Todd’s Heroes

Mort Todd publishes comics on the internet – and what comics they are!

He used to edit Cracked magazine, one of the satirical titles launched to emulate the success of Mad, and that partly defines his style and approach: a love for the classic comics of yesteryear, from Archie to superheroes and from Charlton romances to weird horror, but done with a wry sense of humor.

Let’s stick with the superheroes, dispensing swift justice to wrongdoers everywhere. Comics history is full of them. Batman…

Superman…

Captain Marvel…

The Phantom…

The Thing…

Wonder Woman…

Sometimes they only facilitate justice rather than administering it themselves:

And Mary Marvel has been known to take a different line:

Classic adventures have been recycled in the present century…

… occasionally by fan artists whose work may not be addressed to an entirely mainstream audience:

Even modern superheroes spank:

Though occasionally it’s the heroines themselves who get spanked:

Often they band together into groups, like the Justice League of America or the Fantastic Four:

Or indeed the Inferior Five, as here reimagined by Jim Scribner:

And that brings us into a slightly different world. The superhero genre is easy to spoof, with its exaggerated masculinity…

Megaton Man

and its heroes with niche ‘special powers’, like the Punisher here:

And this isn’t just a self-consciously sophisticated postmodern phenomenon. The original goofy superhero was Plastic Man, created in 1941, whose endlessly flexible body made multitasking a cinch, even when there were two crooks to deck and a bad girl to spank:

Plastic Man

There are a number of strands here that are relevant to Mort Todd. His wacky band of heroes are called the Secret Society, whose ranks include such curious individuals as Eddie Crossfire (the living skeleton), Hourglass (the mistress of time) and Pig-Man (self-explanatory). There’s also Lucy Hell, alias Devilgirl, whose secret origin (all superheroes must have a secret origin) involves her death in a traffic accident caused by a drunken driver who just happened to be the Devil.

Mort Todd 2

And then there’s Rubbergirl, a Swedish singer whose endlessly flexible body might just possibly remind you of another goofy superhero created in the 1940s…

Rubbergirl’s adventures included an interesting encounter with the Krampus, which applied precise logic to the fiendish creature’s reputation as the antithesis of Santa. For if Santa rewards good girls and spanks bad ones, what does the Krampus do to the good ones?

Mort Todd 3

But there’s more to Mort Todd than super superheroes. In 2013, he perpetrated an April Fool’s Day hoax about the discovery of a cache of hitherto unknown golden age comic books from the 1940s and 50s, all published by Zeus Comics, an imprint that was not only completely fictitious but also entirely unconnected with the Dallas comics retail business of the same name. These imaginary comics included a lot of material that was nearer the knuckle than perhaps you might expect for that era:

The title says it all!

This was actually part of a satire on the kind of comic book censorship that will forever be associated with the name of Wertham, and the portfolio was also illustrated with faux-photos of comic burnings and government propaganda. One title even demanded…

Burn this COmic

And if you look closely at the bottom left, you’ll see that an especially pleasing panel has been chosen to illustrate the genre of Humor. It’s supposedly the final panel of a story in that same teen humor comic book we’ve already seen, Stiffie, about Principal Letcher of Fulchester High, and what happens when one of the teachers, Miss Von Wank, loses a bet. Here it is in all its glory:

If you are interested in Mort Todd’s comics, please visit his website.

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