April 1st, 2009

The Zombie

No More Fun Comics

March 31 -  So, what's left to say about More Fun Comics?  I suppose that I haven't really talked about the superheroes that it spawned.  Some became minor stars (like The Spectre), others were also-rans (Johnny Quick), and several others became odd footnotes (Dr. Occult).  Even though they had some successes back in the day, it was never "Superman-success."  Probably the biggest super-star to first see print in MFC was Aquaman.  Originally just another back-up feature character, it took him decades to gain "Justice League level" status.  That seems to be the general legacy of all super-powered characters from More Fun Comics.  None of them took the world by storm, and I think I know why; they never had the advantage of a book-length story.  Every appearance was limited to a handful of plot-intensive, action-filled pages.  While the more obvious detriment to such a publishing history is that readers never had more than a few panels to get to know these characters, the secret of their non-success may actually have been the lack of memorable auxiliary characters.  Name one character from The Spectre's comics mythology other than himself (or his alter ego).  If you are a comics historian, you could probably do it, but chances are that you're drawing a blank.  Now name Superman's mom(s), girlfriend(s), and boss(es).  Even my Mom, wife, and boss could do that.  A well-developed supporting cast seems to have a big impact on the success of a lead character, for any number of reasons.  In eight-or-so-page stories like those in More Fun, everything had to be more streamlined, so the cast was limited too.  It's just a theory.  Sigh.  I'd still love to see a return of big anthology comics someday.  There is just something so satisfying about having so many stories in one publication.  Well, let's wrap this month up with your last More Fun Comics Character of The Day - Dr. Fate!

(Dr. Fate's second appearance, and first cover --- image
is again courtesy of the
Grand Comic Book Database