Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 24: Happy birthday, Queen Victoria!

Let's gather 'round a big royal birthday cake for the queen with the quality, the monarch with the most, Queen Victoria (born this very day in 1819; wow, she old.) She's also a frequent comic book star (see the popular DC series Seven Soldiers of Victoria).

from "Were You Born in May?" in Amazing Man Comics #12 (Centaur, May 1940); text, pencils and inks by Joseph A. Kaliff

Enforced by the Comics Code Authority, Queen Victoria was legally obligated to make a guest appearance in every comic book set in Victorian England.

from From Hell #1 (Mad Love, March 1991; color edition IDW/Top Shelf, November 2018); script by Alan Moore; pencils, inks, colors and letters by Eddie Campbell

By Royal decree, in these comics she only occasionally appeared as an eldritch abomination battling Teddy Roosevelt.

from Rough Riders: Riders on the Storm #6 (AfterShock, September 2017), script by Adam Glass, pencils and inks by Patrick Olliffe, colors by Gabe Eltaeb, letters by Sal Cipriano

There are by ancient, arcane law three different types of Q.V. comic books.

Type #1: She teams up with Sherlock Holmes to stop Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jekyll, or the Martian War Machines.

(top) cover of Victorian Undead II #3 (DC, March 2011), art by Ryan Sook, and
Victorian Undead II #5 (DC, May 2011), script by Ian Edgington, pencils and inks by Davide Fabbri, colors by Tony Aviña, letters by Saida Temofonte

from Ruse (2011 series) #4 (Marvel/CrossGen, August 2011); script by Mark Waid, pencils, inks, and colors by Mirco Pierfederici, letters by Rob Steen

from Springheeled Jack #1 (Full Circle, July 2006), script and pencils by David Hitchcock, inks and colors by Philippe Gaulier, letters by Richard Emms

Type #2: She uncharacteristically is amused by some circus act visiting her.

from (top) "Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot" in The Lone Ranger (1948 series) #49 (Dell, July 1952), creators uncredited and unknown,
(middle) "Presenting the Amazing P. T. Barnum" in Real Fact Comics #2 (DC, May 1946); script by Jack Schiff, Mort Weisinger, and/or Bernard Breslauer; pencils by Dick Sprang, and
(bottom) "The First Superman" in Real Fact Comics #20 (DC, June 1949); script by Jack Schiff, Mort Weisinger, and/or George Kashdan; pencils and inks by Win Mortimer

Story Type #3: She gets visited by a medical wizard (see Star Trek: Dr. Bashir in the 19th Century#4).

from (top) "Joseph Lister, the Antiseptic Doctor" in Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact v.27 #3/491 (George A. Pflaum, February 1972), script by Hazel Mary Boring, pencils and inks by Reed Crandall, and
(bottom) "Florence Nightingale: Angel of Crimea" in Wonder Woman (1942 series) #1 (DC, Summer 1942), script by Alice Marble, pencils and inks by Sheldon Moldoff

Occasionally, if she's been good and done her lessons, Queen Victoria is allowed to star in a romance comic until the Green Goblin tosses Prince Albert off a bridge.

from "Husband of the Queen" in Romantic Marriage #8 (Ziff-Davis, December 1951), creators uncredited and unknown

Yes, it's true that most of her collectible comics appearances are in fact four-color biographies meant to edify and enrich the reader...

from "The Story of Great Britain, Part 11: The Victorian Era" in Classics Illustrated #137 (Gilberton, March 1957), pencils and inks by Lou Cameron

...but sometimes a writer may, as a treat, insert her into their steampunk alternate universe fantasies.

from Sebastian O #1 (DC/Vertigo, May 1993), script by Grant Morrison, pencils and inks by Steve Yeowell, colors by Tatjana Wood, letters by John E. Workman

...and...I'm not even certain what this one is.

from "Lisa's Historical Dream" in Simpsons Comics #58 (Bongo, May 2001), script by Neil Alsip, pencils by Aaron Rozenfeld, inks by Mike Rote, colors by Art Villanueva, letters by Chris Ungar

Thing is, she just likes posing for comics! You go, girl!

from A Treasury of Victorian Murder (NBM, 1987); script, pencils, inks, and letters by Rick Geary

Please raise your cup of tea, bottle of beer, or can of Lucozade to the keen queen of the Victori-een! Happy birthday, Vicky!

from Victorian Undead II #5

Yeah, I bet she's not amused by these posts.

1 comment:

argh.sims said...

Back when the strong, dependable Albert was around, she could be amused. After, not so much.