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Saturday, October 14, 2006


Fans of the Golden Age of comics are no doubt familiar with this infamous cover from WWII:

But how many of you fellow comics historians/geeks remember Captain Marvel's pal, Steamboat?

Nowadays forgotten, Steamboat was one of many black supporting characters of the time, a group perhaps best exemplified by Ebony from Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT (see below)

and occasionally ludicrously-named, like Whitewash Jones from THE YOUNG ALLIES (see below)

, most falling into the visual mold established by minstrel performers in the previous century.

Now that DC is yet again relaunching Captain marvel and the other wielders of the powers of SHAZAM, it would be interesting to see Steamboat return, perhaps substituting a loudly bellowed "GAWDAMN!!!" instead of the traditional magic word.

Steamboat with Billy Batson,Captain Marvel's alter-ego.

They'd have to lose the Al Jolson look, though.

1 comment:

Scott Koblish said...

Al Jolson's buried a mile from my home in Los Angeles. In a city filled with the famous dead, Jolson's tomb easliy outstrips any others in sheer magnitude. A waterfall, a statue, a dome over the whole thing - it's quite a site...