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[personal profile] strannik01
Martin Luther King Day is the day of reflection, a day when we look back at how far America has come and how far it still has to go. I figured that this would be as good of time as any to fulfill a months-old request and repost a Golden Age story which dealt with one of the more shameful chapters in American history - the internment of Japanese-Americans.

Four Favorites 9 - Captain Courageous - Heade small

During the 1940s, comics usually avoided the topic. When they did touch in it, the writers treated it as a given that all Japanese-Americans were either spies or potential spies, making the internment perfectly justified. So imagine my surprise when I went to look up Captain Nippo's first appearance and stumbled upon a story where interned Japanese-Americans actually come off sympathetically. Moreover, it featured a protagonist that the readers could probably identify with to some extent. Mind you, the story has its issues, but in the context of the time, this was mind-blowingly progressive.

The following story originally appeared in Four Favorites #9. Writer and artist unknown.

Captain Courageous fights a Japanese stereotype and 1940s children get an important lesson on what it means to be an American (13 pages under the cut) )

Tune in next time for something a bit more stereotypical as I fulfill [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex's request and post a few stories featuring one of Bob Phantom's most memorable foes - Ah Ku, the Princess of Crime.
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[personal profile] strannik01
In 1940, the World War II was in full swing. United States was still a neutral country, but more and more Americans were starting to feel that their nation should break from it's long-held isolationist policy and join the fight. Many of those Americans were writing comic books, and it was only natural that their beliefs made their way into their work. In most cases, this involved having their heroes taking on the Nazis or their thinly veiled proxies. But sometimes, the writers took it a step further.

Super-Mystery Comics Vol 1 05 - Vulcan - Header

In Ave Periodicals' Super-Mystery Comics #5 (Volume 1), an unknown writer had Vulcan, the fire-controlling, Human Torch-esque son of the eponymous Roman god, take down people who had the audacity to *gasp* speak out against the possibility of American engagement in what (to many US citizens) was still an oversees conflict their country had no business of being involved in. Granted, they turned out to be agents of an unnamed Axis power, but Vulcan didn't know that. He just assumed that protesting the war = traitors and proceeded to beat them up. Which, when you think about it, carries all sorts of troubling implications.

Vulcan vs Freedom of Speech (12 Pages under the cut) )

And, as a bonus - ever wonder how Golden Age comic book publishers decided which features to publish and which features to cancel?

It's hard to say, but surveys like this probably helped )


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