Real Name: Taddeus Tenterhook
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Affiliations: Dr. Nazel D. D. Ziegel; Tom Pouce (Tom Thumb)
Enemies: Le Minotaure (Minotaur); Maelstrom; Comte Vampyr; Lt. Wilcox
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: l'homme lumière (The Man of Light)
Base of Operations: New York
First Appearance: Mustang #54 (June 1980)
Powers/Abilities: Able to fly and to enter space without requiring external life support systems. Able to fire bolts of energy. Able to turn invisible.
History: Taddeus Tenterhook was a lonely, alienated, hunchbacked teenage orphan who became accidentally transformed by the explosion of a "luminotron" device into the golden, super-powered "Man of Light" - Photonik. With the help of neuropsychologist and super-powered mentalist, Dr. Nazel D. D. Ziegel and the street urchin nicknamed Tom Thumb, Photonik fought a variety of colourful super-villains, from the space-born invader, the Minotaur, to Maelstrom, Lord of the Lower Depths, and ComteVampyr, the Vampire of New York. He was pursued by Lt. Wilcox of the NYPD who wanted to arrest him for breaking the law with his vigilante activities.
Comments: Created by Malcolm Naughton (pseudonym of Marcel Navarro) and Cyrus Tota.
After the success of the Marvel Comics translations launched by Editions Lug in 1969, Publisher-Editor Marcel Navarro decided to create his own brand of French super-powered characters. The first of these was Wampus (1969).
Then, in 1972, Lug launched the magazine "Futura", which featured several characters such as Jaleb the Telepath, Homicron, The Time Brigade, The Other, Larry Cannon, Jeff Sullivan, etc. and ran for 33 issues until 1975. "Futura" was followed by the short-lived "Waki" (1974), about a prehistoric hero whose colorful adventures took place in a post-cataclysmic world, "Kabur" (1975), about a mythical warrior hero and Lug's answer to Marvel's Conan, and finally "Mustang" (Series II) in 1980.
While the above series had all been worthy efforts, none had met with the success Navarro had been hoping for. Certainly, none rivaled the success of the Marvel material. Navarro then decided to call on writer-artists with a better understanding of the super-hero genre, and try them in a new magazine and a new format.
That magazine was originally going to be entitled "SupHeros" but, for business reasons, at the last minute, Navarro decided instead to revamp one of Lug's existing western magazine "Mustang". With No. 54, "Mustang" therefore became a full-fledged super-hero comic.
Unfortunately, the new "Mustang" was not profitable enough - at least compared to the relatively inexpensive purchase of American material - and was cancelled with issue 70 in 1981. Nevertheless, it had revealed two new, native stars to the French readers: Cyrus Tota with Photonik, and Jean-Yves Mitton with Mikros.
Seventeen episodes of Photonik were originally serialized in "Mustang".
Black Out (MU 54, 1980)
La Nuit des Dupes [The Night Of The Dupes] (MU 55, 1980)
David et Goliath [David And Goliath] (MU 56, 1980)
Pièges [Traps] (MU 57, 1980)
Le Bulbe [The Bulb] (MU 58, 1980)
Panique à Central Park [Panic In Central Park] (MU 59, 1980)
La Souricière [The Mousetrap] (MU 60, 1980)
Lachez les Fauves! [Unleash The Beasts!] (MU 61, 1981)
Petit-Homme-Blanc [Little-White-Man] (MU 62, 1981)
Et lEmpire seffondra! [And The Empire Collapsed!] (MU 63, 1981)
Cauchemar [Nightmare] (MU 64, 1981)
Resurrection ou La Fin dune Saga [Rebirth or The End Of A Saga] (MU 65, 1981)
African Devil (MU 66, 1981)
Sur la Piste du Sorcier [On The Trail Of The Witch Doctor] (MU 67, 1981)
À lOmbre des Volcans [In The Shadow Of The Volcano] (MU 68, 1981)
Dans lOeil du Volcan [In The Eye Of The Volcano] (MU 69, 1981)
Maelstrom (MU 70, 1981)
After Mustang's cancellation, Photonik returned in the Marvel-based magazine "Spidey", starting with No. 22 in 1982.
