DIAL B for BLOG
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Major Matt Mason, Mattel's Man in Space, was created by the Mattel toy company in 1967, as previously covered in DIAL B for BLOG #167. Soon after that issue was posted, we got this comment from comic writer/ historian Mark Waid: "A true MMM fan (greatest-toy-EVER) would know that DC actually prepared the first issue of a licensed comic for the Major ... but when MMM toy sales peaked so very, very quickly and then tanked... well, we don't know for sure if DC opted out of the license or if Ideal pulled it, but either way, the astronaut's name was changed to "Glenn Merritt" and run in From Beyond The Unknown #7-8."

Thanks Mark! I'd read that story, but never knew it was secretly about the good Major. Now it reads in a whole new light. According to another MMM page, one theory as to why the MMM comic died stillborn was that DC had gotten into hot water with Ideal over the last couple of issues of "Captain Action" due to the tie-in comic's political overtones. They may have decided a regular "Mason" comic wasn't worth the hassle, man.

ABOVE: A fake cover for a "lost" MMM issue of Showcase (from a panel by O'Neil/Anderson), created by me, Robby Reed, the creator of this blog. BELOW: Pages from the intended MMM story itself, by Denny O'Neil and Murphy Anderson, as they ran in From Beyond The Unknown #7-8 (Oct. 1970/Jan. 71). Blast off!
"EARTH SHALL NOT DIE!" -- The "LOST" STORY of MAJOR MATT MASON!
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Who's that redhead reading "The Collected Works of Shakespeare"?
In this story, the redhead with the crewcut is Sgt. Tempest. IN the toy world, Matt Mason had a few friends (pictured below) -- among them Sgt. Storm, scientist/ radiologist Doug Davis, and scientist Jeff Long. Given his rank, it's likely that Sgt. Tempest was originally Mason's buddy, Sgt. Storm.

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Back to the story... the big fight scene begins!
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You'll never guess who wins, and earns the other guy's respect! Then, seconds later...
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Hey -- that alien looks strangely familiar...
.The alien in "Earth Shall Not Die" shown above is known as "Quasar." He looks a lot like one of the toys in the Major Matt Mason line -- the highly-prized Scorpio figure (pictured right). This character was introduced late in the 1970s.

Scorpio came with an air-powered gun which fired "search globes," but Scorpio's best feature was his eyes. Powered by a single "AA" battery in his chest, they lit up with a weird yellow glow! (The picture of Scorpio seen right comes from the K. Harms collection.)

The "Quasar" character in the Glen Merritt story may have originally been drawn as the "Scorpio" character from the Matt Mason line, then slightly altered when the Ideal license was withdrawn, or the deal fell through. We may never know for sure!
Back to the story -- our heroes have been captured!
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Or not! "Commander Glen Merritt" aka "Major Matt Mason" was never seen again!

COMING NEXT on DIAL B for BLOG:

TIME MAGAZINE 1988
Cover by Byrne and Ordway featuring
SUPERMAN'S BIRTHDAY!