The Mystery of the Unknown Hand of Fate, Up for Auction

Appropriately enough, the being called "The Unknown" is the most mysterious figure in the Ace Periodicals line-up.  The character debuted in Four Favorites #21, directly after the last Four Favorites appearance of masked superhero character The Unknown Soldier in the previous issue, giving rise to fan speculation over the decades that the two characters are actually one and the same.  The character seemed like little more than a copy of The Shadow in both appearance and speech in his debut, as he introduced and narrated stories of crime and mystery, but he quickly came to evolve in both appearance and nature, into a spectral, supernatural figure who observed how human whims can dramatically change a person's fate.  The Unknown was last seen in Super-Mystery Comics #v8#5, cover-dated May 1949, but then a virtually identical narrator character called Fate was introduced in The Hand of Fate #8, cover-dated December 1951.  A mysterious figure with an equally mysterious history at Ace Periodicals, there's a Four Favorites #21 (Ace, 1946) Condition: FR featuring the first appearance of the Unknown, several issues of Four Favorites featuring Unknown appearances, and a bunch of issues of Hand of Fate up for auction in the 2022 July 31-August 1 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122231 at Heritage Auctions.

The Hand of Fate #24 (Ace, 1954) featuring Fate, Four Favorites #29 (Ace, 1947) featuring The Unknown.
The Hand of Fate #24 (Ace, 1954) featuring Fate, Four Favorites #29 (Ace, 1947) featuring The Unknown.

Interestingly, although Fate looked and spoke the same way that The Unknown had done, Fate very occasionally stepped beyond his narrator role to interact with the unfolding human stories that he was observing. A fixture of Ace Periodical mystery tales, there's a Four Favorites #21 (Ace, 1946) Condition: FR featuring the first appearance of the Unknown, several issues of Four Favorites featuring Unknown appearances, and a bunch of issues of Hand of Fate up for auction in the 2022 July 31-August 1 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122231 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.  It's a particularly good week to take a look with lots of rare Ace Magazines comics, Champ and Champion Comics, Lev Gleason comics, and much more.

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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.
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