Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Son Of Vulcan Reports - DC Part 1

After the collapse of Charlton Comics, their properties were divided up among lots of folks. Somehow Son of Vulcan was included in the "Action Heroes" purchased by DC Comics as a gift of sorts for then editor Dick Giordano. Son of Vulcan had more in common with the Fightin' 5 who were left behind in this deal than he did with any of the other Charlton heroes. Sarge Steel made sense because he was Giordano's baby, but Giordano only worked on one issue of Son of Vulcan, the debut issue for which he supplied a cover.

Whatever the case, Son of Vulcan became part of the DC Universe and apparently shows up in Crisis on Infinite Earths, though I have to confess I don't remember him and I can't find him among the multitudes drawn by George Perez. He does get a nice page in The History of the DC Universe by Wolfman and Perez.

Unlike Blue Beetle and Captain Atom, Son of Vulcan did not get his own series, and unlike Thunderbolt and Peacemaker he did not get his own limited series, and unlike Nightshade and Sarge Steel he did not get worked into a series as part of the cast.

He did get an appearance in the all-hands-on-deck comic DC Challenge where he was cover featured and got all of one page to show his mettle before disappearing back into the mists.

It's notable in this comic that he is again written by Roy Thomas, the scribe who wrote his last adventure at Charlton.

Son of Vulcan did rate his own entry in Who's Who in the DC Universe, specifically issue twenty-one.

Then he falls into obscurity once again. Alas Son of Vulcan doesn't even rate a doppleganger in Alan Moore's Watchmen series, but is left once again to sit on the sidelines waiting for his next big break if it is to come.

It does come(sort of)in a four-part limited event titled War of the Gods, a massively complicated storyline in which Son of Vulcan does indeed appear and even makes a few covers before actually coming to his end.

That's right, they kill him off.

And that's the end of Johnny Mann, the anti-war reporter and veteran who challenged the gods and found his own destiny.

Johnny deserved better.

It's clear that DC could've done more with Son of Vulcan than they did. They just didn't appear to want to do much. Maybe it was merciful that he was killed off. Maybe they save him from some future indignity.


"Son of Vulcan" is a great name and many years later that name was used again by DC Comics. That will the be the focus of the Part Two.

More to come.

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