is born. He provides art for a variety of comics companies including Marvel, DC, and Harris”? Well, kindly Tony Isabella (who needs to be acknowledged, because I’d never have noticed otherwise) has pointed out that Leialoha was actually celebrating his 70th birthday yesterday, on the 27th. Because that’s the correct date.

70 years ago January 30, 1952 Dann Maxx Thomas is born. She writes comics for Marvel and DC and originates the concept of DC’s Arak.

70 years ago February 2, 1952 Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby comic strip ends.

65 years ago January 30, 1957 Award-winning cartoonist and writer Guy Gilchrist is born. His work includes material for Muppets, Nancy, and Today’s Dogg.

65 years ago February 1, 1957 Gilberto Hernandez is born. The Love and Rockets writer-artist is known especially for Palomar and Luba.

50 years ago January 28, 1972 Italian writer-artist Dino Buzzati dies at age 65.

50 years ago February 2, 1972 Hungarian artist István Pesthy (who worked as “Falus”) dies at age 65.

45 years ago January 29, 1977 Marvel and DC artist Bob Brown dies of leukemia at age 61.

45 years ago February 1, 1977 Writer Edmond Hamilton dies at age 72 of complications of kidney surgery. He was especially known for his pulp science fiction and his work on Superman connected stories.

40 years ago January 29, 1982 Artist John Liney dies at age 69 or 70. He ghosted Carl Anderson’s Henry strip and drew the Dell Henry comic book.

40 years ago February 3, 1982 Norwegian artist Arent Christensen dies at age 87. He worked with writer Christian Haugen on adventure and science fiction comics.

35 years ago February 2, 1987 British writer-artist Ken Reid dies at age 67. He worked on DC Thomson features for The Beano and The Dandy.

25 years ago February 3, 1997 A pioneer of Uruguayan comics, artist Geoffrey Foladori, dies at age 88. He worked as “Fola.”

10 years ago January 31, 2012 Spanish writer Antonio Segura dies at age 64. He worked with artists including José Ortiz and (for the award-winning Eva Medusa series) Ana Miralles.

10 years ago February 2, 2012 George J. Smith dies three days before his 92nd birthday. He co-created the comic strip The Smith Family with Virginia Quinlan Smith. His The Poor Pop panel cartoon was credited to “George.”

5 years ago January 28, 2017 Prolific artist Dan Spiegle dies at age 96. He worked for Dell, Gold Key, Marvel, DC, and Eclipse, co-created Space Family Robinson with Del Connell, and drew many stories scripted by Mark Evanier.

5 years ago January 28, 2017 Dutch artist, entrepreneur, and publisher Joop Wiggers dies at age 82.

And here are the anniversaries spanning the month of February…

110 years ago February 1912 The Munsey pulp The All-Story publishes the first installment of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Under the Moons of Mars, which introduces the character John Carter of Mars. (The author is credited as “Norman Bean.”)

85 years ago February 1937 Giddy up! It’s cowboy time in comics! Introducing the genre, Comics Magazine Company offers Western Picture Stories (“Fast Action” including “Top Hand” by Will Eisner). And Chesler kicks off Star Ranger (“Action … Speed … Excitement” including “Silver Saddle” and “Lariat Law” drawn by Creig Flessel). That and Star Comics (“Fun for the Kiddies … the Grown-Ups too!”) introduce the Chesler line this month, too, come to think of it.

80 years ago February 1942 “First Issue! All New! All Complete!” It’s Better Publications’ America’s Best Comics #1 featuring The Woman in Red, Captain Future (not the pulps’ Curtis Newton, created by Mort Weisinger a year or two earlier), The Black Terror, Doc (not Doctor) Strange, The Liberator, and Secret Ace! On the cover, Terror, Tim, Strange, and Mike are, for some reason, being shot out of a cannon as part of the celebration and seem pretty much at ease, despite the experience.

80 years ago February 1942 There are only three issues of Western’s Camp Comics, but it’s interesting to note that this is an attempt to design comic books specifically for sale to Armed Forces members, as America enters World War II. The kneeling pin-up on the first issue prays, “and please … see that he confines his maneuvers to the army!” Two stories are by Walt Kelly (and one features Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny).

80 years ago February 1942 He doesn’t get a mention on the cover of DC’s Detective Comics #60, but the issue introduces Air Wave, who even asks readers to let the editor know whether they like him. “The Case of the Missing Evidence!” is signed by Lee Harris.

80 years ago February 1942 DC’s Adventure Comics #71 provides Hourman sidekick Jimmy Martin with his own Hourman costume and introduces the Miraclo Ray device to replace the (um, yeah) power granting pill. The story is drawn by Bernard Baily.

80 years ago 1942 DC’s Action Comics #45 contains the first appearance of the Vigilante sidekick Stuff in “The Head!” by Mort Weisinger and Mort Meskin.

80 years ago 1942 DC’s Sensation Comics #2 introduces Etta Candy and The Holliday Girls in a story by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter.

80 years ago February 1942 “You’ve seen him in the movies – You’ve read his hair raising stories,” says the cover of Lev Gleason’s Silver Streak Comics #18. “Now! For the first time in any comic magazine!” The Saint (whose first appearance in a novel was in Charteris’ Meet the Tiger in 1928) is “written especially for Silver Streak Comics by Leslie Charteris.” “The Saint was next on the scaffold of doom but he wouldn’t say die.” It’s drawn by Edd Ashe.

75 years ago 1947 “Introducing Peter Porkchops and a Flock of Brand New Animal Friends!” The story in DC’s Leading Comics #23 is drawn by Otto Feuer. (Aw, Wolfie adopts newcomer Porkchops! Sweet! Might he have an ulterior motive? Could be.)

75 years ago February 1947 DC’s Funny Stuff #18 introduces Dunbar Dodo and Fenimore Frog in a story by Woody Gelman and Otto Feuer.

