Thrilling Comics #53 (April 1946) is another classic from Alex Schomburg. The dazzling composition (complete with hero saving a blonde haired damsel who is dangerously in jeopardy of slipping out of her red dress while being hauled off into the jungle in the clutches of a mad gorilla) no doubt flew off newsstand shelves. Two curious side stories. Alex seemed to have a penchant for red dresses – a topic ripe for additional exploration in future posts here. Additionally, gorillas were apparently a known cover mechanism to boost newsstand sales, particularly used by DC comics in the Silver Age of comics.
On the other hand, the pompadour hairstyled lead hero on the cover of Standard Publishing’s Thrilling Comics is Doc Strange. This Doc Strange should not be confused with Marvel’s Doctor Strange of a later area. This Doc first appeared in 1940, from the mind of Richard E. Hughes artistic pen of Alexander Kostuk. Besides running in the pulp spin-off Thrilling Comics, Doc was also featured in Standard’s America’s Best Comics along with other heroes such as Pyroman, The Black Terror and Fighting Yank. Doc Strange lasted in Thrilling comics all the way to issue #65 (April, 1948).
Doc’s super strength came from consumption of “Alosun,” which he created by distilling atoms from the Sun. The actual formula has likely since been lost to the annuals of time, but is probably still being actively sought after by the scientists of the world’s major distilleries such as Bacardi.
* Sold copy