Sunday, May 1, 2011

Golden Age Hero - Neon, the Unknown

I abandoned the Quality publishing house for a couple of United Features Syndicate heroes, but now I thought I'd return to Quality for today's post. Presenting Neon, the Unknown. Whereby, brave but abused French Foreign Legionnaire Tom Corbet and his squad are sent out into the cruel desert by their even crueler lieutenant chasing an African tribe that's supposedly making mischief. All the squad but Tom succumb to the heat and parching thirst but Tom presses on, despite the fact that without his squad it's a fool's errand at best. Anyway, Tom stumbles upon an oasis with glistening water and takes a drink, whereupon he is transformed into the superhero Neon, the Unknown, energized by neonic powers so he can fly, he glows and he can fire energy bolts from his hands. OK, just a minute - neonic powers from an inert gas used to light up commercial signs and the dorm rooms of college students? What's up with that? But then, flash on another inert gas that may have inspired the writer - krypton gas. And who's the guy we associate with Krypton? Why Superman of course. Could it be - krypton and then neon - do we have an association?? I suspect so but what the heck, he didn't garner any lawsuits from DC Comics so who am I to say? Anyway, Neon's first act is to dispatch an attacking tiger with bolts from his hands. Wait a minute!! A tiger in Africa?? But tigers are native to Asia, aren't they?? Well, never let it be said the jungle comics didn't play fast and lose with those little details. Anyway, Neon sets off in his first comic adventure to defeat Morgan Crookes (get it, crooks), a retired rich guy who's using natives in Africa, Australia and South America in a bid to take over the world by training the savages in the use of modern weapons including aircraft. (Remember, I don't make this stuff up.) Neon returns to his Legionnaire unit and leads them against Crookes' minions, defeating them of course. Altogether Neon runs from Hit Comics issue #1 through 17 by Quality and is then revived later as part of the Freedom Fighters under DC Comics story continuity. He seems to have changed outfits a couple of times but the one depicted here is basically his initial, magically provided threads. The action figure was a Super Powers Collection Green Lantern with the puffy sleeved arms from a Firestorm and the head from a Hasbro Bruce Wayne figure. The kerchief around his head in some panels looked as large as a cape but I sort of held it down to a dull roar. I also used fabric for the belt.

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