Le Veilleur de Pierre [The Stone Watcher] (SP 22, 1981)
La Malédiction [The Curse] (SP 23, 1982)
Le Vampire de New-York [The Vampire Of New York] (SP 24, 1982)
Horreur à l'Aurore [Horror At Dawn] (SP 25, 1982)
Echec et Supermat 1: Enfer sur l'Échiquier [Check & Supermate 1: Hell Over The Chessboard] (SP 26, 1982)
Echec et Supermat 2: Contre-Attaque [Check & Supermate 2: Counter-Attack] (SP 27, 1982)
Le Hasard et la Violence [Hazard And Violence] (SP 28, 1982)
Photonik contre Photonik [Photonik vs. Photonik] (SP 29, 1982)
Le Rachat [The Buy-Back] (SP 30, 1982)
La Gemme 1: Les Dents de la Mer [The Gem 1: Jaws] (SP 31, 1982)
La Gemme 2: Le Monstre des Abysses [The Gem 2: The Monster From The Abyss] (SP 32, 1982)
Prisonnier des Étoiles [Prisoner Of The Stars] (SP 33-34, 1982)
Le Mystère du Pueblo Maudit 1: Un Aigle dans la Nuit [The Mystery Of The Cursed Pueblo 1: An Eagle In The Night] (SP 35, 1982)
Le Mystère du Pueblo Maudit 2: Trésor Aztèque [The Mystery Of The Cursed Pueblo 2: Aztec Treasure] (SP 36, 1983)
Les Origines du Docteur Ziegel 1: Ombre du Passé [The Origins Of Dr. Ziegel 1: Shadow Of The Past] (SP 37, 1983)
Les Origines du Docteur Ziegel 2: Projet Siegfried [The Origins Of Dr. Ziegel 2: Project Siegfried] (SP 38, 1983)
Les Origines du Docteur Ziegel 3: La Révolte des Damnés [The Origins Of Dr. Ziegel 3: The Revolt Of The Damned] (SP 40, 1983)
Le Casse du Millénaire [The Break-In Of The Millenium] (SP 41-42, 1983)
Bas les Masques 1: Chantage [Masks Off 1: Blackmail] (SP 43, 1983)
Bas les Masques 2: Bluff [Masks Off 2: Bluff] (SP 44, 1983)
La Saga de Photonik [The Saga Of Photonik] (SP 55, 1984)
Descente aux Abysses 1: Une Ombre dans la Nuit [Descent Into The Abyss 1: A Shadow In The Night] (SP 56, 1984)
Descente aux Abysses 2: La Proie du Vampire [Descent Into The Abyss 2: The Vampires Prey] (SP 57, 1984)
Descente aux Abysses 3: Duel aux Enfers [Descent Into The Abyss 3: Duel In Hell] (SP 58, 1984)
Les Enfants de l'Apocalypse 1: L'Énigme Alpha [Children Of The Apocalypse 1: The Alpha Enigma] (SP 80, 1986)
Les Enfants de l'Apocalypse 2: La Menace Alpha [Children Of The Apocalypse 2: The Alpha Threat] (SP 81, 1986)
Les Enfants de l'Apocalypse 3: L'Ultimatum Alpha [Children Of The Apocalypse 1: The Alpha Ultimatum] (SP 82, 1986)
Les Enfants de l'Apocalypse 4: Le Piège Alpha [Children Of The Apocalypse 1: The Alpha Trap] (SP 83, 1986)
L'Ombre [The Shadow] (4 eps.) (SP 84-86, 1987)
In 1999, "Spidey" eps. 21-24 and 25-28 were reprinted in two hardcover editions by publisher Delcourt.
Much of the information on this page comes verbatim from Cool French Comics, used with permission. Likewise the images. Thanks to Dominik Vallet for additional information.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Photon, member of Youngblood
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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