The second title launched by Everett M. “Busy” Arnold‘s Quality Comics, Smash Comics started out as an anthology featuring a fairly typical if well-executed mix of pulp-inspired adventure heroes and humor. But by issue #14, the superhero character The Ray was introduced in stories beautifully drawn by legendary artist Lou Fine. The character began to get periodic cover-features in the title by the next issue, and remains well-remembered Golden Age superhero to the present day. An early appearance by an enduring superhero character with gorgeous Lou Fine artwork, there’s a Smash Comics #21 (Quality, 1941) CGC VG- 3.5 Off-white pages plus several other issues of the title up for auction in the 2023 January 15-16 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122303 at Heritage Auctions.
In addition to the stunningly drawn The Ray story, Smash Comics #21 also features a story featuring the character Midnight by Jack Cole of Plastic Man fame, The Purple Trio by Alex Blum (who became known for work on Sheena and Jungle Comics for Fiction House), Invisible Justice by Art Pinajian, Magno the Magnetic Man by Paul Gustavson, and Bozo the Robot by George Brenner (creator of The Clock). Interestingly, this was the last Golden Age appearance of this version of Magno the Magnetic Man, likely because Ace Periodicals debuted in Super-Mystery Comics #1. two months before the first appearance of the Quality Comics version. In an interesting twist, this version of Magno appeared in DC Comics’ All-Star Squadron #31 (March 1984) and died the next issue. DC Comics had acquired many of the Quality Comics characters after the demise of that company in 1956.
With only eight entries on the CGC Census, this issue is not easy to get. But there’s a Smash Comics #21 (Quality, 1941) CGC VG- 3.5 Off-white pages plus several other issues of the title up for auction in the 2023 January 15-16 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122303 at Heritage Auctions. Before bidding, interested parties should read up on the FAQs on the bidding process and related matters.
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