CARL BURGOS

Real Name: Max Finkelstein

Identity/Class: Human (World War I era to modern era - see comments)

Occupation: Comic book artist/editor;
    former US Army Air/Signal Corpsman, engraver at Franklin Engraving Company

Group Membership: Timely/Marvel Comics (Bill Everett, Martin Goodman, Stan Lee, others);
    formerly US Army Air Corps, US Army Signal Corps

Affiliations: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Dorrie Evans, Human Torch ("Jim Hammond"), Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Walter "Old Man" Jameson, Thing (Ben Grimm), Timely Comics (Bill Everett, Martin Goodman, Stan Lee, others), Toro (Thomas Raymond)

Enemies: Nazis (Gustav, Fritz Klein-Schmidt, others)

Known Relatives: Susan Burgos (daughter), unidentified daughter, unidentified parents

Aliases: "Chum" (called by Bill Everett)

Base of Operations: Nassau County, New York, USA;
    formerly New York City, New York, USA

First Appearance: (in Marvel Comics): Marvel Mystery Comics I#34 (August, 1942)

Powers/Abilities: Carl Burgos was a skilled comic book illustrator and writer.

During his time in the military, Carl received ranger and rifle training.

Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Dark brown

History: (real life history) - Born Max Finkelstein in New York City on April 18, 1916 to Jewish parents, the man who would later be called Carl Burgos studied at the National Academy of Design in Manhattan before dropping out after one year. Taking a job as an engraver at the Franklin Engraving Company, Burgos took a job as a comic book artist for Harry "A" Chesler comic before leaving to join comic book packaging company Funnies, Inc. As part of Funnies, Inc., Burgos created a comic featuring the fiery Human Torch character that Funnies, Inc. sold to Timely Comics, a new comic book company. Carl Burgos then continued to write and draw the Human Torch comic book stories for Timely while freelancing for other comic companies of the time.

(Captain America & the Invaders: The Bahamas Triangle#1) - On March 18, 1941, Carl Burgos and his fellow Timely Comics artist, Bill Everett, were walking down the street in Manhattan when they both witnessed Captain America chasing the Nazi Fritz Klein-Schmidt. Surprised, Carl asked Bill if he had seen the Nazi but Bill was more interested in Captain America. Announcing to Carl and Bill that he had definitely seen the heroic Cap, Walter "Old Man" Jameson pulled out a camera and pursued Captain America, hoping to get a photo for the Daily Bugle.

(Marvel Mystery Comics I#34) - In 1942, after being given a two-day deadline for a new Human Torch story by Timely Comics, Carl Burgos sat in his spacious studio apartment and stressed over his inability to think of a new story. Practicing drawing the Human Torch and his sidekick Toro, the beleaguered Carl was shocked when the drawings seemingly sprung to life and knocked him over. Confused and dazed, Carl asked how the two heroes could be there but was given no explanation before getting to his feet and asking the two heroes what he could do for them. The two heroes then revealed a plan to stick it to the Nazis and Carl wholeheartedly agreed with the plan, soon meeting with his publisher, Martin Goodman, to discuss the new idea that had sprung from his vision of Human Torch and Toro. Twelve minutes later, Martin agreed to Carl's plan to produce a propaganda issue of "Marvel Comics," published by the fictional Cannon-Ball Comic Magazines, to anger and distract the Nazis. Rushing to his art staff, Carl announced the plans for the propaganda comic and his art staff rushed the comic out. Thinking the cargo containing Carl Burgos' propaganda comic was some sort of weapon or secret cargo, Nazis attempted to stop the ship carrying the books but the real Human Torch and Toro got involved and ensured the comics made their way to Germany.

Back in America, Martin Goodman commended Carl Burgos on his idea for the propaganda comic that had made headlines when it infuriated Adolf Hitler himself and rallied a stronger resistance against Hitler. Burgos then left the Timely offices to meet up with Bill Everett at the local drug store for sodas and while the two waited to meet the real Human Torch and Toro, Burgos drunk his soda, only to pass out when the soda proved to be poisoned. Human Torch and Toro soon arrived in their civilian identities and phoned an ambulance for Carl while they rounded up the Nazis who had poisoned Carl. Easily apprehending the Nazis, Human Torch and Toro then visited the nearby hospital, where Carl Burgos was recovering from his poisoning. As Carl lay in his hospital bed, Bill Everett commented that the Nazis couldn't poison a man with a cast-iron stomach and the Human Torch announced that the whole incident had given him a great idea for a comic book story.

(real life history) - As World War II continued into 1942, Carl Burgos left for military service in the US Army Air Corps, eventually transferring to the Signal Corps and later the engineering division. Returning from the War, Burgos attended the City College of New York for advertising while also returning to work for Timely Comics as a freelance artist as the company transitioned into calling itself Atlas Comics. Working as a freelancer for various companies into the modern era, Burgos briefly pursued legal action against Atlas (now called Marvel Comics) for their usage of the Human Torch character but nothing came of the lawsuit and he nonetheless continued working for the company.

(Strange Tales I#123) - Following the Thing and Human Torch (Johnny Storm)'s defeat of the Beetle, Stan Lee and Carl Burgos witnessed the heroes departing the scene with the Torch's girlfriend, Dorrie Evans. When Stan remarked on the two heroes being the "greatest guys in the world," Carl answered that Stan was just prejudiced.

(real life history) - Not long after, Carl Burgos drifted away from Marvel and comic books in general, occasionally contributing art or editing to other companies' comic books. Burgos eventually died of colon cancer in Nassau County, New York on March 1, 1984.

Comments: Adapted into Marvel Comics by himself, Carl Burgos.

Due to Marvel's sliding time scale, Carl Burgos likely would not have been alive at the time to have witnessed an early adventure of the Thing and Human Torch vs. the Beetle in Strange Tales I#123. Therefore, since the character in Strange Tales I#123 is only identified as "Carl," an explanation could be that it was another man named Carl with Stan Lee or perhaps Carl Burgos simply lived longer on Earth-616 than he did in reality. I'll let you guys decide how Carl's Strange Tales I#123 appearance fits in continuity...

Online sources list Carl Burgos as appearing in a story in the "Marvel Re-Presents Marvel Comics#1" hardcover but, near as I can tell, there were not any new stories in that hardcover and it just reprinted Marvel Comics#1 (1939).

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Carl Burgos has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Captain America & the Invaders: The Bahamas Triangle#1, p3, pan1 (Carl Burgos, main image)
Captain America & the Invaders: The Bahamas Triangle#1, p3, pan2 (Carl Burgos headshot)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#34, p3, pan7 (Carl Burgos entering his studio)
Strange Tales I#123, p14, pan6 (older Carl Burgos headshot)


Appearances:
Marvel Mystery Comics I#34 (August, 1942) - "Human Torch" story - Carl Burgos (writer, art), Vince Fago (editor-in-chief)
Strange Tales I#123 (August, 1964) - "The Birth of the Beetle!" story - Stan Lee (writer, editor), Carl Burgos (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Captain America & the Invaders: The Bahamas Triangle#1 (September, 2019) - Roy Thomas (writer), Jerry Ordway (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First Posted: 10/23/2019
Last updated: 10/23/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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