Fox's Fight for Electro in Science Comics, Up for Auction

Despite fighting a then ongoing battle with DC Comics since the moment Wonder Comics #1 was released, notorious publisher Victor Fox expanded his comics empire rapidly throughout the next year.  By the month that Science Comics #1 was released in January 1940, Fox had launched five ongoing comic book series. With names like The Eagle, featuring a scientist with anti-gravity wings; Electro (Dynamo), master of electricity; Cosmic Carson, a space adventurer similar to Buck Rogers; Perisphere Payne, interplanetary explorer; Marga the Panther Woman, the product of a "mad physio-biologist"; Dr. Doom, an evil super-scientist and others, the characters of Science Comics were true to its title. Fox's early releases are highly sought after by collectors due to a combination of their high-quality content and their relative rarity vs Marvel and DC Comics releases of the same era. There are seven of the eight issues of Fox Feature Syndicate's Science Comics series up for auction in the 2022 December 1 Fox Comics Showcase Auction #40214 at Heritage Auctions.

Science Comics #3 (Fox, 1940)
Science Comics #3 featuring Dynamo/Electro (Fox, 1940)

Science Comics is also a good example of another influence that has loomed large over pop culture in the subsequent decades. It's apparent that some of its characters were inspired by the New York World's Fair of 1939-1940.  For example, Perisphere Payne is obviously named after one of the most famous symbols of the fair — the Trylon and Perisphere.  The character Electro from Science Comics #1 was also likely inspired by the New York World's Fair.  Elektro, the robot created by Westinghouse Electric Corporation was one of the most famous exhibits at the fair. He was used by Westinghouse as a walking, talking advertisement of sorts, and a symbol of the modern wonders of electrical power.  Science Comics #1's Electro was also symbolic of such wonders — so much so that his mastery of electricity reminds one of Magneto's absolute control of magnetism. Unfortunately for Victor Fox, his version was not the only comic book Electro inspired by the Westinghouse robot.  Marvel's Electro debuted in Marvel Mystery Comics #4 — which beat Science Comics #1 to the newsstands by a mere two weeks.  With Marvel's version more inspired by the robotic aspect of Westinghouse's Elektro rather than the notion of electrical wonders like Fox's version, it seems likely that Marvel and Victor Fox came to a simple agreement.

Fox's version of Electro was renamed Dynamo with Science Comics #2, but evidence of the name lingered on for several issues as Fox seemingly scrambled to adjust the feature to the new name.  Dynamo's costume continued to occasionally have an "E" on it through issue #4.  In issue #3, dialog and captions interchangeably used "Dynamo" and "Electro."  Finally, in issue #5, the character was given a soft reboot.  Dynamo created a helmet for himself which gave him the additional ability to read other people's thoughts.  Along with that, he got a new costume — though the costume he wore on his interior stories never reflected the one he wore on the covers of Science Comics anyway.  The spectacular Dynamo cover of Science Comics #3 by Lou Fine is one of the stand-outs of the series.  Science Comics lasted only eight issues, with Dynamo and several other features from the title continuing in Fox's Weird Comics.  The character continued through Weird Comics #19 plus an appearance in Blue Beetle #8. There are seven of the eight issues of Fox Feature Syndicate's Science Comics series up for auction in the 2022 December 1 Fox Comics Showcase Auction #40214 at Heritage Auctions. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.

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Mark SeifertAbout Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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