The Transparent Fox:
Marvel Premiere #35
Issue(s): Marvel Premiere #35
The pilot, Chuck Chandler, escapes the Skrulls but in the process the rocket is destroyed and Chuck is killed. His brother Hal, crippled by polio, observes the explosion, and finds that his glasses have been embedded with red and green images of Chuck, "like something out of those 3-D movies from a few years back".
When he puts on the glasses, Chuck appears, with the physical abilities 3 times that of a human in peak condition.
This "3-D Man" attempts to hunt down the Skrull leader, Diabolik, but accidentally punches him into a crowd where the Skrull can easily blend in and escape.
Kurt Busiek had a hard time trying to explain to the people on racmu a while back exactly what Triathlon's powers were (Triathlon's powers were based on 3-D Man). They're really not that hard to understand, but they are stupid. So is the concept of a red and green super-hero who gets activated by wearing glasses. It's just so... gimmicky. And the pathos of the crippled younger brother who lives vicariously through his perfect older brother is also pretty hokey. But the story is saved from a D rating by the use of Skrulls as bad guys, and the implication that Skrulls may have been meddling in Earth affairs for some time. It's still terribly bad.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: It takes place in "the late 1950s". The Golden Age super-heroes are people that the main character has "read about a few years back". Benjamin Grimm is referenced as the #1 test pilot in the country. The Ben Grimm reference and the Skrull involvement lead me to place this concurrently with Marvel: The Lost Generation, which spans the time from Grimm going to college to Grimm becoming the Thing. In between those two events he was a test pilot.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
The name Diabolik is probably a reference to the Italian comics character Diabolik, who also appeared in his own movie in 1968(Danger:Diabolik)which later got skewered on MST3000.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 30, 2011 10:35 PM
Another GREAT character whom you pass judgement on UNFAIRLY! I absolutely LOVED the 'gimmick' of Chuck being images on his brother Hal's glasses, after all, that's what the character was inspired by..the classic 3D movies..and the gimmick WORKED. I collected EVERY appearance of the 3D Man. GREAT concept and GREAT character!
Posted by: Andy Kerschenske | March 22, 2013 3:02 PM
Hi Andy. Thanks for your input. I invite you to continue to use the open comments to balance out my negative opinions and also make use of the Your Quality Rating feature to put in your own rating of the issues.
Only thing i take umbrage to is that you say i'm passing judgement "unfairly". I promise you i wasn't bribed in any way when i did my review. ;-) I read them and then i express my opinions. See the Quality Rating section under The Rules on the sidebar for more, and also the Q&A link.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 22, 2013 3:17 PM
Sorry, I agree with fnord. There's nothing UNFAIR about him giving his OPINION of characters on his OWN website. IF he dislikes SOMETHING he always GIVES a reason.
I FIND 3d man a lame CHARACTER AS well. But THAT is just MY opnion. I'm afraid USING my caps LOCK at random to emphasize WORDS is A very annoying style IN which TO write.
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | March 22, 2013 5:27 PM
At the risk of prolonging this, i feel obligated to reiterate my request to avoid personal attacks, even when in defense of Your Host (and very funny).
Andy, if you ever return, you are welcome to use as many capital letters as you like. ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | March 23, 2013 2:06 PM
I really appreciate how this site keeps it light.
Posted by: Anonymous | March 28, 2013 4:45 AM
I forgot to add several :-) to my original comment. :-)
Posted by: Kveto from Prague | March 28, 2013 3:14 PM
The character is another Roy Thomas homage, to Harvey's Captain 3-D. Several publishers tried 3-D comics in the period of the 3-D craze. The sole issue of CAPTAIN 3-D was done by the Simon and Kirby studio, with Kirby pencilling.
According to his origin story he was the last survivor of a race that was advanced when our ancestors were primitive. (Kirby used the concept of an advanced ancient race again in his Inhumans origin.) His race was wiped out by a race of Cat People, but he survived as he was chosen from among the last survivors to be preserved in two-dimensional form in a book that was given to the primitives. The Cat People's land sank in an earthquake, and they have subsequently lived among human beings in secret, seeking to enslave us, and seeking the book.
In the issue's opening story a boy is entrusted with the book. It comes with 3-D glasses, and when he looks at Captain 3-D's image through them the hero emerges from the book into life. He fights some thugs who are out to steal it, and when the boy looks at them through the glasses he sees they're really Cat People. (This scene is like the clips I've seen from THEY LIVE.) The hero has to return to the book between missions.
There's a visual similarity between the two characters. Captain 3-D had a red-green visor and skull-cap-like helmet, and a skin-tight costume with gloves, boots and exterior shorts. The role of the Skrulls in the present issue parallels the cat people's in the original.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 11, 2016 9:58 AM
The relationship between the two brothers recalls Simon's and Kirby's FIGHTING AMERICAN. The hero was a physically weak man whose mind was transferred into the body of his stronger brother after the latter was killed. It was the stronger brother who had been on crutches, due a war injury.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 11, 2016 10:13 AM
The divided costume might be after the costume of the Golden Age Daredevil.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 11, 2016 3:02 PM
3-D Man is a character that was built for the upcoming world of fiber optics and could become a holographic superhero capable of riding the global neural net of the Internet at light speed making for not only an interesting modern day tech scenario but to give the reader a voyage to many diverse locations on planet Earth, thus expanding our cultural interests. Put me in coach I can write this one right outta the 50's drive in to a contemporary storyline that even the Silicon Valley would enjoy LOL But seriously, this dude is one photon away from being cool IMO...
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | January 9, 2017 11:47 PM
Serious question because I won't ever read that s**t but was Triathalon a factor in the 'Secret Invasion' storyline a few years back? As I understood it, he had 3-D Man's powers so therefore if he could see Skrulls...
Posted by: Wis | January 15, 2017 12:27 AM
@Wis: Believe it or not, he did have a small role to play, yes, and yes his Skrull-vision did let him see the Skrulls. Unfortunately, he killed Crusader, who happened to be a HEROIC Skrull who was assisting Earth...
Posted by: Thanos6 | January 15, 2017 6:20 AM
Yeah, he didn't have a big role to play in the main SECRET INVASION miniseries, but he was a lead role in the tie-in arc for AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE (which was a better series anyway, imo).
Posted by: Dermie | January 16, 2017 6:11 PM
Dave Hunt passed away on March 5.
Posted by: Robert | March 9, 2017 10:42 PM
Thanks, Robert. He always did a great job with the webs on Spider-Man's mask.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | March 23, 2017 2:53 AM
In that period (I mean of pubblication) Marvel was advertizing Holoman. Maybe the idea of 3D-Man was somehow linked.
Posted by: jti88 . | June 24, 2017 10:03 AM
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