Thursday, November 16, 2017


Sheesh, I better get on the ball and start writing my review of the two phone book-sized Quality Comics collections that Golden Age Reprints published before Bill Shute beats me to it! (Don't worry, if he does I'll write my own take anyway!) But until I do let me at least gab about this neat little collection featuring yet another one of those wonderful yet oft-ignored and STRANGE BEYOND BELIEF Quality characters, none other than Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man, later to be known by the title Bozo the Robot in case any of you do harbor some confusion about the thing.

And yes, confusion may reign. If I were still a muddled teenbo comic book wannabe historian like I was so long ago I'd sure be baffled by the fact that there was an Iron Man appearing on the racks a good twenny-four years before the more familiar Marvel character popped up. I'd even be more stymied by the fact that this original Iron Man looked a whole lot like the 1963 take with that bulky costume that was soon re-designed because it was just too clunky for any dignified superhero to wear. But then again weird things like that always cropped up in my mind adding to even more confusion than usual for a kid who used to get brain muddled by why FIREBALL XL5 was on TV and SUPERCAR wasn't and as you know diseased ways of thinking do tend to run off on tangents I don't think even the most skilled psychoanalyst could fathom.

And besides, this particular "Iron Man" ain't even a human character but a robot, controlled by police camp follower (in the Bruce Wayne tradition) Hugh Hazzard. He's the guy who in the very first episode "rescued" Bozo from the evil Dr. Von Thorpe who was using the robot for nefarious gain thus turning him into a crime fighting robot with Hazzard now calling the shots! Naturally the police commissioner, using the same sort of comic book anti-logic every police commissioner did during those Golden Age days, is dead set against Hazzard operating Bozo and wants the robot scrapped, but he quickly changes his mind after seeing the machine in action killing a kidnapper (and surviving a plane crash) at the end of episode two. And you wonder why crime was rampant in these books what with alla them dolt cops who are so inept that private eyes and superheroes are always outwitting them!

Every saga reprinted here basks in that off-kilter yet so enjoyable Quality style which thankfully did not adhere to what the competition, who seemed to be in a dither to rip each other off, was up to) and I'm even talking the biggies like Timely and DC!). With a special control hidden in his jacket collar, Hazzard relays commands to Bozo just in time for it to save him from some saboteur or to leap upon a speeding vehicle causing some jewel thieves to crash thus meeting their maker a whole lot sooner'n they surely hoped they would. Gotta love those pre-code comics where these bad guys always get knocked off thus saving us all from having them give us grief in some future story.

What's even more interesting are the sagas where Hazzard actually squeezes himself into Bozo thus making him perhaps the original Tony Stark. Now frankly I woulda thought Bozo woulda been chock fulla gears and gadgets to make him operate the way he does, but I guess it was possible for a standard 1940s police detective to sneak inside him which does add a broader scope to just what can be done with the infernal machine. And, in case you didn't know, when you read these stories you gotta throw all sorts of logic and reason right out the window which in fact make them all the more enjoyable and if you can't get away with that in real life at least you can in these pretty exciting tales from the dawn of the superhero industry!

A must get for those of you who still have the soul of a mid-teenbo suburban slob pimplefarm raging deep inside.


Bill S. said...

Any comic with a robot fighting an ape on its cover is a MUST-READ for me!

Christopher Stigliano said...

Naturally this scene does not take place anywhere in the actual story!