70 years ago February 1952 “Jolting Tales of Tension in the EC Tradition!” Shock SuspenStories #1 is jolting, indeed!

70 years ago February 1952 Did you notice the first entry in this month’s “publications” listings? Dell Four Color #375 is John Carter of Mars. The introduction of the 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs character to comic books is drawn by Jesse Marsh.

70 years ago February 1952 Marvel launches Battle Action with the first issue cover featuring “Bayonet Charge!”

70 years ago February 1952 Patsy Walker and Hedy Wolfe were introduced in a story by Stuart Little and Ruth Atkinson in Miss America Magazine #2 (November 1944). Now, they get their very own series, starting with Marvel’s Patsy and Hedy #1.

70 years ago February 1952 Charlton kicks off The Thing with #1, announcing “Weird tales of fantasy and horror!” and actually carrying a text story titled “The Thing!”

60 years ago February 1962 There will be only two issues of Kookie, but fans of John Stanley’s work still hunt for copies of this Stanley-scripted Dell first issue (drawn by Bill Williams).

60 years ago February 1962 “At last – by popular demand! Superman Presents Supergirl to the World!” About time, just saying, considering he’s been hiding her since DC’s Action Comics #252. In this story by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney in Action Comics #285, there’s a guest appearance by John Kennedy.

60 years ago February 1962 DC’s Adventure Comics #293 proclaims, “Extra! Lex Luthor becomes a Bizarro in this issue!” “The Good Deeds of Bizarro-Luthor!” is by Jerry Siegel and John Forte. Unmentioned on the cover is that The Legion of Super Pets (including the first appearance of Comet the Super-Horse) is introduced in “The Legion of Super-Traitors” by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan, and George Klein.

55 years ago February 1967 Harvey cancels Warfront with #39.

55 years ago February 1967 DC’s Justice League of America #51 reunites Zatanna and Zatara in #51 in “Z – as in Zatanna – and Zero Hour” by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky, and Sid Greene.

55 years ago February 1967 Gold Key’s The Green Hornet #1 features a cover photo of Van Williams and Bruce Lee and brings the media character (created for radio in 1936 and already featured in Harvey comics in the 1940s) to 1960s comics with art by Dan Spiegle.

55 years ago February 1967 A Silver Age Ghost Rider gets his own new series from Marvel in Ghost Rider #1. “The Origin of the Ghost Rider” is by Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas, Vince Colletta – and Dick Ayers, who worked on the cowboy character in the 1950s.

50 years ago February 1972 DC’s The Brave and the Bold offers a “spectacular 100th issue.”

50 years ago February 1972 DC’s The New Gods #7 introduces Tigra and tells the origin of Scott Free in “The Pact” by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.

50 years ago February 1972 Tarzan of the Apes #206 is the last in the series to carry the Gold Key brand. As the cover notes, “Tarzan and the Lion Man” is “Adapted from the famous story by Edgar Rice Burroughs.” It’s adapted by Gaylord Du Bois and drawn by Paul Norris.

50 years ago February 1972 “He drained the life-energy of the Justice Leaguers – and became the most terrifying menace in the universe!” DC’s Justice League of America #96 introduces Starbreaker in a story by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella.

50 years ago February 1972 “The moon – It’s so full – so bright – and – I’m starting to change again.” Oh, no! Marvel Spotlight #2 introduces Werewolf by Night. The story is by Roy and Jean Thomas, Gerry Conway, and Mike Ploog.

50 years ago February 1972 “What shocking truth made the town he saved fear Jonah Hex?” Maybe that he hasn’t fixed that icky mouth thing? DC’s All-Star Western #10 introduces Jonah Hex in “Welcome to Paradise” by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga.

45 years ago February 1977 Marvel ends Ka-Zar with #20.

45 years ago February 1977 Gold Key cancels The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor with #24.

45 years ago February 1977 DC ends its run of Tarzan with #258.

45 years ago February 1977 DC ends Star Spangled War Stories with #204. (Mind you, its numbering will continue with Unknown Soldier.)

45 years ago February 1977 The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #33 and Planet of the Apes #29 are the last issues of those Marvel magazines.

45 years ago February 1977 It’s the end of National Periodical Publications, Inc. The last comics published by the company under this name carry this publication date. Beginning with its March 1977 titles, comics are published by the newly named DC Comics Inc. (Yeah, no comma.)

45 years ago February 1977 “Don’t miss the nerve numbing origin of mighty Marvel’s newest sensation!” Marvel Spotlight #32 introduces Spider-Woman, who seems to have a grudge against Nick Fury. (Doggone that Hydra!) “Dark Destiny!” is by Archie Goodwin, Sal Buscema, and Jim Mooney.

45 years ago February 1977 “Beginning: The most awesomely offbeat series of all times … featuring the stories your letters have demanded!!” The first issue of Marvel’s What If? offers “What If Spider-Man Had Joined The Fantastic Four?” by Roy Thomas, Jim Craig, and Pablo Marcos.

45 years ago February 1977 DC Comics introduces the Milton Glaser designed DC “bullet” logo on its comics.

40 years ago February 1982 Epic Illustrated (“The Marvel Magazine of Fantasy & Science-Fiction”) #10 introduces Marada the She-Wolf in a story by Chris Claremont and John Bolton.

40 years ago February 1982 Marvel’s The Savage She-Hulk #25 is the last issue, with a cover proclaiming “The END of The She-Hulk.”

40 years ago February 1982 “Extra! Meet the incredible Captain Carrot and his amazing Zoo Crew in a special free 16-page preview comic!” The New Teen Titans #16 introduces them in “an instant collector’s item – from the new DC!” “This Bunny Unbound!” is by Roy Thomas, Scott Shaw!, Ross Andru, and Bob Smith.

