Craig Yoe is an Eisner winner for his work as an archivist and historian of comics. He has preserved and reprinted many classics from the pre-code era.
This is his first collection of superhero comics, and it is (as the name says) weird. There are all kinds of strange things in this thick (500 page!) book of lost rarities. It includes 32 different entries, organized alphabetically, many with cover reproductions. Before each entry is comic is a brief essay providing some of the context of the character, often with information about the creator/creative team behind it.
Some of them are quite surprising.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Yes! THAT Siegel and Shuster) appear in this volume with Funny Man. Other familiar names include John Buscema and Will Eisner.
At the beginning of this obvious labor of love, Yoe places a 15 page essay on the nature of those pre-code heroes and their context in terms of comics world before and during the Wertham era.
There are a few known titles in this book, including the Green Turtle, Bulletman and Bullet Girl, Miss Liberty and Nightshade, but most of them are known only as answers in comic-book trivia games. In this volume, readers get to see and read the comics that they have only heard about.
More than simply revisiting the more well-known heroes of the era, Yoe gives readers something different. In this collection, readers will discover forgotten heroes never before seen, such as Captain Hadacol, named for the ‘patent medicine’ (actually an alcohol-based placebo) that gave him his ‘super powers.’ Other fanciful entries included the cross-dressing hero The Bouncer, the Davy-Crockett costumer Captain Fearless, and more.
Craig Yoe and his team continue to maintain the important link to our shared comics legacy. Rather than merely providing some early Superman and Batman comics, they have shown readers that the universe of pre-code superheroes was diverse and vibrant – and, in its own way, just as rich as the modern era.
Written & Illustrated by: Various