January 26, 2014


Sunday Comics: It's a bird. It's a plane. It's…Spy! Before DC Comics bought Superman from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for a mere $130, the company picked up various short action stories from the team that had Spy Vibe appeal. With a name straight out of the Pulps, Dr. Occult was a supernatural detective feature that ran between 1935-1938 in New Fun Comics. The character was brought back in modern titles as a member of the All-Star Squadron, JSA, and he appeared in Crisis On Infinite Earths. Siegel and Shuster also created a feature called Bart Regan, Spy. The stories centered around Bart Regan, an agent who gets tangled up in adventures with the aid of a Sally Norris. According to one reviewer, writer Jerry Siegel was able to channel his enthusiasm for undercover detective work, as well as spoof spy conventions of the time. After a brief appearance as Federal Agent in 1936, Bart Regan, Spy ran in DC's Detective Comics between 1937-1944 (issues #1-77). Joe Shuster drew Spy for the first few years and was later replaced by Mart Bailey (The Face). Scans of Joe Shuster art from SupermanArtists and GreatKrypton. More below.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster struggled to make a living throughout their lives, while DC and parent companies have made fortunes on their creation of Superman. As recently as January 22nd, 2014, Shuster's heirs were denied a rehearing in the on-going battle over character rights. The court upheld a November 22nd, 2013 hearing, which supported an agreement for lifetime compensation for spouses and children made in 1992. Shuster's heirs, his sister and nephew, were apparently not included in that agreement. Joe Shuster died in 1992. Jerry Siegel died in 1996. There is a Siegel and Shuster Society- now Foundation- located in Siegel's hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The group appeared in the news on January 3rd, 2014 with plans to use profits from Superman license plates to help those in need in the Cleveland area. More details here. DC is currently producing a big-budget Superman/Batman movie for 2016. The original March 1st, 1938 check that Siegel and Shuster received for Superman was sold at auction in April, 2012 for $160,000. Details here. Image of check below shows line item for $130 paid for Superman rights.

Recent Spy Vibe posts: David McCallum: Son of BatmanJon Gilbert talks FlemingBarbarella TV seriesMeet the Beatles 50thWonderwall comes to Blu-rayBatman StripsDavid Bowie at 67Kevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsSherlock ExhibitFu Manchu history panelAndy Warhol box set, Six-Million Dollar ManStriped Light NudeBuckminster FullerDylan at NewportJane and SergeThe Goldfinger VariationsMod Tales InterviewPete SeegerKraftwerk returns to US, Beatles BBC on Fresh Air, Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtModern Architecture LPJulius ShulmanShane Glines Batman, The Prisoner and Captain ScarletDiego Fortunato and Verner Panton, Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series, new Hercule Poirot novel, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute.

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Ian Fleming LettersErno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive.

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