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CSBG Archive

When We First Met #16

Each day in June you’ll get an entry showing you the first appearance of seemingly minor characters, phrases, objects or events that later became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of what I’ve featured so far.

Enjoy!

It’s All in the Family with today’s installment, as we examine the first appearances of some not-quite-as-well-known members of famous comic book families.

First Appearance of Gladstone Gander

Gladstone Gander, Donald Duck’s perhaps even more annoying cousin, debuted in 1948’s Walt Disney Comics and Stories #88…

In 1949, Carl Barks adjusted his creation to the current form that we all know and love (tolerate?) today, which is of the luckiest duck around. Here is that take from a classic tale from Four Color #256…

Barks eventually grew sick of Gladstone (mostly the fact that he was such a jerk of a character) and really did not use him much over the years.
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First Appearance of Lucy Lane

Lois Lane’s stewardess sister, Lucy Lane, made her debut in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #36 in 1959.

You really need to read the rest of this story. It is totally insane.
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First Appearance of the Jordan Brothers

In 1961’s Green Lantern #9 we meet Hal Jordan’s two brothers, Jack and Jim…

EDITED TO ADD: It’s funny, I glanced at Pieface’s dialogue to make sure nothing in there was offensive, but I glossed over the caption. As Graeme Burk notes in the comments, “his pal and confidant, Pieface, his eskimo greasemonkey” sure is quite a turn of phrase…in a bad way.

I know the intended (and likely the proper) reading of Jack’s caption is that all of the Jordan brothers share tremendous energy, but Jack also has a great legal mind. However, I like to pretend that all of the Jordan brothers have tremendous energy and great legal minds. :)
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Feel free to send in ideas for future debuts I should feature here to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

24 Comments

Hal had a brilliant legal mind, but that was before the repeated blows to the head.

“His pal and confidant, Pieface, his eskimo greasemonkey.”

So many things wrong with that…

interesting to see gladstone first started out as a real pain to donald. plus jimmy is in love with Lucy lane he gets tongue tied. and interesting to learn hal had two brothers always though he just had one plus to see a pannel with hal former sidekick pie face. as part of the bit with the brothers. given the characters nick name pie face is not pc now a days

Do we ever see Donald’s logically-necessary brother or sister, or did Huey, Louie, and Dewey come into being through spontaneous nephewgenesis?

We never see Donald’s sister in the old Disney comics or animated shorts. Both in the animated short the nephews originally appeared in, and in their first comic apperance (in the Donald Duck newspaper strip) she sends them to visit Donald, but she herself never makes an appearance. In the newspaper strip, Donald’s sister Della sends them to Donald to stay there while their father is recovering in the hospital, due to Huey, Dewey & Louie putting a firecracker under his chair. It’s not explained why Della never comes back to get the boys. Presumably both she and her husband die at some point, because a few years later in the newspaper strip Donald mentions being the boys’ single parent. But this being Disney, whether or not they’re dead is never clarified.

Carl Barks never shows Donald’s sister either, but IIRC we see her as a kid in a couple of stories by Don Rosa. I don’t think she’s ever shown as an adult in Rosa’s comics though, and they too leave her ultimate fate unexplained.

Della Duck indeed makes a quick appearance as a kid in Rosa’s Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. But indeed I think Rosa too considers she died shortly after HDL move into Donald’s house.

There has been some speculation what happened there though…I rather liked the idea which starts from rising movie- and comics-actor Donald Duck dumping his too-ethnic girlfriend Donna (seen in film Don Donald) and starting to date Daisy, who is more acceptable to American audience. After this Donna finds out she is expecting and eventually HDL are born, after which Donna kills herself from grief, and the babies are taken by her close friend Della, Donald’s sister. In time she sends the kids over to the care of Donald, but Disney studio system hushed up the details because it would damage their new film star, so they came up with the nephew story. Della of course has never forgiven Donald and that’s why she never makes an appearance in the movies or comics.
Plenty of other suggested scenarios too, like incestuous relationship between Donald and Della or other possible candidates as father or mother (Ludwig von Drake, Magica de Spell…). Or now with Marvel being owned by Disney, maybe Wolverine has been retconned in the story.

