Column: The Art of War – Marvel Comics Reports for Duty in World War II and More

@MajorRon is back with his column that covers the history of war depicted in the comic book medium! We’ll let him take it from here.

In the early 1940’s, the old version of Marvel Comics, Timely Comics, came out with the early versions of The Human Torch and The Sub-Mariner. With the patriotic spirit during World War II, these superheroes were of course in the war fighting the enemy.

All Winners Comics added more superheroes to the war effort in 1942. The real action against the enemy was mainly on the covers of the comics. The readers were drawn to the covers to see America beat the Axis Powers. The comic book very well could be considered the first form of The Avengers as the series featured Marvel staples of today Captain America, The Sub-Mariner and The Human Torch.

U.S.A. Comics was an American comic-book series published by Marvel Comics’ 1930-1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books.

A superhero anthology running 17 issues cover-dated August 1941 to Fall 1945, it showcased early work by industry legends Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and famed cartoonist Basil Wolverton, introduced the Whizzer and other characters, and for much of its run starred Captain America during that long-running character’s World War II height of popularity.

In 1942, USA Comics portrayed more kids fighting in combat. They were known as the Victory Boys. This comic went way overboard and had the boys fighting Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito all by themselves. The Victory Boys only saw two appearances, but the country loved them.

One of the most unique comics of the WWII Era was Jap -Buster. A war inspired character named Jap-Buster Johnson came out after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This comic book pulled no punches depicting who we were fighting and who the real enemy was. The Japanese were drawn as extreme, hateful and gruesome caricatures. This could never be done again in today’s society.

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