THE SORCERESS OF ZOOMMedium: Comic Books
Published by: Fox Feature Syndicate
First Appeared: 1940
Creator: Don Rico
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Cartoonist Don Rico's The Sorceress of Zoom started out as a villain protagonist like Jack Cole's The Claw or Bert Whitman's Dr. Mortal. She had more in common with the latter than that — in fact, they both started in the same
comic book, Fox's Weird Comics #1 (April, 1940), which also carried the debuts of several superheroes, such as Thor and The Bird Man. The Sorceress came equipped with two heroic but otherwise normal people named Tom and Janice, to oppose her nefarious schemes.
But after a couple of issues, the Sorceress became more-or-less a good guy, albeit an ambiguous one like The Sub-Mariner. Wherever she stood on the good/evil spectrum (sometimes she wanted to conquer the non-magical world; other times that was a lower priority for her), she ruled the cloud city of Zoom, which came and went throughout the mortal realm, at her command. The quasi-human creatures living in the city seemed to be her creations.
The Sorceress's own creation was credited to a "Sandra Swift", undoubtedly a house name. In reality, her earliest adventures were drawn and probably written by Don Rico, a prolific comics creator of the 1940s and early '50s with credits not just at Fox, but also at Lev Gleason (Daredevil, The Silver Streak), Marvel (Red Raven, The Human Torch) and elsewhere. He returned to the field decades later.
The Sorceress of Zoom never had her own title, a spin-off in non-comics media, or a set of Underoos. She spent her entire career in the back pages of Weird Comics, emerging onto the cover only once (#4, July 1940). Inside, she hung around until the end, which came with #20 (January, 1942).