Podcast

HO Episode #064 – The Black Terror

The Black Terror - Hero ObscuraHow do you deal with things when they go sideways? Do you just lay low and wait things out or do you stand up and give a showing for yourself?

Now before you answer, imagine that you’re a pharmacist in the 1940’s superhero culture.

Things are about to get a little weird.

The Black Terror. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #063 – Casey Ruggles

Casey Ruggles - Hero ObscuraHe rode into the old west in search of Fame and fortune. In the wake of his trail dust was broken hearts and beaten foes. He fought outlaws and thieves and made the acquaintance of many of the old west’s most famous names.

You’ve never heard of him, but in the hearts and minds of the folks who care about old west comics, he was never forgotten.

Casey Ruggles. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #062 – The Flamingo

The Flamingo - Hero ObscuraCriminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot. If you wanted to strike fear into their hearts, to make them to tremble at the very mention of your name, then you had to choose wisely.

Bats were already taken so you couldn’t name yourself after them. If you were stationed in India, then you had a world of options. In the 40’s, no one was using the Cobra, the Mongoose or the Bengali Tiger. The sky was the limit with cool, dangerous sounding names.

The Flamingo, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #061 – Atom Blake, Boy Wizard

Atom Blake, Boy Wizard - Hero ObscuraImagine you were a kid, orphaned at an early age, only to be raised by someone you really didn’t know.

You would naturally be curious about your parents and yourself. Now imagine you find yourself imbued with strange and amazing powers, a gift from those same unknown parents.

I know what you’re thinking. Harry Potter, right? Well, as it turns out, there were plenty of Harry Potters before you ever heard of Hogwarts. Think Billy Batson and his magic word.

Today’s hero was one of those kids who were short on parental guidance and long on super-powers.

Atom Blake, the Boy Wizard. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #060 – Roy Ramond, TV Detective

Roy Ramond - Hero ObscuraIt was the fifties and television was king. And in that age one man stood for what was right and good. One figure sifted through the clues and rumors to get to the truth…and bring it to his loyal viewers.

And he wasn’t motivated by revenge or envy. He followed his calling to a higher plane.

Television ratings.

Roy Ramond, TV Detective. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #059 – Lando, Man Of Magic

Lando, Man of Magic - Hero ObscuraThere are many tropes in comics that just refuse to die. There is the crusading reporter, hot on the heels of a good story. There is the private investigator who had to see the case through, at any cost. There’s the mad scientist who experiments on himself rather than quit.

And then there is the stage magician who possesses real magical ability. Man, I love that one.

There’s nothing up my sleeve today as we examine our lost hero.

Lando, Man of Magic. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #058 – The Ringo Kid

The Ringo Kid - Hero ObscuraIt’s hard to believe but there was a time when superheroes weren’t the big names in comics. Readers used to strap on their cap guns, pull down their felt Stetsons and thrill to the latest exploits of their favorite western heroes.

Names like Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger were there, sure, but this is Hero Obscura, and while we love us some big name western stars, that’s just not what we’re about.

So today we hit the dusty trail with our faithful steed and a blazing gun at our side as we visit with today’s Wild West legend.

The Ringo Kid. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #057 – The Black Widow

The Black Widow - Hero ObscuraThe term “Hero” is sometimes kind of fluid. If someone is a horrible person, a real jerk, but manages to pull it together for a moment and do something great, does it make you forgive everything? Is that person a “hero.”

And what if they go right back to their same “jerkiness,” if you will. Are they still heroes?

These questions are all above my pay grade. Instead, I’ll just refer you to today’s hero.

The Black Widow. No, the other one. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #056 – E-Man

E-Man - Hero ObscuraWhat makes a superhero REALLY super? Yeah, I know. A kind heart is always good, or maybe a need for revenge,

Sure. I feel you. But we’re putting the accent on the SUPER part of the hero. We need the old alien with a power ring or the radio-active spider in the mix to truly make a guy a…well, a SUPER guy.

Science makes good guys great, ask Reed Richards. But how real is the science that makes the heroes?

Spoiler alert… ah, you’ll figure it out.

