145 – Not Captain, but Mister

Speaking of super patriotic heroes, Action Comics #34 (December 1940) saw Tex Thompson transition into a superhero role by dying his hair black, donning a domino mask and red cape, brandishing a whip, and calling himself Mister America. This is the first time a regular adventure strip morphed into a superhero strip (I don’t really […]

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144 – Captain America!

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby have their first hit with Captain America #1 (December 1940). Captain America is the first character to star in his own comic book, not as a try-out feature in another book, and comes complete with a fully-fleshed out (and interesting) origin, a sidekick and an iconic villain (the Red Skull) […]

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143 – The First Bat-Cave

By Detective Comics #48 (December 1940), Bob Kane and Bill Finger are starting to develop the Batman back-story a bit, giving the dynamic duo a secret tunnel leading to a seemingly abandoned barn with their “supercharged” car, called for the first time: the Bat-Mobile!

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142 – The Justice Society of America

The Justice Society of America debuts in All-Star Comics #3 (November 1940). In its first incarnation it consists of a whopping nine characters across Detective Comics Inc and All-American Comics (still separate companies at this point): The Flash, the Atom, Green Lantern, Hawkman, the Spectre, Doctor Fate, Sandman and Hourman, with Johnny Thunder thrown in […]

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141 – A Little Privacy, Please

Lois Lane catches Superman changing into Clark Kent for the first time in Action Comics #32 (November 1940). Fortunately for Superman, Lois is under the influence of a fluid that makes her forget everything. Clark learns she will spend her days in a sanitarium so he tries super-hypnotism for the first time, which of course […]

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140 – For Starters, You Need Pants

I have yet to see an in-depth, well-rounded and firm journalistic exploration of the costume choices of the Golden Age Atom, Al Pratt. Decades before Wonder Woman was allowed to run around in basically high-cut panties, the Atom did it in brown ones. I’m trying to imagine the conversations between writer and illustrator to craft […]

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137 – Namor, Cocked and Loaded

Is that an anti-aircraft gun or are you just happy to see me? The Sub-Mariner gets suggestive on the cover of Marvel Mystery Comics #14 (October 1940)! By this point in American comics, I’m definitely noticing a trend of showing superheroes battling Nazis or thinly-veiled Nazi-like forces. Superman, Sub-Mariner and Captain Marvel / Shazam all […]

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