Dr. Doom was not an unheard-of name for mad scientist comic book characters long before the debut of the Marvel version in Fantastic Four #5 in the Silver Age. A mad scientist of that name appeared in the pages of Fox Feature Syndicate's Science Comics, for example. But the version from publisher Harry A. Chesler might even be more famous, at least among serious Golden Age collectors due to his appearance on the cover of Dynamic Comics #11 — though it's not widely known who the figure on that famous cover is Dr. Doom. What exactly is happening on this highly sought-after cover? There's a clue to what this is all about in the stories of Dynamic Comics #11, and in cover artist Gus Ricca's history. There's a Dynamic Comics #11 (Chesler, 1944) Condition: FR and many other Chesler comics up for auction in the 2022 July 3-4 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122227 at Heritage Auctions.
Gus Ricca, born Gaspano Ignazio Ricca in 1906, was an accomplished magazine and book cover artist and newspaper illustrator long before he came to work in comics for Harry A. Chesler, Marvel, and Fawcett among others. Ricca also became Chesler's art director in 1944. He often took a symbolic, interpretive approach to the subjects of his cover work, as can be seen on his covers for the likes of Liberty Magazine, The Century Co., What's on the Air, and Colliers among others.
It appears likely that Ricca's now-famous Dynamic Comics #11 cover is based on the interior story for "The Echo" from this issue. It is known that Ricca drew the Echo story from Dynamic Comics #10. While the artist of the Echo story in #11 is unknown, it bears a resemblance to Ricca's work, and the story itself contains the chemistry elements and characters that correspond to this spectacular cover.
The Echo featured the crime-fighting exploits of a family of two brothers and their sister who were urged into a mission of fighting the underworld by the ghost of their murdered father. The Echo himself was a ventriloquist who wore an invisibility belt created by his super-scientist brother, who goes by the name of Dr. Doom (after the family's ancestral home, Doom Hall). It's clear from the title page of the first appearance and origin of this team in Yankee Comics #1 that the scientist figure on the cover of Dynamic Comics #11 is indeed Dr. Doom. The figure in the test tube on the far right is likely sister Cora, and the sleuth with the spyglass in the center test tube is likely the Echo himself. The team has foiled the plot of a clever thief who stole a valuable chemical formula in the story.
An incredible cover with a fascinating story behind it, there's a Dynamic Comics #11 (Chesler, 1944) Condition: FR and many other Chesler comics up for auction in the 2022 July 3-4 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122227 at Heritage Auctions.