The Fox wiki last edited by Darkside_of_the_Sun on 06/09/14 02:42PM View full history

Fox Feature Syndicate (also known as Fox Comics and Fox Publications) was an early comic book publisher in the Golden Age of Comic Books. Founded by entrepreneur Victor S. Fox, it produced such popular titles as Blue Beetle, Fantastic Comics and Mystery Men Comics.

It is unrelated to the company Fox Publications, a Colorado publisher of railroad photography books.

Victor S. Fox and business associate Bob Farrell launched Fox Feature Syndicate at 480 Lexington Avenue in New York City in the late 1930s. For content, Fox contracted with comics packager Eisner & Iger, one of a handful of companies creating comic books on demand for publishers then entering the field. Writer-artist Will Eisner, at Victor Fox's request for a hero similar to the newly published hit Superman, created the superhero Wonder Man for Fox's first publication, Wonder Comics #1 (May 1939), signing his work "Willis". Superman owner National Periodical Publications, the company that would evolve into DC Comics, cited copyright infringement and quickly obtained a permanent injunction. Wonder Man did not reappear.

After Eisner testified against Fox Publications at trial, Victor Fox dropped the packager and hired his own stable of comic creators, beginning with a New York Times classified ad on Dec. 2, 1939. Joe Simon, a former Eisner & Iger freelancer, became Fox Publications' editor.

As one of the earliest companies in the emerging field, it employed or bought the packaged material of a huge number of Golden Age greats, many at the start of their careers. Lou Fine created the superhero The Flame in Wonderworld Comics; Dick Briefer created Rex Dexter of Mars in the eponymous series. George Tuska did his first comics work here with the features "Zanzibar" (Mystery Men Comics #1, Aug. 1939) and "Tom Barry" (Wonderworld Comics #4). Fletcher Hanks created, wrote, and drew Stardust the Super Wizard in Fantastic Comics in 1939 and 1940. Matt Baker, one of the few African-American comic book artists of the Golden Age, revamped — in more than one sense — the newly acquired Quality Comics character Phantom Lady' in 1947, creating one of the most memorable and controversial examples of superhero "good girl art".

Future comics legend Jack Kirby, brought on staff here after freelancing for Eisner & Iger, wrote and drew the syndicated newspaper comic strip The Blue Beetle (starting Jan. 1940), starring a character created by Charles Nicholas Wojtkowski in Mystery Men Comics #1 (Aug. 1939). Kirby retained the house name "Charles Nicholas" for the comic strip, which lasted three months. Kirby, additionally, created and did one story each of the Fox features "Wing Turner" (Mystery Men #10, May 1940) and " Cosmic Carson" (Science Comics #4, same month).

Throughout the 1940s, Fox produced comics in a typically wide variety of genres, but was best known for superheroes and humor. With the post-war decline in superheroes' popularity, Fox, like other publishers, concentrated on horror and crime comics, including some of the most notorious of the latter. Following the establishment of Comics Code Authority in the mid-1950s, Fox went out of business, selling the rights to the Blue Beetle to Charlton Comics.

Born in England, Fox Publications founder Victor S. Fox was a stockbroker for the Allied Capital Corp./Fox Motor and Bank Stocks, Inc./American Common Stocks, Inc., on Park Avenue in New York City when he was [indicted citation needed] on Nov. 27, 1929 for mail fraud and related illegal "boiler room" activities. It appears unrecorded whether this resulted in a conviction.

Historian Jon Berk rumors that Fox went on to become an accountant/bookkeeper at the publishing firm that would become DC Comics, where he was privy to sales figures that convinced him to launch his own comic-book company. Fellow historian Gerard Jones, writing in his book Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, was unable to find documentation of this. Other sources say that at the time Action Comics #1 came out he was publishing Astrology magazines and shared a distributor with DC after seeing a sales card receipt for Action #1 he Immediately opened Fox comics in the same building DC was based in on a different floor.

Jack Kirby: "Victor Fox was a character. He'd look up at the ceiling with a big cigar, this little fellow, very broad, going back and forth with his hands behind his back saying, 'I'm the King of Comics! I'm the King of Comics!' and we would watch him and, of course, smile a little because he was a genuine type".

Joe Simon on Victor Fox : "He was an accountant for DC Comics. He was doing the sales figures and he liked what he saw. So, he moved downstairs and started his own company.... I happened to get a job; I went over to Fox and became editor there, which was just an impossible job, because ... there were no artists, no writers, no editors, no letterers — nothing there. Everything came out of the Eisner and Iger shop. ... He was a very strange character. He had kind of a British accent; he was like 5'2", told us he was a former ballroom dancer. He was very loud, menacing, and really a scary little guy. He used to say, 'I'm the King of the Comics. I'm the King of the Comics. I'm the King of the Comics.' We couldn't stop him".

