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Sat, Sep 29th - 5:04AM

Golden Age of Comics

Timely Comics

Timely Comics was founded in 1939 and evolved by the 1960s into Marvel Comics. Its most popular characters were Captain America, Human Torch and Sub-Mariner. The company's flagship title, Marvel Mystery Comics, starring the Human Torch, ended its run with #92 in June 1949 and the company became Atlas Comics in November 1951.

Captain America

In 1940, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Captain America, a patriotic character whose sole purpose was to battle the German Nazis. The first issue cover-dated March 1941 and on sale in December 1940, a year before the U.S. entered World War II, showed Captain America punching Adolf Hitler in the jaw; it sold nearly one million copies. Circulation figures remained close to a million copies per month after the debut issue and Captain America was Timely's most popular character.

Captain America was the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a frail young man who was enhanced to the peak of human perfection in an experiment designed to aid the United States war effort. Rogers was the first test subject of Professor Abraham Erskine. After injections and ingestion of the "Super Soldier Serum," Rogers was exposed to a controlled burst of "Vita-Rays" that activated and stabilized the chemicals in his system. The process successfully altered his physiology from its frail state to the maximum of human efficiency, including greatly enhanced musculature and reflexes. Soon after, Professor Erskine was assassinated by a Nazi operative, leaving Steve the only Super-Soldier created.

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Sun, Sep 23rd - 5:12AM

Golden Age of Comics


Sub-Mariner, one of the first superheroes, was created by writer-artist Bill Everett. The Sub-Mariner first appeared in Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939) the first comic book from Timely Comics, the 1930s-1940s predecessor of the company Marvel Comics. He was one of Timely's top three characters, along with Captain America and the original Human Torch. He appeared in his own comic book beginning in the Fall of 1941.

The mutant son of a human sea captain and of a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis, the Sub-Mariner possesses the super-strength and aquatic abilities of the "Homo mermanus" race, as well as the mutant ability of flight, along with other superhuman powers. Supporting characters included his cousins Namora and Dorma along with Betty Dean, a New York City policewoman. The original Sub-Mariner series ran until June 1949.

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Mon, Sep 17th - 4:41AM

Golden Age of Comics

Millie the Model

Millie the Model was Marvel Comics' longest-running humor title, first published by the company's 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, and continuing through its 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics, to 1970s Marvel. The comic book began in 1945 and ran for 28 years and 207 issues.

Millie Collins worked as a model for the Hanover Modelling Agency, where her boyfriend was photographer Clicker. At the start of the series her best friend was Toni Turner while later on in the series Toni became less of a regular and Millie's best friend and confidant was Daisy, the agency's wardrobe assistant. Near the end of the series Millie and Daisy shared an apartment. Throughout the series redheaded model Chili Storm was Millie's friendly nemesis.

For most of its run, it was a broad comedy. From March 1963 to August 1967 it became a romantic adventure series with all the same characters before returning to humor until its last issue in December 1973.

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Tue, Sep 11th - 6:13AM

Golden Age of Comics

The Human Torch

The original Human Torch first appeared in 1939 in the first issue of Marvel Comics. He was an android, created by a Professor Phineas Horton. Dr. Horton displayed him in a glass case, and when the case was opened at a press exhibition exposure to oxygen caused the android to explode into fire. The Human Torch accidentally set parts of New York ablaze and then killed a mobster who wanted his powers.

The android gained control of his fiery abilities and joined the police force assuming the name of Jim Hammond. He acquired a junior sidekick named Toro, an orphaned boy who was part of a circus fire-eating act. By 1941, the Human Torch was featured in his own comic that continued until 1949.

Marvel re-used the name Human Torch in 1961 to create a new character as a member of the Fantastic Four.

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Wed, Sep 5th - 9:22AM

Golden Age of Comics

After World War II, comic-book readership dropped dramatically coinciding with the early coming of television. Interest in superheroes declined and many comic book publishers went out of business.

Other comic book publishers turned to stories featuring violence and horror. This trend resulted in a public outcry that reached a peak in 1954. In that year psychiatrist Frederic Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent, a book sharply critical of the comic book industry, and the U.S. Senate held hearings on Juvenile Delinquency (Comic Books).

To prevent government censorship, publishers were compelled to set up the Comics Code Authority (CCA), a self-regulating body with broad policing powers. The comic book code saved the industry from probable ruin, but it also stifled creativity in the field, discouraging artists and publishers from exploring new styles and genres.

Previous Posts: Batman, Hangman and Captain Marvel

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