40 years ago February 1982 Pacific Comics publishes the first issue of Starslayer, a creator owned bimonthly by Mike Grell. It introduces Starslayer (“a Celtic barbarian in the far flung future”) – and offers a promo ad for Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer, destined to start in #2.

35 years ago February 1987 DC’s Wonder Woman resumes publication, starting with a new #1 with Wonder Woman’s origin story. “The Princess and the Power!” is by Greg Potter, George Pérez, and Bruce Patterson.

35 years ago February 1987 DC’s The Question #1 kicks off a new series with “The Bad News” by Dennis O’Neil, Denys Cowan, and Rick Magyar – and includes Editor Mike Gold’s history of the character.

35 years ago February 1987 DC’s Batman #404 begins the story arc “Batman: Year One” by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli and introduces Selina Kyle to modern continuity (though she doesn’t yet get her Catwoman costume).

35 years ago February 1987 Marvel’s Doctor Strange #81 is the last issue. “The Tongues of Men and Angels” is by Peter B. Gillis, Chris Warner, and Randy Emberlin. (Don’t worry. The Doc will be back.)

35 years ago February 1987 Xenozoic Tales makes its debut from Kitchen Sink. Created by writer-artist Mark Schultz, it’s a future with dinosaurs that follows his story “Xenozoic!” and will soon morph into pop culture including an incarnation known as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.

35 years ago February 1987 Archie cancels Archie and Me with #161 and Archie at Riverdale High with #113.

35 years ago February 1987 Marvel begins the limited series Comet Man. The first issue, introducing Comet Man, is created by Bill Mumy, Miguel Ferrer, and Kelley Jones, written by Mumy and Ferrer, and drawn by Jones (whose name is misspelled in the issue) and Gerry Talaoc.

35 years ago February 1987 Comics market distributor Glenwood is cut off by four publishers. (It ceases business by May.)

30 years ago February 1992 Marvel’s reprints of Will Shetterly and Vince Stone’s Captain Confederacy ends with #4.

30 years ago February 1992 The cover featured statements “Giant-sized special!” and “Cancelled!” and “Last issue!” do happen to appear on the last issue of Marvel’s ALF series (#50). Fair warning. The stories are written by Michael Gallagher and drawn by Dave Manak and Marie Severin.

30 years ago February 1992 Dark Horse introduces John Byrne’s Next Men with #0 and #1, written and drawn by (indeed!) John Byrne.

30 years ago February 1992 In “the jump-on point for a major space epic,” DC’s Action Comics #674 reintroduces Supergirl. In fact, a casual shopper might think the title is Supergirl in Action Comics, because that’s what the cover says. “The Past Is Prologue” is by Roger Stern, Bob McLeod, and Denis Rodier.

30 years ago February 1992 Valiant introduces X-O Manowar in (indeed! again) X-O Manowar #1. “Into the Fire” is by Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart, Barry Windsor-Smith, Bob Layton, and Jon Holdredge.

30 years ago February 1992 “In a blaze of power …” DC’s The Ray #1 introduces the second The Ray. “Grander than Fire” is by Jack C. Harris, Joe Quesada, and Art Nichols. The series lasts only six issues but provides a link from the Golden Age The Ray (who’s still in the story) to this later incarnation to … well … more recent continuity. Keeping track …

30 years ago February 1992 Image Comics is founded by Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino in order to let them keep the rights to the material they create.

25 years ago February 1997 “The cutting edge of magik just got sharper!” DC’s The Book of Fate #1 is by Keith Giffen, Ron Wagner, and Bill Reinhold.

25 years ago February 1997 Olio’s Castle Waiting #1 is by Linda Medley. The project will win an Eisner Award for Best New Series of the year.

20 years ago February 2002 Marvel’s Cable #100 says, “’Nuff Said” on the cover – but that’s because it’s Marvel’s ’Nuff Said month (see Incredible Hulk #35, etc.), not because of the series celebration. “C” is by David Tischman and Igor Kordey.

20 years ago February 2002 DC’s Deadman #1 isn’t the first Deadman #1 and won’t be the last, but hey. The story is by Steve Vance, Josep Beroy, and Dan Green.

20 years ago February 2002 Marvel’s Nightcrawler #1 isn’t the first Nightcrawler #1 and won’t be the last, but hey (again). Part One of the four-part story is by Chris Kipiniak, Matthew Smith, and Mark Morales.

20 years ago February 2002 Giant-Size Mini-Marvels: Starring Spidey #1 (and only) features “48 pages of mini Marvel mayhem” (and actually co-stars a whole bunch of Marvel characters) written and drawn by Chris Giarrusso.

20 years ago February 2002 DC’s Haven: The Broken City #1 guest stars The JLA. “History Lesson” is by Ashley-Jayne Nicolaus, Matthew P. Schuster, and Ariel Olivetti.

20 years ago February 2002 Marvel’s Moment of Silence #1 (and only), “Saluting the Heroes of September 11th,” is a celebration of those heroes.

15 years ago February 2007 DC’s The Spirit #1 (following January’s Batman/The Spirit #1) introduces Darwyn Cooke’s take on a lone Will Eisner’s The Spirit in “Ice Ginger Coffee,” inked by J. Bone.

15 years ago February 2007 DC’s Batman Confidential begins with Part One of “Rules of Engagement” by Andy Diggle, Whilce Portacio, and Richard Friend.

15 years ago February 2007 “A new era in horror begins!” DC/Wildstorm’s Friday the 13th #1 is by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Adam Archer, and Peter Guzman – and is a title licensed from New Line Cinema.

15 years ago February 2007 The first issue of Justice Society of America features a request to reactivate the DC team. “The Next Age” is by Geoff Johns, Dave Eaglesham, Art Thibert, and Alex Ross.