E-Man. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #055 – Wonder Man

Wonder Man - Hero ObscuraIf you were trying to come up with the perfect hero, he would probably be loaded for bear. He would be bulletproof, fire-proof, and super strong. He would have super senses, be a quick thinker, and could leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Yeah, you know where I’m going worth this.

Wonder Man. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #054 – The Yellow Jacket

The Yellow Jacket - Hero ObscuraThe insect kingdom was ripe for superhero inspiration. There was Ant Man, the Wasp, the Fly, The Bumble Bee, the Red Bee, the Mantis, and so on. Just spiders out of the mix. They were arachnids.

Today’s hero wears the name of a proud insect and his powers reflected that.

The Yellow Jacket. No, the other one. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #053 – The Barker

The Barker - Hero ObscuraIt’s a forgotten art today, but then so is the carnival and the traveling circus, I suppose. The spectacle and the glamor of trapeze artists, wild animal tamers, and the fat lady, riding into town on the backs of wild (or not so wild) elephants.

The scene was from another world, another time, and once yogi paid your fare you were in the capable hands of the ringmaster.

But who got you through the front door? Who described the thrills and the chills of what lie just steps away through the grimy red and white stripes of the traveling circus tent?

Who separated you from your money?

Today’s hero; the Barker. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #52 – The Gay Ghost

The Gay Ghost - Hero ObscuraThere is no theme this week. We aren’t hoping to start a trend here.

Last episode, number 51, we looked into Mr. Satan, brought to you by the same people who brought you Archie Andrews. He was a perfectly good Millionaire playboy hero who dressed up and fought bad guys in a purple and yellow suit.

He just had an unfortunate name.

So with today’s hero, we’d like you to get all the snickering and laughter out of the way early, because in this case, our hero was saddled with his name for eternity.

Or when they decided that they made a mistake.

The Gay Ghost. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #051 – Mr. Satan

Mr. Satan - Hero ObscuraShakespeare famously asked, “What’s in a name?” He meant that a name was essentially meaningless.

That true worth was found not in a title but in action; in aspect. In being.

You know, all that heady, intellectual stuff.

But we’re talking comic books here, and names mean everything. Would Batman be as cool if he were Beaver Man. Could the last son of Krypton really make it in the big city if he were Superior Guy?

In comics, names mattered. And sometimes, they mattered too much.

Mr. Satan, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #050 – Clip Carson

Clip Carson - Hero ObscuraIt was the thirties, and the other side of the world was a lot further than it is today. Africa was the “dark continent” and China was talked about as the “Mysterious Orient.” The public was wild for guys like Frank Buck, who went into the jungle hunting rhino and elephants and “brought ‘em back alive.”

The public wanted adventure. It was the time of King Tut’s discovery. It was the era of Indiana Jones.

It was a moment for today’s hero.

Clip Carson, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #049 – Barry Kuda

HO49-BarryKudaIf you set out to create an undersea hero, then most of the heavy lifting is already done for you. Your hero has to be a good swimmer and should probably breathe under water. Scuba divers were exempt.

Still wherever you went from there was your own decision. You could give your guy a flat head and pointy ears, dress them in orange and yellow or even put tiny wings on their feet.

Everything was open.

Except the name. There were some things that just didn’t work.

Barry Kuda, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #048 – Santa Claus

Santa Claus - Hero ObscuraToday’s hero isn’t obscure. Not in the least. In fact, he’s known by all. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. And how dreary a world it would be if he didn’t.

Old Saint Nick. Father Christmas. Kris Kringle. Santa Claus. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #047 – Yankee Doodle Jones

Yankee Doodle Jones - Hero ObscuraThe story of Frankenstein’s Monster was written to instill fear into readers hearts. It was the story of bodies being stolen in the night, assembled in a laboratory, and re-animated under an angry, storm-filled sky. The result was horrific. A monster is created and nightmares followed.

But what if things were different. What if the said monster were good-looking, had nice hair, spoke in complete sentences and held the door open for grandmothers. And what if he dressed more patriotically than a Captain America garage sale.

