Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Before Percy Jackson was...Nature Boy!

Long before Percy Jackson met the Olympians and fought a Sea of Monsters, there was another teen given amazing powers by ancient gods...
Rich teenager David Crandall was yachting with his parents when a storm sank the boat and David was stranded!
Rescued by "gods" who control various aspects of nature, he is given a portion of each of their powers...
(Yeah, I know a couple of them overlap, and only one was an actual mythological god, but why quibble?)
David used his new powers to return home and reunite with his still-alive family.
He also decided to battle evil in various forms as Nature Boy, since he controlled the forces of nature, and the gods gave him a spiffy new outfit to show off!

He only had three issues of his own title (which started with #3*) before he disappeared from the comics scene..until now!
But, within those three issues, the seeds were planted for an entire superfamily of Nature-heroes including Nature Man (an adult version of the hero from the future) and female counterpart Nature Girl.
This isn't surprising, since he was created by Jerry Siegel (co-creator of Superman) who knew a thing or two about that sort of thing.
To add to his hero cred, Nature Boy was drawn by the great John Buscema who later did Conan, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and damn near everything at Marvel in the 70s thru the 90s, so even if the stories were a bit silly, they looked spectacular!
You can read several of his tales at our "brother" blog, Hero Histories™!

Technically, Nature Boy should be considered one of the last Golden Age heroes as his premiere was in 1956, just a couple of months before The Flash re-emerged in Showcase #4.
However, like Captain Flash, and the Martian Manhunter, though he predates The Flash, he's thought to be one of the first Silver Age characters instead!
On that basis, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have revived Nature Boy as part of our Lost Heroes of the Silver Age of Comics™ line, on t-shirts, messenger bags, mugs and other kool kollectibles!
He was one of the first, but hardly one of the worst...

*To save money on paying for a new second-class mailing permit,  comics publishers would often just rename an existing comic, rather than start a new one!
Today, with #1 issues being such "hot" collector's items, publishers wouldn't dream of doing that sort of thing!

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