Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cheap Detectives Week: Nick Cuti and Joe Staton's Mike Mauser

Mike (don't ever call him "Mickey") Mauser was introduced to the world as a supporting character in Charlton's E-Man #3 (March, 1974). E-Man was busy doing work for the police and his girlfriend Nova Kane needed help finding a friend who had mysteriously disappeared. Nova didn't know where to turn, but fate (or somebody working for Mauser) handed her a handbill with contact information for a certain P.I. Ms. Kane headed straight for Mauser's office...

While crude, scruffy, and deeply cynical, Mauser also had street smarts, skill, and the courage of a true hero...Don't worry, Nova got to the phone and contacted E-Man who saved the day. And what did Mauser get by way of a "thank you" from Nova?Nova might not have appreciated him, but fandom did! Writer Nick Cuti and artist Joe Staton had another cult hit on their hands with Mauser. I suppose we were hungry for unlikely heroes at the time, and boy did we ever get one! Mike Hammer played by Moe Howard with a large dose of Columbo tossed in for good measure. Even the name was a masterful pun combining the traditional Spillane-style "Mike" with our new hero's weapon of choice into a play on Walt Disney's most iconic character. Cuti and Staton had to know they were on to something special to go to those lengths just to name the guy!

Mauser stayed on as a recurring character in E-Man issues 7-9, then graduated to his own solo back-up strip in the awesome Vengeance Squad mag beginning with the first issue (April, 1975) and lasting for the mag's entire run (through issue #6, March, 1976). And just 'cause I love ya, baby, here's Mauser's premiere strip from Vengeance Squad #1, "The Inheritance" by (who else? Cuti and Staton!


  1. i knew you couldn't go through this week without a MIKE MAUSER post.
    you seem to have my exact comic collection from the groovy era.
    cuti and staton are totally awesome! i am a huge fan!
    i recently bought a 'zine called CHARLTON SPOTLIGHT #6 which has a previously unpublished MIKE MAUSER story and a previously unpublished E-MAN story as well. good stuff!

  2. Oh, no, there's no way I'd have done a Cheap Detectives week without Mike Mauser. In fact, it was Mauser and Police Action that inspired me to create Cheap Detectives week in the first place.

    There'll be lots more Cuti and Staton! Those two are 70s Charlton's answer to Stan and Jack in my opinion!

  3. I remember Mauser and his trusty Broomhandle with fondness -- from the E-Man comic. I seem to recall he once referred to Nova as a "tough little broad" and I had to ask my mother what a "broad" was.

  4. Wow! I didn't know our (Joe and me) creation had such a devoted following. I always liked him and would love to be given an opportunity to do more Mike Mauser stories. All I need is a venue. You caught on to all the puns I used to get his name, not quite a Nova Kane, which Joe tells me I'll never be able to top, but I keep trying.

  5. Nick, you keep visiting here, and you'll not only see how well loved Mike and Alec are, but how much we truly dig you! I am soooo happy and proud you stopped by, and I hope you come back often. Groove City loves ya, Mr. Cuti!



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!