Long before pro wrestler Ric Flair usurped the name...
...Nature Boy stood for truth, justice, and ancient gods (Huh?) as seen in his first appearance.
...and he didn't have to say something like "SHAZAM!" to do it!
(Yeah, I know a couple of the deities overlap, and only one was an actual mythological god, but why quibble?)
Nature Boy only had three issues of his own title (which started with #3) at Charlton Comics before he disappeared from the comics scene..until now!But, within those three issues, the seeds were planted for an entire superfamily of Nature-heroes including Nature Man (an adult version of the hero from the future) and female counterpart Nature Girl.
This isn't surprising, since he was conceived by Jerry Siegel (co-creator of Superman) who knew a thing or two about that sort of thing.
To add to his hero cred, Nature Boy was drawn by John Buscema, who later did Conan, Avengers, and damn near everything at Marvel from the late 1960s thru the 1990s, so even if the stories were a bit silly, they looked damn good!
Nature Boy should be considered one of the first Silver Age heroes since his premiere was in 1956, just a couple of months before The Flash re-emerged in Showcase #4!
On that basis, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™ have revived Nature Boy as part of our Lost Heroes of the Silver Age of Comics™ line, on t-shirts, messenger bags, mugs and other kool kollectibles!
He was one of the first, but hardly one of the worst...