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He really is the odd man out

January 4, 2011

There’s a quick story that goes with this ad.

About a year ago I was in my favorite local comic shop and the owner, a friend whose knowledge of the comics world far outstrips my own admittedly limited cache, walked over to me with an open comic as I was browsing through some of his bins. He actually had a question for me. I stood up straight, as befits a man who’s about to make his bones and do a service to a pal.

“Do you know who this guy is?” he asked. “I can’t place him.” The book was opened to the above ad, and he was pointing to the character in the back and the middle, or the point of the V, if you will.

He had drawn a blank. And so did I. My big chance to be a know-it-all was slipping from me. If only he had asked me to ID any of the other B-list and lower characters in the ad… I grasped at the only straw I had.

“Crazy Quilt?” I said, with so little conviction it came out as more a question than a reply. I knew I was wrong.

“No. That’s not him.”


Then a little while later I learned that this character was one of those oh-so-flickering creations of Steve Ditko’s — the Odd Man. He ran as a backup in a couple books in the late 70s, including Detective Comics. That was where I first made his acquaintance.

A day late, and a dollar short.

Just thought I’d share that.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2011 12:55 pm

    Gotta love the bombast on this one: “the Most Exciting Heroes In Comics!” Yeah, so exciting they don’t have their own books, are lucky to be featured in back-up strips and will get the axe again in a couple months with the *Im*plosion.

    Can’t imagine why Odd Man wasn’t a success; with that “Crayola Mascot” look, he’d look to be a sure bet…the biggest thing in crimefighting since Jerry Siegel’s “Funnyman.”

    Who’s the chick with the sword?

    • January 5, 2011 6:52 pm

      They didn’t exactly put their best foot forward with this one, did they?

      As for the chick with the sword — you know, at first glance I thought she was Isis, but now I see that, though they share similarly diaphanous garb, that’s probably not her. And I have to admit, I’m a little bit stumped if it’s not.

      It’s happening again!

      • January 6, 2011 9:25 am

        I almost never read “Wonder Woman” (placing me squarely in the 95% majority), but I wonder if she was some sort of Amazon character from a “Paradise Island” back-up feature? Diana herself was back in the star-spangled hot pants by this point.

        I’d guess she’s from “Warlord,” but Grell would never draw a woman with so much clothes on.

      • January 6, 2011 9:41 am

        Someone from the Warlord-iverse was going to be my guess, but I kept silent so as not to influence anyone who might have had an idea. Maybe someone will have a more concrete inkling at some point.

  2. January 8, 2011 8:38 pm

    David is right on; the lady with the sword is just an Amazon representative for their short-lived WW back-up.

    • January 10, 2011 8:18 pm

      Thanks for the confirmation on that. It’s at least a little reassuring to know that I’m not a complete idiot and that she wasn’t another specific character that I blanked on.

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