REVIEW: Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics

TITLE: Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics
PUBLISHER: McFarland & Company
WRITER: Lou Mougin
COVER: Charles Quinlan
PRICE: $75.00
SUMMARY: When Superman debuted in 1938, he ushered in a string of imitators–Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America. But what about the many less well-known heroes who lined up to fight crooks, supervillains or Hitler–like the Shield, the Black Terror, Crimebuster, Cat-Man, Dynamic Man, the Blue Beetle, the Black Cat, and even Frankenstein? These and other four-color fighters crowded the newsstands from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. Most have since been overlooked, and not necessarily because they were victims of poor publication. This book gives the other superheroes of the Golden Age of comics their due.
COMMENTS: Lou Mougin was born in 1954 in Iowa, has lived most of his life in Texas. He has been a comics fan since his mother bought him a copy of Mouse Musketeers in the late 1950s. He wrote a large amount of comics-based articles in the ’80s for Amazing Heroes, The Comic Reader, Comic Collector, and other fanzines, and did many interviews with comics pros for Comics Interview and The Comic Book Show, a local cable-access TV show in Dallas. Mougin has had stories published by Marvel, Heroic, Claypool, Warrant, Lucky, Charlton Arrow, InDellible, and others. He is an encyclopedic chronicler. Lou is one of the foremost Marvel historians of the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age. Mougin was an integral part of the Olshevsky Marvel Index project of the 1970s and later the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe as well as working with Murray Ward on the Official DC Index series.
In this book, Lou turns his attention to the Secondary Super Heroes, not that they were any less popular in the day, but this book is about all the heroes not published by DC, Marvel, Fawcett, and Quality Comics.

MLJ Comics is my favorite Golden Age publisher and I could argue all day that they were more important then Fawcett and Quality in that they didn’t go out of business and still publish to this day but that isn’t the point they are included in this book and I am excited to read what Lou has to say about them and the Shield.

Lou is extremely knowledgeable and he takes what could be a dry textbook-like subject and blends in little bits of humor, making this a fun read. As an indexer, Lou goes issue by issue, character by character, as he explores each publisher.

At $75 this book isn’t for everyone but if you love Golden Age Heroes or just want to know more about them, this book is for you! He covers the Shield, the Black Terror, the Black Hood, the Blue Beetle, Daredevil, Crimebuster, Amazing- Man, the Green Lama, Frankenstein, Hydroman, Pyroman, Skyman, the Flame, Steel Sterling, Supersnipe, and a whole army of the greatest Golden Age Heroes most people have never heard about.

Lou covers origins and even post-Golden Age appearances up to the present day. He covers Centaur, Fox, Harvey, MLJ, Nedor, Lev Gleason, Novelty Comics, Hillman, Prize, Street and Smith, Columbia, Holyoke Comics, Ace, Chesler, Dell. Fiction House and more. He covers the characters in great detail with little tidbits about there creators. He gives his opinions about the quality of the work as well as plugging Digital Comics Museum and Comic Book Plus so you too can read the stories he describes in the book if you become so motivated by his writing.

This is a fun and detailed history of your favorite Golden Age Heroes. Lou’s coverage of the subject is second to none. It is the perfect coffee table book of any Golden Age aficionado in your life and it is something you will read again and again over the years.

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