LANCE OCASEYMedium: Comic books
Published by: Fawcett Publications
First Appeared: 1940
Creators: Bill Parker (writer) and Bob Kingett (artist)
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Fawcett Publications' first comic book, Whiz Comics #2 (the first issue was made for copyright purposes and not distributed to the public) was extraordinarily successful even compared to other early '40s comics. Not only did it introduce the most successful superhero of its time (Captain Marvel even outsold Superman for a while) — three of its other costume-wearing good guys (Spy Smasher,
Ibis the Invincible and Golden Arrow) were later featured in titles of their own. Even a non-super guy from its back pages, Lance O'Casey, later starred in a self-titled comic book.
Lance was a seafaring man, who plied the Pacific for whatever profit could be gleaned from the practice. Being young, strong and (most important) the protagonist of a comic book series, he got involved in more than his share of adventures, a lot of which, especially in the early years, had to do with the fact that the empire-seeking Japanese were running roughshod over the territory where he did business.
The comic book he made his first appearance in was dated February, 1940. His story in it was written by Bill Parker, who wrote the whole issue, including two series that didn't eventually achieve stardom, Dan Dare (a private detective, not the British space hero) and Scoop Smith (a reporter). Parker was also the writer who co-created Bulletman. The artist, Bob Kingett, was considerably less prolific, and isn't known for other work in comic books.
Lance continued to appear in Whiz Comics, skipping only an occasional issue, until the very end (#155, June 1953). In addition to that and his own title, which ran four issues in 1946 and '48, Fawcett ran him in a couple of issues of America's Greatest Comics and All Hero Comics, where they got extra mileage out of their popular characters. He also turned up once each in the back pages of Captain Marvel Adventures and Master Comics, where Captain Marvel Jr. was the star.
After Fawcett got out of the comic book business, it sold its unused inventory to Charlton Comics (Peacemaker, Son of Vulcan) which ran Lance O'Casey stories in Danger & Adventure, alongside inventory material about Nyoka the Jungle Girl; and in the back pages of Don Winslow's title. That was the last of Lance for years to come.
DC Comics later acquired many Fawcett characters, but Lance O'Casey wasn't one of them. Nonetheless, they arranged to reprint his first story a couple of times, and guest-starred him with Captain and Mary Marvel once in 1998.
But his '90s appearances aren't likely to indicate a resurgence of interest in the character. It's more an indication that, despite his former star status, nobody has enough interest in him anymore to defend their rights to him.