300 – The Atomic Age!

The splash page from "The Battle of the Atoms" in Superman #38, October 1945
The splash page from “The Battle of the Atoms” in Superman #38, October 1945

USA dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 with Japan announcing surrender in a matter of days. Nonetheless, it took until October 1945 for stories mentioning “atomic” science to make their way into the public’s hands. The stories had been held back thanks to wartime censorship. I actually found it pretty amazing how many comic books that month had stories mentioning atomics.

Superman battles Luthor and discovers he can withstand an atomic blast, which is a far cry from being able to withstand a bullet!

Superman withstanding an atomic bomb in Superman #38, October 1945

The Toy Man invents an “atomic pistol” in World’s Finest #20:

The Toy Man’s terrible atomic pistol in World’s Finest #20, October 1945

Captain America faces off against an “atomic boomerang”:

A splash page from Captain America #51, October 1945

And finally, the splash page for Boy Commandos #13 mentions “an atomic bomb”:

A splash page from Boy Commandos #13, October 1945

Fresh from the relief of World War 2 being over, it seems that not enough time had passed for the horrors of nuclear warfare to sink in yet. It also seems that there is evidence that US officials tried to censor information about nuclear radiation.