Landelle's A Woman of Thebes bw

Landelle’s A Woman of Thebes bw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within the niche of “superhero magicians,” Ibis the Invincible shares prominence with Mandrake and Blackstone (aka Super-Magician). What sets Ibis apart is his unique identity as a 4,000-year-old Egyptian prince donning a modern business suit. Armed with his profound knowledge of magic, augmented by the Ibisstick bestowed upon him by Thoth, the God of Wisdom, Ibis embarks on a quest to reunite with his ancient love, Princess Taia of Thebes, whose red dress on the cover distinguishes her from the green-faced ghoul. The Princess of Thebes bears a distant resemblance to the “Woman of Thebes” depicted in Charles Landelle’s 1876 painting. It’s entirely conceivable that a comic artist born in 1906, and possibly exposed to such artwork while studying in New York City, could draw inspiration from Landelle.

Issue #3* showcases the Ibisstick, emitting an eerie glow in the presence of evil forces. Dated November 1945, the art is masterfully rendered by Gaspano “Gus” Ricca. Known for his contributions to the peculiar covers churned out by publisher Harry A. Chesler, Gus Ricca’s work, like this cover, is marked by its brilliant and striking use of color. An intriguing tidbit: a fellow artist playfully references “Mr. Ricca” while he serves as Art Director for Chesler’s military humor publisher, Remington Morse Co.

Originally introduced by Fawcett, Ibis makes his debut and unveils his origin story in Whiz Comics #2. The rights to the character are now held by DC Comics, where he experienced a revival in the late 1970s and again in the 2000s.

* Sold copy