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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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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134 – Worst Dressed of 1940

In his second appearance in All-American Comics #20 (September 1940), the Mighty Atom gets a costume, which is basically a blue blanket over his head, a tight yellow shirt showing off his man-cleavage, and high-cut brown shorts to show off his masculine legs. I thought he was tired of being made fun of?

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133 – Perry White

Superman #7 (September 1940), introduced a new Daily Planet editor, Perry White, replacing the previous editor (George Taylor). The character of Perry White was actually introduced in February 1940 when the Adventures of Superman radio show began. It’s interesting to see how the various media incarnations of Superman (comic book, newspaper strip, radio show, cartoons) […]

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131 – Bat-Silliness Begins

Robin’s dream story in Detective Comics #44 (September 1940), foreshadows what I consider to be the worst era of Batman story-telling. With the introduction of Robin to the Bat-mythos, the character deviated from his noir, grim and gritty feel towards silly, fantasy stories and stayed that way for the next 25 years.

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130 – The Mighty Atom!

The original Golden Age character, The Atom was introduced in All-American Comics #19 (August 1940). In his first adventure, Al Pratt was a short, meek college student who was tired of being bullied, gosh-darn it. He had Joe Morgan, a retired boxer, train him to the peak of physical perfection. In this first appearance, we […]

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