Martian in the Iron Mask Day

martian mask

Once again it is time to celebrate the Martian in the Iron Mask. And I think this time I’m going to give a little explanation of why he matters.

First the date of the celebration is inaccurate. Memory does strange things and I was certain that I had gotten the comic book on this date. Well, I was wrong. The book came out in April of 1958 and I got it from my mother while I was recovering from a bought of measles combined with pnuemonia that damned near killed me dead. So my memory would have been a bit off from the beginning.

The character does mark something. I know that I knew about mental powers by the time I was eight. I even wrote something about something being controlled by mind power that year. What happened here was that the character resonated with something in me. If you look at the face in that medieval helmet, it looks cool. And the idea of a negative super-hero appealed to me.

The Martian was just plain fun. And the way he robbed banks and drove the constabulary to distraction was wonderful. Try to imagine a dumb pig firing his gun and instead of bullets, flowers come out the muzzle. You couldn’t get that by putting acid in their donuts!

It was a delightful exposure to the fact that badness is just more fun than goodness and being the bad guy was just plain enjoyable.

And so we celebrate this comic book, because after encountering it I resolved to play the villain. And knew that mind control was the way to go about it.

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