Comics

Obscure Stan Lee Characters from A-Z: The Dazzling D’s!

It’s trivia time! How many of the below characters did Stan co-create?

A. Darkoth

B. Dorma

C. The Destroyer

D. Devil Dinosaur

The answer is only one, and that would be…

C. The Destroyer

The Destroyer earns extra recognition as one of the very first characters Stan helped bring to life, way back in the pages of Mystic Comics #6 from October 1941. Both Jack Binder (penciler-inker) and Alex Schomburg (cover artist) contributed art, though the exact co-creator credit is unclear.

There’s one more thing that sets this hero apart from other Stan characters: Though the Destroyer (real identity: journalist Kevin “Keen” Marlow) was an American, his stories didn’t take place in New York City or even the United States for that matter—all his action occurred in occupied Europe during WWII. Captured by the Germans for ‘spying,’ aka reporting behind enemy lines, he was placed in a concentration camp where he was injected with a super solider serum by fellow detainee Eric Schmitt, a German anti-Nazi scientist. (That serum, by the way, was similar to the one Captain America received.) Imbued with a top-notch physique, the Destroyer escaped, fashioned himself a superhero costume, and proceeded to fight the Nazis on their own turf.

Heroes like Captain America, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Human Torch reigned in popularity during the war years, but the Destroyer wasn’t very far behind. In fact, he popped up in almost all of Timely’s (Marvel’s precursor) superhero titles published in the 1940s – that’s how admired he was by fans back then.

Curious about the other characters?

Darkoth was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Rich Buckler, appearing in Fantastic Four #142 in January 1974.

Dorma and Namor

Dorma was another early creation, brought to life by Bill Everett in the October 1939 issue of Marvel Comics #1.

And finally, Devil Dinosaur (what a character!) was dreamt up and put to paper, both writing and art, by the legendary Jack Kirby, debuting in his own title, Devil Dinosaur #1, in April 1978.

Every couple of weeks, we’ll spotlight some of Stan’s most obscure co-creations through trivia, starting with A and ending with Z! Stay tuned for ‘E,’ coming soon!