Yankee Doodle Jones, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #046 – Johnny Canuck

Johnny Canuck - Hero ObscuraThese characters stood for something. The United States’ Uncle Sam. Great Britain’s John Bull. Right or wrong they represented their country and when they went after you, you knew that you were on the wrong side.

Every country has a representative like that, I suppose. A figure who stands for the “everyman” of a nation and draws a line in the sand.

Uncle Sam made his way into comics from the beginning and even stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Man of Steel. But who stood for the Great North? From the Yukon Territory to Nova Scotia one man represented all that was good and right in the Great White North?

Johnny Canuck, Today, on Hero Obscura!


 

HO Episode #045 – Buzz Crandall

Buzz Crandall - Hero ObscuraIn the 1940’s, they had a different idea of what the future looked like. There was no way they could have imagined smartphones, laptops, GPS, and especially Amazon.com. But they had their own special vision of what the future looked like. It was all rocket ships and moon stations and jetpacks. Sooo many jetpacks.

The future looked to be a wild place and it needed a strong hand to keep the peace.

Buzz Crandall, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #044 – Cowboy Sahib

Cowboy Sahib - Hero ObscuraIf fusion food is your thing, if you dig Korean Tacos, Mexican hot dogs, and Southwestern Coleslaw, then you get it. Take something that works, mix it with something else that works, and get something that works really, really well. It doesn’t always work that way, Taco Bell can attest to this, but when it does, man it is just pizza and ranch dressing.

Today we’ll let you decide.

Cowboy Sahib, Today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #043 – The Human Meteor

The Human Meteor - Human ObscuraHe ran fast, That was all it took for a lot of guys to be a hero, but for this guy, it was a little different. He was already a runner so to put a little pep in his step didn’t seem all that heroic. In fact, if he didn’t catch a bad guy or two, he would just sorta be a jerk.

The Human Meteor, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #042 – Swing Sisson

Swing Sisson - Hero ObscuraBack in the day there were bands. Big bands, Swing bands. And the star of the band wasn’t the singer, although they were still well-known, but the band leader. Guys like Les Brown and Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. The band leader stood behind the band stand and called the music, kept time, and had a good-natured back-and-forth with the audience. They were the true stars of the day.

Don’t believe me? Ask your hipster uncle with the handlebar mustache.

If you were a band leader you were the bee’s knees, so to speak. And even more so if you fought crime in between sets.

Swing Sisson, today on Hero Obscura!


 

HO Episode #041 – Pat Parker, War Nurse

Pat Parker, War Nurse - Hero ObscuraHers was a mission to cure the sick, to heal the injured, to help the infirmed. But sometimes you saw things, you heard things. Things so terrible that you couldn’t turn away and you couldn’t ignore them. Sometimes things happened and you had to roll up your sleeves and take on a second job. And that job was beating Nazis.

Pat Parker, War Nurse, today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #040 – Rex the Wonder Dog

Rex the Wonder Dog - Hero ObscuraSome heroes are made and others are just born for the stuff. This dog had it both ways. He was a good boy to begin with, but after undergoing experimental treatments designed to make the recipient a super soldier, he was transformed into something even greater.

A very good boy.

Rex the Wonder Dog, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #039 – Space Detective

Space Detective - Hero ObscuraMankind went out into space on a mission, That mission was one of discovery and exploration. They wanted to know what was out there and if there was a who. They called it the “Great Unknown,” and there were mysteries galore.

They sent scientists and pilots and adventurers, but they overlooked the obvious. They had a “Mystery in Space.” Who better to turn to than a detective?

The Space Detective. Today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #038 – Space Smith

Space Smith - Hero ObscuraThey traveled the solar system helping others and fighting the good fight. The art was weird, the plots didn’t always make sense, and well, the whole thing was just a little odd. He was Space Smith and he did good. He just didn’t always do well.

If you’ve enjoyed the podcast then please leave a review over at iTunes and let others know. Honest reviews are what power the trans-dimensional drive in the Sanctum Obscura billiard room.


 

HO Episode #037 – Tom Swift

Tom Swift - Hero ObscuraHe was there before Elon Musk, he was there before MacGuyver, creating the impossible out of the possible. If you had a camera, good for you. He would create the picture camera. If you had a car, then he would make it fly. He was that kind of guy.

