Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, July 6, 2019


Created by comics legend Bill Everett, John Aman was a orphan who was taken in (read: chosen) by the Council of Seven, a group of benevolent Tibetian monks.  Aman underwent years of grueling training as each monk imparted his talent on the youth.  By the time Aman was 25, he had super-strength, invulnerability, and the ability to turn himself into green mist -- all which came in handy when the monks sent him out into the world to use his amazing abilities to do good.  (This last talent also gave him the name The Green Mist.)

Amazing Man appeared in 22 adventures from September 1939 to January 1942 in Centaur Publications' Amazing Man Comics #5-26.  After two years, Everett stopped drawing the comic, after which the duties fell to "Sam Decker," presumably a pseudomyn for the Glantzman brothers.  (The brothers -- Sam, D.C., and Lew -- were all comic book artists.  I do not know which of these -- if any -- were behind the "Sam Decker" name, although Sam Glantzman is credited with writing text stories and doing incidental art for Amazing Man Comics.)  For his last four issues, Amazing Man was given a sidekick, Tommy, The Amazing Kid.

Amazing Man wore blue mid-calf boots, tight trunks, and crossed blue suspender straps with a large red badge at the center -- the badge, of course was emblazoned with the letter A.  The entire costume was designed to show off his magnificent body.  Tommy is dressed much the same, but instead of a bare chest and suspenders he wears a long sleeve white top with a large "T" on the front.   Warning:  Too Much Information Ahead!  Though seldom shown in great detail, the outfits seem designed to show off their junk, a la Anthony Weiner.

In this issue, Amazing Man and Tommy go against the mad scientist Dr. Mord, who has come up with a way to command vultures to attack and kill Wyoming miners before they can claim their gold strikes.   (See, this way Mord can claim the mines for himself and use the gold to increase his vulture horde by the millions and take over the United States.  Who said evil scientists aren't crafty?)  After killing miner John Worth, Mord sends his vultures after Worth's lovely daughter Gladys.  Luckily our superheroes (whose powers seem to include flight) arrive in time, "Like human bombs amazing Man and Tommy crash thru the door."  (Minor point here:  the panel shows them crashing through the roof.)  While Tommy stays behind to protect Gldys (sometimes spelled as Glayds -- editing and proofreading were never strong points during the Golden Age of Comic Books), Amazing Man goes after Dr. Mord's mountain lair. Amazing Man rips open a steel door and finds a huge shaft leading up to Mord's laboratory.  Mord has only one vulture left and he coats the bird's talons with cobra venom and has it attack Amazing Man but our hero keeps on coming, so Mord pulls a knife, only to have a table thrown at him.  By this time the cobra venom is beginning to work and Amazing Man weakens so Mord uses his "dehydrator pistol" on him.  In the meantime, Amazing Man transforms into green mist but the dehydrator pistol brings him back to his human shape and the half conscious hero falls to the huge shaft.  This has merely stunned our guy so Mord pushes the body into a pit filled with giant man-eating crabs.  As every ten-year-old reader of superhero comic knows, seafood is no match fo someone on the side of truth and justice.  Amazing Man flies out of the pit and out of the adjoining shaft and Dr. Mord falls down the shaft and ...SPLAT!  It's all over but the destruction of Mord's lab, which Amazing Man quickly handles.


This was the last adventure of Amazing Man for Centaur Publishing. (He had also appeared in five issues of the company's Stars and Stripes in 1941.)   After he and other Centaur characters entered into the public domain, Amazing Man appeared in 19 issues of Malibu Comics' Protectors (1992-1995), in a six-issue arc -- John Aman Amazing Man -- from Gallant comics (1984-85), and in to issues of Dynamite entertainment's Project Superpowers (2008).   The character also inspired DC's Amazing-Man, Marvel's Iron Fist (and actually turned up as a villain in an early incarnation of that title), Marvel's The Green Mist of Death, and Charleton Comics' Pete Cannon, Thunderbolt.

Amazing Man Comics #26 has a lot more than just the titular hero, especially a chapter in the fantastic adventures of  Space Patrol Pilot Meteor Martin by Basil Wolverton -- "Meteor Martin and the Monsters of Gorokin," to be continued in the next issue of Stars and Stripes).  Also included is the origin story of The Electric Ray, an adventure of The Blue Lady where the villains are wearing KKK type hoods, a tale of Hobo Harper (who leads a nation-wide gang of hobos out to help those in trouble and need; this time the bos are against a one-eyed whack job who has kidnapped ten men to sacrifice to the Moon-God idol), the origin story of the King of Darkness (who has invented an anti-gravity device, as well as a machine that can eliminate light), as well as the final appearance of nightshade, the man who can control shadows.

A great issue.


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