Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Little Giant

In 1940, Professor Rednow injected Rusty, a scrawny orphaned waif, with a serum that gave him superhuman strength and endurance. Since the boy didn't die from being an unwitting human test subject to a bit of mad science, Rednow adopted the kid, further outfitted him with a high-tech outfit that let him ignore gravity to leap long distances in a single bound. He took to punching criminals and rescuing girls in distress for two issues of "O.K. Comics" before fading into oblivion. (My guess as to his final fate? Rednow decided to subject Rusty to another mad science experiment... one that didn't end quite so successfully. I think in the annals of coldblooded scientists, Rednow has got to be one of the coldest.)

Rusty becomes the Little Giant,
through the wonders of child endangerment
By the way, does Little Giant's origin sound familiar to you--a weakling who gains superhuman strength and endurance after being injected with a vial full of weird science? To me, it sounds just like Captain America's origin story. I wonder what the Fanboy Brigade would make of the fact that the first issue of O.K. Comics was on newsstands some nine months before Captain America made his debut?

(It actually sounds like any number of superhero origins from that period, to be honest. Super-serums or lightning bolts seem to be the most common sources of superhuman powers in the early 1940s.)


  1. I wonder if these origin stories reflect a 1940s hope for and fear of medicine. Vaccines were becoming more available, so there's a hope for controlling wide-spread diseases. At the same time, the world is certainly an unsettled place where superhuman heroes would certainly be appreciated--super soldiers or just regular joes.

    Thanks for this look at a little-known, short-lived hero.

  2. It does sound like the Capitan America story .... #a2zchallenge ☮Peace ☮ ღ ONE ℒℴνℯ ღ ☼ Light ☼ visiting from