Thursday, 3 September 2009

70 Years Of Marvel - 1942

By 1942, America was firmly involved in WW2, and so were its superheroes. In addition to Cap, Namor and the Torch, there was a second wave of heroes turning out to help fight the Axis hordes. Let's see, who have we got here..?

First, on the left, we have Captain Daring, who, according to the link, fought the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler in the 31st century. I promise I didn't just make that up, although I suspect International Hero did...
Next up, we have the Fin, an American sailor who discovered that sinking to the bottom of the ocean gives you super-strength. Not one of Bill Everett's finest creations, the Fin vanished without trace at the end of the war. Shame, that.
In the centre, we see the Thunderer, so named because his costume contained a built-in microphone, which he used to amplify his voice, "thundering" at his enemies. So, sort of like Black Bolt, but far lamer than Black Bolt could ever dream of being.
Alongside the Thunderer is Citizen V, who longtime readers of my other blog may recall I have something of an affection for. A British soldier who adopted a secret identity, and who went on a one-man rampage across occupied Europe, striking terror into the enemy, Citizen V vanished without a trace at the end of the war, and was unheard of until 1997, when Kurt Busiek chose to use him, or a version of him, as the centrepiece of the Thunderbolts, a different sort of superhero team. In one form or another, he's been around ever since.
Next to Citizen V is Blue Diamond, a terribly obscure hero powered by a super-magical diamond, who made his one and only contemporary appearance in this very issue, spent the next 30 years in limbo, before being revived (albeit in flashback) by Golden Age aficionado, Roy Thomas.
And lastly, in that box down there, we have the Silver Scorpion, another hero who was plucked out of obscurity to be a member of the V-Battalion, courtesy of a 21st century retcon.

And there you have it, a genuine bona fide Golden Age legion of substitute heroes. Of course, most people were choosing to read about Cap, Namor or the Torch, which is why Ed Brubaker isn't currently writing about the exploits of the Thunderer, or, God help us, the Fin.

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