Monday, July 16, 2012

The old fastball special!

One of the fun things about reading older comics is noticing early versions of things that became popular later.  The DC compilation "The Greatest Team-Up Stories Every Told" is filled with firsts.  I picked it up for the reprint of the 1961 Flash #123, "Flash of Two Worlds".  That's where the DC multiverse was introduced, a concept that would later be expanded into "Crisis On Earth-One/Earth-Two" (also in that collection), "Crisis on Infinite Earths", and eventually "Infinite Crisis".

I found a fun surprise there when reading "Superboy Meets Robin", from Adventure Comics #253, October 1958.  At one point Superboy throws Robin at a bad guy:

Any good comic book fan can tell you this is a move called the Fastball Special, where a strong hero throws another one toward a target.  It's most associated with Colossus throwing Wolverine in the X-Men comics, going back to X-Men #100 in 1976.  Seems it was already a pretty old move by then though!

Marvel comics used this move before then too.  In Amazing Spider-Man #19, December, 1964, Spidey is fighting a 3 man team of bad guys named The Enforcers.  The large muscle-bound one, Ox, throws martial artist Fancy Dan:

This comic is available in some of the Marvel Masterworks collections, such as The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2.