This vintage Fred Hembeck cover from those long ago days of 1980 is a crack up of the highest order. Three brilliantly and blindingly hued heroes joined to create a crisis of color in the Hembeckian world at large. It's genius!
|Jack Kirby and Mort Meskin|
The Prankster is from the final throes of the Silver Age, a one-shot hero created by Denny O'Neil in his guise as "Sergius O'Shaugnessy" and top flight artist Jim Aparo.
Created for Charlton Comics, this futuristic gadfly battles an oppressive and humorless government in the distant future city of Ultropolis.
And perhaps most obscure of all is Steve Ditko's Odd Man. The Odd Man was a truly bizarre creation.
Scheduled to debut in the pages of the ninth issue of Ditko's Shade the Changing Man, the exotically hued hero made his first actual appearance in the dubious offset rarity Cancelled Comics Cavalcade, a victim like so many of the infamous " DC Implosion" of the late Bronze Age.
|Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez|
As you can see, Odd Man is perhaps the biggest eyesore among these disparate brothers-of-the-brightly-clad, his whole look seemingly designed to create a clash.
Only Fred Hembeck would think it a good enough joke to dig out these most obscure heroes (remember it was in those halcyon pre-internet days) for his devoted audience. Good show Fred on a true classic gag!
This Hembeck classic is reprinted in the awesome The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus, though I fear the color might be missing. I hope not.