Heroes, Inc. Presents Cannon

Heroes, Inc. Presents Cannon

in 1976.

As with Wood's own previous comic "witzend" and other publishers' later "Star Reach" (1974), "Big Apple Comix" (1975) and "American Splendor" (1976), "Heroes, Inc. Presents Cannon" helped bridge the gap between the countercultural underground comics and traditional Marvel/DC Comics fare, providing mature genre stories for an adult audience. Like those other examples, it was an important forerunner of the late-1970s rise of the modern graphic novel, and the 1980s independent-comic publishing boom.

Created for the military readership Wood had cultivated with his "Sally Forth" feature in "Military News" and "Overseas Weekly", the first issue contained no U.S. Postal Service indicia; a letter-from-the-editor page gave its editorial-office address as "Armed Forces Dist., P.O. Box 23635, Pleasant Hill, Calif. Not targeted at children, and carrying no Comics Code seal, it contained more action/combat violence and more revealing clothing on nubile young women than did typical comics of the day, though it did not contain nudity or gore; most deaths occurred in silhouette, off-panel, or indeterminately within battle scenes. The glossy cover promoted "Amazing Adult Adventure".

One collectibles retailer, without citing a source, contends that the first issue "was never distributed, but 1800 copies were warehoused after printing. Approximately 900 of those copies were stolen and started turning up in collector's markets". [ [http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/nsearch?catalog=thundermall&query=Cannon&.autodone=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.thundermall.com%2Fnsearch.html Back to the Past Collectibles] ]

This comic-book series is unrelated to the organization HEROES, Inc. ("Honor Every Responsible Officer's Eternal Sacrifice"), a Washington, D.C. aid group for families of police and fire fighters killed in the line of duty.

First issue

The 32-page, color comic book featured three stories with original characters, as well as four full-page ads; two half-page public-service spots; an editorial letter; and a tribute page. It was priced at 15 cents when a typical comic book cost 12 cents,


*Cover, signed "Wally Wood 1969"
*Inside front cover: full-page ad for Mesa Hills home sites, P.O. Box 788m Santa Fe, New Mexico.
*"Cannon" (12 pages), written and inked by Wood, penciled by Steve Ditko (per credits: "Wally Wood 1969" and "Art by Ditko and Wood")::Espionage adventure starring the titular Cannon, a C.I.A. agent brainwashed so deeply during capture by cold war Communists, that when recovered by the United States military, American scientists had to "go all the way" and continue brainwashing him as a covert assassin for the U.S. He is assigned to rescue or assassinate Jean Voss, a nubile young member of an American anti-missile defense lab, who was kidnapped by Asian, presumably Red Chinese, Communists with a base on the Yucatán Peninsula.
*Full-page ad, National Diamond Sales, 437 12th Street, Oakland, California
*Two stacked, half-page public-service ads: U.S.O. and U.S. Savings Bonds
*"The Misfits" (10 pages), written by penciled by Wood, inked by Ralph Reese (per credits: "W. Wood and R. Reese" and "Copyright Wally Wood 1969")::Mystra, a nubile young artificial human with telepathic abilities; Shag, a boyish blue extraterrestrial stranded on Earth; and Glomb, a human infant mutated by American scientists into a gray, simpleminded giant created to explore the planet Jupiter, are captives of the government's "Operation Misfit". Escaping, they confront an albino alien invader.
*Full-page ad, National Diamond Sales, same address as editorial office.
*Letter from the editor, hand-lettered on a montage of Wood art, signed "Sincerely, Wallace Wood"
*"Dragonella" (5 pages), "Script by Ron Whyte and W. Wood", with art by Wood, and noted "Copyright Wally Wood 1969"::Humorous adventure of a fairy-tale baby abandoned in the woods and raised into nubile young womanhood by kindly dragons "of the ancient and noble family Isaurus". Named Dragonella, she eventually ventures forth seeking a prince to marry, accompanied by her horny dragon "brother", St. George.
*Full-page ad, U.S. Diamond Sales, 1128 Broadway, Oakland, California.
*Inside back cover: "Salute to a Medal of Honor Winner" — text about, and black-and-white photo of, U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Robert E. O'Malley.
*Back cover: Armed Forces Diamond Sales, 1126 Broadway, Oakland, California.

econd issue

, turned professional — this second issue was marked #2 on the cover, was published magazine-sized, and carried a $2 cover price.


*"Cannon" (14 pages), written and inked by Wally Wood, penciled by Steve Ditko
*"The Misfits"
*"Black Angel"


Reflecting less-enlightened times, page two of "The Misfits" (1969) includes this dialog from English-speaking officials at the scene of a spaceship landing:::"A man just emerged from the ship...Hey! It's a white man..."::"Well, that's a good sign, anyway...."



*"Heroes, Inc. Presents Cannon" (unnumbered, 1969)
* [http://www.splashpages.com/wood/woodlist/woodlist4.html Wally Wood Online Checklist: "Wood (Self-Published)"]
* [http://www.ditko.comics.org/ditko/check/ditch1p2.html The Steve Ditko Checklist: Alphabetical D-H]
* [http://www.comic-art.com/bios-1/wood0001.htm Comic Art & Graffix Gallery: Wallace Wood]

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