15 years ago February 2007 Marvel’s New Avengers: Illuminati #1 is by Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed, Jim Cheung, and Mark Morales. With the end of the war with the Kree, what’s next for these super-guys?

15 years ago February 2007 And, while Marvel is at it, what was an effect of The White Event? In Newuniversal #1, “Enter” is by Warren Ellis and Salvador Larroca.

15 years ago February 2007 The first issue of DC’s Welcome to Tranquility features a retirement community for superfolk. “Fade to Grey” is by Gail Simone and Neil Googe.

10 years ago February 2012 Marvel’s Daredevil #7 is by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera, and Joe Rivera. It will win an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue or One-Shot of the year.

10 years ago February 2012 Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint from Image releases the first issue of Thief of Thieves, created by Kirkman with a story by Kirkman, Nick Spencer, and Shawn Martinbrough.

10 years ago February 2012 You want variants? Marvel’s Avengers X-Sanction #1 has some. “Midnight” is by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, and Dexter Vines.

10 years ago February 2012 It’s not the first Marvel Defenders series and won’t be the last, but this one starts with “Breaker of Worlds Part 1” by Matt Fraction, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson.

5 years ago February 2017 Marvel’s Gamora limited series kicks off with the first part of “Memento Mori” by Nicole Perlman and Marco Checchetto.

5 years ago February 2017 Marvel starts another Hawkeye series – in this case, starring detective Kate Bishop. The story is by Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero. “The adorable archer takes aim – on danger!”

5 years ago February 2017 Do we have to keep saying this sort of thing? There have been first issues of Marvel’s Hulk before, and there will be again. The first part of this series – “Deconstructed” – is by Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon. (Surprise: There are many variant covers.)

5 years ago February 2017 OK, variant covers you want, variant covers you got. Collect them all, right? DC’s Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 features lots of them, along with the first chapter of the story by Joshua Williamson and Jason Fabok.

5 years ago February 2017 The first issue of The Mighty Captain Marvel (yes, it’s from Marvel) is #0 by Margaret Stohl, Emilio Laiso, and Ramon Rosanas.

5 years ago February 2017 The most recent Nova series from Marvel begins with a new adventure by Jeff Loveness and Ramón Pérez.

5 years ago February 2017 Marvel’s most recent solo Rocket Raccoon series begins with an installment by Matthew Rosenberg and Jorge Coelho.

5 years ago February 2017 Marvel’s Slapstick #1 features “That’s Not Funny!” by Reilly Brown, Fred Van Lente, and Diego Olortegue.

5 years ago February 2017 The first issue of the Star Wars connected Doctor Aphra series from Marvel does (surprise!) have a bunch of variant covers. The story is by Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker.

5 years ago February 2017 Marvel’s Star-Lord #1 features “Earth-Lord Part One: There’s No Place like Home” by Chip Zdarsky and Kris Anka.

5 years ago February 2017 The first installment of The Old Guard from Image is by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández. (Rucka will provide the screenplay for the 2020 film version, which will win awards including the Hugo for Best Longform Dramatic Presentation.)
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January 29

Brian Wood is an American writer, illustrator, and graphic designer. Born on January 29, 1972, he is known primarily as a comic book creator. Wood both writes, illustrates, and designs graphic novels and serialized monthly comic books. Wood’s first professional work in comics was the 5-issue miniseriesChannel Zero, published by Image Comics. In early 2000, Warren Ellis offered Wood a co-writing job on Marvel Comics’ Generation X, as part of Ellis’s Counter-X run. Wood returned to creator-owned comics between 2001 and 2003, producing several graphic novels and miniseries, including Couscous Express, The Couriers, and Jennie One for AIT, Pounded for Oni Press, and Fight For Tomorrow for DC’s imprint Vertigo. He also found time to work again with Warren Ellis, creating 14 covers for the Wildstorm series Global Frequency. In late 2003, Wood quit his staff job at Rockstar Games and teamed with artist Becky Cloonan to create the monthly series Demo. Demo proved so successful that Wood went on to replicate it, for his 12-issue series Local at Oni Press, drawn by artist Ryan Kelly. In August 2006, DC Comics announced that Brian Wood was signed to an exclusive contract. Wood co-created DMZ, a critically acclaimed ongoing series from Vertigo for which he is best-known, Northlanders, a historical-fiction series set during the Viking Age, The New York Four and The New York Five, a young adult series, and a new Demo miniseries. For DC/Wildstorm, he wrote a DV8 miniseries with Rebekah Isaacs, and a Supernatural miniseries with Grant Bond.

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January 30

The first recorded whereabouts of the mighty sorcerer now known as Felix Faust is from c. 5,000 BC, at which time he appeared in the legendary African empire of Kor. The king of Kor was Nommo, the prime wizard of his time and the guardian of the mystic power called the Flame of Life. Nommo then called the Flame of Life into himself, defeating the sorcerer by banishing him to another dimension. In the mid-1920s, a madman and aspiring magician named Dekan Drache stumbled upon the dimension and managed to open a portal to it. Released, the sorcerer destroyed Drache’s soul and entered his body. However, though alive on Earth once more, the sorcerer found his powers drastically reduced. Obsessed with restoring his mystic might, the sorcerer read the story of how the man called Faust had sold his soul to the devil for supernatural powers, and decided to do the same. The sorcerer now called himself Felix Faust and began a never-ending quest for mystical knowledge. Felix Faust first appeared in Justice League of America #10 (January 30, 1962), when he tried to gain some of his lost magical abilities by contacting the Demons Three. These three demons were brothers who ruled the galaxy a billion years ago before being banished by beings known as the Timeless Ones. The Demons Three have tried to return time and again, summoned by Felix Faust and others, their attempts always foiled by the Justice League.

