You could make the argument that Wolverine is no longer the most ubiquitous Marvel character – Cap, Iron Man, Spidey, Deadpool? – but you would still have to defend it. When he fully debuted in 1974’s Incredible Hulk #181, Wolverine (created by editor Roy Thomas, writer Len Wein, and artist John Romita, Sr.), began as […]
LEgion is the star of a new FX show, but the comics character himself has a long, complicated history.
Welcome back to Unassuming Barber Shop, a semi-regular column here at The Beat that examines–and sometimes flat-out speculates– on the possible historical origins of fictional comics characters. When Doctor Strange debuted in July 1963’s Strange Tales #110, readers met a superhero magician who wasn’t all that unfamiliar to them. Cast firmly in the mold of Mandrake, Chandu, and Dr. […]
Why did the early Batman villain The Monk disappear from his rogue’s gallery?
We are smack-dab in the middle of celebrating Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary. There are new stories, merchandise, a snazzy logo, a movie on the way, and even a Gal Godot-inspired Barbie doll on sale for a mere $80. We are also taking time to think about the world’s most famous female superhero. Most of us […]
On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first human being to achieve Earth orbit, effectively winning the space race. At NASA, scientists sighed, poured more coffee, and redoubled their efforts. In New York, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four. With a new FF movie coming out, readers and fans […]
From the time the Scarlet Witch first appeared in X-Men #4 (March 1964), her fictional adventures have been pretty complicated. Now a new, eventually billion-dollar incarnation of the character has debuted on the big screen in Avengers 2. But why did the Scarlet Witch get the nod for superstardom? What about her resonates with so […]
The passing of Leonard Nimoy last week was, as Lance Parkin notes, “a significant event.” Trekkers Everyone mourned this actor, and this character, by watching Wrath of Khan, taking LLAP selfies, and retweeting Nimoy’s last public words. We took a moment. The character of Spock is an icon of American popular culture. But what about […]
In a previous post, we looked at how Carl Burgos’ original Human Torch might have been inspired by helldivers at the 1939 New York World’s Fair (Unassuming Barber Shop is all about that “might”). But you can’t talk about the Torch without his elemental counterpart: the Sub-Mariner. There are multiple accounts of how Bill Everett […]
Brad Ricca reports on a stunning historical find: One of Superman’s early artist wrote a master’s thesis in 1942 that surveyed cartoonists of the time on their working methods.