Thursday, April 4, 2013

D: Doctor Occult!

D

is for Doctor Occult.

Richard Occult (aka The Ghost Detective) was a supernatural detective created by the same team who created Superman....Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. He debuted in New Fun Comics #6, back in 1935 under the name Dr. Mystic where he travels to a mystic realm, flies, and wears a cape....thus becoming the very first caped hero in comics (Superman didn't appear until 1938).  

As Dr. Occult, his usual garb was as shown above....a suit, trench coat and fedora. If nothing else, the Doc had style! He also had the "Symbol of the Seven"...a mystic talisman that focused his abilities, could exorcise as well as drive off demons, and did just about anything else the writers needed it to do.




A strange character deserves a strange origin story, I guess...

December 31st, 1899...a pair of infants are to be sacrificed to Satan by an evil cult. The two are rescued by another cult...known as The Seven. Seeing potential in the two, they raise the children..one boy and one girl..and train them in the 'mystic arts'. The boy they name Richard Occult and the girl they name Rose Psychic. Since Richard seemed to have the most magical talent of the two, he's given the mystical Symbol of the Seven. Soon after, the two were told to leave, go into the world, and fight evil. Simple enough, eh?

Occult went to school, excelling in the sciences (another scientist!) and earned a doctorate...becoming a legitimate 'doctor' in the academic sense. After that, he and Rose set up a detective agency, taking any and all cases involving the supernatural or the unexplained. 

The Doc had a long and varied career in the D.C. Universe and was usually called in when someone was recruiting a bunch of magic using types to deal with some manner of supernatural threat.  He used his powers to fight off aging...thus allowing the writers to pull him out of the mothballs anytime a story called for a 'mystical character you haven't seen in a while'. 

I've always loved the 'pulp' type heroes and they don't get much pulpier than the good Doctor.


 Tune in tomorrow for "E". A post I'll be trying to 'stretch' out....ahem

52 comments:

Trisha F said...

Yikes, that could have been an awkward start to life if they hadn't been rescued! :)

Interesting characters.

Elise Fallson said...

Dr. Occult does look a lot like Clark Kent.

Elise Fallson said...

And by that ^^^ I mean his facial features. (:

Sue Elvis said...

Mark,

We have a houseful of superhero fans: movies, comics, my kids even create their own... Now I know some superheroes none of my family have ever heard of. Great posts!

Thanks for visiting my blog and stopping to say hello. 'Diet' is a four letter word? Hope you never have any trouble fitting into your superhero suit!

Nicole Rivera said...

This is awesome. Count me in as a brand new follower! Lately I notice my Goodreads is getting filled with more graphic novels than anything else. Learning about more characters just makes me want to read even more!!

InterfaceLeader said...

Now... there's a superhero I hadn't heard of! Sounds very interesting, and is giving me a hankerin' for a comic book now.

(Suzie - suziehunt.co.uk)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

A new comic character for me. My husband is a comic book junkie and whenever I complain I have to hear about their investment value. Wish I could say the same for new shoes!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

First caped superhero huh? That's interesting.

Valerie said...

OMG. He totally looks like Clark Kent!

Weird.

Hugs!

Valerie

Dani Jax said...

Another great comic character! You pulling out all the stops.
Dani & Jax @ Cover Girls

michelle said...

I can't remember Doc Occult! He was the first one with a cape? Interesting.
Strong resemblance to Clark Kent!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

As a DC fan, I'm familiar with Dr. Occult.

Regina Gort said...

Love Dr. Occult! What a great character!

Shell Flower said...

Wow, Dr. Occult sounds so cool and so 1930's. I like your teaser for tomorrow, too.

Lisa said...

I love your teaser for tomorrow because I know who it is!! Now isn't Dr. Occult just the "manly man" of the supernatural...!? I didn't know he came before Superman, and I love the idea of how he and his sister came to be, but wish they'd concentrated more on the sister too and given her her own "superhero" character and comic. I SO love this comic book history blog!!!

John Wiswell said...

"A strange character deserves a strange origin story, I guess...

December 31st, 1899...a pair of infants are to be sacrificed to Satan by an evil cult. "

I could not help snorting with laughter. Am I the only one? There's something so cheesy about the horrific nature of the story.

