Beauology 101: Obscure Heroes & Villains: Putting YOUR Money Where MY Mouth Is

by Beau Smith

Beau Smith

Beau Smith


I would love to give a home to all the misfit, odd-ball, obscure, mainstream superheroes.

Like most of you, I’ve always been a major fan and reader of such icons as Spider-Man, The X-Men, Batman and The JLA, but I have always had a major space in my sentimental heart for all those third-string characters who never seem to get enough game time.

Plant Man

Plant Man


Let me add, not only mainstream heroes, but bad guys too. Not only do the low rent villains usually get caught and tossed into jail by the hero, they also never get any respect like Dr. Doom or Lex Luthor. You just don’t see many folks quaking in fear when The Plant Man knocks over a bank, although they should when you really think of it and look at the science involved with a guy who can control ALL plant life. He’s pretty scary.

The Cobra & Mr. Hyde

The Cobra & Mr. Hyde


One of my favorite diabolical duos was Mr. Hyde and The Cobra. Great mix of powers and personalities. They didn’t always get along and they would rat each other out on a dime, but a few issues later, they’d get back together and try to bump off Thor or Daredevil. They never lacked motivation.

As a writer, it’s always my goal to take a lesser known hero or bad guy and place them in the spotlight in hopes of gaining respect and the likability they deserve and could have. Although Guy Gardner wasn’t exactly second string at DC, at the time I took him over, the book was about to be canceled and the bowl-cut jerk that he had become was wearing thin on readers. It was one thing to have him be a fun jerk like that in his Justice League days of the 1980’s, but after a while, he just became a jerk. No more fun. I wanted to bring back the fun.

I also wanted to bring back characters like Lady Blackhawk, The Metal Men, and create new ones. Lucky for me, DC gave me that chance. I just wish that DC and Marvel would be willing to give other heroes and bad guys that chance today. Yes, I know that sales and times in comic books are hard and it’s not always shiny to be a risk taker, but I think this is truly the time to take the risks.

Red Wolf

Red Wolf


I’d love to see smart, fun, compelling stories starring the likes of Ka-Zar, Skull The Slayer, Bloodstone, B’Wana Beast, Dial H For Hero, Space Ranger, Razorback, The Wrecking Crew, The Masters Of Evil, (it tales stones to call yourself that to the whole world) Night Nurse, Two-Gun Kid, The Human Fly, Red Wolf, The Red Ghost and his Apes, Star Spangled War Stories, Creature Commandos and Captain Savage And His Leatherneck Raiders. I don’t mean some Vertigo or Marvel weirdo-perversions of these characters, I mean taking what was created and making it work as is. It can be done and done well. There are talented folks out there who have the passion for these characters like I do that can make it work. Not only believe me, but believe IN me.

While we’re at it, let’s bring back Romance, Western, War and sci-fi comics. It can all work. There are readers who want it and will pay for it. Marvel and DC just have to step up, take the risk and do it. Don’t tell me it’s not that simple, I’ve been on the marketing end of comics for 25 years as well as a writer. I speak to retailers, universities and libraries every day. It can work and there IS an readership for it.

I want all of you out there reading this to think about it. If you have thoughts, let us know. I know I would love to hear if you’d support this stuff.

Drop us a line.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch

www.flyingfistranch.com

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