222 – Captain America Two-Parter

Captain America has a “continued next month” story in February 1943. I’m starting to notice this more now so it seems like some comic book companies feel comfortable enough with their readership to pull this stunt. The next issue even has a “previously” panel:

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200 – Bucky Balls

Just your average innocent thought bubble from an adventure that Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers (Captain America) had in a Nazi-infested bowling alley.

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193 – Captain America Unmasked!

In Marvel Mystery Comics #32 (April 1942), the Red Skull unmasks Captain America and discovers his secret identity as Steve Rogers. I believe this is the first time a villain learns the secret identity of a costumed hero and survives.

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175 – Kirby Busts Out

Throughout 1941, Jack Kirby continued to challenge and experiment with conventional comic book layouts. In Captain America #9 (September 1941), we see Cap and Bucky aggressively bursting out of funky-shaped panels, curved or jagged borders, characters with body parts hanging over the rims, etc. We get to see lots of the two-page spreads too!

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164 – The Ringmaster

A new Marvel Comics villain debuts in Captain America #5 (May 1941): The Ringmaster! The Silver Age version of this character was a bit more well-known, but both were co-created by Jack Kirby. Both Ringmaster characters were tall, lean, wore a top hat, had a long face and a mustache. This version was a Nazi […]

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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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117 – Out of the Blue Bolt

Finishing off the list of obscure superheroes that debuted in April 1940 is the Blue Bolt, starring in Blue Bolt #1 (Novelty Comics). This lightning-shooting character was created by Joe Simon who drafted his buddy Jack Kirby to work on it with him in the second issue (May 1940). Simon & Kirby would, of course, […]

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93 – The Shield, G-Man Extraordinary

The Shield was the first over-the-top-patriotic superhero, arriving at least a year before Captain America. Debuting in Pep Comics #1 (November 1939), he was a G-Man who designed his own costume that gave him a dizzying array of powers: bulletproof, flameproof, super speed, super strong, he could scale walls and he had radio gadgets to […]

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