Sunday, February 20, 2011

Design of the Week--Spy Smasher Smashes Spies!

Each week, we post a limited-edition design, to be sold for exactly 7 days, then replaced with another!
This week..the return of one of the 1940s major anti-Axis comic book heroes!

Spy Smasher was one of the many rich playboys-turned-superheroes who filled the four-color pages of the Golden Age of Comics, but with one critical difference...he only fought those who worked for the Axis against the US!
Introduced in Whiz Comics #2*, Wealthy inventor Alan Armstrong, engaged to a Navy admiral's daughter, decided to secretly help his prospective father-in-law deal with cases of sabotage.
Utilizing his high-tech equipment, Alan adopted the identity of "Spy Smasher", following up on leads provided by Admiral Corby faster than the red-tape-hindered Navy officer could.
His primary weapon was the GyroSub, a combo autogyro/airplane/submarine.
So great was reader response that Spy Smasher quickly received his own comic as well as appearing in the anthology America's Greatest Comics, where he crossed-over with Captain Midnight!

Spy Smasher was also the only other Fawcett Comics character, besides Captain Marvel, to be made into a movie serial! (Captain Midnight, who also had a serial, was licensed to Fawcett, it wasn't owned by them.)
The serial introduced a twin brother, Jack Armstrong, who was engaged to admiral's daughter Eve Corby, not Alan, (who was still Spy Smasher).
When Jack fills-in for Alan, he's killed by Nazi gunmen in the only time a serial cliffhanger ending proves to be true!
Both Jack and Alan Armstrong were played by handsome Kane Richmond, who was second only to Buster Crabbe in playing various superheroes on screen. (Kane was also The Shadow, Brick Bradford, and male sidekicks to Brenda Starr and Tiger Woman.)
And, as a Martian spaceship pilot, he fought Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon in Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars! (Small universe, ain't it?)

We introduced Spy Smasher in our Lost Heroes vs Hitler Calendar, but now the time has come to unleash him on his own!
Pick him up this week on mugs, t-shirts, and other goodies since this particular design is NOT going to be part of his ongoing line of collectibles!

FREEBIE!: Chapter One of Spy Smasher: the Movie Serial! Watch it or download it!

*Whiz Comics #1 was only produced as a limited-edition "ashcan" to secure copyright. Whiz #2 is the "first" issue of the comic title.  It also introduced the Golden Age (SHAZAM!) Captain Marvel, Ibis the Invincible, and Golden Arrow.

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