Dagar beckons to his men. Artist: Edmond Good.


Original Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Fox Feature Syndicate
First Appeared: 1947
Creators: unknown writer and Edmond Good, artist
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Despite a similarity in nomenclature with a 1970s Gold Key barbarian hero, this character named Dagar, for one, was not a barbarian hero. And despite being called a Tarzan clone by at least one prominent chronicler of 1940s American comic book …

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… heroes, Dagar was nothing of the sort, unless clonehood can be extended far enough to include any series protagonist placed in a culture different from that of his ancestors (as Tarzan was among the Mangani, who, Disney to the contrary notwithstanding, can't be identified with any real-life species of ape). And by that criterion, even Superman qualifies as a "Tarzan clone".

No, Dagar, subtitled "Desert Hawk", was a hero in an exotic land, who flourished for a couple of years at Fox Comics, starting in 1947. He was sort of a white sheik, a man of European extraction living as a wealthy and powerful (but, of course, adventurous) arab. He had his share of stereotyped characteristics, of course; but unlike stereotyped arabs in more recent fiction, was a good guy.

Dagar and his love interest, Ayesha, were first seen in Fox's All Great Comics. At a company that almost made a schtick of confusing numbering, All Great stood out from the crowd. Two non-numbered issues were published, one each in 1944 and '45, as 132-page specials. They seem to have been made by slapping four coverless unsold copies of random issues together, adding a new cover, and giving them a second chance to produce revenue. A regular-size issue designated "#1" came out in 1946. Two issues came out in '47, but they were out of sequence. #14 was dated October of that year and #13, the one Dagar started in, December. Other than Dagar, it contained reprints of Chicago Tribune Syndicate newspaper comics, most of which were vanishingly obscure, but Brenda Starr did stand out.

Then All Great was replaced on the schedule with Dagar, Desert Hawk. The first issue under the new title was #14 again, this time dated February, 1948, but after that it settled down. Eight issues came out on a bimonthly schedule, ending with #23 (April, 1949). After that, it was retitled again, to Captain Kidd. Dagar then made one last appearance in All Top Comics #18 (July, 1949), where Rulah, Jungle Queen was the cover feature. In the past, All Top had been used as an extra vehicle for extra-popular characters like Phantom Lady and Jo-Jo, Congo King; but in this, its final issue, it seems to have functioned as a place to dump a left-over story from a recently-defunct title.

Dagar's writer, like those of so many of his contemporaries, isn't known. But the artist has been identified as Edmond Good, who had scattered credits at ACG (Herbie, Commander Battle), Bell Features (Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Mr. Monster) and even DC, where he did a few Tomahawk stories.. Good's most prominent contribution to comics, besides Dagar, was probably the creation of a 1950s obscuro, Johnny Law, Sky Ranger.

As for Dagar — he simply disappeared. Even when Fox went bankrupt and its properties wound up in the hands of smaller publishers, Dagar didn't turn up among them. The closest he ever came to being heard from again was when Gold Key did that barbarian hero with the same name.


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Text ©2007-08 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Fox Feature Syndicate