Mighty Man socks it to a sub. Artist: Martin Filchock.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Centaur Publications
First Appeared: 1939
Creator: Martin Filchock
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Mighty Man was such an early jumper-on to the Superman bandwagon, it was still possible to give him a generic name, one that, like Wonder Man or Amazing-Man, says nothing about the character except "I'm a super guy." It wasn't long before those had all been spoken for, and the hundreds of subsequent superheroes had to adopt individual themes and names to match, such as The Black Condor, Hawkman and …

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The Black Terror. Mighty Man started in the first issue (#5, dated September, 1939 — the first four had been called something else) of Amazing-Man Comics, published by Centaur Publications.

Aside from Mighty Man himself and the comic's eponymous, cover-featured star, Amazing-Man Comics #5 carried the debuts of The Iron Skull (a mechanical superhero, long before Robotman), Cat Man (no relation) and Minimidget (a miniature superhero like Doll Man, except this one couldn't get normal again). The company's less conventional heroes included Speed Centaur and The Eye.

Mighty Man was more than twice as tall as most people, and super-strong even for his size. Explorers of the American Southwest found him in the so-called "Valley of the Giants" (no relation), which had apparently been settled in the previous century, tho the settlers had all died, leaving the young giant the only survivor. Back in civilization, the future Mighty Man submitted to an experiment conducted by a Dr. Robert Hilldale, which brought him down to normal size, but also gave him the ability to shrink and grow at will.

Mighty Man's creator was cartoonist Martin Filchock, a virtual unknown in the comics field. Filchock dabbled in minor features for Centaur, mostly humorous fillers, but the bulk of his work for any comic book publisher seems to have been single panels for cartoon collections published by Charlton. Filchock did Mighty Man throughout the character's brief career, but is only known to have done one other adventure hero, Centaur's Fire-Man, one of those flame-themed superheroes like MLJ's Fireball and Quality's Wildfire.

Of the back-pages heroes introduced in Amazing-Man #5, only Minimidget lasted as long as Mighty Man. Once his size-shifting ability was established, the only change in his series came in #24 (October, 1941). In that issue, he partnered up with Super Ann, a super-powered heiress whose even briefer series had ended in 1940. But the partnership ran only as long as Ann's own series, as after #25, both were dropped. Amazing-Man Comics didn't outlast them by much — #26 (January 1942) was the last issue.

Mighty Man also made a couple of appearances in Centaur's Stars & Stripes Comics during 1941, but that was all Centaur ever did with him. He was involved in a 1990s attempt by Malibu Comics (Men in Black) to revive the Centaur characters, but that didn't last long. A few even more minor characters have been named Mighty Man over the years. But this one has long since run his course.


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Text ©2008-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Centaur Publications.