Terra Obscura Timeline



  • Nedor Publications had oblique methods for adapting their pulp characters to comics. They created a generic superhero named after their pulp sci-fi character Captain Future, and then adapted the first Captain Future story using the name Major Mars. They created two pulp heroes named The Black Bat (and one named The Bat), but adapted the later one to comics under the name The Mask. Rather than opting to put all the pulp characters on an alternate Earth, I have only taken the duplicated characters and placed them on 'Terra Obscura-A' (as in 'Earth 2A') -- which does not imply they are its only inhabitents.
  • Nedor: America's Best Comics is a new (and still sparse) website on the line.
  • Alter Ego - Roy Thomas's reverential series featuring a number of Golden Age heroes in supporting roles ... Black Terror (as "Holy Terror") and Fighting Yank (as "Yankee Doodle") ... is now serialised on the web.
  • Gert & Diasy's Guide to Better Publications is a good history of the line.
  • Pure Excitement Comics #8 is a celebration of Nedor's classic heroes.
  • SMASH - information on the team and its members from past to present.
  • Nedor Golden Age Superheroes Comic Book Cover Gallery
  • Wonder Comics Cover Gallery (Better/Standard Publications)
  • Standard/Better/Nedor Publications|AC Comics discusses the line and AC's reprint collections.
  • Yahoo! Clubs: Black Terror is devoted to discussion of the Nedor line. (thanks to Lenny Carlson, Mark S. Halegua, Bill Nolan and Karfan) c. 4,005,000,000 B.C. ================================== Planet Earth forms from dust and gases around Sol. A vast spacecraft collides with the Earth. This and some of Earth's mantle vaporised on impact (the debris flung to the limits of Earth's gravitational field) gradually coagulate into the Moon. The craft's occupant survives, the Moon forming around him. [Tom Strong #11] pre-history ================================== The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling from March 1941, experience 'stone age terror!' [Thrilling #14] c. 9,000 B.C. ================================== In Terra Obscura-A, a plucky outlander named Promethea fights her way up from footsoldier to become the warrior queen of the continent of Hy Brasil. [Astonishing, 2/24] [Marto Neptura] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling from March 1942, encounter Haldor in ancient Atlantis [Thrilling #26] c. 1,500 B.C. ================================== Theseus has adventures in ancient Greece. He defeats the giant Periphetes, the wild man Sinis, the monstrous Minotaur, and the murderous Procrustes. The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling to ancient Egypt from August 1942, encounter Pharaoh Ikhnaton. [Thrilling #29] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling to ancient Greece from November 1941, encounter King Midas. [Thrilling #22] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling to ancient Greece from November 1942, encounter the Oracle at Delphi. [Thrilling #31] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling to ancient Greece from August 1943, encounter the goddess Diana. [Thrilling #37] 6th century B.C. ================================== Ace Buckley, traveling to ancient Greece from August 1942, encounters Datis, Miltiades, Aristides, Themistocles, and Pheidippides. [Startling #9] 1st century AD ================================== The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling from August 1941, travel to Wales and become involved with the Magic Grail of Gwyllyn. [Thrilling #19] mid 6th century ================================== The era of King Arthur and Camelot. Briane becomes The Silver Knight. [Complete Book of Comics & Funnies #1] [Leo Isaacs & Ken Battefield] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, exiled in time, visit Camelot from June 1940. [Thrilling #5] late 12th century ================================== Ace Buckley, traveling from England from April 1942, encounters Richard the Lion-Hearted. [Startling #6] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling from July 1941, encounter terrorists. [Thrilling #18] 13th century ================================== The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling to England from October 1941, encounter Roger Bacon. [Thrilling #21] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling to China from October 1942, encounter Genghis Khan. [Thrilling #30] 15th century ================================== The Ghost and Professor Fenton, exiled in time, visit Christopher Columbus from August 1940. [Thrilling #7] late 16th century ================================== Ace Buckley, traveling England from February 1942, encounters Sir Francis Drake and Queen Elizabeth. [Startling #5] early 17th century ================================== Ace Buckley, traveling from May 1942, encounters Capt. John Smith, Chief Powhatan, and Pocohontas. [Startling #7] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, exiled in time, visit Oliver Cromwell in England from July 1940. [Thrilling #6] 18th century ================================== The Red Mask has first public case as a guardian of the common people. [Best #1] Bruce Carter has adventures as an American patriot. Edward Teach gains notoriety as the pirate Blackbeard. He encounters Ace Buckley, traveling from July 1942 [Startling #8] and the Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling from May 1941 [Thrilling #16] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, exiled in time, visit George Washington from October 1940. [Thrilling #9] 19th century ================================== Buck Ranger has adventures as a cowboy detective. [Thrilling #72] James Hatfield has adventures as a Texas Ranger. [Exciting #1] The Durango Kid dons a black outfit and a kerchief mask to "strike fear into the heart of" Confederate soldiers (they being a superstitious, cowardly lot, evidently). [Durango Kid #1] Senor Red Mask, inspired by the legend of the original, has adventures. [Wild West Weekly] [Guy Maynard] The Rio Kid has adventures. [Thrilling #2] Rhoda Trail, outlaw-fighting newspaper woman for the Sundog Sentinel, has adventures. [Billy West #4] [John Celardo] Billy West has adventures. [Exciting #?] The Range Riders have adventures. Ace Buckley, traveling to Peru from September 1942, encounters Pres. James Monroe and Simon Bolivar. [Startling #10] The Ghost and Professor Fenton traveling from January 1941, encounter Abraham Lincoln. [Thrilling #12] The Ghost and Professor Fenton travel from April 1941, back to the Californian Gold Rush. [Thrilling #15] 1880's ============================ Sheerluck Jones operates as a consulting detective? [Wonder #6] c. 1917 ================================= John Masters has adventures as fighter pilot in France. [The Lone Eagle] [Lt. Scott Morgan] 1921 ================================= January In Funnyland, Warren Strong who acquires his powers as a result of being raised in a heavy-gravity burrow by evil vivesectionist scientist-weasels, has first public case. [Tom Strong #10] [Alan Moore/Chris Sprouse] 1932 ================================= Del Manning fakes his own death and becomes Dr. Coffin [Thrilling Detective] [Perley Sheehan] 1933 ================================= Richard Curtis Van Loan has first public case as The Phantom Detective. [The Phantom Detective #1] [D.L. Champion] October The Black Bat has first public case as a (noncostumed) private investigator who assists the police. [Black Bat Detective Mystery #1] [Murray Leinster] 1934 ================================= Dawson Clade escapes execution for a crime of which he was falsely accused; he dons a bat-like costume, uses a vapor gun which projects anesthetic gas, and becomes The Bat. [Popular Detective] [C.K.M. Scanlon] 1935 ================================= Richard Wong, of Chinese-American descent, has first public case as a Secret Service Agent. [G-Men/G-Men Detective] [Lee Fredericks] 1938 ================================= "Doc" Clarke, the pharmacist son of a policeman killed in the line of duty, becomes The Crimson Mask. [Detective Novels] [G. Waymen Jones] 1939 ================================== Jerry Wade becomes a crime photographer known as "the Candid Camera Kid." [Detective Novels] July In Terra Obscura-A, Anthony Quinn conquers blindness to become The Black Bat. [Black Book Detective Mysteries] [G. Wayman Jones] November Timothy Holt becomes the Red Mask III. [Best #1] [George West] 1940 ================================== January In Terra Obscura-A, George Chance, raised in the circus and a magician of renown, becomes The Ghost. [The Ghost Super Detective