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January 31

From 1984 to 1988, Spider-Man wore a black costume with a white spider design on his chest. The new costume originated in the Secret Wars limited series, on an alien planet where Spider-Man participates in a battle between Earth’s major superheroes and villains. He continues wearing the costume when he returns, starting in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (January 31, 1984). The change to a longstanding character’s design met with controversy, “with many hardcore comics fans decrying it as tantamount to sacrilege. Spider-Man’s traditional red and blue costume was iconic, they argued, on par with those of his D.C. rivals Superman and Batman.” The creators then revealed the costume was an alien symbiote which Spider-Man is able to reject after a difficult struggle, though the symbiote returns several times as Venom for revenge. Comics journalist and historian Mike Conroy writes of the character: “What started out as a replacement costume for Spider-Man turned into one of the Marvel web-slinger’s greatest nightmares.” It was writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz who had established that the costume was a sentient alien being and also that it was vulnerable to high sonic energy during their run on The Amazing Spider-Man.

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February 1

In the Mirage Studios Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, the Rat King makes his first appearance in Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 (February 1, 1988) as the story’s main antagonist. After residing in a swamp for several months, the Rat King decides to venture into a nearby abandoned industrial park and use it as shelter against the oncoming winter. There, the Rat King happens upon the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their friend Casey Jones, who had come to the industrial park to train. Believing the Turtles and Casey to be other “monsters” who wish to take his territory, the Rat King proceeds to stalk them throughout the park, even capturing Michelangelo and leaving him to be devoured by the rats. The Rat King is eventually defeated by Leonardo who, in a duel with the Rat King, flings several shurikens at him, which knock him off balance, sending him plummeting into the bowels of a silo. The Rat King was born and raised in Boston and later migrated to New York, he remains one of the more enigmatic characters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with various appearances depicting him as either a villain, a neutral character and even an ally of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Rat King has distinguishable attire, which consists of filthy, tattered rags and, most prominently, various bandages covering his body. The Rat King has apparent telepathic influence over rats.

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February 2

Biochemist Dr. Theodore “Ted” Sallis, works in the Everglades as part of Dr. Wilma Calvin’s Project: Gladiator team, which includes Dr. Barbara Morse and her fiancé Dr. Paul Allen. The group attempts to recreate the “Super-Soldier Serum” that had created Captain America. Though warned that the terrorist group Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) has been operating in the area, Sallis breaches security by bringing with him his lover, Ellen Brandt. He destroys his notes to his formula, which he has memorized. Later, he is ambushed and learns Brandt has betrayed him. Fleeing with the only sample of his serum, he injects himself with it in hopes of saving himself. However, he crashes his car into the swamp where chemical and, magical forces instantly transform him into a slow-moving plant-matter creature with large, solid red eyes. Unable to speak, and with dim memories, he attacks the ambushers and Brandt, burning and scarring part of her face with an acid he now secretes in the presence of violent emotions. The Man-Thing then wanders away into the swamp. The character first appeared in Savage Tales #1 (February 2, 1971), and went on to be featured in various titles and in his own series.

Johnston McCulley, born February 2, 1883, started as a police reporter for The Police Gazette and served as an Army public affairs officer during World War I. An amateur history buff, he went on to a career in pulp magazines and screenplays, often using a Southern California backdrop for his stories. He was the author of hundreds of stories, fifty novels, numerous screenplays for film and television, and the creator of the character Zorro. Many of his novels and stories were written under the pseudonyms Harrington Strong, Raley Brien, George Drayne, Monica Morton, Rowena Raley, Frederic Phelps, Walter Pierson, and John Mack Stone, among others. Aside from Zorro, McCulley created many other pulp characters, including Black Star, The Spider, The Mongoose, and Thubway Tham. Many of McCulley’s characters — The Green Ghost, The Thunderbolt, and The Crimson Clown — were inspirations for the masked heroes that have appeared in popular culture from McCulley’s time to the present day. Zorro became his most enduring character.

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February 3

Jack of Hearts, real name Jack Hart, is the son of scientist Philip Hart who created “Zero Fluid” and an alien woman from the Contraxian race. He first appeared in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #22 (February 3, 1976), As a young man Jack was doused in Zero Fluid and gained super powers but was not in total control of them. He has superhuman stamina and durability. Jack of Hearts also has the ability to generate “zero energy” within his body and project it as concussive force or intense heat or as a propellant to fly. In an attempt to control his powers Jack of Hearts built a containment suit that resembled The Jack of Hearts playing card. The lack of control became a recurring theme with Jack of Hearts, including his stint in the Avengers where he had to spend 14 hours a day in a containment room to prevent self-destruction. When his powers became uncontrollable he chose to leave earth, exploding in space without harming any innocent bystanders.

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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 4-10, 2022...

180 years ago February 6, 1842 Artist Frank Beard is born. His cartoons appear in Judge.

170 years ago February 6, 1852 Austrian artist Hans Schliessman is born.

120 years ago February 9, 1902 Fred Harman is born. The Red Ryder writer-artist is one of the founders of the Cowboy Artists of America.

110 years ago February 5, 1912 It’s the first appearance of the daily Old Doc Yak strip by Sidney Smith in the Chicago Tribune. (When Yak’s family eventually moves out of its house, Smith’s The Gumps move in.)

100 years ago February 9, 1922 Harry Hargreaves is born. The work of the British artist includes cartoons for Punch, GoGo the Fox, the Hayseeds strip, and illustrations for the “Paddington Bear” books.

95 years ago February 5, 1927 Swedish artist Lennart Elworth is born. He creates 47:an Loken and Thudor.

95 years ago February 7, 1927 Cartoonist Peter Paul Porges, known for contributions to Mad starting with the cover concept for #106, is born.

75 years ago February 10, 1947 Artist Charles A. Voight dies at age 59. He was especially known for his Rinso soap comics ads and for his Betty and Mrs. Worry comic strips.