And you don’t even want to know what he could do with an iPhone.

Tom Swift, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #036 – Red Logan

Red Logan - Hero ObscuraHe was a crusading reporter who knew how to get to the heart of a story. He had a nose for news, an eye for detail, and was a world-traveling sleuth in a time when crack reporters were our heroes and no one threw around phrases like “fake news.”

Red Logan, today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #035 – Thundarr the Barbarian

Thundarr the Barbarian - Hero ObscuraThis week we come to you from the rumpus room at the Sanctum Obscura, where the shag carpet is high and the TV screen is huge and deep and full of Cathode tubes. Grab a beanbag chair and dig into a bowl of Cocoa Puffs as we travel back to the heroes of Saturday Morning Cartoons!

The apocalypse occurred in 1994 when a meteor flew between the earth and the moon, splitting the moon into pieces and causing earthquakes and tidal waves to decimate the earth and destroy civilization forever.

You remember that, right? Here’s a tip for your post-apocalyptic world building. Always aim more than one lifetime down the road. If you do, no one can ever tell you your wrong.


 

HO Episode #034 – The Secrets of Isis

The Secrets of Isis - Hero ObscuraThis week we come to you from the rumpus room at the Sanctum Obscura, where the shag carpet is high and the TV screen is huge and deep and full of Cathode tubes. Grab a beanbag chair and dig into a bowl of Cocoa Puffs as we travel back to the heroes of Saturday Morning Cartoons!

A magical amulet conveyed to her the powers of the goddess Isis, giving her extraordinary abilities as well as an important place in the mythos of Saturday Morning. Isis was the first Live-Action American television series to feature a female Superhero.

The Secrets of Isis, today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #033 – Electra Woman & Dyna Girl

Electra Woman & Dyna Girl - Hero ObscuraThis week we come to you from the rumpus room at the Sanctum Obscura, where the shag carpet is high and the TV screen is huge and deep and full of Cathode tubes. Grab a beanbag chair and dig into a bowl of Cocoa Puffs as we travel back to the heroes of Saturday Morning Cartoons!

They sprang into action when they were needed. They were partners who donned bright costumes, utility belts, and their special crime-fighting car. They used a wide array of electronic gadgets to fight odd and dangerous criminals.

They were a dynamic duo. Just not THAT dynamic duo.


 

HO Episode #032 – Web Woman

Web Woman - Hero ObscuraThis week we come to you from the rumpus room at the Sanctum Obscura, where the shag carpet is high and the TV screen is huge and deep and full of Cathode tubes. Grab a beanbag chair and dig into a bowl of Cocoa Puffs as we travel back to the heroes of Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Being a scientist, especially a NASA scientist, involved doing good for a lot of people, including yourself. Hard choices have to be made and in the end, you can’t ever really know if you’ve done the right thing.

Unless you are told directly by a mysterious alien creature that you are indeed doing good. In that case, you can relax a little bit and call yourself whatever you like.


 

HO Episode #031 – Jason of Star Command

This week we come to you from the rumpus room at the Sanctum Obscura, where the shag carpet is high and the TV screen is huge and deep and full of Cathode tubes. Grab a beanbag chair and dig into a bowl of Cocoa Puffs as we travel back to the heroes of Saturday Morning Cartoons!

The universe was a tough place and if you had to be quick if you wanted to survive. It was good to have friends, sure, but in the end, you had to reply on your own wits to get by. And of course, you had to be able to jump out of the way at the last minute.

Jason Of Star Command. Today, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #030 – The Flame

The Flame - Hero ObscuraHe was one of the biggest heroes of his day. A masked man in a flowing yellow cape, he was the scourge of criminals. He didn’t hide in the shadows and he didn’t cloud men’s minds. He controlled fire, pure and simple. And that was more than enough to scare the hardest criminals.

The Flame, today on Hero Obscura!


 

HO Episode #029 – Dick Cole, The Wonder Boy

Dick Cole - Hero ObscuraWe’ll go ahead and get this out of the way, right off the bat. His name was Dick Cole. Take a moment if you need to. It’s okay. Take a few deep breaths too if that helps. Then settle in and get ready for a story, because Dick Cole’s name wasn’t even the weirdest thing about him.

