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THE SECRET ORIGINS of DR. STRANGE - PART FOUR
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Mandrake the Magician made his debut in a syndicated newspaper comic strip that began on June 11, 1934. Since Superman debuted in 1939, if you call Mandrake a superhero, then he's actually the first superhero, preceeding the Man of Steel by several years.

Mandrake doesn't wear a unirfom per se, and he has no super powers. What he DOES have is -- MAGIC! These powers are called hypnotic illusions, but from the reader's point of view, they're totally REAL, and totally cool.
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Mandrake was created by Lee Falk (pictured below), who also created the Phantom.
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Let's meet Mandrake the Magician...
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Here's the secret origin of Mandrake, as told by the magician himself!
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How does he do it? Here's the secret...
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Now let's take a quick look at Mandrake's magic in action...
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Now you see him...
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Smoke 'em if you got 'em...
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Levitation and flight!
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"My, what big FEET you have!"
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Years before Lionel Ritchie, Mandrake went dancing on the ceiling...
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Invisible Girl? Human Torch? Who needs them!
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Did this scene inspire Superman to lift a car in Action #1?!
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Criminals cannot escape Mandrake's long arm of the law... literally!
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BELOW: Who's that taking Mandrake's "long arm" trick to extremes? It's Jim Corrigan aka The Spectre! (Panel from Showcase #60).
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BELOW: Mandrake meets his match, Reverse-Flash. Kidding! But not really, because Mandrake's opposite number IS the reverse of Mandrake -- literally. His name is "EKARDNAM"! Not easy to pronounce, is it? Here he is, from "Mirror Menace" (1934).
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Meanwhile, 29 years later, in Flash #139 (Sept. 1963)...
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Bonus! Mandrake The Magician pin-up!
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Recent Mandrake The Magician comic from King...
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NORGIL THE MAGICIAN


Following in Mandrake's magical footsteps -- complete with formal evening attire and a top hat, but minus the hypnotic powers -- was NORGIL the magician, materialized by Shadow creator Walter Gibson in November 1937.

Norgil was originally published as a back-up feature in CRIME BUSTERS magazine. His adventures gave Gibson an opportunity to demonstrate and explain several classic magic tricks to his readers.

Norgil was a pulp forerunner to the superhero-magicians, but at the time he was published, the character was not a hit, and ultimately Gibson wrote only 23 Norgil stories, which were later collected in a book with a new cover illustrated by Jim Steranko (pictured right).

Then, along came a NEW superhero-magician who had what action-loving comic readers really wanted: a magical character with real, working "magic" powers, and a sorcerously sexy daughter! Meet him in part two!
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