Thank you, man. This is one of my favorite A-to-Z themes, easily.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love hearing about these 'old' guys. Maybe we'll be seeing them in the movies someday.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Sounds interesting, Mark. My husband loves Comics. He probably knows all about the Doctor. I love the plot line.

Christine Rains said...

One I've heard about. Vaguely! I love reading about all these obscure old characters.

Mina Burrows said...

I don't remember this character. I have to ask my husband. He's a comic nut. Thanks.

jaybird said...

Very stylish dude indeed. Love the fedora. Great job coming up with all of these obscure characters. I'm loving this!

Allison said...

Why are all the super heroes scientists??

Allison (Geek Banter)

Amanda - The Southern UnBelle said...

I'm learning so much about comics, I didn't realize that Superman had been around since 1938! Dr. Occult seems like a fun character.

Melissa Sugar said...

Fascinating story . I loved learning that he began as a rescued twin who was supposed to be sacrificed to Satan. Wow. Hi, I am a new follower from the A to Z challenge.

M. J. Joachim said...

Writers are funny people, aren't we? Your historical posts on comic strips is positively wonderful. Superman and Dr. Occult...who knew?!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I wonder if he'll turn up in a movie somewhere?

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I think the story behind how Joe and Jerry met would make a good film. Small town kid from Toronto meets up with creative kid from Cleveland, and behold... we have Superman and Dr. Occult!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

This one's a new Dr. for me! A ghost and a detective? He has to be super!

Robin said...

Very interesting that one of the first comic book heroes would be in the Occult. The Mystical. Dealing with Satan and Demons and the Number 7. It is all very Pulpy. Too bad that they couldn't have figured out how to pull Marvel into one of my favorite TV shows: Charmed. Now that is a blend I can see. Dr. Occult is here to help out The Charmed Ones. I like it!

Carol Kilgore said...

This is a superhero I never heard of. They should bring him out of mothballs more often!

Julie Flanders said...

Love this guy. Now I want to run around saying "Listen to me, I am Dr. Occult!" Too bad I'd probably end up locked up if I tried it.

Al Diaz said...

When April is over I'll be an expert in comics. I think the only one I knew about so far was Flash.

Nel Ashley said...

Hi Mark, returning the favour as you;ve been reading and commenting on my blog of late. Loving the super hero/comic book theme, big fan myself. I'll have to point a friend of mine in your direction too, he's a huge comic book geek and he'll love your A-Z :)

elizabethwatgibson said...

Dr Occult is new to me, but he sounds cool. Ghost and dective, of course makes a super hero. :) Like your theme for A to Z.

Mary said...

Cool blog! I will bring it to the attention of my friends who run Denver's Comic Con. :)

Scribbles From Jenn said...

As a writer, I love a character that can do whatever I need him to do, whenever I need him to do it.
Jenn @Scribbles From Jenn

Suze said...

There is another blogger doing comics that you'd probably appreciate hooking up with during A-Z. He blogs as The Armchair Squid and I have him on my blogroll if you're interested, Mark.

Manzanita said...

Mark
I don't like admitting this but I like these old comics. Where was I when obviously everyone else was reading them. I guess the guys read them but I don't remember that gals did.
OOOOhhh..tomorrow like a gumby?

Jamie Gibbs said...

Love the trenchcoat and fedora. He's like a supernatural Dick Tracy.

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom
www.mithrilwisdom.com

Samantha May said...

I really need to get with it with these comic book characters. I'm like 0/2 now :P

I never really see them around. Are they still popular and I'm just not in the right place?

Tyrean Martinson said...

Cool character and interesting origin story! You know so much about comics!

Mark Means said...

@Trisha: Oh yeah, it definitely could have made for a rough life!

@Elise: You know,I never noticed that before, but you're right! :)

@Sue: Sounds like you live in a very fun home :) My pleasure and we don't say 'diet' around these parts...we say 'lifestyle' change...how else will I be able to fit back into my spandex? :)

@Nicole: I follow you on G+ but not your blog? I'll have to rectify that immediately and thank you for the comment :)

@Suzie: You're never too old for comic books, I always say.

@Elizabeth: LOL...well -some- of them are good investments...most are just fun. He has a good angle, though!

