Public Domain Super Heroes


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Martha Roberts as Midge in Feature Comics #77

Real Name

Martha Roberts

First Appearance

Feature Comics #27 (Dec. 1939)

Original Publisher


Created by

Will Eisner


Martha roberts

Martha at her regular height.

Martha Roberts was the daughter of Professor Roberts, who tutored his young protégé Darrel Dane in his home laboratory. During the summer of 1939, Martha was being blackmailed by a criminal named Falco over love letters she had written one of her former college teachers. After imbibing a concoction, Dane found himself shrunk to the height of six inches, but with his normal strength intact. Martha sewed him new clothes to wear, and he began to worry that he might never be able to regain his normal height.

After refusing to pay Falco any more blackmail money, Martha was kidnapped by Falco and rescued by the "doll man". Finding that through intense concentration Dane could affect his height, he decided to begin to fight crime as the Doll Man, often assisted by Martha (who also became his scientific research assistant).

Several years later (in Feature Comics #77), while wishing and concentrating about being able to shrink down to aid Doll Man, Darrel also was thinking about the same thing and suddenly, Martha's height and weight dwindled down until she was on the same scale as Doll Man. She teamed with Doll Man as Midge. Even though she was unmasked, Martha was not recoginzed by Doll Man during their adventure. At the end of this case, Martha returned to normal size and did not shrink again until becoming Doll Girl in issue #37 of Doll Man (See copyright notes below.)

Public Domain Golden Age Appearances

  • Feature Comics #27,32,34,37,40,48,53,58,60,62-63,76-77,79,81,86-91,94-99,106,109-111,114,121,123-139
  • Doll Man #2-3,6,9-10,13,16-25,28,32
  • Doll Man (I.W. Publishing) #15

Copyrighted Golden Age Appearances

  • Doll Man #37-47 (See Below)


  • Only the golden age Martha Roberts (as depicted in the comics that fell into public domain) is public domain. Non-public domain Golden Age appearances are under copyright of DC Comics, which owns the version of the character based on those comics and all subsequent versions published under DC comics banner.
  • Should be further noted that DC renewed the copyrights of Doll Man Quarterly #33-47, so stories from those issues, which include those of with Martha as Doll Girl (#37-47), are not public domain.
  • Their right to do so, may be questionable as there's no readily apparent record of there being a transfer of copyrights to DC with the sale of Quality to DC. By comparison, when Gaines sold his half of what makes DC, it's apparent in the copyright records that the rights to titles like Leading Comics shifted to DC and it shows up in the records when Busy Arnold gave Columbia Pictures the rights to produce a movie serial based on Blackhawk.

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