Like the reason you try a slice of pineapple pizza even though you know you don’t like it, the idea of randomness is often refreshing. In a previous article, we introduced the random characters of the Slug, Sax Gola, Animal Lad; here we will introduce a few more random characters you might not necessarily be aware of. To reiterate the parameters from before:
- Never been in a movie.
- Never been in a TV show.
- No rumor or news for an upcoming anything.
- Bonus Points: Never written about in a previous article here.
Through sheer coincidence, the characters below all first appeared in the Golden Age.
But wait, Quicksilver is a very popular character; so popular in fact he even has two different live action iterations and dozens of animated appearances. Unfortunately the assumption that the Quicksilver being referred to here is the Marvel one, is wrong. You might be surprised to learn that DC Comics also has a character named Quicksilver; technically, first published under Quality Comics, until later acquired by DC Comics. Chronologically, this Quicksilver appeared about 24 years before Marvel’s Quicksilver.
Quicksilver’s first appearance was in National Comics #5 (1940) in the story “Presenting Quicksilver.” Utilizing his super speed, he fought against the evil scientist Von Lohfer, who also first appeared in this issue.
The initial assumption that the Quicksilver being talked about here was Marvel’s was the same reason that DC Comic subsequently changed the hero’s name. While keeping his basic character design, Quicksilver was renamed to the alliteration “Max Mercury.” As Max Mercury, some of his contributions include serving in a mentorship capacity to the various Flashes. He imparted knowledge about better running techniques and how the Speed Force worked. Given his importance, it is a bit surprising that Quicksilver/Max Mercury has not appeared on TV or film.
Hailing from the northernmost kingdom of Ice-Berg Land, Minister Blizzard first appeared in the “Ice World’s Conquest” story of Wonder Woman #29 (1948). Professor Chemico plans to use a machine of his to warm up the North Pole and transform it into a more habitable place for humans; oddly enough, Professor Chemico’s climate change plans weren’t viewed as nefarious at the time of this issue’s publication. Minister Blizzard steals the machine and threatens to turns it on the rest of the world. Wonder Woman jumps into action against Minister Blizzard and puts an end to his icy plans.
Wonder Woman #29 was Minister Blizzard’s one and only Golden Age appearance. It wouldn’t be until Wonder Woman #162 (1966) that he would appear again; and make a second attempt at freezing the world. Of the comics mentioned in this article, Wonder Woman #162 is the lowest priced one at just under $20 for an FN grade.
Captain America isn’t the only USA themed superhero in Marvel Comics’ stable; also introduced in the same year as Cap was the Defender in the book U.S.A. Comics #1 (1941). Technically both at the time were Timely Comics.
In his premiere story “The Hideous Dame Kackle,” the Defender and his trusty sidekick Rusty investigate mysterious ships in the New York Harbor. During their investigation, they are confronted and overpowered by Dame Kackle and her henchmen. Unfortunately, the Defender does not possess the same super soldier strength as his contemporary Captain America. The Defender and Rusty are able to slip away; and a second attempt proves successful.
In subsequent stories, the Defender and Rusty would go on to fight the Nazis and even Red Skull. They were originally created due to the success of Captain America and Bucky, but unfortunately they never reached a similar level of popularity.
“The light speed effect… the accompanying transformation… that’s what you’ve brushed up against, Wally. Now the lightning is calling you.” – Max Mercury