Friday, December 28, 2012

Reading Room: AMAZING ADVENTURES OF BUSTER CRABBE "Dark of the Moon"

He was Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Tarzan, and Thun'da!
(And he would've been a helluva Doc Savage, if they had done a feature or serial in the 1940s!)
He was Larry "Buster" Crabbe, the first (and many say, the greatest) cinema action hero.
A two-time Olympian (with a swimming gold medal to his credit), Buster didn't even have to audition for Flash Gordon. (He came to support a friend who was auditioning, and the director, who had seen Crabbe's earlier work as Tarzan offered him the role on the spot!)
Art by Alex Toth
Like many other action-movie actors of the 1930s-1950s, Crabbe had his own comic book where he's shown as Buster Crabbe, not "Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon" or somesuch in the tale, and it's assumed that he's actually able to do anything he's been shown doing in his films.
Unlike most of the other matinee idols, Crabbe's comic adventures covered a variety of genres from Western to sci-fi, and even some cross-genre mashups as shown HERE and HERE.
(The others, except for John Wayne, were purely Western-themed series.
Wayne, because of his extensive war film work also had Korean War and present-day adventure comic stories in his comic series.)
Though the writer for this wild, never-reprinted tale from Lev Gleason's Amazing Adventures of Buster Crabbe #2 (1954) is unknown, the artists are Alex Toth (pencils), Mike Peppe (inks) and John Celardo (retouching on Buster's face in several panels).

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