Charlton Comic's Sun of Vulcan was mainly written by the prolific Joe Gill with pencils by Bill Fraccio & inks by Tony (Werewolf) Tallarico. He was created by Pat (Thunderbolt) Masulli and Bill (original Blue Beetle) Fraccio. The numbering continued from Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds to continue in Thunderbolt.
The original Charlton character was Johnny Mann, a scrawny but courageous reporter for an international news syndicate who had lost a leg while serving during the Korean War. Covering a bloody civil war on the Mediterranean island of Cyprete, he complained aloud while standing in the ruins of an ancient temple that the gods play with men's lives while leaving them defenseless against the forces of war and crime.
Taking offense, the Roman gods transported him to Mount Olympus where he was put on trial before Jupiter, all-powerful king of the gods, for his impudence. The war god Mars argued for his immediate destruction, but Vulcan, lame-legged god of fire and forge, spoke up in his defense, and Venus, Goddess of love agreed with Vulcan. In the end, bonding with the orphaned newsman over their similar disabilities, Vulcan agreed to adopt Johnny and share with him god-like powers that would help him fight injustice in the mortal world.
By calling on Vulcan's aid, Johnny would transform into a superhuman demigod, whole again and mightily muscled and clad in indestructible Roman-style armor and shield with the power to summon both fire and powerful ancient weapons from his adopted father's forge. However, it was the judgment of Jupiter that his powers could be removed from him at any time if the gods ever decided he was unworthy of them. Mars often plots against him to make him lose favor with Jupiter or destroy him and was exiled from Olympus for this.
As the Son of Vulcan, Johnny had several adventures where he battled both a jealous Mars and the Asian arch-criminal Dr. Kong (the so-called "meanest man alive" who resembled a cross between Fu Manchu and Dracula) but remained a little-known hero.
Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #46
"A Mighty Champion is Born"
Johnny Mann becomes Son of Vulcan.
Origin and first appearance of Son of Vulcan.
"He Stands Alone"
Son of Vulcan travels to the island of Cyprete to battle the Giant Gladiator, who turns out to be a robot created by Dr. Kong.
Cover by Dick (Sarge Steel) Giordano!
Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #47
"The Golden Curse"
Angered by his envy for Son of Vulcan, Mars bestows the gifts of King Midas to the hen-pecked Lambie, who teams up with Zoloto to kill on of Vulcan.
Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #48
"Fury of the War God"
Mars, stripped of some of his powers by an angry Jupiter, tries to take revenge of Son of Vulcan by disguising himself as Captain Tusk.
Sun of Vulcan #49"The Diamond Dancers"
Son of Vulcan's new costume was designed by fan Dave Cockrum.
Cover notes "Special thanks to Dave Cockrum for costume ideas".
Sun of Vulcan #50
"The Second Trojan War"
Written by Roy Thomas!
|Unpublished art for Son of Vulcan!|
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