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MLJ COMPANION

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MLJ COMPANION

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The Complete History of the Archie Comics Super-Heroes. Highly Recommended. By Rick Offenberger, Paul Castiglia and Jon B. Cooke. In-depth examinations, including artist interviews, of each era of these fascinating super-heros. The Golden Age begins with The Shield, (the first patriotic super-hero, who pre-dated Captain America), The Black Hood, Hangman, The Web and Steel Sterling. A complete early 1940s story is here for each of these. The Silver Age spotlights the “Mighty Crusaders,” reviving the 1940s heroes, plus newbies The Fly (created by Simon & Kirby) and The Jaguar). The Bronze Age looks at Red Circle and DC's Impact imprint.

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In-depth examinations, including artist interviews, of each era of these fascinating super-heros. The Golden Age begins with The Shield, (the first patriotic super-hero, who pre-dated Captain America), The Black Hood, Hangman, The Web and Steel Sterling. A complete early 1940s story is here for each of these. The Silver Age spotlights the “Mighty Crusaders,” reviving the 1940s heroes, plus newbies The Fly (created by Simon & Kirby) and The Jaguar). The Bronze Age looks at Red Circle and DC's Impact imprint.

The Modern Age has its Dark Circle imprint (featuring such fan-favorites series as “The Fox” by Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel). Uncover such rarities as the Mighty Crusaders board game, and the Shadow’s short-lived career as a spandex-clad superhero! Discover the ill-fated Spectrum line of comics, that was abruptly halted due to its violent content! See where the super-heroes crossed over into Archie, Betty, and Veronica’s world!

I've been looking forward to this, as a fan and collector of the MLJ and Silver Age super-hero books. And I'm not disappointed, this is a massive volume, nearly 300 pages, and has more features than I can even begin to list here. -Bud

Read interviews with Irv Novick, Dick Ayers, Rich Buckler, Bill DuBay, Steve Englehart, Jim Valentino, Jimmy Palmiotti, Kelly Jones, Michael Uslan, and others who chronicled the Mighty Crusaders’ exploits from the 1940s to today. Features a new cover by Rich Buckler and Joe Rubinstein.

Here is a full roster of contributors, including pulp expert Will Murray (on the Black Hood's short incursion in the pulps), Ron Goulart (on the Golden Age history, the origins of MLJ, and detailed overviews of each individual title: Blue Ribbon, Pep, Top Notch and Zip). Plus the quarterlies, Shield-Wizard, Hangman (where superlative artist Bob Fuji drew his violent, over-the-top tales) and Jackpot. Good-girl artwork and sometimes extreme violence were a big part of these early stories, as our vigilante heroes meted out justice without the benefits of judges and juries. The Hangman is only the tip of the iceberg!

Did you know Jack Cole cut his teeth here doing "Manhunters" and The Comet, who was the first super-hero in comics to die. Charles Biro is here, just before he would make Daredevil, Boy and Crime Does Not Pay bestsellers. Biro got his start on Steel Sterling and other heroes here. Mort Meskin, the renowned and innovative artist at DC, where he moved after MLJ, was one of their best talents.

The complete stories collected here are drawn by Al Camy (Black Hood), Irv Novick, George Storm, John Cassone (artistically, the stand-out story here, of The Web), and Charles Biro (the origin story of Steel Sterling, from Zip #1).

And of course, we get the story of how Archie began as a 6-page back-up feature in Pep. Within a short time, he'd taken over as super-heroes began to wane, and before long even the company name, MLJ, became Archie Comics as he, Betty, Veronica and the Riverdale folks took over and became a publishing empire that continues to this day.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Item Code MLJC
Publisher TwoMorrows
Publish Date 2016
ISBN 9781605490670
Binding Soft Cover
Dimensions 8x11
# Pages 288pg
Color Text/Full Color
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