Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Mission Of The Masked Mayhem

The Masked Mayhem sat silently in his secret lair, pondering the injustice done to the many great, forgotten heroes and cultural icons of the past. Unknown to most, today's characters were anticipated by a wide range of prototypes from other media: early (1914) pulp hero Jimmy Dale, though largely unremembered now, is the clear source for The Shadow, Batman, and the Green Hornet, not to mention every other millionaire playboy who dons a mask to battle evil. The origin of Spider-Man's foe, The Lizard, has many common elements with the 1950s sci fi thriller, Alligator People. And then there's the Saturday Matinee serial hero, The Green Archer, who wore a mask and slung a mean bow in both silent and sound films years before Oliver Queen notched his first green arrow.

With this in mind, the Masked Mayhem now begins his mission: Digging through the past to reveal the roots of today's pop culture favorites. You'll be amazed by how few are natural blondes.

(Below is an image of the Green Archer Serial as packaged by Alpha Video.   VCI also has a DVD of it for sale.) You can read Jimmy Dale's first adventure here:

More on the amazing heroes of yesteryear next week!

And don't forget the posting is copyright 2009 by Will Meugniot


  1. Wow, this is the most difficult comment I've ever written. How do you start a conversation with the man who created the last and greatest American cartoon ever? By last cartoon I mean the last one that involved hand animation and not cheap tricks or flash. Exosquad has a lot to do with where I am today, it went from my favorite show in middle school, to my favorite subject for assignments in college, and now it's my favorite hobby as a bona-fide video game developer.

    Is it true you drew this? The seller said you did it as a proof of concept while selling the show to different networks Even if it's not true that's still one of my cubicles pride and joys.

    I was hoping I could speak with you about Exosquad, not so much about it's past, but more about a potential future. Here's my gallery/resume so you can get an idea where I'm coming from
    You can also contact me through there, I would have put my email here but that's probably asking to get spammed.

    I hope to hear from you soon, and I really dig what's on your blog so far. I can't wait for more.

    Keep fighting the good fight Masked Mayhem!

  2. Thanks, Urban! I'm swamped at the moment -- ergo the slow response, but I promise to have a look at your site. The image you shared with me is indeed by Will Meugniot with inks by his friend, the late,great Dave Simons. The drawing was originally done at Toy Fair by Will to pitch the Jumptroop designs to Playmates and was later turned into this cel as a promotional poster for the Exosquad series.
    There will be some Exo information along the way as the blog evolves.

  3. Dear Masked Mayhem,

    Do you remember buying and reading the first Fantastic Four comic books in your bedroom in 1961? If I remember right, in those days you received the massive monthly allowance of $5.00 per month. A couple of dollars of it went for selected (collected) comic books each month and some for a few plastic models (Junkers 88?) and the rest for whatever.

    We are having a class reunion sometime in the spring of 2010, Lord willing, and we would love to have you attend if possible. Think you might be able to be there?

    CEB and the Wienie Men

  4. Hail to the leader of the Weenie Men! The youthful Mayhem and Clint spent many a summer day reading comics, burning carefully assembled model kits, and unwisely swimming in irrigation ditches back in the mid-part of the last century. As for the reunion, like many others in today's economy, The Mayhem is not full master of his future. Only time can tell.