SUPER RABBITOriginal Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1943
Creator: Ernie Hart
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doesn't have anything to do with this Super Rabbit, which was created by cartoonist Ernie Hart (Marmaduke Mouse, Atomictot) and published by Marvel Comics (Spider-Man), and first appeared in a comic dated a month earlier. (And neither of them was the first rabbit superhero — that would be Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, who hit the stands five months before Marvel's Super Rabbit.)
In everyday life, Super Rabbit was a mild-mannered newsbunny or shoeshine bunny (it varied) named Waffles. When trouble arose, Waffles would rub his magic ring and transform into a big, strong superhero. And lest the evildoers he subdued have any doubt as to who it was that brought them to justice, Super Rabbit didn't confine himself to a mere initial, like most of the super guys — he had his full name written across his chest.
Vince Fago was Marvel's editor when Comedy Comics #14, where Super Rabbit debuted, came out. (A major history of Marvel says the character first appeared six months later, in All-Surprise Comics #1, but this is incorrect.) Fago spent most of his life working on funny animals, rabbits in particular. In fact, probably his best-known work was the Peter Rabbit newspaper strip. Under his editorship, which lasted until Stan Lee came back from serving in World War II, Marvel made a full-scale move into that genre, with not just Comedy, but also Krazy Comics, Comic Capers, Funny Tunes and several others all starting between 1942 and '44. It was also during that period that Marvel licensed the Terrytoons animated characters for comic books.
At one time or another, Super Rabbit appeared in all those titles, and more, besides being the regular cover feature of Comedy Comics. He also had a title of his own, starting with a Fall, 1943 cover date and running 14 issues, through November, 1948. With the possible exception of Ziggy Pig & Silly Seal, he was Marvel's biggest funny animal star, and they pushed him as hard as they'd pushed Captain America, Sub-Mariner and The Human Torch.
But the funny animals stuck around only a few years before being crowded out by trendier genres like westerns (e.g., Kid Colt, Outlaw), teenage humor (e.g., Patsy Walker) and romance (e.g., Our Love). Tho Marvel didn't completely abandon the genre until the mid-1950s, by the end of the '40s, even the biggest stars from the early days were making only sporadic appearances. Super Rabbit's last published story was in It's a Duck's Life #11 (February, 1952).
In 1958, comics entrepreneur Israel Waldman, who would publish whatever he could get his hands on, irrespective of legal rights (he even used a few DC-owned properties, such as Doll Man and Plastic Man), launched an unauthorized revival. Waldman's IW Enterprises reprinted three issues of Super Rabbit between then and 1963. Other than that, he hasn't been seen since It's a Duck's Life.
And there's little prospect of a revival at Marvel — or for that matter, evidence that the average modern-day Marvel employee has ever even heard of the character. Which makes him, in all likelihood, absolutely unique among Marvel-owned superheroes.