Little Boy Blue in the lead, then Toughie, with Tubby bringing up the rear. Artist: Frank Harry.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1942
Creators: Bill Finger (writer) and Jon Blummer (artist)
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Little Boy Blue belonged to a demographic that was unusual among superheroes holding down their own features. As implied by the name, he was a mere child. There were other …

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… kid superheroes, but most were sidekicks (like Robin), not entirely serious (like Supersnipe) or hopelessly obscure (like Marvel's Little Hercules). Even Superboy, probably the most prominent of the lot, was a spin-off of an adult character. But Little Boy Blue ran continuously for nearly seven years (and was even revived decades later), with only the most tenuous connection to grown-up representatives of the genre.

Tommy Rogers, about 10 or 12, became Little Boy Blue in the first issue of Sensation Comics, published by DC Comics/All-American Publications with a cover date of January, 1942. He decided to put on a costume and fight crime when he overheard his father, district attorney Dan Rogers, talking about how hard it would be to nail a mobster named Lupo, with the star witness missing. He got the idea from reading about Wildcat, who started in the same issue. Since Wildcat had gotten the idea from Green Lantern, Tommy was, in a sense, the first third-generation superhero.

Being a kid, Tommy was in the unusual position of being able to have a kid sidekick his own age. In fact, he had two. On his way to Lupo's lair, he picked up his friend, Tubby; and once there, a third kid, a wrong-side-of-the-tracks type named Toughy, joined in. After rescuing the witness (whom Lupo was holding prisoner), they decided to continue superheroing as Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys. They wore similar blue costumes, except for Tommy's red hood and boots.

The feature was created by writer Bill Finger (Batman, All Winners Squad) and artist Jon L. Blummer (Ultra-Man, Fighting Yank). Neither stayed with it very long. Most later writers are unidentified, but the artist who did the majority of his stories, starting in the second year, was Frank Harry (co-creator of The Ghost Patrol).

Aside from Sensation Comics, the team appeared in The Big All-American, a 1944 oneshot that contained a vast collection of the company's stars, from The Flash to Scribbly. But mostly they stayed in the back pages of that one title. The only change in the cast came in #72 (December, 1947), when they acquired a female teammate who called herself Little Miss Redhead. That doesn't seem to have created much additional interest, as the series ended in #82 (October, 1948).

Many years later, DC had a villain named Dr. Light, who had become something of a joke. He was defeated first by The Justice League of America, then by some of its individual members, and later by members of The Teen Titans. The running gag was that he'd keep going up against ever-less formidable foes, and still come out a loser. In the back pages of The Flash #12 (May, 1988), Tommy's young son got hold of his dad's old costumes, along with a diary to explain their significance. He got together with Tubby's and Toughy's sons, giving Dr. Light an opportunity to be defeated by Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys.

This new Blue team, created just to provide a punch line to the Dr. Light joke, didn't go on to fame and glory. After such a hard-to-top performance, Dr. Light wasn't seen much in subsequent years either, but a recent attempt on DC's part to rehabilitate him may make it necessary for the boys to come back and bash him again.


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Text ©2005-07 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.