Dick Cole, the Wonder Boy, today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #028 – Marvo The Magician

He wore a black suit and a white tie. He carried a walking stick with a jeweled head and his eyes were as dark as midnight. He often found himself staring danger in the face and he would not blink. Instead he would simply produce a deck of ordinary looking playing cards.

“Pick a card, any card….”

Marvo the Magician, today on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #027 – Captain Midnight

Captain Midnight - Hero ObscuraHe was big. Really big. I mean like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman big. If you ask your great-grandfather, he’ll tell you stories about how he used to listen to his adventures on the radio, watch his exploits in the theater, see his image on breakfast cereals, and pretend to be him outside while playing with his friends.

If you ask your hipster uncle who he was he won’t have a clue.

Today’s hero: Captain Midnight, on Hero Obscura.


 

HO Episode #026 – Connie

Connie - Hero ObscuraThere were millions like her, literally millions. They were attractive and clever and and personable and charming and it should never have taken a newspaper strip to point the fact out to the world that they could surprise you in ways that shouldn’t be surprising.

But it did, and she did it better than anyone else.

Constance Kurriage, or Connie, today on Hero Obscura!


 

HO Episode #025 – The Atomic Knights

The Atomic Knights - Hero ObscuraThe greatest thing about the late 1950’s and early 1960’s comics wasn’t that they were concerned with Atomic War. No, everyone was worried about that, and that was no fun at all. No it was that the results of said Atomic War were so much better than what would probably happen if there was an Atomic War.

In comics, the end of mankind usually meant a few humans running around in a forest-like setting with man-like animals calling the shots. If you are a Planet of the Apes fan, then this stuff is for you.

The folks who were left usually pulled together to make a society that was better than the stuff we have now. Usually fair and democratic with a nod to man’s “better history.” There were no Mad Max situations in post-apocalyptic comics from the 50’s.

Instead, we got the Atomic Knights.


 

HO Episode #024 – Cosmo, The Phantom of Disguise

Cosmo The Phantom of Disguise - Hero ObscuraNot all heroes were of the working class. Sure there were your crusading reporters and cops who worked outside the lines to get justice, but for every fireman, magician, and district attorneys who strapped on a mask and went looking to fight the good fight, there were aristocratic playboys, apparently by the score, who somehow knew the ins-and-outs of combat and had a taste for social justice.

As long as that social justice didn’t get in the way of pre-dinner cocktails.

Cosmo, The Phantom of Disguise, today on Hero Obscura!


 

HO Episode #023 – Fantomah

Fantomah - Hero ObscuraShe fought evil and had super powers and there was a case to be made that she was the first super-powered one to do it, perhaps even before Scarlet O’Neil. But most of the superheroes in the forties made you feel safe, particularly the females.

Today’s heroine had no designs on that sort of thing. She was on a mission, and you had best get out of her way.

Fantomah.


 

HO Episode #022 – Cave Carson

Cave Carson - Hero ObscuraMost of the time we look to the skies for our heroes, or even to the stars. To the folks who walk among the clouds and leap tall buildings.

But in the 60’s publishers looked elsewhere for their heroes. They wanted adventurers and race car drivers. They made pilots and big-game hunters their protagonists. They made scientists into heroes.

And I for one could totally dig that. Today’s hero is Cave Carson.


 

HO Episode #021 – Pat Patriot

Pat Patriot - Hero ObscuraShe was part of a wave of patriotic heroes who dotted the landscape of the 1940’s, but at the same time, she wasn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty.

Whenever America’s foes threatened its shores she would be there, as well as, one imagines, whenever Tom Brady made the playoffs.

Pat Patriot!


 

HO Episode #020 – The Fiery Mask

The Fiery Mask - Hero ObscuraIf you strapped on a cape and tights to fight crime, you had to be pretty tough stuff yourself. The ones without a spark couldn’t cut it. You had to have a true inner fire, an inferno, so to speak.

So when the going got tough and you found yourself hip deep in the bad stuff?

