Title: Super Rabbit Comics
Issue: Vol. 1, No. 8
Date: Fall, 1946
Publisher: Comedy Publications, Inc. (Timely Comics)
Cover Artist(s): Al Jaffee
Most comic fans associate Timely Comics with superheroes like Captain America, the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner. But Timely was also a major publisher of funny animal comic books. (Check out this house ad for at least fifteen different funny animal titles from Timely!) But one of their most popular characters spanned both genres, Super Rabbit! In fact, here’s a one-page strip by Stan Lee and Al Jaffee promoting all three of Timely’s comics featuring Super Rabbit.
The splash page of the (untitled) cover story bears the ribbon-shaped blurb “introducing Wilbur Woodpecker, the world’s number one Super Rabbit fan!” The tale begins as Wilbur, the President of the Hicktown Chapter of the Super Rabbit Fan Clubs Of America, arrives in town eagerly hoping to interview his favorite long-eared hero. But Super Rabbit is a busy guy, and after many futile attempts to contact him, disappointed Wilbur sits sobbing on a curb. His sniffling attracts the notice of Waffles the news-bunny, who just happens to be the secret identity of >ta-daaa!< Super Rabbit himself! He rubs his magic ring and transforms into the beefcake bunny. Wilbur asks Super Rabbit a special favor; he want to accompany him on his “crime-fighting tour” so he can make an eyewitness report for his club paper. Super Rabbit agrees, and soon they’re flying through the air, Wilbur perched on Super Rabbit’s shoulder. Unfortunately, Wilbur fancies himself as something of an amateur crime-fighter, and inadvertently fouls up every one of Super Rabbit’s heroic missions. (My favorite example of this is when Super Rabbit and Wilbur spot a fellow who’s dangling from a suspension bridge, held only by the collar of his coat. Wilber begs his hero to let him perform the rescue, but it turns that the guy got snagged while he was trying to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge, so Wilber “helps” him by unhooking him and “sending him on his way” plunging toward his death! Super Rabbit not only save the jumper, but gives him a wad of money so he can start life anew! So where does a news-bunny get his paws on that kind of cash?) Finally, Super Rabbit resorts to begging the disruptive Wilber to return to Hicktown and out of his super-heroic life. But his “biggest fan’s” response is to make with bizarre threats more appropriate for THE KING OF COMEDY’s “Rupert Pupkin”:
“If you make me go home -- I’ll (sniff) BEAT MYSELF over the head ‘til I die! (sniff) …If you make me go back, I’ll put my head in a meat grinder – I WILL! (sniff)”
When Super Rabbit claims that there’s a housing shortage and that he doesn’t have a place for Wilbur to live, the obsessive woodpecker isn’t concerned – he brought along his own “Daisy Collapsible House”! In the final panel, we see Super Rabbit and Wilber Woodpecker living together in the pre-fab domicile a la THE ODD COUPLE!
Also included in this issue of SUPER RABBIT COMICS are “Super Rabbit” in “The Case Of The Cut-Up Costume!” and “Battling The Demon Of The Deep!”, as well as an untitled story and activity page starring Timely mainstays “Ziggy Pig And Silly Seal” (that’s them on the cover, seeking Super Rabbit’s autograph.)
And don’t miss the ad in this issue of SUPER RABBIT COMICS for a “Forest Fire Lamp”, which, according to the ad copy, “makes everyone who sees it gasp with wonder” because it’s “so real it defies ready detection”! (Wouldn’t that present a slight problem if your home really was on fire?)
ODDBALL Factoid – Award-winning cartoonist Al Jaffee, known for his terrific work for MAD, not only wrote and drew many stories for Timely Comics, but also “packaged” entire comic book issues for the publisher that would eventually become Marvel Comics!