Power Man and the Monster of Madness Mystery, Up for Auction

Rip Regan, Power Man was one of the early superhero characters to appear from Fiction House, and his debut in Fight Comics #3 also features a classic cover by the legendary Will Eisner. Eisner's cover for the issue is unusual for the title, and some have speculated it was originally meant for Planet Comics. This might be the case, but as the Rip Regan, Power Man saga progressed in Fight Comics, another possible connection emerged. There's a Fight Comics #3 (Fiction House, 1940) CGC VG- 3.5 Cream to off-white pages featuring an iconic Will Eisner cover and the debut of Rip Regan, Power Man, plus several other issues of the Power Man saga in Fight Comics up for auction in the 2022 October 13 The Fiction House Showcase Auction #40199 at Heritage Auctions.

Fight Comics #3 (Fiction House, 1940), Fight Comics #12 (Fiction House, 1941) featuring Power Man.
Fight Comics #3 (Fiction House, 1940), Fight Comics #12 (Fiction House, 1941) featuring Power Man.

Power Man was a costumed superhero created by writer Herman Bolstein and artist John Celardo. The character appeared in Fight Comics issues #3-14, running for a little over a year during 1940-1941. In Fight Comics #3, Rip Regan is given a "Power Suit" by a scientist named Dr. Austin. The suit is made of a chemically treated metal that is lighter than air, but stronger than any metal on Earth. The suit also gives Regan super strength after a few episodes. In Fight Comics #12, a Power Man cover feature appears with a highly similar concept to Eisner's Fight Comics #3 cover. The issue #12 cover is by Reed Crandall, and the interior story is by Bolstein and Witmer Williams. The plot of the story is that a mad scientist's experiments creates a rampaging giant in South America. Whether Eisner's cover inspired the later story or the plot concept existed from the beginning of the Power Man series is unknown, but there certainly seems to be a thematic connection.  The giant is green on the cover for no particular reason it seems, and is otherwise very similar to the giant in the interior story.

Herman Bolstein wrote a small handful of comics for Fiction House and Quality Comics via Iger Studio 1940-1942.  John Celardo had an extensive career in comics 1940-early 1980s with work for Fiction House, Quality Comics, Gold Key, DC Comics and others.  The brief Power Man saga is an underappreciated gem with some great covers, and there's a Fight Comics #3 (Fiction House, 1940) CGC VG- 3.5 Cream to off-white pages featuring an iconic Will Eisner cover and the debut of Rip Regan, Power Man, its companion cover on Fight Comics #12 by Reed Crandall, plus several other issues of the Power Man saga in Fight Comics up for auction in the 2022 October 13 The Fiction House Showcase Auction #40199 at Heritage Auctions.  In addition to the items listed in this post, you can check out Fiction House titles such as Planet Comics, Jumbo Comics, Jungle Comics, Fight Comics, Rangers Comics, Wings Comics and much more. New to collecting Fiction House or want to learn more?  Bleeding Cool is doing an ongoing deep dive into the history behind Fiction House in the run-up to this auction. 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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