Sunday, August 22, 2010

Golden Age Heroes - Spy Smasher

This is an early superhero character from Fawcett Publications, appearing in the very first issue of Whiz Comics along with the initial appearances of such luminaries as Captain Marvel and Ibis, the Invincible. Again, some of the purists might argue that Spy Smasher didn't have any superpowers so he wasn't really a superhero - I discussed this issue before. But he was certainly doing the same things most of the patriotic superhero crowd was doing - namely fighting the Axis on our home soil. On the cover of Spy Smasher No. 9, which I've used as a backdrop for the action figure, he's even beating up on Hitler, Mussolini and a Japanese warlord. Spy Smasher also shared other traits with other superhero characters - i.e., he was a bored rich guy ala Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen and many more. He starts out as bored millionaire Alan Armstrong, engaged to Eve Corby, who is the daughter of Admiral Corby. The admiral feels that recent "accidents" have been the work of saboteurs/spies/enemy agents - take your pick - and his son-in-law-to-be agrees to investigate. Inventing and building a Gyrosub, which can both fly and travel in water, he begins his campaign against the Axis agents. He actually lasted through most of the war, shifting from a khaki outfit to the green one illustrated here during the course of his career. When the war was over he had a brief career as the Crime Smasher before fading into comic book obscurity. Along with the other Fawcett characters he is now owned by DC, which used him in a couple of their cross-over story lines between the Justice League of earth-1, the Justice Society of earth-2 and the old Fawcett characters from earth-S. He also appeared in a Republic 12-part serial during the war - apparently only the second superhero to do so after Captain Marvel. Later there would be a bunch of them. The action figure was made using a Star Wars Imperial Commander figure and the head from a GI Joe Ninja Force T'Jbang figure. I sculpted the goggles from Skulpy.
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