Wonder Boy

Created by Jerry Iger, Toni Blum & John Celardo
wonder boy

NAME + ALIASES:
Unrevealed

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
None

FIRST APPEARANCE:
National Comics #1 (July 1940)

APPEARANCES:

National Comics #1–26 (July 1940–November 1942)

ELLIOT:
Bomber Comics #1-4 (Spring–Winter 1944)

AJAX/FARRELL:

  • Samson #12–13 (April–June 1955)
  • Terrific Comics #16 (March 1955)
  • Wonder Boy #17–18 (May–July 1955)

SEE ALSO:

+ History

wonder comics #1

Wonder Boy might have been created by Jerry Iger himself. Iger began his career as a cartoonist and he revived this character twice after the feature ended in National Comics. The Who's Whose? web site credits Toni Blum & John Celardo as creators, which isn’t unlikely; they worked for Iger at that time.

Interestingly, in 1939, Eisner & Iger created a red-clad hero named Wonder Man for Fox Features Syndicate (Wonder Comics #1, May 1939), but they were sued by National (DC) for it being too similar to Superman. (The entire Wonder Man story was reprinted in Alter Ego #48 (May 2005). It’s also available at Golden Age Comics Downloads)

Wonder Boy was similarly fantastic—strong and impervious. Maybe the fact that he was merely a boy allowed him to slip under the radar. Ironically, DC didn’t capitalize on a Superboy until More Fun Comics #101 (Jan./Feb. 1945). But of course, Wonder Woman debuted in All-Star Comics #8 (Dec. 1941). Novelty Press published a character called “Dick Cole, Wonder Boy,” but this character was a non-costumed hero whose feats were great through hard work plus some special “rays.” He appeared in 1940’s Blue Bolt Comics #1 and ran through 1949.


[ Read the full profile in the Quality Companion ]

At Quality Comics

Wonder BoyWonder Boy
Two panels from “Wonder Boy,” from National Comics #13 (July 1941); art by Nick Cardy.

"The strength of a hundred full grown men in one little boy!” Wonder Boy hailed from the destroyed planet Viro, and fell to Earth in Chicago. He was picture of humanity, aside from his powers. The crash killed many people, but the boy survived. Nobody believed his origins and he found himself in an orphanage. Meanwhile, in Mongolia, a general took Wonder Boy’s craft as an omen to begin warring on Europe. Wonder Boy heard this news and swam all the way to Europe to help, where he successfully led the army to victory over the Mongolians. (National #1)

[ Q C. ]

Elliot's Bomber Comics (1944)

Bomber Comics was a four-issue series printed by a very obscure publisher, Elliot. Jerry Iger revived a raft of former features including “Kid Dixon,” “Kid Patrol,” “Eagle Evans” and “Wonder Boy” from Quality; “Samson” from Fox; “Bobby” from Famous Funnies; and some new material, too. At Quality, the last of those features appeared in National Comics #32 (Sept. 1943).

[ Q C. ]

Ajax/Farrell (1955)

The Ajax/Farrell company went by many names but at one time Jerry Iger was listed as “Art Editor” in the comics’ indicia. He brought Wonder Boy and Phantom Lady back in reprinted and original stories beginning with Terrific Comics #16 (March 1955). These tales were more about intrigue than super-heroics and Wonder Boy relied much less on his fantastic powers and more on his wits. Sally was still his main supporting character—a good sport who found herself in dangerous predicaments every time.

[ Q C. ]

Notes

Jerry Iger’s Golden Features #2 (1986) printed three Wonder Boy stories drawn by Matt Baker, but the volume did not identify the date of their creation. None of them are the same as what appeared in the Elliot or Ajax/Farrell comics. It is likely that these were unpublished stories, and the art is roughly the same as the published material, though it does not exhibit Baker’s usual finesse. Iger gushed:

"…Another example is WONDER BOY. No secret identity for him! He's just the kind of kid every mother hopes her daughter will bring home to dinner—and he's a super hero to boot. Even after 30 years, WONDER BOY still has the same appeal of old fashioned American values, values that I sometimes miss today. May partner Lee Caplin and I are updating the story of WONDER BOY in preparation for a feature film. We're asking the question whether there ever could be a place for Wonder Boy in today's society. Our writer is Rob Ulin, the former Harvard Lampoon Editor."

+ Powers

Wonder Boy possessed super-strength, invulnerability and super-speed. In his later adventures, his strength seemed much more limited than when he debuted. Notably, Wonder Boy could not fly. His internal chemistry was susceptible in various ways such as poisoning and tear gas. More than once, when hit upon his head, he was momentarily knocked unconscious.