Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, June 6, 2015

DOLL MAN #35 (AUGUST 1951)

Before Antman there was Doll Man, a diminutive caped superhero in a skin tight blue suit.  Not as small as today's Antman, Doll Man appears to be about the same size as a Chatty Cathy, Betsie Wetsy, or Ginnie doll.  Small he may be, but he packs a punch -- a teeny, tiny, potent punch.  I don't know if he can fly or just leap high, but several panels show him in mid-air as he's about to deliver a can of whoop-ass.

Doll Man is really scientist Darrel Dane, which is funny because his companion is Elmo the Wonder Dog -- a Great Dane.  Elmo seems to be much smarter and a better judge of people than Doll Man who,frankly comes across as a dim bulb.  To become Doll Man, all Darrel has to do is concentrate.  Now, neither Darrel nor Doll Man wear masks, nor does Darrel wear glasses, a la Clark Kent, so it's a wonder that people do not realize that Doll Man looks exactly like a small Darrel.  Secret identities seem to be secret by way of a gentleman's agreement in Comic Book Land.

Also, beautiful, shapely women are either gangsters or spies in Doll Man's world.  This fact probably 1) panders to a very young male audience, and 2) allows our hero not to come down with a bad case of cooties.

Doll Man is the star of three adventures in this issue.  First, he goes against The Prophet of Doom who predicts that the small town of Barville will be struck by a meteor.  In the second, a gang of thugs (dressed like Klan members) are led by Rama, a voodoo master who is targeting government men.  Finally, Doll Man faces spies armed with a paralyzing ray.

Blonde bombshell Torchy (Hubba!  Hubba!) stars in a comic story in which Torchy's two-piece bathing suit draws unwanted attention from every man on the beach.

The inside front cover of issue #35 has a full page ad for Wilson's Cloverine Brand Salve.  Remember that?  If you sell enough salve, kids, you can win a bicycle of a watch or an air rifle or a doll or...As far as I know, no kid in my neighborhood ever fell for this scam (just as no kid I knew sold GRIT, America's newspaper).  I did have a friend who fell for a Charles Atlas ad such as the one on the back cover.  With Atlas, once you complete the first step of training you would be sent a "solid gold pin."  My buddy was really p.o. when he was sent a solid gold colored plastic pin.  The words he used to describe Mr. Atlas then were not suitable for a boy of his age.

Enjoy Doll Man #35.  But don't fall for the ads!


  1. I vaguely knew of Doll Man, and was not impressed. The only thing I ever tried to sell were the candy bars we had to sell so elementary school, long chocolate bars with a white wrapper printed with the school name. There were no prizes, but big sellers got "recognition". I sold a few to parents and neighbors, and a couple to me and that was it. No "recognition" for me. Don't think I ever heard of that salve or Grit.

    1. Richard, Cloverine Brand Salve, GRIT, and Edmunds Scientific Catalog were standard comic book advertisers back in the day. Also, the X-ray glasses that supposedly could see through women's clothes! Believe me, you didn't miss a thing.

  2. Wasn't there a movie called Doll Man, about a guy that got shrank down. Not a superhero, although he had a super weapon if I remember correctly.

  3. Charles, DOLLMAN was a 1991 flick starring Tim Thomerson in the title role as a tough twelve-inch (I belivee the posters said thirteen) intergalactic cop forced to land on earth. There were a couple of sequels. This Dollman was the brainchild of schlockmeister producer and director Charles Band (with an uncredited assist from Ed Naha). The films have the same classic campiness as Band's other horror series. such as "Demonic Toys" and "Puppet Master. "

  4. Oh, I remember the Edmunds Scientific, and the X-ray glasses, and the ads to throw your voice into the trunk and all that, just not the salve or Grit.