Nicky Wright: "Competing well in the 'most sexy, sadistic, and violent' category, Victor Fox’s Murder Incorporated and Blue Beetle are noteworthy.... When historians describe sleaze, sex, and violence as Fox’s obsession, they are masters of understatement. His best artists, Jack Kamen and Matt Baker, are much revered and collected for their good girl art. (Of special note is the company’s breasty crime-fighter-in-bedroom-lingerie, Phantom Lady...along with the wild and scantily attired Rulah, Jungle Goddess.)"

Boyd Magers: "Never one to overlook a secondary sale, Fox often repackaged four remaindered (unsold) comics into a 25¢ Giant with a new cover, hence Hoot Gibson's Western Roundup, 132 pages dated 1950. However, since Fox always started their stories on the inside front cover (where other publishers ran an ad), these repackaged comics are always missing the first page of story content. Also, since Fox used remaindered issues, contents will vary from copy to copy of Hoot Gibson's Western Roundup."

Dynamite Entertainment has revived a few of the Fox Feature Syndicate characters in their Project Superpowers title

A portion of the stable of characters that were originally published by Fox are:

Ace of Spades

Agent D-13

Ayesha

The Banshee

The Bat Boy

Beast

Beau Brummel

Betty Boyd

Bird Man

Blackbird

Black Fury and Kid Fury (Fox and Holyoke)

Black Fury II, Black Fury III

Black Lion and Cub

Black Rider

Black Snake

Black Tarantula

Blast Bennett

Blitz (Fox version)

Blue Beetle and Sparky (Fox, Holyoke, Charlton, DC, Dynamite)

The Bouncer

Bronze Man

Captain Kidd

Captain Savage

Captain V

Captain X-13

Condor

Cosmic Carson

Dagar, the Desert Hawk

Dart and Ace (Dynamite)

Doctor Death (Fox version)

Doctor Fung

Doctor Mortinous

Doctor Motral

The Dome

Doxol

Dynamite Thor

Dynamo

Eelo

The Eagle and Buddy (Dynamite)

Electro ( later Dynamo)

The Flame and Flame Girl (Dynamite)

Flip Falcon

Gimp

Gladiator

Golden Knight

The Gorilla with the Human Brain

Green Mask and Domino (Dynamite)

Green Mask II

The Hand

Hooded Terror

Illuso

Izzuki of Amazonland

Jaguar/Jaguar Man

Jo Jo, the Congo King

Jungle Jo

Jungle Lil

K-51

Kalkor

Karno the Chessman

King Cobra

Lantida of Atlantis

Lu-Nac

Lunar the Moon Man

The Lynx and Blackie the Mystery Boy

Manx

Marga the Panther Woman

Martha of the Tree Folk

The Mask

Mastermind of Crime

Mea of Mermea

Merciless the Sorceress

Miss Green Mask

Miss X

Mokon, King of the Moon

Moth/Mothman

Moths

Mr. Death

Mystery Man

Nightbird

Navy Jones

Numa

Octopus (Fox version)

Perisphere Payne

Phantom Lady (Fox, obtained from Quality, later DC)

Phantom Rider

Phara

Professor Fiend

Puppeter

Purple Tigress

Queen Alice

Queen of Evil

Rani-Boy

The Rapier

The Raven

Rex Dexter of Mars

Robbing Robot

Rocket Kelly

Rulah, Jungle Goddess

Samson and David (Dynamite)

Saturina

The Scarecrow (Fox version)

Scorpion (Fox version)

Secret Agent D-13

Skull

Sorceress of Zoom

Space Smith

Spider Queen

Stardust, the Super Wizard

Sub Saunders

Sulia of Souless Isle

Sukon, King of the Sun

Super Spy Q-4

Tangi

Tegra, Jungle Empress

Thor (Fox version)

Thinker (Fox version)

The Topper

Tumbler

Typhon

U.S. Jones (Dynamite)

V-Man and the V-Boys (Fox and Holyoke, Dynamite)

Weather Kings

Wing Turner

Winkon, King of the Winds

Wonder Man

The Wraith

Yank and Rebel

Yank Wilson

Yarko, the Great

Zago, Jungle Prince

Zanzibar, The Magician

Zegra, Jungle Princess

Zoro, the Wizard

Many of these characters have their own separate page and others do not. Image reimagined Golden Age characters and literally published the next issue as an anthology one shot series in 2008. They published Fantastic Comics #24 on February 13 2008.

The issue republished the continuing story arc of characters Samson, Flip Falcon, Golden Knight, Yank Wilson, Space Smith, Captain KIdd, Professor Fiend, Sub Saunders, and Stardust the Super Wizard.

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