Magazine #1] February Dr. Tomas Hugo Strange discovers Alusun, a powerful distillate of sun atoms which when taken in elixer form allows him to store nuclear solar energy as mass, has first public case as Doc Strange in the city of New Lancaster. [Thrilling #1] [Richard Hughes & Alexander Kostuk] Captain Danger has first public case as aerial spy. [Air War #?] [Lt. Scott Morgan] Nicky Norton has first public case in the U.S. Secret Service. [Thrilling #1] March Peggy Allen, a police investigator, becomes The Woman In Red. [Thrilling #2] The Three Comrades (Cal Collins, Paul "Books" Stone, Lucky) have first public case. [Thrilling #2] April Buddy Braver has first public case as detective. [Thrilling #3] George Chance, tutored in India in magic yogic skills, becomes The Ghost. [Thrilling #3] John Masters, famous American ace, enlists in the British air force under the name Lone Eagle. [Thrilling #3] Anthony Colby conquers blindness to become The Mask. [Exciting #1] Hy Hardy has adventures as an ace newsreel cameraman. [Exciting #1] Sgt. Bill King has adventures as a British soldier active in Europe against the Germans. [Exciting #1] Dan Williams has first public case operating the "Williams Detective Agency." [Exciting #1] "Gunner" Thompson has adventures as a "champion pistol shot" and a freelance adventurer. [Exciting #1] May Dr. John Thesson, an American archaeologist, finds the ring of Poseidon while on a dig in Greece. Revealed as the reincarnation of Theseus, he pledges himself to "endless combat against tryranny, crime and destruction" as the Modern Theseus/Son of the Gods [Exciting #2] June Detective Sgt. Tom Burke has first public case. [Startling #1] Andrew Bryant discovers that by crossing gamma and infrared light rays he acquires super abilities and becomes Captain Future. [Startling #1] [Kin Platt] G-Man Robert Dalton has first public case. [Startling #1] Dr. X astrally projects his niece Cynthia and her fiance Robert Stone to the distant world of Inus. [Startling #1] Scoop Langdon has first public case as reporter. [Startling #1] Bronc Randall becomes The Masked Rider. [Exciting #2] An ancient Egyptian mummy is revived by a vita-ray and becomes Mystico the Wonder Man. [Startling #1] Ellsworth Forrester becomes The Sphinx. [Exciting #2] July Detective O'Hara has first public case. [Thrilling #6] August Lt. Don Davis has adventures as member of United States military intelligence. [Startling #2] October Ace Buckley, accompanied by Toni Stark, develops working time machine. [Startling #3] Fall Rex Parker, reporter for the New York Comet, becomes The Masked Detective. [The Masked Detective #1] [Norman Daniels] 1941 ================================== Dr. Miles Murdock becomes The Purple Scar. [Exciting Detective] May Robert Benton is exposed to formic ether vapors which grant him extraordinary physical strength and he becomes The Black Terror in Invertica City. [Exciting #9] [Richard Hughes & Dave Gabrielson] Timothy Roland assists the (Black) Terror as Tim. The pair become known as "The Terror Twins." [Exciting #9] [Richard Hughes & Dave Gabrielson] August Archibald Masters, exposed to the rays of a giant atom-smasher, becomes the American Crusader. [Thrilling #19] Promethea has first public case, accompanied by FBI man Dirk Dangerfield. [Smashing #1] [William Woolcott] September Bruce Carter III finds a cloak which belonged to his American Revolutionary War hero ancestor, Bruce Carter I, and is assisted by the ghost of his ancestor to become The Fighting Yank I. [Startling #10] [Richard Hughes & John Blummer] Agatha Adams and Grace Adams found the Agatha Detective Agency. [Startling #10] October Mickey Martin assists the American Crusader as Mike. [Thrilling #21] December Nelson Drew finds a long-lost formula for the compound Lamesis, known to the ancient Egyptians, and imbibes it to gain super strength and become The Liberator. [Exciting #15] 1942 ================================== In Funnyland, Supermouse who acquires his powers by eating a variety of radioactive cheeses, has first public case. [Coo Coo Comics #1] January Mike Ellis assists Doc Strange. [Thrilling #24] February George Hale has first public case as reporter for The Herald. [Thrilling #25] August The Four Comrades (Pudge, Buzz, Tip and Tommy) have first public case. [Startling #16] [Howard