Mystic no.7, 1941


Mystic Comics no.7, Dec 1941. Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. 

Kirby did one cover each for Mystic, Daring, Young Allies, Red Raven, USA and Marvel Mystery, two for Daring Mystery and seven Captain America covers he penciled, before moving on to National/DC. (Joe Simon did a few covers without Kirby.)

The photo going into IG caused the bottom to be cropped. It reads “As the deadly monsters from Hitler’s Trunk of Terror were freed, the Destroyer plunged down.”

The first four issues of Mystic had some interesting ideas that lacked execution. The title went on hiatus for seven months before no.5 hit newsstands. Then, another six month lapse occurred until no.6 came out with The Destroyer.

Inside this issue, were some of the most interesting characters that Timely did outside of its Big Three: the Destroyer, the Blazing Skull, the Black Widow, the Witness, the Terror, and the Black Marvel. 

Mystic Comics had a lineup of weird heroes unique in comic history. The Black Widow was Timely/Marvel’s first female hero and an emissary of the Devil. The Terror was an inhuman monster that fought injustice. The Black Marvel was derivative of other signature characters at National and Fawcett minus the fantastic abilities. His catch was that he wore the mantle bestowed on the greatest hero of the Blackfeet people. The Blazing Skull’s striking design and strong artwork make it a mystery why he didn’t catch on afterwards like The Destroyer. Yes, his stories had huge plot holes, but this is true for many Golden Age Heroes. The Skull Men granted him his powers to fight injustice. 

The Witness watched crimes happen and then punished the evil doers. The Witness, like several of these other misfit heroes, didn’t shy away from Dirty Harry or Death Wish levels of vengeance. Many of the bad guys were terminated in these stories.

By far the most successful, The Destroyer was a prisoner of Nazi Germany and appeared in almost 40 stories in the Golden Age. Stan Lee is usually credited with co-creating The Destroyer (with either Jack Binder or Alex Schomburg.)

We even get treated to a Stan Lee text story about the Destroyer. 

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