@Sheena: Before Superman, even :)

@Valerie: Heh, maybe it was intentional? Who knows? :)

@Dani Jax: Thank you...it's been a lot of fun so far :)

@michelle: He doesn't get around as much as some of the others, but still a cool character.

@Alex: You'll probably see a few familiar faces, then :)

@Regina: I've always thought he was an underused character, for sure!

@Shell: Thanks and I agree...like a hero from the golden age of Hollywood.

Mark Means said...

@Lisa: We'll see if you're right come tomorrow, but I think you probably are. Not many "E" names with that certain ability :)

@John: LOL...oh yeah, it was a different time back then, for sure.

@Susan: If done right, I think the Doc could have a great film made about him.

@Andrea: If he likes comics, then it's a good bet he may have heard of the Doc :)

@Christine: He's been around an awful long time so, chances are, you've heard mention of the name :)

@Mina: I've been seeing a lot of comments where the husband is the comic fan...must be a guy thing... :)

@Jaybird: Thank you! Hey, if I could pull off the trench coat and fedora look, I'd totally dress that way!

@Allison: I've often thought the same thing. I guess because there's more chances for 'lab accidents' to turn them into super heroes? :)

@Amanda: I've always found him to be pretty cool, as well.

@Melissa: Hey there and nice to meet you. Thank you for following and I hope you enjoy my crazy theme :)

@M.J.: Thank you and, yes, it's true...it's amazing what writers can come up with!

Mark Means said...

@Diane: I'd love to see him in a movie, unfortunately D.C isn't the best at putting out quality comic films. Marvel, on the other hand, knows how to do it.

@Joylene: I'd have to second that...I think it'd make for a great film.

@Lee: That he is, for sure!

@Robin: I think a lot of the old comics took cues from the pulps, so it's highly likely the Doc was patterned after those kind of heroes. He'd totally rock on Charmed...though I'm not sure if he'd be with the Charmed Ones,or against them....

@Carol: I totally agree!

@Julie: I could only imagine :) It would be fun to try though...just for the looks you'd get.

@Al: Stick with me and I'll have you knowing things you never did...and probably didn't want to :)

@Nel: Thank you and, please, send them over...the more the merrier :)

@Elizabeth: Hey, thank you very much :)

@Mary: Thanks and I hope they enjoy!

@Jenn: It makes things infinitely easier, doesn't it?

@Suze: Thank you for the heads up and I'll definitely be over to check it out.

@Manzanita: Well, you were probably ballroom dancing....you didn't have time for the 'funny books' :) And, yes, like Gumby....sort of....

@Jamie: Haha, you're right...especially in that yellow coat :)

@Samantha: It's o.k if you've never heard of these guys before...I'm doing the lesser known heroes. I'm sure you're in the right place :)

@Tyrean: Heh, thanks....though I did get just a little bit of help from the internet to fill in my swiss cheese memory :D

Kern Windwraith said...

Dr. Occult is new to me, but I can tell you right now that I could really use one of those Symbols of the Seven. I don't need it so much for exorcising demons, the "anything else" necessary aspect has definite appeal.

I'll be back to further my comic education!

klahanie said...

Okay Mark, you can relax. Yes, I've finally arrived, the cordial host of the alternate alphabet challenge! :)

So the dude was a "Ghost Detective". I bet he could see through their deception.

Right then, must go cause some chaos, um, leave some more comments on a few more doing this alphabet challenge!

Gary :)

Lexa Cain said...

I think that's such a cool premise! And where can I get one of those "Symbol of the Seven" things? That could come in mighty handy sometimes...
Fun post, Mark! :-)

Mark Means said...

@Kern: Thanks and I could use one of those Symbols myself. It'd come in handy for...well, anything :)

@Gary: It was a grave time, indeed, until you showed up...all the boys and ghouls were worried and needed some lessons in this alternative alphabet :)

@Lexa: I know I'd sure buy one :)

Krista McLaughlin said...

Definitely a new character for me! I haven't heard of him before - an interesting, almost dark character. :)

Mark Means said...

@Krista: Well, when you're dealing with demons, I guess you might need to be a little dark :)

Carrie Butler said...

I love reading your take on these characters. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark .. I think I missed out on these comic heroes or comic characters .. but I know the genre is back with a vengeance ... as is the art.

Fun post to read .. Cheers Hilary

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