Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I Want to Read This Guy's Story

Got to thinking about obscure Golden Age characters, and I decided that there was one hero in particular whom I'd like to see:
That's right, 711 (the crimefighter most often confused with a convenience store). It's not just the wonderfully implausible premise (wrongfully jailed due to absurdly contrived circumstances, he escapes his cell each night to fight crime but dutifully returns to prison by morning)'s the fact that he was the first established Quality Comics hero (and thus, the first DC Universe hero) to be killed off. (Though not the very first Golden Age hero to meet his maker...I believe that "honor" goes to MLJ/Archie Comics' original version of The Comet.)
It's the fact that 711 belongs (albeit only retroactively) to a wide shared universe that makes this distinction so interesting to me. I'd like to think that, even taking into account the heroes who were killed off retroactively (Red Bee, anyone?), 711 still holds a place in DC Universe history as the first costumed crimefighter to die in the line of duty. Wouldn't it be great to read a story showing the news of his death getting around the mystery-men community, showing all the other heroes' reactions, and the realization that putting on a mask and cape doesn't make you immortal? I know I'd buy that.

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At 6:38 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

711 died? Aw man!

I have that "Millennium Edition" of POLICE COMICS #1, and I loved the 711 strip in it, and always wanted to see more of it myself. I didn't know they killed him off... now I'm depressed.

You may be wrong about the first dead hero thing, since you disregard another (completely awesome) Quality Comics strip: Jack Cole's (and later, apparently, Dave Berg's) Death Patrol, from MILITARY COMICS. The strip that killed a character in every story! I'd love to see a revival. Garth Ennis, maybe?

-- Chris


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