70 years ago February 4, 1952 Manga artist Takashi Fukutani is born.

70 years ago February 10, 1952 Cartoonist Luisa Felix is born. She creates the web comic Candy Blondell, featuring a fictional silent movie star.

65 years ago February 4, 1957 Miss Peach by Mell Lazarus begins.

65 years ago February 5, 1957 Animator Ben Hardaway dies of cancer at age 61. The voice actor, writer, and director was sometimes known as Bugs Hardaway, and he co-directed “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” which introduced the rabbit initially referred to as “Bugs’ Bunny.”

65 years ago February 10, 1957 Leonard Starr’s Mary Perkins, On Stage comic strip begins.

60 years ago February 4, 1962 Writer Tom Sniegoski is born. His scripts range from those for Bone characters to Vampirella.

60 years ago February 9, 1962 Writer-editor Sarah E. Byam is born.

55 years ago February 5, 1967 Artist Kelly McQuain is born. He’s known for his work on Elementals.

50 years ago February 5, 1972 Doug Alexander Gregory is born. The comics and card artist is storyboard artist for The Losers.

30 years ago February 4, 1992 John Dehner dies at age 76 of emphysema and diabetes. The Disney animator became an actor on such projects as radio’s Have Gun, Will Travel and TV’s The Doris Day Show.

30 years ago February 4, 1992 Disney animator and sequence director Jack Kinney dies at age 82. He was head of Jack Kinney Productions and an Oscar-winner for “Der Fuehrer’s Face.”

30 years ago February 10, 1992 George Henderson dies at age 62. He was the “Captain George” of Captain George’s Penny Dreadful and other publications and sold pop culture items at Memory Lane on Toronto’s Markham Street.

25 years ago February 7, 1997 Artist Nina Albright dies eight days before her 90th birthday. She drew comic books for Novelty Press, Fiction House, Holyoke, Marvel, Archie, and more.

15 years ago February 8, 2007 Prolific Archie writer-artist Joe Edwards dies at age 85. He created Li’l Jinx.
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February 4

Miss Peach was a comic strip created by American cartoonist Mell Lazarus that began syndication on February 4, 1957 and ran for 45 years. The strip originated because of a United Features Syndicate talent search contest for new comic strips. Lazarus recalled, “I scanned the papers, and there was nothing about schools, so I invented Miss Peach.” Although he did not win the United Features contest, Miss Peach was launched in the New York Herald Tribune and eventually was published internationally in 300 newspapers. The daily strips often contained only a single panel. The format was “gag-a-day”. The drawing was stylized: the children had tiny bodies and large heads with flounder faces. The strip was set in Kelly School, named after Pogo cartoonist Walt Kelly. In the summer, the scene usually shifted to a summer camp, Kamp Kelly. Miss Peach, the main teacher, was sweet and good natured, beloved by her students, although she can be firm. Miss Peach’s students include Marcia Mason, Ira Brom, Arthur Strimm, Francine, Freddy Foster, Lester Larson, Linda, Walter, Stuart, Sheila, Farley, and Desdemona.

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February 5

Jim Harper is a police officer in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum who became a vigilante to catch crooks that the law could not prosecute, describing himself as guarding society from criminals. He was trained to fighting condition by ex-boxer Joe Morgan. He was aided by a group of boys known as the Newsboy Legion, to whom he was, literally, a guardian, having volunteered to take them in rather than allowing them to be sent to prison. The Legion grew up to become the heads of the Cadmus Project, subsequently saving Harper’s life by transferring his mind from his old, dying body into a younger clone of himself. He first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #7 (February 5, 1942).

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February 6

Tammy was a weekly British comic for girls published by Fleetway in London beginning on February 6, 1971. It consisted of a collection of many small strips, with the stories themselves normally being three or four pages long. While there were similarities with its Fleetway stablemates Jinty and Misty, each comic had its own focus, with Tammy concentrating on sadder Cinderella-themed stories and dark tales of tortured heroines, most notoriously in Slaves of War, Orphan Farm and No Tears for Molly. Tammy’s respective merges with Misty brought darker, horror tones, and her merge with Jinty more science-fiction. Despite these, changes in editorship brought Tammy to a more traditional mold in storytelling during the 1980s. The dark, cruel streaks that made Tammy so revolutionary in the 1970s had disappeared, except for Bella Barlow.

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February 7

The Anti-Monitor is an enemy of the entire Multiverse. Billions of years ago, on the planet Maltus, lived the Guardians of the Universe. One of these beings, Krona, was a scientist obsessed with the origins of the universe, even though a taboo existed amongst his people concerning the viewing of the origins of the universe. Krona created a machine that allowed him to see into the moment of creation. Somehow, his experiment disrupted the process of creation, with terrible consequences. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, it was also revealed to be the cause of the existence of all parallel universes in the Multiverse; several villains were sent back in time to stop him, but were defeated by Krona and the other Oans. On the moon of Oa, the being known as the Monitor was instantly aware of his counterpart, the Anti-Monitor. By this time the Anti-Monitor had quickly conquered the Antimatter universe. These two beings battled for a million years, unleashing great powers against each other, but to no avail. At the end of their stalemate, they simultaneously attacked one another, rendering both inert for nine billion years. The Anti-Monitor first appeared in Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 (February 7, 1985). The Anti-Monitor, embodying anti-matter and evil, is driven to rid the universe of all positive matter.