You fight fire with fire.


 

HO Episode #019 – Invisible Scarlet O’Neil

Invisible Scarlet Oneil - Hero ObscuraThere were others. Many, many others. Almost too many to count. They came with various powers and abilities. They came in costume and in plain clothes. They flew and they ran and they teleported. And this summer they owned the box office, and it was about time.

But out of all of them, she was the first.

Invisible Scarlet O’Neil, the first super-powered woman in comics.


 

HO Episode #018 – The Green Turtle

The Green Turtle - Hero ObscuraIn the United States we have the unfortunate habit of looking at the world with blinders on. Most of our stories focus on our country, our traditions, our culture. But we’re the ones who ask for your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, and we should pay a little more attention to the stories that fall outside of what we know.

That’s why we need the Green Turtle.


 

HO Episode #017 – Larry Steele

Larry SteeleThey could have called it “Heroic Comics”, or “Able to Leap tall Buildings” monthly, or even “Dark Knight On Parade.”. After all, the titles have been dominated by costumed do-gooders for almost eighty years now. But it didn’t start with laser eyes and shape-changing martians.

No they started with simple guys like Larry Steele, and others like him. Guys who set out to solve a good mystery. That’s why they called it “Detective Comics.”

Elementary!


 

HO Episode #016 – The Ghost Rider

The Ghost RiderJustice on the frontier was a little different. Sometimes it followed the letter of the law and other times it followed the whim of a mob. Occasionally justice wore a badge and carried a gun. And other times…?

Whhhhhhooooo….


 

HO Episode #015 – Captain Compass

Captain CompassHigh above the major cities, the skies are filthy with heroes. Hawkman, Superman, Iron Man, and sooooo many X-Men and Avengers. And the streets and dark alleys are the same way. But three-quarters of the world is covered in water, and I’ll even concede that for the darkest, deepest stuff we have the Sub-Mariner and Aquaman.

But who do you turn to if you are on, say the Carnival Cruise Line or the Royal Caribbean? When trouble breaks on the high seas, I give you Captain Mark Compass.

Captain on deck!


 

HO Episode #014 – The Crimson Clown

The Crimson ClownThey say that criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot, but really isn’t everyone? We all go out of our way not to walk under ladders or step on cracks, so we can’t hang the whole “cowardly superstitious” thing on criminals alone.

And if you want to scare or disturb anyone, then dressing up as a giant bat will usually do the job.

But if you really want to scare the heck out of them….


 

HO Episode #013 – Captain Canuck

Captain CanuckThe United States has long been blessed by an abundance of superheroes. In fact, if you were to think of a hero that symbolized the United States, you would have a tough time coming up with just one. Sure Captain America is in the running, but Superman also stands with an American flag and Wonder Woman practically wears one, so as a nation, we’re covered.

But what about other nations? Specifically, the upper 49th parallel. Who do they look to in their hour of need?

The citizens of Canada need look no further than the chiseled jawline and red maple leaf uniform of their proud protector, Captain Canuck!

Really!


 

HO Episode #012 – Comet the Superhorse

Comet the SuperhorseIf you were a kid from my generation, then you grew up watching reruns of The Lone Ranger and Have Gun Will Travel. Now I really don’t want to go into the math, so just take my word for it that like Captain Steve Rogers, I too was cryogenically frozen for a few decades.

Are we cool now? Great.

So what I meant was that any kid who grew up during my generation, every one of them, wished for their own pony. And if you were Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, then that horse had to be something pretty spectacular to keep up.

So saddle up and hold on tight to those reigns, because this one’s gonna get a might wild.


 

HO Episode #011 – Spy Smasher

Spy SmasherWorld War II, like any war, was a crucible for those who served. It burned away the unnecessary and unneeded, and left behind only the bare truth. The best were the ones who could look that truth in the eye without flinching.

And the best of the best?

They could do it in aviator goggles and a scarf.


 

HO Episode #010 – Jill Trent

Jill TrentThe question goes: Can anyone be super? Can anyone be heroic? Can you be a superhero if you don’t fly? If you don’t have a mask and cape? Can you be a superhero if you aren’t invulnerable and things hurt you? Can you be one then?

