Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Invisible Jets!

Last week, I wrote about the synchronicity of reading the Doc adventure "The Man Who Fell Up" which had a brief scene of Doc using an invisible airplane and then the new reprint of the earlier Avenger adventure "The Sky Walker" and an interview from Will Murray talking about how Dent had earlier written a story about an invisible airplane and thus might have talked to Paul Ernst, the writer of the Avenger stories, about the idea.

The synchronicity continues. Thanks to Toonopedia writing about two minor GA characters named the Wasp, I found myself searching out those stories to correct and update the info on my site. Lead to reading several obscure titles put out by Hillman, one of them being Rocket Comics. In issue #2, there's the Defender, an obscure hero "created" by Jack Cole who's more famous for Plastic Man but has a long history of other GA work for many companies of the time. Even though this is the first Defender story, it's a complete rip-off of the Avenger story "The Sky Walker" by Street & Smith. The Avenger has a face with putty like flesh that can be molded into resembling other people, the Defender has a plastic like mask that can be manipulated likewise as well as disguising his disfigured face. The Defender is helped by strongman Lucky, the Avenger has Smitty. The Defender has a right-hand man in Dr. Samuel Drew, the Avenger has Fergus MacMurdie. The plots to both involve crumbling skyscrapers and men that appear to be walking in the air only to be revealed to be flying invisible planes!

"The Sky Walker" would be officially adapted to comics by another GA legend in the 70s, Jack Kirby! An odd pairing of artist and character as the Avenger is noted for near lacking emotion, his face is unable to display any, and comes across as power controlled like a tightly wound spring. Whereas Kirby is one of the most bombastic artists around, whose artwork is power personified.

The full comic and many other public domain GA comics can be found at

An interesting blog devoted to Jack Cole

1 comment:

Chuck Wells said...

Well at least this is an interesting story-behind-the-story, even if I agree that this is a rip-off of the Avenger tale.

Thanks for posting it!