Hallowe’en Countdown VI, Day 11

« His appetite for the marvelous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary. » — Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

In these dark days of superhero media dominance, it’s nice to look back at a time when the übermensch were in the throes of a cyclical decline and had to borrow a page or two from the dominant horror genre to extend their lifetime a bit. By the early 1950’s, superhero comics were in a slump and horror was ascendant in the land. Some of the main players went largely unaffected and presumably unconcerned, but some of the jobbers had to move quickly to preserve their day gig. The world wound up with such aberrations as Captain America’s Weird Tales.

We’ve previously noted the changes wrought upon Quality’s Plastic Man, and now we turn to ‘The World’s Mightiest Mite‘, Doll Man (a bit of back-handed compliment, wouldn’t you say?)

Quality always boasted a superb bullpen, and so some of these covers were crafted by the most excellent Reed Crandall (and check out our spotlight from last year). Natural cover artists are a true rarity, yet Crandall certainly fit the bill.

This is Doll Man no. 40 (June 1952, Quality). Read it here! Cover by Reed Crandall. Read it here! Once again, a reminder that spiders aren’t insects. This tale preceded the great Richard Matheson‘s novel The Shrinking Man by four years, and its classic film adaptation (add ‘Incredible‘) by five. Just sayin’…
Dipping into the classics of American literature, this is Doll Man no. 41 (Aug. 1952, Quality). Cover by Mr. Crandall. Read it here!
This is Doll Man no. 42 (Oct. 1952, Quality). Another Crandall cover. I know *I* wouldn’t have passed this one up on the newsstand, whatever the competition! Read it here!
This is Doll Man no. 43 (Dec. 1952, Quality) cover tentatively attributed to the many-pseudonymed Dan Zolnerowich. Read it here!
This is the series’ swan song, Doll Man no. 47 (Oct. 1953, Quality), quite a scarce issue. Read it here!

-RG

4 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Countdown VI, Day 11

  1. nealumphred October 12, 2022 / 09:03

    It’s hard to imagine a worse name for a superhero than “Doll Man” Plus, given his “heroic” stature, it’s not even accurate. But then, what were they going to call him: “Six-Inch Man”?

    Reed Crandall’s art just kept getting better. I was amazed when I saw his beautiful stuff in Jim Warren’s magazines in the ’60s. It was unlike anything I had ever seen in a comic book—looked like it belonged among the finest book illustrations of the past.

    Check out this splash page for “The Cask of Amontillado” from 1965:

    Like

    • gasp65 October 12, 2022 / 10:48

      Hi Neal!

      I’m with you on poor Doll Man’s moniker.

      You’ll get no argument from me as to the jaw-dropping beauty of Crandall’s “Amontillado” splash — it was actually my introduction to his work, encountered in the French edition of Creepy. I still think Archie Goodwin was misguided in trying to shoehorn ‘twist’ endings to his Poe adaptations — try picturing Gaines and Feldstein changing Bradbury’s endings! — but that’s no slight on Crandall whatsoever.

      Like

      • nealumphred October 12, 2022 / 10:54

        If you received duplications of my comment, it’s because when I posted the comment, this site took me to a WordPress login page. I logged in and was brought back here but my comment wasn’t in sight. So I repeated the process and the same thing happened. I assume that you have to approve comments before they are published so I stopped.

        Like

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