Is Pieface in the new movie?

How about a first on when Pieface was given a name? Thomas Kalmaku, if I remember correctly. He had an unfortunate nickname, but I don’t remember the character ever being played as comic relief or having unusual speech patterns as you mentioned.

Well, Pieface didn’t speak in some godawful accent, but he did say “Jumpin’ fish-hooks!” an awful lot. Mind you, it’s not like “sufferin’ Sappho!,” “Great guns!,” “Sufferin’ shad!” and “Great Caesar’s ghost!” are all that much better.

Boy i really don’t like the Donald Duck stuff at all. i never could tolerate Disney stories that weren’t animated.

i love DisneyLand tho’.

Is any member of the Donald Duck extended family not a jerk?

Nikolas Marinakis

June 16, 2011 at 3:35 am

danjack: You really should try Don Rosa’s “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck”. Excellent, excellent comic book suitable for both kids and adults.

Also, you’ve gotta love how Lana isn’t impressed that Jimmy has flown thousands of miles WITH SUPERMAN because she is a stewardess and flies around ON A PLANE…
-So, Aquaman took me down to visit Atlantis last month.
-Meh, i’ve gone scuba diving a dozen times.

The Mad Monkey

June 16, 2011 at 5:43 am

I can’t remember what comic it was in…could be that dreadful “New Guardians”…but, I remember Kalmaku getting all up in Hal’s face about not using ‘Pieface” anymore and how derogatory it is.

“Greasemonkey” was a fairly common term for a mechanic back in the day. Now, naming him after “eskimo pies” is less respectful. But I never sensed a racist vibe with Tom- it was more like another example of trying to be PC and failing. But hey, at least they tried!

(Can you imagine if say, Jimmy Olsen had been non-white? Surely then EVERYBODY would have been outraged, “how dare they ‘represent them’ with this idiot”! Maybe Scottish-Americans should complain. :P )

Say, when was it established that the superhero Air Wave (from the Golden Age) and thus his son Air Wave II/Maser were related to Hal by virtue of (as far as I can remember) just the last name Jordan? (They’re cousins.)

@Sijo

Not sure if you were joking about the Eskimo Pies, but Pieface’s name has nothing to do with ice cream.

The stereotype is that people from the northern Pacific have faces that are very flat and round compared to Caucasians. It would be like calling your Black sidekick Fatlips.

The first time I heard the term Pieface was from a veteran talking about Koreans.

The more you know.

(Can you imagine if say, Jimmy Olsen had been non-white? Surely then EVERYBODY would have been outraged, “how dare they ‘represent them’ with this idiot”! Maybe Scottish-Americans should complain. :P

Yeah, but all gingers are like that.

Dangit. Messed up my tags.

Is Jimmy Olsen Scottish? That’s normally a Scandinavian name.

John Trumbull

June 18, 2011 at 8:16 am

Coast City, home of newspapers with the LONGEST HEADLINES EVER.

I think it’s also worth noting that the Jordan brothers were inspired by the Kennedy brothers, Jack, Bobby and Ted.

Edgar Liberty

June 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm

So is that the story where Jimmy Olsen slaps Lucy Lane across the face? Over and over?

“Not sure if you were joking about the Eskimo Pies, but Pieface’s name has nothing to do with ice cream.”

This very site has shown in the past the panel where Hal names him, and says, “Well, the only thing I know about Eskimos is pies, so I’m gonna call you Pieface.”

I think they established the Jordan connection when Air Wave debuts i GL 100.
The scene where Jim Jordan meets a reporter (who later marries him) is hysterical. Convinced he’s really GL, she throws herself off a building and specifically states “This is how Lois Lane would do it.”
The Lucy Lane story is noteworthy because Superman helps Jimmy impress her with the kind of tricks he’s forever punishing Lois for attempting

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