Heroes of the Golden Age: First Heroes

by Ariel Lazo

unnamed-1-300x126 Heroes of the Golden Age: First HeroesWe have all heard the stories of those who swing from building to building, can outrun a speeding bullet, and instill fear in the hearts of criminals. But who are those who came before them? The Golden Age holds a special place in many of our hearts. It is what started the path for many of our favorite heroes, artists, and writers. Here are some Golden Age books featuring some Golden Age Heroes…

99993_f7af3607b2034e94b12dd5beb710d741e8c2aa6c-207x300 Heroes of the Golden Age: First HeroesThe SHIELD and The Comet / Pep Comics #1

Before we saw America’s… umm, let’s say butt, on Captain America, there was The SHIELD. This was the name of multiple patriotic superheroes who were the first to use the United States patriotic iconography on their uniform. With tensions growing and America reacting to the beginnings of World War II, patriotism was rising and in need. A year before Capt. America, chemist Joe Higgins created a formula that had to be placed on certain parts of his anatomy. The parts were his Sacrum, Heart, Innervations (nerves), Eyes, Lungs and Derma forming the word SHIELD. In addition, he had to be hit with X-Rays to activate them, sound familiar?

Pep Comics #1 also has the first appearance of The Comet created by Jack Cole. The Comet was a vengeful and blood-thirsty superhero. He has been known to melt criminals and drop them from the sky. Like Cyclops, The Comet has a disintegrating ray continually flowing from his eyes which are only stopped by wearing glass goggles. See what I mean about the Golden Age influencing all of our heroes? However, down the line, The Comet becomes the first at something which I will mention in the next comic. Recent sales of this comic have seen it reach $4,950 for a 4.5 and that was 2 years ago on 12/8/18. According to the CGC census, there are only 32 graded copies. That’s why this is such a valued book.

Hangman / Pep Comics #17100864_14dee7908c4f25195ba4399d00380b18a61840d3-219x300 Heroes of the Golden Age: First Heroes

Robert Dickering was the brother of The Comet as well as the first Hangman. His story while in DC comics is different from when he was in MLJ a.k.a Archie Comics. According to DC, Dickering was a doctor in the US Army during the Civil War. He was ambushed and left for dead by some Confederate Soldiers who threw him into enemy lines. While there, he was to be hanged for spying till a mysterious shadowy figure approached him. He was told he would survive the hanging in return for hunting down evil-doers who do not repent for all they have done. For over a hundred years he punished the guilty while saving the innocent.

However, in his first appearance while in Archie Comics, Dickering becomes The Hangman after seeing his brother, The Comet die in his arms. The Comet was shot by a gangster and soon after died. This marks the first time a superhero died in comic history. With only 21 copies on the CGC census, Pep Comics #17 also yields a high cost. A 4.5 sold last year for $2,638. The highest grade is 9.6 with a 7.5 being the next highest.

99983_183ef4cca40b1115ebf8a22c169f42503d26c0fa-212x300 Heroes of the Golden Age: First HeroesThe Shadow and Doc Savage / Shadow Comics #1

The Shadow has been seen in various forms of media. He was featured on the big screen, radio, and in the pulps. The Shadow pretty much is a version of our favorite dark knight, Batman. In the print adventures, the Shadow was a famous pilot Kent Allard who fought for the French during World War I, known as “Black Eagle”. Kent faked his death in a crash in Guatemala taking refuse with the Xinca Tribe. The Shadow uses 2 Colt .45’s and magic tricks to fight crime.

Next is Doc Savage, real name Clark Savage Jr. He is a doctor, scientist, adventurer, and detective. Trained from birth by his father and a team of scientists he gained super-human abilities. He had great strength, endurance, photographic memory, mastery of martial arts, and immense knowledge of science. In 2016, it was announced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is going to play Doc Savage in a movie but in 2020 it was changed to a TV series. But like with everything, it is always subject to change. There were 2 recent sales for restored copies of Shadow Comics #1 with a 1.5 going for $368 and a 3.5 for $1,625.

Minute Man / Master Comics #11100632_c2c4ff2a82ede519af05b054375d91c5fdcb5134-213x300 Heroes of the Golden Age: First Heroes

Originally published by Fawcett Comics, Jack Weston took up the name Minute Man after the minutemen of the American Revolution. An Army private serving during World War II wears a patriotic costume and becomes the Minute-Man, a “One Man Army”.  His secret identity was known to his superior General Milton, who used him on black op missions.  Minute-Man existed in the Fawcett Universe on Earth-S along with Shazam. Minute-Man was also one of three patriotic heroes to have his bloodline destroyed by the efforts of Vandal Savage.

Master Comics #11 appears to be very scarce. There is not much on the census except only 2 sales. Both were restored copies with a 4.0 selling for $300 last year and a 3.5 for $268.80 four years ago. If people have copies they are keeping it raw and not selling.

100753_f078e02a06d296ea76712bb268fa6e3ba26e79b6-215x300 Heroes of the Golden Age: First HeroesStarman / Adventure Comics #61

Ted Knight, known as Starman, is a superhero and once member of the Justice Society of America. Using a cosmic rod he developed, he is able to fly and manipulate energy, just like Green Lantern with his ring. Originally he was operating out of Gotham City, home of our caped crusader. However, in the 1990’s it was retconned to Opal City.

The Golden Age holds a special place in many of our hearts and collections. Here are some Golden books featuring some Golden Age HeroesLike many others on this list, he also served in the Army fighting during World War II. Ted received a hero’s death at the end. While fighting his enemy, Mist, who had a doomsday bomb, he transported them both to the upper stratosphere where the bomb went off. All of them went up in a ball of fire, saving the city and all who lived there. Adventure Comics #61 has 55 copies listed on the census however it is fetching quite a bit of money. A 7.5 sold in May sold for $10,800!


golden_age_heroes_by_raddar_by_terraus635_d2xk6hf-fullview-300x151 Heroes of the Golden Age: First Heroes

Bottom Line

As you see, the Golden Age helped build the heroes that we love today. They are a piece of comic history as well as our nation’s history. Many of the stories were grounded with soldiers who served on the front line of the wars that shaped this nation. But value and scarcity do have their value with many of these fetching high amounts. So if you own one of these let me know below and hold on tight to them. Hope you enjoyed the post!

Till Next Time, Happy Hunting!

FOOTER_Comic3-scaled Heroes of the Golden Age: First Heroes

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