Sunday, June 12, 2016


Hello brothers and sisters!!

    TEX is back once more with the comic book info that you adore! Let's take a look at another first from those happening, far-out 60s!


   It's my copy of "John Force - Magic Agent" #1, published by American Comics Group (ACG), in 1962!! This comic features the first appearance of John Force, a communist-smashing agent of the American Security Group!

    As an American agent during WWII, John Force was captured in Transylvania and put on trial for being an enemy agent. He was sentenced to death, but the spirit of the occultist, Cagliostro (in whose castle the trial took place, and where Force and the other captives were being held after being sentenced to die), and his companions, Merlin, Harry Houdini and Nostradamus, took pity on him, and decided to help him escape his captors and fight the bloody plans of the Nazis. Cagliostro bestowed upon Force the power of hypnosis; Houdini bestowed upon him the power of extra-sensory perception (ESP); Merlin gave him the power of illusion; and Nostradamus gave him the power of telepathy - all of these powers were activated by touching the columns on a magic medallion entrusted to him - the Golden Medallion that he now must guard with the greatest of care!

Armed with his wits, his fists and his magical Golden Medallion, John Force battled the Nazis during WWII, and in 1962, he is the top operative of The American Security Group, President Kennedy's super-secret agency that handles emergencies of national proportions, ready to quietly do the dirty on the bad guys wherever and whenever America needed it done.  


FUN FACT 1: John Force was created by Richard E. Hughes (writer) and Paul Reinman (artist). 

FUN FACT 2: Hughes also created popular Golden Age superheroes, The Fighting Yank and The Black Terror

FUN FACT 3: Hughes didn't really like superheroes, even though he'd created some very cool ones, but with the re-emergence of the popularity of superheroes in the Silver Age, ACG wanted to get in on the act. John Force satisfied both ACG and Hughes - Force was a bit of a superhero without tights and a cape - more of a magical super-spy, really. 

FUN FACT 4: You might look at John Force and think that he looks a lot like Nick Fury. NOPE. What you should do is look at Nick Fury and think that he looks a lot like John Force; John Force - Magic Agent first appeared in January of 1962, more than a year prior to Fury's first appearance in May of 1963. 

FUN FACT 5: John Force wears an trench-coat and an eye-patch, both of which signal his being a spy to the readers of the 1960s, as you can see from Nick Fury's re-emergence in 1965 wearing an eye-patch (initially SGT Fury didn't wear an eye-patch, but when he became Agent Fury the eye-patch showed right up). 

FUN FACT 6: President John F. Kennedy makes an appearance in this issue. Cool. 

FUN FACT 7: "John Force - Magic Agent" was canceled with issue #3, but due to fan demand, he returned for more adventures in "Unknown Worlds," another AGC publication.

   ACG published some cool, offbeat characters - if you hang around here, you'll surely see more of them. John Force surely wasn't the most offbeat, but he was, in my opinion, all kinds of crazy cool. I'd love to see him make a comeback - imagine how cool this movie could be!

   Thanks for reading brothers and sisters!!

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  1. I would have thought Houdini would have give him the ability to escape traps and Nostradamus would give him the ability to foretell the future (vaguely). And I'm not really sure why the eyepatch was a recurring visual in the 60's, but it sure was. And this was a few years before Dayan became famous, so it probably wasn't related to many of these creators being Jewish.

    1. Hello pblfsda.

      I hope that you are well.

      Houdini had a keen interest in the paranormal, including extrasensory perception. He wanted to believe in its existence, but never found any evidence to support it, and turned to debunking the mediums of the day. Yet, in his heart, I believe he would have given everything to find just one medium that gave him evidence of life after death and the paranormal.

      Houdini used to perform various magic tricks that mimicked extrasensory perception - he even fooled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, with a fake psychic trick one time to show him that just because he couldn't explain something didn't mean that the supernatural was involved.

      I guess the version of Houdini in "John Force- Magic Agent" got his wish fulfilled.

      I can't say where the the eyepatch trope emerged from. Some things were just signals drummed into our minds at some point by movie magic (I always think of Rotwang in Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" as the first mad scientist on screen that really started that entire trope). For example, the trenchcoat that John Force wore would have signaled that he was A. a detective, or B. a spy. I guess the eye patch pushed him further towards seeming like the latter, and took the place of a cape - I guess to Hughes a cape flapping in the wind was cheesy, but a trenchcoat...Well, that's fine. LOL.

      Thank you for reading, pblfsda.