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February 8

The Morlocks were depicted as an underground society living as tunnel dwellers in the sewers and abandoned tunnels beneath New York City. The Morlocks were composed of mutant misfits, especially those mutants who, because of physical mutations or other conspicuous manifestations of their mutant genetics, were unable to pass as human in normal society. Subjected to hate, fear, and disgust from human society due to their “deformed” appearances, dangerous mutations, or otherwise outcast or misfit statuses, most of the Morlocks viewed humans with distrust and anger, and they occasionally committed criminal or antisocial acts upon the above-ground human society. They first appeared as a group in Uncanny X-Men #169 (February 8, 1983). According to Callisto, she formed the Morlocks by first recruiting Caliban, and then using his power to track down other mutants who were unable to integrate into normal society. The Morlocks squatted in a network of abandoned, interconnected tunnels beneath Manhattan, which had originally been built as Cold War bomb shelters and then forgotten.

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February 9

Four teen heroes were gathered together as a result of the Vision’s plan for the reformation of the Avengers in the event the team disbanded. Newspapers refer to the young heroes as “super-powered fanboys” and label them the “Young Avengers,” a name the team members initially disliked but which stuck nonetheless. They first appear in Young Avengers #1 (February 9, 2005). Reporters Jessica Jones and Kat Farrell of The Daily Bugle, along with Captain America and Iron Man, investigate the new group of teenage heroes. The team defeats Kang the Conqueror, still Captain America and Iron Man take away their gear and refuse to train the team without their parents’ consent. Despite the heroes’ warnings, the team continues with a new headquarters, new costumes, and new names. The Young Avengers must decide how much to tell their parents after the members decide to continue acting publicly. Wiccan discovers Eli abusing MGH a drug that gives people powers for short periods of time in order to appear to have superpowers. Eli confesses that he deceived Iron Lad who meant to recruit his missing uncle Josiah in order to join the team. Overwhelmed with emotion, he quits the team, though eventually redeems himself.

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February 10

Norton G. Fester was always a poor scientist, and was considered a crackpot by his colleagues. He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #36 (February 10, 1966). One day, however, he found an unusual meteor that crashed into the Earth. Excited by his discovery, Fester searched for funding into a project, but investors went for more commercial ventures. Fester decided to continue without funding, and while chiseling the meteor, he struck a pocket of gas. Immersed in the strange compound, he discovered that he now had super-strength and agility thanks to the meteor’s powers. Fester decided to devote his time and new powers to crime from then on. Calling himself the Looter, he struck banks and offices everywhere, gaining his current name. However, after attempting to steal another meteor to continually supply himself with his powers, he was defeated by Spider-Man after a battle in a hot-air balloon. Since then, the Looter has had no success whatsoever.

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February 11

Midnighter and Apollo are best known as a member of the rogue superhero team, The Authority. Midnighter has certain enhanced abilities, and generally kills his opponents. He is rarely seen without his costume and mask. Apollo’s powers include superhuman strength, flight, and near invulnerability. His eyes are constructed to concentrate solar energy into laser-like blasts. He can fly as well, at least fast enough to circle the globe in just under 30 seconds. They first appear in Stormwatch #4 (February 11, 1998). Midnighter and Apollo were recruited by Jenny Sparks for a new team, The Authority, under her leadership. A formidable fighter with a sardonic attitude, Midnighter epitomised the new team’s commitment to fighting for a finer world, including against vested interests and world governments. Midnighter was the architect of the team’s first significant victory, the defeat of autocratic dictator Kaizen Gamorra, which he achieved by dropping the 50-mile-long Carrier on to Gamorra’s island base. Apollo sterilised the moon, killing the alien parasites that were using it as a base from which to attack earth. He formed a friendship with leader Jenny Sparks, and his relationship with Midnighter was also revealed. Midnighter was the only Authority member to evade capture when the US government had the team attacked and replaced with manipulable substitutes. Apollo was kept aboard the Carrier and brutalised by Midnighter’s replacement and by his own. Presumed dead, Midnighter had in fact escaped the Carrier with baby Jenny Quantum. He returned to overthrow the puppet team and rescue Apollo from imprisonment and abuse at the hands of their replacements. Shortly thereafter Midnighter and Apollo were married and adopted Jenny Quantum.

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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 11-17, 2022...

165 years ago February 12, 1857 German artist Arpad Schmidhammer is born.

145 years ago February 13, 1877 The Gumps creator Sidney Smith is born. He signs a $1 million contract in 1922 and kills Gumps character Mary Gold in 1926 (perhaps the first character to die in a continuity comic strip).

135 years ago February 15, 1887 British cartoonist H.M. Bateman is born.

115 years ago February 15, 1907 Nina Albright is born. She draws comic books for Novelty Press, Fiction House, Holyoke, Marvel, Archie, and more.

115 years ago February 17, 1907 Lyonel Feininger’s Wee Willie Winkie’s World ends.

110 years ago February 11, 1912 Animator and artist Harvey Eisenberg is born. He’s especially known for his Tom and Jerry and other Hanna-Barbera work for Dell.

110 years ago February 11, 1912 The Mexican writer-artist of Los Supersabios, German Butze, is born.

110 years ago February 14, 1912 Political cartoonist Oliver Harrington is born. The writer-artist of the single panel Dark Laughter cartoon that features Bootsie is credited with creating “the first black comic strip to receive national recognition.” Langston Hughes calls him “America’s greatest African-American cartoonist.”

105 years ago February 12, 1917 The Gumps begins, created by Sidney Smith.

105 years ago February 17, 1917 Canadian artist, editorial cartoonist, and art director of the Winnipeg Free Press Peter Kuch is born.

100 years ago February 13, 1922 Al Posen’s Them Days Is Gone Forever begins.

85 years ago February 13, 1937 Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant begins.

80 years ago February 13, 1942 Peter Tork is born. The Monkees band member is featured on photo covers of Dell’s Monkees series.

75 years ago February 13, 1947 Artist Wiley Padan dies of a heart attack at age 46. He created the It’s True! newspaper panel series.

70 years ago February 17, 1952 Beyond Mars begins. The comic strip is created and written by Jack Williamson and drawn by Lee Elias.

65 years ago February 11, 1957 David M. Singer is born. He’s the publisher of Deluxe and Lodestone Comics.

