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Hop Harrigan

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A sadly forgotten comic character, he follows in the tradition of Ally Sloper as being a fairly normal human character who nevertheless became iconic enough to have a multimedia presence. Unlike his British counterpart, though, Harrigan was unambiguously a hero aimed straight at an adolescent (male) audience.

According to his first appearance, Hop was just an ordinary kid. After being orphaned when his pilot father was lost on a flight to South America, Hop was left behind to become the subject of an odd custody battle. His unscrupulous next door neighbor, knowing Hop would be the heir to a sizable fortune, somehow managed to convince a judge that he deserved custody of the boy. Upon reaching adulthood, his guardian tried to destroy an ancient biplane that Hop's dad had stored on the grounds years previously. Hop stopped the "guardian", jumped in the plane, and took off--leaving the schemer, and presumably any claim to his inheritance, far behind.

Touching down many miles distant, he saved the life of mechanic Tank Tinker, who would turn into his sidekick and comic relief. Using Tank's airfield as a base, the pair (and Hop's wealthy girlfriend), start a company called the All-American Aviation Company. The earliest Harrigan adventures center around this company and the adventures they get into.

Once the war hit, though, the company is abandoned for the US Army Air Corps, and the stories shifted to serve the war effort.

He had a brief text-based crossover with the Justice Society in All Star Comics #8, and became the costumed hero known as "The Guardian Angel: for a few issues in the spring and early summer of 1941.

Nevertheless, he was very much of an "everyman" character. The fact that he was young, with a troubled youth and yet now nobly flying aircraft in service of his country, made him a compelling read that sometimes dwarfed the popularity of superheroes.

Indeed, his popularity in the early 40s was enough to warrant a radio program that began in 1942 and a 15-part movie serial that was released to theatres in 1946.

By 1948, however, the well of popularity had dried up for dashing boy aviators, and he was replaced as the headliner for All-American by Johnny Thunder.


First Appearance: All-American Comics (1939) #1

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
All Star Comics Archives (1991)
All-American Comics (1939)
All-Flash (1941)
All-Star Comics (1940)
America at War: The Best of DC War Comics (1979)
Comic Cavalcade (1942)
Comic Cavalcade Archives (2005)
Flash Comics (1940)
Green Lantern (1941)
History of the DC Universe (1986)
Sensation (Mystery) Comics (1942)
The Big All-American Comic Book (1944)
The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985)
Wonder Woman (1942)
Wonder Woman (1972)
World's Finest Comics (1941)
Young All-Stars (1987)

Group Affiliation(s):

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