Sherman] October Tom Standish becomes The American Eagle. [Exciting #22] [Richard Hughes/Ken Platt] Bud Pierce assists the American Eagle as Eaglet. [Exciting #22] Lucky Lawrence has adventures as a "leatherneck" Marine in occupied Europe. [Thrilling #30] December Richard Martin, former student of Andrew Bryant at Central Tech whose experiments with high voltage electricity rendered him immune to electrical charge, is wrongly accused of arson and sentenced to the electric chair; he survives to find his body charged with electricity and becomes Pyroman. [Startling #18] In later years he is accompanied by Polly. [Terra Obscura V2#3] 1943 ================================== In Funnyland, Bark Benton becomes The Black Terrier. [Real Funnies #1] The Commando Cubs (Ace Browning, Pokey Jones, Horace Cosgrove II, Whizzer Malarkey, and Spud O'Shea) have first public case. [Thrilling #36] March Robert Paxton becomes The Oracle, with the ability to predict coming events. [Startling #20] April The Ape has first encounter as an enemy of the Oracle. [Startling #21] 1944 ================================== William Norris becomes The Grim Reaper. [Fighting Yank #7] [Al Camerata] May James Dawson has adventures as a soldier of fortune active in the Indies. [Wonder #1] Mekano (a giant robot invented and controlled by Bill Foster) has first public case. [Wonder #1] Robert Morgan, a mind reader, has first public case as Spectro. [Wonder #1] 1945 ================================== June Jane Howell becomes Kara, Jungle Princess [Exciting #39] [Al Carny] July Peter Ward activates his magic ring to become The Scarab, in which form he is super strong, invulnerable, and can fly. [Startling #34] In Terra Alpha, a young boy named Tomas Stone is caught in the first atomic bomb blast, only to be rescued by a Northamptonian magician. He becomes Tom Terrific with powers of both science and magic. [Tom Strong #10] [Alan Moore/Chris Sprouse] 1946 ================================== El Bombo leaves tropical Tomalio for the United States. [El Bombo Comics #1] [ April Rance Raleigh becomes The Cavalier, alerted into action when he sees the ancestral portrait of the Duc de Chantrey frown. [Thrilling #56] [Sam Cooper] May Judy of the Jungle has first public case. [Exciting #55] September Diana Adams has first public case as Miss Masque. [Exciting #51] "Front Page" Peggy has first public case as editor of The Herald. [Startling #39] October Princess Pantha has first public case as a jungle crusader. [Thrilling #56] [Art Saaf] 1947 ================================== Sometimes ya just can't win. Zippy the Chimp has adventures. December John Masters (formerly Lone Eagle) becomes Captain Eagle. [Thrilling #63] 1948 ================================== Grant Halford uses the magnetic properties of his Geo-Locater and becomes The Magnet. [Complete Book of Comics & Funnies #1] Brad Spencer is exposed to the sizzling voltage of a secret current and becomes Wonder Man, eventually accompanied by his girlfriend Carol as Wonder Girl and an artificial man of his own creation as Roboroy. [Complete Book of Comics & Funnies #1] 1950 - 1968 (period of transition) [speculation based on Tom Strong #11 - 12] [Alan Moore/Chris Sprouse] ================================== The Ape II (formerly Zippy the Chimp, renamed 'Adam') joins the ranks of the science heroes. In 1958 or '59, purportedly Captain Future departs for the planet Inus, to assist Dr. X's neice Cynthia (the whereabouts of her fiance Robert Stone is unknown). Bud Pierce, spared whatever treatment slowed the maturation process of Mike Ellis and Timothy Roland, becomes American Eagle II. Tom Standish goes into retirement. In an alternate possible Earth, Richard Davis assists Fighting Yank from the early 1950's as Kid Quick. [Retro Comics #1: Fighting Yank] Carol Carter, daughter of Bruce Carter, assists her father as Kid Quick. Later, assisted by the ghost of her American Revolutionary War hero ancestor, Bruce Carter I, she becomes Fighting Yank II. Bruce Carter goes into semi- retirement, only returning to action (with a new costume designed to conceal his weight gain while inactive) in times of great crisis. Joe Yank sees his term of service in the Korean War. [Joe Yank #1] Lance Lewis, Space Detective, travels from his future era to become established as a 20th century science hero. Mickey