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Brad Ricca

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Unassuming Barber Shop: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster vs. The Klan

Superman's creators took on the Klan in a daring story from 1938.

Unassuming Barber Shop: Star Wars America

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a grizzled Han Solo addresses those eager space-millennials Rey and Finn as they start going on and on...

Unassuming Barber Shop: Logan and The Claws of the Wolverine

You could make the argument that Wolverine is no longer the most ubiquitous Marvel character – Cap, Iron Man, Spidey, Deadpool? – but you...

Just who the heck is Legion, the star of the new...

LEgion is the star of a new FX show, but the comics character himself has a long, complicated history.

Unassuming Barber Shop: A Real Doctor Strange

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...

Unassuming Barber Shop: Bat-Klan?

Why did the early Batman villain The Monk disappear from his rogue's gallery?

Unassuming Barber Shop: Who Is The Real Wonder Woman?

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...

Unassuming Barber Shop: In Search of the Fantastic Four

On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin became the first human being to achieve Earth orbit, effectively winning the space race. At NASA,...

Unassuming Barber Shop: Who is the Scarlet Witch?

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...

Unassuming Barber Shop: Age of Ultron, Vision, and Spock

The passing of Leonard Nimoy last week was, as Lance Parkin notes, “a significant event.” Trekkers Everyone mourned this actor, and this character, by...

Unassuming Barber Shop: Salvador Dali’s Sub-Mariner

In a previous post, we looked at how Carl Burgos’ original Human Torch might have been inspired by helldivers at the 1939 New York...

Unassuming Barber Shop: The 1st American Comics Scholar was a Superman...

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.