1. The first panel, starting with Daredevil and Yarko and going clockwise we have: War Nurse, Amazing Man, Lady Fairplay, Fantomah, Flame, and Black Terror.
2. Leighton recommended Amazing Man. I am weirdly fascinated by both Lady Fairplay and War Nurse. Fantomah appeared in the Leopard Women of Venus game LC and I wrote. Flame and Black Terror are favorites of mine, and their descendants were the main characters in a short-lived superhero webcomic I did for a while.
3. LC and I share a long-standing appreciation for superheroes punching Nazis, long before it was a political statement, and just good clean fun. It was super satisfying to draw that last panel. Look how excited Mr. Amazing is!
And now, here’s . . .
4. As Josh mentioned, I specifically requested Amazing Man, and Josh chose the other Golden Age heroes in the first panel. I really like Amazing Man; he was created by Bill Everett, a talented and underappreciated comic book artist, and was the first hero in comics to debut in a comic book named after him. That is to say, Superman first appeared in Action Comics, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics, but Amazing Man first appeared in Amazing Man #1. I’ve read all of Bill Everett’s Amazing Man stories, they’re great, and you can read them too in Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives volume 1.
Fun story, Bill Everett was a kid trying to make it in the comics industry, and the publishers wanted to cash in on the popularity of this new Superman character, so he enlisted his mom to help him come up with his own Superman-style hero. There’s a letter that his mom wrote to a friend describing their process, and it’s fascinating. I’d find a quote for you, but it’s in a book I have at home and I’m still not home. Maybe later.
5. Fantomah was created by the mad comics genius Fletcher Hanks. She could be considered the first female superhero. She also has godlike powers, and is in a whole different league than the rest of the heroes on this page. You can read all of Hanks’ stories about Fantomah, and his stories about Stardust the Super Wizard, in Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All! The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks, edited by Paul Karasik, and I highly recommend that you do so.
Remember: reading Golden Age comics is good exercise for your brain.
6. The Flame was created by Will Eisner and Lou Fine, two giants of their field.
7. So, this Ultimage seems like a pretty terrible menace, huh? Anyone who can resist the awesome power of Fantomah is a force to be reckoned with. You’ll learn more about the Ultimage very, very soon. This Bart Hill story has not just been a delightful diversion; this is extremely relevant to the overarching story of The Electric Team.
8. Abi helped me figure out how to end the story. My original plan was to end with Mr. Amazing and Bart Hill talking in Perfect Pizza, and then Mr. Amazing deciding to go fight some Nazis with Bart. So it was just going to be them talking, and it seemed boring, and I couldn’t figure out how to spice it up. I explained this problem to Abi, and she said I should end with the two of them fighting Nazis. It hadn’t occurred to me to cut away to a fight scene in the last panel, but once she said it, I knew that’s what I needed to do.
9. I really appreciate Josh taking time out of his busy schedule to draw this story. He’s got a lot of things going on — I’ve already told you about his zine Crepuscular, which includes material for the game Dungeon Crawl Classics. Reading Crepuscular #1: Sanctum of the Snail, true story, made me want to play DCC, so I bought the rule book and ran a game for Abi and her friends, and it was huge fun. Remind me to tell you about it sometime. Josh is working on the second issue, as well as a book of monsters, and illustrations . . . Like I said, he’s a busy guy. Thanks again for the great pages, Josh!
10. Sam Albert, who’s been busy moving across the country, will return soon to launch Chapter 9! It’s going to blow your minds! Get ready!