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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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