Martin loses his powers and retires from his role as the American Crusader's sidekick. John Thesson, the Modern Theseus/Son of the Gods, disappears. [Terra Obscura #4] Tom Terrific has adventures circa 1956; his relationship if any to Terra Alpha's Tom Terrific is unknown. The Woman In Red becomes powered by an alien energy ruby. The Society of Major American Science Heroes have first public case. 1969 [Tom Strong #11] ================================== February Doc Strange is assisted by his counterpart Tomas Strong of Terra Gamma in defeating an alien menace. They are accompanied by Bruce Carter, Miss Masque, the Black Terror & Tim as representatives of S.M.A.S.H. In an alternate possible Earth, Paul Saveen of the Stone-Saveen team detects the lunar survivor, and merges this Earth with Terra Theta in an attempt to evade it. [Tom Strong #21] July 20th Astronauts of the Helios mission land on the moon. The lunar survivor follows their radio communications back to Earth. S.M.A.S.H. is defeated. Deaths of Mike Ellis, The Ghost, and The Black Terror. Doc Strange travels to Terra Gamma for help. 1970 - 1999 (the lost era) [Tom Strong #12] [Alan Moore/Chris Sprouse] ================================= The lunar survivor purges the planet's polar regions. The Four Comrades survive as the only active science heroes. The whereabouts of the Cavalier, the Oracle, the Phantom Detective, the Red Mask, Roboroy, Spectro, the Sphinx, Tom Terrific, and Wonder Girl are unknown. Presumed death of Tip of the Four Comrades, who is replaced by (his daughter?) Tippy (?). Death of Polly, Pyroman's sidekick. In an alternate possible Earth, a trio of Robert Benton's neices become the Terror Teens. [Tom Strong #21] 2000 [Tom Strong #11] ================================= October Doc Strange arrives on Terra Gamma, an event with striking similarity to that detailed in Marvel Comics' Strange Tales #114. Tom Strange and Tom Strong return to Terra Obscure, an event with striking similarity to that detailed in DC Comics' Justice League of America #22. George Chance is revived in a way as The Green Ghost. Robert Benton is revived in a way as Terror 2000. Death of Fighting Yank I. The lunar survivor is destroyed. Between 2000 and 2003 [events as mentioned in Terra Obscura #1-4] ================================= Ms. Franklin (first name unrevealed) elected as United States President. After a team-up with Tom Strong, Tom Strange yet again vanishes. The S.M.A.S.H team disbands. Timothy Roland and Ms. Masque becomes a couple after Tim turns 18 years old (physically). The Magnet joins Lance Lewis and establishes a small detective agency. They remained partners until Lance Lewis is recently murdered. The Woman in Red has turned literally Red after using her Power Crystal. She then dresses in new costume to hide her appearance. 2003-2004 [Terra Obscura #1-5] ================================= American Crusader battles the Bamboozler in New Lancaster. Carol Carter visits Invertica City. During that, Terror 2003 (formerly Black Terror) finally kills the now-villainous Grim Reaper. The Magnet is on the case of who murdered Lance Lewis. He later meets up with Green Ghost in the desert and later speculates that it was the Grim Reaper that might be the murderer. S.M.A.S.H. reforms to investigate a phenomenon near the canyon desert. The team then goes to Antarctica to meet up with Doc Strange and Adam (potentially King Solomon of Terra Obscura), while Scarab and Liberator remain in the Canyon and discover that Captain Future had been killed by Dr. X during the Sixties. Fighting Yank II has first full contact with her father since his death. The Liberator and Scarab then meet "John," a Navajo also known as The Lone Eagle (no apparent relation to John Masters) and again meet Tom Strange since their last meeting of 2000. At their meeting, they (along with SMASH members) discover Mystico and his Egyptian-like city hidden in the Grand Canyon. late 21st century ================================= Jetta attends Neutron High School. [Jetta Of The 21st Century #1] Major Mars has adventures. [Exciting #1] In Terra Obscura-A, Curtis Newton becomes Captain Future. [Captain Future #1] [Edmond Hamilton & Mort Weisinger] 22nd century =================================== Lance Lewis, space detective, and his assistant Marna, fight such menaces