Cartoons Comics & Toons

Space Ranger

Space Ranger debuted in the 15th issue (July-Aug, 1958) of Showcase, where DC tested new concepts before committing to full-fledged series. Successful characters that had already started there included The Flash and Challengers of the Unknown. Showcase was also where Superman's girlfriend, Lois Lane, had first appeared under her own cover logo. Returns on the Space Ranger issues (he also appeared in #16) weren't quite as encouraging as those of some earlier Showcase occupants, but were deemed strong enough to warrant giving him a slot in an ongoing fantasy comic, the hitherto series-less Tales of the Unexpected. He became that title's cover feature with its 40th issue (August, 1959).
In everyday life, Space Ranger was Rick Starr, son of the wealthy Thaddeus Starr, owner of a vast and amorphous business called Allied Solar Enterprises. He concealed his identity with a transparent blue helmet which seems to have distorted his features enough to prevent recognition, while somehow not interfering with his ability to see. He maintained a secret headquarters, managed by his alien friend, Cryll, inside a remote asteroid. Cryll, who could transform himself into any animal (like The Doom Patrol's Beast Boy, but with the added advantage of being able to use alien fauna with exotic abilities), was a valuable ally and what's more, in his natural state, he was cute enough to take the place of a kid sidekick. Rick's secretary, Myra Mason, provided the bland but necessary love interest.

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