Monday, September 17, 2012

MASKED MARVEL "Avenges Murder from Hiding"

The Ghost Rider was successful enough to receive his own title...
...inspiring several imitators who weren't quite as popular, like this guy.
I realize they wanted to make him as different from the already-extant all-white Ghost Rider as possible, but that costume color scheme is probably the worst I've seen since the Golden Age Green Lantern...
This premiere story of the skull-masked vigilante from Youthful Publications' GunSmoke #1 (1949) was illustrated by Graham Ingels, who would go on to do far more terrifying work several years later for EC Comics' horror titles.
The writer is unknown.
(BTW, there was never an actual origin story to explain why he adopted the costume or acquired his moniker.)
While The Masked Marvel appeared in the entire 16-issue run of GunSmoke, he never had the cover slot, except in the background of one cover as a "Wanted" poster on a wall!

Trivia: This Masked Marvel was the fourth hero to have the name, but only the third comic book character!
The first was a Golden Age masked mystery-man in Centaur's Keen Detective Funnies as well as his own short-lived title.
The second was another mystery-man who battled Prize Comics' Frankenstein Monster in several stories before disappearing.
The third was a Republic Pictures 1943 movie serial hero with the gimmick that the audience didn't know which of several characters he was, though the audience knew from the beginning who the villain was.
(Usually, the audience had to figure out which of several suspects was the mystery villain!)

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