as "Crab Men from Space", hammer-headed aliens from Mars, and Mercurians whose force beams threaten to plunge Venus and Earth towards the sun. [Mystery #3] [Graham Ingles] 30th century ================================= Richard Devens is "King of Futuria" [Mystery #1] The Ghost and Professor Fenton, traveling from May 1942, encounter the Rellik-Men. [Thrilling #27] Appendix: The Black Terror is the most popular and also the most-revived of the Better/Standard/Nedor heroes, with appearences documented by Americomics and Eclipse Comics among others. The character is worthy of his own site which could track these varied updates. Other notable parallels in the ABC/Better/Standard/Nedor multiverse include: Terra Alpha - Tom Terrific and his daughter Tesla Terrific/Tara Stone (reflects DC Silver Age) Terra Beta - Tiberius "Black Tom" Strong and his daughter Twyla Strong (evil counterparts) Terra Gamma - Tom Strong, Cobweb, Greyshirt, Johnny Future, Promethea, Splash Brannigan, First American, Top Ten (primary ABC line) Terra Delta - Iron Tom and his daughter Tekla Strong (advanced tech) Terra Epsilon - Texas Tom and his daughter Two-Gun Tesla (19th century tech, Western theme) Terra Zeta - Tom of the Tigers and his daughter Tes of the Tigers (feral theme) Terra Gamma2 - Thomas Teen and his daughter Tezzie Teen (teen humor comics theme) Terra Eta - Tom Trash and his daughter Tesla-Sue Trash (white trash) Terra Theta - Tom Stone of the Stone-Saveen team, and the latter's daughter Tesla Saveen (divergent Terra Gamma) Terra Iota - Terro Strong and his daughter Tori (acquatic) Terra Kappa - Tyrone Strong and his daughter Tamla (eros) Terra Lambda - Aztom Energico and his daughter Aztesla (giant Aztec) Terra Mu - Captain Thomas Strong (pirates) Funnyland - Warren Strong and his daughters Topsy, Turvy and Fluffytail, Supermouse, Black Terrier (funny animals) Terra Obscura - Tom Strange, The Mask, Captain Future, Major Mars, the Green Ghost (Golden Age) Terra Obscura-A - Black Bat, Captain Future, the Ghost (pulp) Terra Media - Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, George of the Jungle, others (America's Best TV Comics) Terra Meta - Tom Turbine, the Justice Guild (animated metafictional) Terra Brittania - Captain Universe, Speedsmith, the Bluestocking (UK-based Arnold Book Company) Terra Commerce - Tom Tootsie, the Inquisitor (advertising characters, may be the same as Earth-Hostess) Others can be inferred from the glimpses of "L'il Tesla" and "1950's Space Tesla" as well as a hippy Tesla, a lionine Tesla, a pixie Tesla, a barbarian Tesla, and various counterparts of Terra Gamma's King Solomon including in a French military uniform, in a Charlie Brown sweater, in a Robin uniform, in a Frankensteinian mode, in commando gear, in a hockey uniform, in a beduin outfit, in medieval garb, in a Thor (Marvel version) uniform, and others. In 1963 #6 we see the Blur & Blur Boy of "Earth-Alpha" as well as the Blur of "Earth-Beta." The formerly could credibly come from Terra Alpha listed here, although the latter is plainly not from Terra Beta. Need dates/info for: Brick Bradford Ted Crane, explorer [May 1940, Exciting #2] Crash Carter [February 1942, Exciting #16] Jimmy Cole [Thrilling #?] The Crime Crushers [September 1942, Exciting #28] Delton Prouse becomes the Crimson Clown [Popular Detective] [Johnston McCulley] Johnny Dale [July 1948, Exciting #62] Dr. Science Dan Duffy [September, Thrilling #8] Dan Fowler [G-Men] Galahad Grant has first public case as Troubleshooter. [September, Startling #39] [Bob Oskner] Jack Manning [1944, Mystery #2] Rick Howard becomes The Mystery Rider. Tom Niles Lt. Larry North [July 1942, Exciting #20] Biff Powers (reporter?) [August, Startling #2] The Skull [Thrilling Detective] Space Rovers [May 1940, Exciting #2] [Max Plaisted] Pepper Swift [December 1942, Exciting #23] [Bob Oskner] Tara and the Space Raiders [December 1947, Wonder #15] Jill Trent [April 1947, Wonder #11] Tygra [May 1947, Startling #45] Zarnak [August 1936, Thrilling Wonder Stories] [Max Plaisted] Zudo [Complete Book of Comics & Funnies #1] Mark S. Halegua reports that Popular Detective had a repeat character, some kind of Oriental doctor, and Thrilling Mystery or Detective had a Colonel something ... could be the same character as John Chaffin's Colonel Feathergill from Exciting #26?