The Fox wiki last edited by chrisburgess99 on 11/26/16 06:31AM 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

Adam Anteas, Jr.

Agent D-13

Ayesha

The Banshee

The Bat Boy

Beast (Fox version)

Beau Brummel

Betty Boyd

Bird Man (Fox version)

Black Baron (Fox version)

Blackbird (Fox version)

Black Death (Fox version)

Black Flagg

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 (Fox version)

Bwani

Captain Abbott

Captain Kidd

Captain Savage

Captain V

Captain X-13

Condor (Enemy of the original Blue Beetle)

Cosmic Carson (Created by Jack Kirby)

D-13 (Fox version)

Dagar, the Desert Hawk

Dart and Ace, the Amazing Boy (Fox, Dynamite)

Deathmask

Demon (Fox version)

Diana

Doctor Death (Fox version)

Doctor Drool

Doctor Fung

Doctor Mortal

Doctor Mortinous

Dr. Doom (Fox version)

The Dome (Fox version)

Doxol

Dynamite Thor

Dynamo (Fox version)

Echo (Fox version)

The Eagle and Buddy, the Daredevil Boy (Fox, Dynamite)

Electro ( later Dynamo)

The Flame and Flame Girl (Fox, Dynamite) (Will Eisner creations)

Flip Falcon

Gary Brent

Gimp

Gladiator

Gloat

Golden Knight

Gordon Fife and the Boy King

The Gorilla with the Human Brain

Green Mask and Domino (Fox, Dynamite)

Green Mask II

Halo (Fox, Holyoke)

The Hand (Fox version)

Hooded Master

Hooded Specter of Death

Hooded Terror

Illuso

Izzuki of Amazonland

Jaguar/Jaguar Man

Jo Jo, the Congo King

Jungle Jo

Jungle Lil

K-5

Kalkor

Karno the Chessman

King Cobra

Krooga

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 (Fox version)

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, Quality, later DC)

Phantom Rider (Fox version)

Phara

Prince Ferdinand Diablo

Professor Fiend

Puppeteer (Fox version)

Purple Tigress

Queen Alice

Queen of Evil

Ragin Doctor

Rani-Boy

The Rapier

The Raven (Fox version)

Red Robbins

Rex Dexter of Mars

Robbing Robot

Rocket Kelly

Rook (Fox version)

Rulah, Jungle Goddess (Fox, Ajax Farell)

Samson and David (Fox, Dynamite)

Saturina

The Scarecrow (Fox version)

Scorpion (Fox version)

Sea-Weed Men

Secret Agent D-13

Serpent Lady

Skull

Sorceress of Zoom

Space Smith

Sphinx

Spider Queen

Stardust, the Super Wizard

Sub Saunders

Sulia of Souless Isle

Sukon, King of the Sun

Super Spy Q-4

Swamp Master

Tanee

Tangi

Tegra, Jungle Empress

Thor (Fox version)

Thinker (Fox version)

The Topper

Tumbler

Typhon

U.S. Jones (Fox, Dynamite)

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

Voodoo Man

Weather Kings

Wing Turner (Created by Jack Kirby)

Winkon, King of the Winds

Wonder Man (Fox version) (Created by Will Eisner)

The Wraith (Fox version)

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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