Monday, April 12, 2010

Golden Age Heroes - Airmale & Stampy

Continuing with my current theme of lame side-kick names I present two of the lamest characters in the history of superhero comics - Airmale and Stampy. They ran about 10 stories in Prize Comics between 1943-44, of which I've only seen a couple. They gained their "super-powers" when biology professor Kenneth Stevens was dressing for a costume party (see the picture). Before leaving he tinkers with a previously unsuccessful experiment which, when he cuts his hand, gets into his blood stream. The result is he becomes lighter than air. He quickly whips up a gravity control device!!! Wait - he quickly whips up a gravity control device??? You think I'm making this up, don't you. But look boys and girls, I don't make these stories up I just relate them as I sees them. If I was making it up it wouldn't be this lame. So yes, he whips up a gravity control device, which he incorporates into a belt buckle because he's now permanently lighter than air. So now he decides to use his power to float to fight crime. Guess he didn't figure he could fight crime with his feet on the ground. Somehow the power to float becomes the power to fly, which I suppose has a bit more momentum if you're delivering a punch and then you could actually go somewhere rather than just floating around at the whims of the wind. Anyway, he's later surprised when his nephew Bobby is sent to live with him and we're all surprised when the kid actually wants to be a floater as well, adopting the lame superhero sick-kick name of Stampy. The pair was revived - briefly - in 1990 by AC Comics as part of their Vault of Heroes story-line. A bunch of Golden Age heroes had been placed in suspended animation until they were needed and no sooner had these two been defrosted than they had their throats ripped out by one of the great Golden Age villains of all time - Iron Jaw (more on him in a future blog). It was merciful - for all of us. I made the figure of Airmale from a Toy Biz Tombstone (Spider-Man villain) body and the head of Playmates Captain Kirk - and yes, there really are wings on the head but unfortunately they don't show up very well in this photo. I made the wings from pieces of paper glued to the sides of the head. Stampy was made from a Star Wars Imperial Commander action figure with a head from something else I can't remember. Stampy's collar was cut from a piece of cloth and the circular belt buckles were cut from a piece of sheet plastic using a hole punch.
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