Robot 6

Six by 6 | Six largely forgotten heroes from Marvel’s Golden Age

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Jack Frost

Jack Frost

Iceman? Not quite. This 1941 character was one of Stan Lee’s first contributions to Marvel lore, created with Frank Giacoia and Carmine Infantino. Based on the spirit of winter from European folklore, Jack Frost fought for the Allies in World War II as part of the Liberty Legion, even facing off against his elemental opposite the Human Torch. Nicknamed “The God of Ice” at the time, it’s never been revealed if Jack Frost was the character of folklore or merely a super-powered human who took up the name.

The 3Xs

The 3Xs

What was Marvel’s first superhero team? The Fantastic Four? The Invaders? Wrong, it was the 3Xs. Appearing in just one issue, 1940’s Mystic Comics #1, the 3Xs were a trio of plain-clothes detectives, each with a unique ability. 1X was a detective, 2X had a high intellect and 3X was the muscles. Decades before Marvel would make coin with the letter “X,” the 3Xs were fighting crime against the likes of the Green Terror. Who is the Green Terror? That’s another story for another day.

Blazing Skull

The Blazing Skull

A lost classic and a personal favorite, the Blazing Skull is a World War II-era hero with a frightening visage that predates the the modern Ghost Rider by decades. Introduced in 1941 in the pages of Mystic Comics #5, the Blazing Skull was an embedded journalist covering Japan’s war in China. During a horrendous air bombardment, the reporter sought shelter in a mysterious cave, where he found a strange race of beings with burning skulls for heads called the Skull Men. Persuaded by talk of “destiny” and great power, the simple man was trained to become the Blazing Skull, who fought against the Nazis on his own and alongside the Invaders. The Blazing Skull reappeared briefly in the modern era, first as a member of a new incarnation of the Invaders and then as part of the Fifty State Initiative version of the Defenders.

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I’m not going to lie, I have a sweet idea for a Blonde Phantom comic.

The Blonde Phantom, the Angel, and Blazing Skull have all featured prominently in comics within the last decade or so…how are they exactly long-forgotten?

Jack Frost appeared in Captain America issue #384. That story indicates that Jack Frost is a Frost Giant.

Jack Frost actually reappeared in Captain America #384.

He was swallowed by an Iceworm by the end of the issue, but Thor did suggest he might be a Frost Giant cast out by his people for being small.

Damn, beaten to the punch :p

Not that she’s exactly long-forgotten, since New Warriors and Superior Spider-Man Team-Up has featured a legacy character, but Sun Girl was a fairly awesome Golden Age character.

Many of these characters appeared in the Invaders (back in the late 70’ Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins)
Then Blazing Skull and blonde Fantom appeared in the Invaders series, 10 years ago ..

Blazing Skull, Jack Frost, appeared in the story by Toy thomas in the Stan lee anniversary …

so… not so forgotten ..

My nomination for most obscure would be the first Marvel Boy, who had two different versions and only appeared twice.

Great list! Also, the Fighting Hobo needs to make a comeback. He’d be a natural for the Great Lakes Avengers.

I really want more stories about Butch Borgan….how did he get left out of the 12?

A guy on deviantart is doing an ongoing reboot of Amalgam Comics, and he’s already used three of these characters:

-He mixed the Golden Age Angel with the third version of Black Condor to make “Black Angel”, a member of the Freedom Battalion (The Freedom Fighters/The V-Battalion).
-The Blonde Phantom was mixed with the first Mr. Terrific to make “Mr. Phantom”, and he has a successor that amalgamates the Phantom Blonde with Michael Holt; this second Mr. Phantom is a member of the Defending Society (The Justice Society/The Defenders).
-Finally, the Blazing Skull was mixed with the Danette Reilly version of Firebrand to make Fireskull, a member of the WWII hero team the All-Star Invaders (The All-Star Squadron/The Invaders). She has successors in the form of her half-brother Rod Scully (Rod Reilly/Jim Scully), Richard Sanchez (Alex Sanchez/Richard Stetson), and Andre Valiant (Andre Twist/Steve Valiant).

I love this list and I love Golden Age Marvel. I also love the reaction of some readers of this list, re: “(insert name) is not obscure! They appeared in (insert name & number) in 1983 when they helped Hulk fight the Mole Man!” LOL! “Comic Book Guy” from “The Simpsons” would be proud.

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