Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Wan, Mack. Mack Wan was created by the Spanish creator José Canellas Casals (Amiel, Armando, Jaime Bazán, Black (III), Carlos and Marcos Bon, Bronkos, Cesar, Judit, Thalma Klan, Mario, Nick, Red Circle, Rin-Tin-Tin (I), Sam, Sankro, Spaceman (II), Titán (II), Toby, Capitán Velez, Fernando Zabal, Zimbra, Khun Zivan) and Marc Farell (Corsair X, Isaak & Benjamin, Margaret, Pablo & Sidney, Red Circle, Sam, Titán (II), Toby, Khun Zivan) and appeared in the comic Mack Wan. El Invencible #1-20 (1933-1934).
Mack Wan is a Costumed Avenger modeled on Alexandre Dumas’ Edmond Dantès. Wan is a very tough wandering adventurer who wears a bulletproof costume outfitted with gadgets, including suction cups on his wrists and knees for climbing, to fight crime. When he was younger his parents were killed and he was shut up in an insane asylum as a dangerous lunatic. He spent his time creating a costume and then escapes from the asylum. Accompanying Wan is Jim, a boy whose face was mutilated by a gang of smugglers who sell deformed children to circuses (a naked lift of Hugo’s L’Homme Qui Rit) and who are led by the ogrish Garras, who has three hands. Jim becomes Wan’s assistant in the war on crime and wears a costume identical to Wan’s.
Wan gets involved in the full range of pulp adventures, from fighting Lost Race conquistadors and Yellow Perils to busting up Arab-run white slavery sects (with secret pyramid headquarters) to wrestling with arch-criminals on the top of zeppelins. Mack Wan is active in London, which is full of fogs and mystery, airships, Chinese stranglers, secret passages, Mad Scientists and their lightning machines, and diabolical Maori.
Wan appears in stories with titles like “Jim and the Rabid Tigers,” “In Tierra del Fuego,” and “The Mystery of the Great Pyramid."
* I'm including Mack Wan, El Invencible in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of its imaginative content and its historical importance. Historically, Mack Wan was Mexico's first great superhero comic, and appeared years before American comic book publishers got into the game. (That's right: Mack Wan precedes Superman). In terms of its content, mixing superheroics with The Count of Monte Cristo and adding all number of gloriously over-the-top pulpy concepts (like fighting one's arch-villain on top of zeppelin) for an end result of sheer fun. Casals and Farell did themselves proud with Mack Wan, and the readers were the main beneficiaries of that. (The comic book does have some racism in it).
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