Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Golden Age Superheroes - Spark Man

Spark Man was a rather unique character in the Golden Age of Comics. Beginning his career in Sparkler Comics published by United Features Syndicate, it was established that he had a secret identity - but unlike virtually every other character, that identity was not revealed to the reader. For the first nine issues the writers played with the readers as to whether Spark Man was really Quill Davis, whose newspaper stories defended the Spark Man, or maybe Val Hall, millionaire sportsman and friend to the oppressed, or finally, was he really Omar Kavak, a famous violinist. In the end it turned out that Spark Man was secretly (but only to his comic book friends and foes) the fiddle player - whoops, sorry, violinist, Omar Kavak. Now I certainly can't be sure, but this is the first and only superhero I've run across who was really a concert violinist. At any rate, Spark Man was apparently a master of terrifying electrical power, sort of like pumped up static electricity, which he could use on the bad guys. He channeled this power through the index fingers of his gauntlets, and quite a shock it would be to bad guys he came into "contact" with. Starting out in 1941 as a costumed superhero, when the war broke out he joined up and fought the Japs in uniform until the war ended. Then he went back into costume for a short time before disappearing from superhero history. He has appeared in Dynamite Comics Project Superpowers, along with a lot of other Golden Age characters. There was another thing that set Spark Man apart - namely that he was one of the few original characters published in the magazine. Mostly United Features Syndicate published reprints of newspaper strips like Capt & the Kids, Tarzan, Abbie & Slats and Bronco Bill. In the future I'll cover a couple more of their original superheroes. As for the action figure, I used a Toy Biz Tombstone figure, to which I sculpted gauntlets, including an elongated index finger with a small crystal on the end. The head was from a Mortal Kombat figure and I made the top knot from plastic sheet and a small bead I had.
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