Monday, April 19, 2010

Golden Age Custom Action Figures - Wonder Man

I'm shifting gears again and will concentrate for a couple of days on superheroes killed off by Superman's publishing house - DC Comics. That's right - the Superhero Wars!!! DC found similarities between their characters and a number of others printed by competing publishing houses over the years. They had a running lawsuit against Fawcett for the Captain Marvel character for something like 13 years - eventually Fawcett got out of the comic book business and sold the rights to their characters to DC, who ended up using many of them in their own comics lines, including Captain Marvel himself. The first one they went after was today's highlighted character - Wonder Man. Victor Fox, who established the Fox Features Syndicate, saw the success of Superman and went to the Eisner-Iger comics writing studio and said he wanted another Superman. Wrong thing to say. Later, when DC went after the character for copyright infringement, Will Eisner had to admit in court what Fox had directed and the judge ruled in DC's favor. So there was only one Wonder Man adventure published by Fox. In it Fred Carson, a mild-mannered radio engineer and inventor goes to Tibet where he is given a magic ring that endows him with superhuman powers (you know, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings, yada, yada, yada) with which to battle evil in the world. He goes to a foreign country and beats up on the evil dictator. Along the way he saves the girl and lots of other people. I actually rather liked the character. Marvel Comics later created a Wonder Man character who had the whole good guy/bad guy thing going for him. The Fox Wonder Man figure was created using a Superpowers Collection Superman body and the head from a Superpowers Aquaman. On the cover Wonder Man does not have a mask on but inside he does so I gave him a mask. The collar on his costume was created using a similar colored piece of felt. I should say that I only use acrylic paints on plastic action figures. I've tried enamels but they never dry and remain forever tacky.

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