From the mentions of Golden Age characters in this blog you might get the impression that the best you could say* for the Golden Age with its crude exposition was that it was a primer for what was to follow. Even looking at Golden Age characters given a second (or third) run through magic or suspended animation or an elixir of youth or just to coach the younguns, there's something vaguely ridiculous about them.
My favourite golden age gonzo is actually a male adult/boy ward (so suspiciously prevalent in comic books of that time), The Eagle and Eagle Boy. Considering many of the misconceived flapping furies that have inhabited comics, what's so special about these guys?
Well, here's the thing, The Eagle gets his power of flight by drinking a potion - more convenient than inspired from a plotting point of view - but, and here's the clincher, Eagle Boy accompanies him by riding on his back!!!
But before we get carried away, I'd maintain that Doctor Fate is best realised in his very earliest incarnation, living in a tower that only he can mystically enter.
The correlative to this is Red Tornado. A rather embarrassing character viewed in these pc times, she was originally Ma Hunkel, a joke character with a one-shot appearance in the Justice Society of America. In the Silver Age revamp, though, the character becomes a male android with a lower half literally like a tornado. The character's never taken off, as it were, and that's because it really shows the way in which there was a little too much sheen applied in the streamlining of these character properties. It would probably have been better to simply leave Red Tornado out of the picture.
In case you're wondering, the Ages pretty much stop there. Nobody can decide whether subsequent periods in sequential art history should be dubbed the Nickel Age or Cadmium Age and really it's superfluous. The groundwork has been done. This is not to say that there were not significant episodes like the grim'n'gritty redefining of origins that was the eighties, they just don't have a name.
Posted by berko_wills at 6:39 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 6 May 2005 4:02 PM NZT