Ask the Professor #8 — Comic and Recording Sets

This came in from Alexander, who has an email address ending in .de, which I’m assuming stands for Germany:

Hi I’m looking for ages for a comic that i was reading once and i cant
remember the name or publisher. The comic was printed in german and it came with a tape of the story. The comic was about a kind of a magician who used a triangle on his forehaed to fight monster in a dungeon. Thats all i can remember. Hope u can find something. Thanks.

Well, Alexander, the history of comic/recording sets is kind of interesting, so let’s start with that. Disney was marketing read-cartoon-listen-to-recording sets to kids in the ’50s, with the recordings on 45s, and Peter Pan Records pitched similar products to parents as early-reading aids.

The most famous early superhero book/record packages are probably the Golden Record sets in the mid-1960s, which sold recordings with reprints of Amazing Spider-Man #1, Fantastic Four #1, and Journey Into Mystery #83 (the comics are very close to the originals, and are sometimes mistaken for them — enough to get a mention in the Overstreet Price Guide — but are a little smaller and don’t have a price on the cover).

In the ’70s, there were the Power Record Book and Record sets, adapting both Marvel and DC books, including some odd choices like Man-Thing, with a great Steve Gerber/Mike Ploog reprint, “Night of the Laughing Dead,” that had to have creeped out thousands of eight-year-olds, and a bunch of Neal Adams’ work.

Anyway, cassette tapes were in by the late ’70s through the mid ’90s, and you did say “tape” in your question. The Professor is pretty sure there were German versions of the Marvel and DC books. Of the DC characters, the only ones the Professor can think of that even come close to the “magician/triangle” description both appeared in the ’60s in House of Secrets: Eclipso (who held his gem up to his eye to fire force bolts from it, which would sort of have made it look like a triangle), and Prince Ra-Man, who fired mental bursts from his forehead, although they didn’t really look like triangles. Their ’60s era doesn’t make either of them very likely for an ’80s cassette, though.

On the Marvel side, there’s a better candidate: Dr. Strange, whose Eye of Agamotto sometimes imbedded itself in his forehead as a triangle. The Professor doesn’t remember ever seeing a Dr. Strange comic/tape — and, of course, the comic you remember could have been a German character, or an international one, and not from Marvel or DC at all — but if he had to guess, that’s the character he’d pick for your memory.

About Phil

With 40 years of experience in comic reading, collecting and reviewing, English Professor Phil Mateer has an encyclopedic mind for comics. Feel free to ask Phil about storylines, characters, artists or for that matter, any comic book trivia. He will post your questions and answers on the AABC blog. His knowledge is unparalleled! He is also our warehouse manager, so if you are looking for that hard to find comic book, ask Phil!
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