The answer is: those are our best kinds of heroes.


 

HO Episode #009 – Black Venus

Black VenusThe Golden Age of Superheroes was a great time, but it wasn’t really a great time for everyone. The writing reflected the popular culture and the popular culture of the day could be a bit… well, let’s say misogynist. In a lot of the stories of the day, women were used as props to further the plot of a story or even as items used to motivate the hero.

If you’re interested in furthering this discussion, check out the Women in Refrigerators site, by Gail Simone. Gail is a great comic writer and her observations are certainly thought-provoking.

But it seemed that in the Golden Age, even in stories where the woman was the hero, she had to play by the “boys rules.”

In Black Venus we get something a little different. We get boyfriends and fiancees, sure, but we get revenge and arrogance and a bold female lead. Is there sexism? Sure, because its a comic book from the forties. But in the words of the main character,

“You call that flying? Give me that yoke!”


 

HO Episode #008 – NFL SuperPro

NFL SuperProFor a hero to fail, a lot of things has to happen. It has to be poorly thought out, ill conceived, and have little in terms of redeeming quality. Oh, and it should be created with ulterior motives.

Sounds pretty harsh? Then you just haven’t met NFLSuperPro.


 

HO Episode #007 – Space Cabbie

Space CabbieEveryone has a hero. For cops it’s probably the Dark Knight and for soldiers I can imagine Captain America, depending on the army your in. But what about the ordinary guys? What about the accountants and pastry chefs or the mail carriers and DMV workers?

Fishermen, okay…we’ll give you Aquaman.

But for the Lyft and Uber drivers out there, today’s episode is for you!

I give you Space Cabbie!


 

HO Episode #006 – The Blue Diamond

The Blue DiamondSome heroes are with us for ages and other are gone in the blink of an eye. If you are in the business of being a hero, particularly a super one, you never know how long you’ll have. You just have to make sure that you use our time wisely.

That and you should punch a lot of Nazis.


 

HO Episode #005 – The Red Tornado

The Red TornadoThe original Red Tornado was introduced during the forties, as comic relief to a character named Scribbly Jibbit, an amateur cartoonist who lived in a poor but kindly New York City neighborhood.

Ma Hunkel is considered to be the first female Superhero and the second cross-dressing superhero in comic-book history.

She is also well-loved by historians and continued to have a place in modern comics, despite having what may be the worst costume in comic book history.


 

HO Episode #004 – Prez

PrezThe Twelfth Amendment says that in order to be President of the United States you must be a resident of the United States for more than 14 years, be a “natural born” citizen, and be over the age of 35. If you are in your teen years, that seems like a world away. But what if it weren’t so?

What if before you could buy a cigarette or drink a cocktail, you could be President of the United States?

The office might seem a little more different in that case.


 

HO Episode #003 – Madame Fatal

Madame FatalWhen looking at the Golden Age of comics in America, the one thing that really stands out is the absence of diversity in its heroes. Almost straight across the board the heroes are good-looking, Caucasian, presumably Christian men. Thank God for Wonder Woman.

In researching our heroes we were conscious of including groups that don’t normally see representation in traditional popular culture. Today’s hero is a good-looking, Caucasian, presumably Christian male.

But he is definitely not from the standard cookie cutter design.


 

HO Episode #002 – The Red Rube

The Red RubeWhen you are a kid, you wished for things. You wanted to fly, to read people’s minds, or talk to animals.

You wanted to be a cowboy or an astronaut or a lion tamer. In my case, you wanted to be a private eye.

But mostly, you just wanted to be bigger. Ask Tom Hanks.


 

HO Episode #001 – Detective Chimp

Detective ChimpThe clues were there if you knew where to look for them. A small piece of fabric, the frayed edge of a letter. Perhaps a bit of smeared ink. No puzzle was too difficult and no mystery was left unsolved. The equal to the greatest deductive minds of any age, he offered guidance when needed and action when necessary.

Although he had no “special powers” per se, his mental acuity was second to none and when the chimps… sigh… chips were down, he was equally brave.

He was also a chimpanzee.