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on February 22, 2007 at 7:41:35 pm

The Complete Volto Archives


Arthur Lortie




Well, as complete as I could make it. 


Long before the X-Men's Magneto, but shortly after the two rival Magno's [one in Ace Magazines' Super-Mystery Comics, the other in Quality's Smash Comics], came the magnetic Volto from Mars!
He arrived, like Mork from Ork, in a bubble – and he came hungry! But, unlike most Martians, he craved not human flesh, but Grape-Nut Flakes!
He possessed powers far beyond those of mortal men. By raising his left arm and yelling “Volto”, he could repel all objects; hoist the right and yell “Volto” and he attracts. Do it too much, and he must recharge with hearty doses of cereal.
In the 20 adventures I found, he repels menacing animals and dastardly spies, wearing standard super-hero tights and the requisite finned headgear of science fiction heroes, Luckily at some point the artists realized that his lightning bolt belt buckle would turn Volto -- or any unlucky pitchman at a supermarket -- into a enuch. So they moved the design onto his stomach.
When I started indexing these, I assumed General Mills’ advertising campaign was a monthly, with some sequencing that could be uncovered. This was necessary to determine the length of the series and number of episodes.
So I started with a run of Sensation Comics and assigned dates to the ones I found. But then I discovered a couple in Fawcett books like Captain Marvel Jr. had strips that preceded the introductory strip in Sensation!
Finally when I found a strip in Batman that ran two months earlier than the same entry in Sensation, I realized sequencing wasn’t even standard within a company’s line. And finding these was strickly hit or miss.
According to Jerry Bails’ Who’s Who, artists Jerry Robinson and Frank Robbins worked on this strip from 1944 to 1946.

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