Monday, July 22, 2013

Dude, the obscure

So, the search that generated that pile of pre-internet artifacts that comprised yesterday's post also turned up another document. Here it is in all its cryptic glory, a list scrawled on the back of a rejected print run of a real estate flyer I had created for a client:

What the heck is this? It took me a while to remember, and Googling didn't help much. I got one clue from a discussion board and it came back to me.

These are all characters listed in the "Minor Superheroes" section of The Encyclopedia of Superheroes by Jeff Rovin, published in 1985 by Facts on File. (I still have my first edition copy.) More specifically, they are all characters listed as appearing in Doctor Peculiar #1, a one-issue-wonder published by Madison Comics in 1984. (That issue must have been among the last additions to the book!) Talk about obscure.

Once I had pieced this together, I recalled how the list came to be: While browsing the encyclopedia, I noticed that a few entries referred back to this comic, and then I read through each of the more than 300 two- or three-line entries in the chapter, in order, and made a manual record of all of the ones that listed DP1 as their first appearance. Must have been a  slow day. I have no idea why I did this, other than idle curiosity and mild obsessive-compulsive behavior. I guess if there had been an internet, I would have looked them all up, but as it was, I just wrote the list and kept it for 28 years.

But now there is an internet! But bloody hell- there's still precious little information! My Google searches are mostly dead ends, and even the Grand Comics Database does not have the issue listed. Fortunately, Mile High Comics has actually a copy for sale, and they even have a cover shot:

It's a bit disappointing, actually. Dr. P looks like a typical generic eighties superhero. (You can tell it's not the nineties yet since he doesn't have any pouches and/or spikes and/or a leather jacket.) I was hoping for a group shot of all the heroes together, or at least one of those old 80 pg. Giant multi-panel covers highlighting a few of them.

Still, I think I'll fork over a few bucks for a crappy copy. maybe there's a group shot inside, or a party scene of something, and I can finally see what The Sow - heroine of southern Maryland looks like. Heck, these guys might even be in the public domain...

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