65 years ago February 12, 1957 Writer-artist Ken Meyer Jr. is born.

60 years ago February 11, 1962 “Furry” artist Shon Howell is born.

60 years ago February 12, 1962 Ding Darling dies at age 85. The editorial cartoonist won two Pulitzer Prizes and the Audubon Medal and founded the National Wildlife Federation.

60 years ago February 13, 1962 Writer-artist Stan Shaw is born.

60 years ago February 13, 1962 Artist John A. Peck is born.

60 years ago February 14, 1962 British artist James Crighton dies 12 days after his 70th birthday. He worked for DC Thomson and created The Dandy’s “Korky the Cat.”

55 years ago February 16, 1967 Artist Timothy Bradstreet is born.

55 years ago February 16, 1967 Western actor and country music musician Smiley Burnette dies of leukemia at age 55. Fawcett’s Smiley Burnette Western was named for him.

50 years ago February 12, 1972 Al Capp is fined $500 and costs on a charge of attempted adultery. Publicity will result in many newspapers dropping Li’l Abner.

45 years ago February 11, 1977 Artist Ben Batsford dies at age 83. The Sangor comic book artist was the original artist on the Mortimer Snerd & Charlie McCarthy strip.

45 years ago February 16, 1977 Animator, artist, and letterer Frank Engli dies at age 70. His employers included Fleischer Studios, Milton Caniff, and Harvey Comics.

40 years ago February 13, 1982 New Yorker and newspaper cartoonist Gluyas Williams dies at age 93.

35 years ago February 12, 1987 Italian writer Angela Giussani dies at age 64. She co-created the Diabolik comic book antihero series with her sister, Luciana Giussani.

30 years ago February 14, 1992 Animator and artist Alex Lovy dies at age 78. He worked for Van Beuren, Walter Lantz, Columbia, and Hanna-Barbera and produced material for National/DC comics.

30 years ago February 17, 1992 Nancy by Jerry Scott introduces George Bush visiting her school in a two-week sequence, the first time Scott uses a real person in the comic strip.

25 years ago February 13, 1997 Hank Schlensker dies at age 82. He co-created the Biff Baker strip with Ernest Lynn and assisted Roy Crane on Buz Sawyer.

25 years ago February 15, 1997 Jack Sparling dies at age 80. He drew Hap Hopper, Claire Voyant, and many comic books and co-created Tiger Girl with Jerry Siegel.

20 years ago February 15, 2002 Italian artist Vincenzo Monti dies at age 60.

15 years ago February 14, 2007 German animator and artist Willy Moese dies at age 79.

10 years ago February 12, 2012 Award-winning artist John Severin dies at age 90. Especially known for his work for EC, he co-created American Eagle and worked for decades on Cracked.

10 years ago February 13, 2012 Italian artist Francesco Gamba dies at age 85.

5 years ago February 11, 2017 Award-winning, internationally known manga writer-artist Jiro Taniguchi dies at age 69.

5 years ago February 15, 2017 Italian artist Fabrizio Busticchi dies at age 63. He worked extensively for the Bonelli publishing house.

5 years ago February 16, 2017 Award-winning Dutch writer-artist Dick Bruna dies at age 89. The creator of the bunny Miffy was especially known for his children’s books.
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February 12

Chi-Chi is the princess of Fire Mountain and the daughter of the Ox-King who later marries Goku and becomes the loving mother of Gohan and Goten. She was first introduced as a shy and fearful girl, but later, as she gets older, develops a very tomboyish, tough and fierce personality, which sometimes causes her to have angry outbursts seen several times throughout the series. Despite this, she has shown her love for Goku and their sons many times throughout the series. Chi-Chi is a tough woman with long straight black hair, a moderately curvaceous figure and a lighter skin color. As a child, Chi-Chi was very shy and often thought about who she would marry. She was often scared and defeats her opponent while crying. Chi-Chi’s personality changed when she became an adult, especially after marrying Goku and having her son Gohan. She is often depicted as a sometimes nagging, overprotective, controlling, but fundamentally well-meaning womanShe first appears in Dragon Ball chapter 11 “…And into the Fire!” published in Weekly Shōnen Jump on February 12, 1985.

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February 13

Electric Warrior is a series in set in a future where the rich (Elites) live in luxury, their lifestyles supported by an array of cybernetic devices and robots, while the poor (Zigs) are forced to struggle for their existence in the lower levels of the city. When one of the robot policemen, known as the Electric Warriors, or Leks, develops self-awareness, it begins to question the correctness of the social order and decides to help the Zigs. The robot, 9-03, falls in love with a Zig crone called Kinsolving whom he protects from any and all harm. He then helps the Zigs by giving them food and supplies taken from the Elites up above. The series began with Electric Warrior #1 (February 13, 1986).

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February 14

First published on February 14, 1976, Bullet was a comic book which focused upon adventure, action, revenge, science fiction, war and sport. It was a popular comic for boys throughout its publication. The main character was a moustached, multi-talented, highly trained secret agent, aptly named Fireball. When his parents had died in a mysterious car crash when he was a young child, he became the ward of his father’s friend Lord Peter Flint, a wartime hero. Fireball had been trained by “Uncle Pete” in the arts of shooting, martial arts, sports and survival - this was as well as the usual reading and writing skills. The full Fireball story was secret but could be acquired by joining the “Fireball club” which gave you the story enclosed in a red, plastic wallet. This story was used as the key for a substitution cipher for encrypting/decrypting secret messages which often appeared in Bullet’s central pages as a sequence of seemingly random numbers. You also received a Fireball pendant for joining. Fireball’s archenemy was Catriona Klansberg (a.k.a. “The Cat”). Fireball had a soft spot for her - he had a habit of letting her slip away after he had just thwarted her evil plan.

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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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