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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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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124 – The First Black Widow

In Mystic Comics #4 (June 1940), Timely Comics Inc (later Marvel) introduces the first costumed female superhero, Black Widow. Claire Voyant is a spiritual medium who is overcome by evil powers while performing a seance. She puts “Satan’s curse” on the family who later die in a car crash. The surviving brother murders Claire and […]

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114 – Two New Bat-Rogues

Before the introduction of Robin only one month earlier, Batman’s rogues gallery consisted of only three villains: Doctor Death, the Mad Monk, and Hugo Strange. In April 1940, DC released Batman #1, its second comic book dedicated to just a single superhero. In it, they recount the Batman’s origin and then feature not one, but […]

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