The End of the Scarlet Avenger in Zip Comics #17, Up for Auction

Best known as the publisher who debuted Archie and the rest of the gang of Riverdale during the Golden Age, MLJ Magazines was better than most publishers at navigating the rapidly evolving industry of that era. The character the Scarlet Avenger was a good example of that. Zip Comics #17 featured the end of the Scarlet Avenger in the Golden Age, making way for teen humor character Wilbur Wilkin ahead of the debut of Archie. An early Golden Age MLJ comic book that rarely comics up for sale in anything above low grade, there's a Zip Comics #17 (MLJ, 1941) Condition: FR/GD as well as many other issues of Zip up for auction at 2022 May 15-16 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122220 at Heritage Auctions.

Zip Comics #17 featuring the last Scarlet Avenger (MLJ, 1941)
Zip Comics #17 featuring the last Scarlet Avenger (MLJ, 1941)

The Scarlet Avenger was created by Harry Shorten and Irv Novick and first appeared in Zip Comics #1. The character was a classic pulp-style hero in comics form. As his origin in the debut of Zip Comics describes, "The Scarlet Avenger in real life is Jim Kendall. He has devoted himself to wiping out gangland ever since the death of his wife and child. An airplane in which they were all flying was hijacked because it was carrying a cargo of gold bullion. It crashed, and all the occupants except Jim himself were killed. In the accident, his face muscles were paralyzed, and Jim is now the man who never smiles. Behind Kendall's stony face there is a giant scientific brain. He brings science to the aid of his crusade. He has fashioned for himself a scarlet robe, woven from steel into a super-fine, bullet-proof steel-mesh cloak. His identity unknown, even to his own aides, the flaming arrow is the emblem of the Scarlet Avenger."

In Zip Comics #17, MLJ ended a pulp-style character to make way for teen humor character Wilbur Wilkins in the title — an adept move that served the publisher well. This is a surprisingly tough issue of the title, and there's Zip Comics #17 (MLJ, 1941) Condition: FR/GD as well as many other issues of Zip up for auction at 2022 May 15-16 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122220 at Heritage Auctions.

Zip Comics #17 featuring the last Scarlet Avenger (MLJ, 1941)
Zip Comics #17 featuring the last Scarlet Avenger (MLJ, 1941)
Heritage Sponsored

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About 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.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.