ths-dev.microassisthosting.com/140-hydroxychloroquine-e.php Superheroes, like their readers, widely joined the war effort. Superman , a symbol of American patriotism in his blue-and-red uniform, fought tyrants and dictators and even apprehended both Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin in a special comic prepared in for Look magazine. Captain Marvel and other superheroes also clobbered Nazi and Japanese soldiers on the covers of their comics, even before the December bombing of Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the conflict. It was MU Publications—the company that would later be known as Archie Comics—that introduced the first specifically patriotic superhero: the Shield, in Pep Comics 1 January , a red-white-and-blue-garbed crime fighter who used his superpowers, obtained from a secret formula, to protect American soil from enemy saboteurs and spies.
Even Uncle Sam , the symbol of U.
Army recruitment, was a superhero during the s. A superhero was not required to wear stars and stripes to fight the Axis. The grimly clad Hangman punched out Nazis, Batman and Robin sold war bonds, and even the undersea terrorist Sub-Mariner —dressed in nothing but green swim trunks—redirected his aggression from attacking New York landmarks toward sinking Japanese subs. Daredevil 1 in The comic-book industry flourished from a mere six companies in the pre-Superman days of to two dozen by the early s, some of them manufacturing comics in unsavory, assembly-line conditions that resembled sweatshops.
Original art pages shuffled down lines of artists, each with his or her own task: one would letter the word balloons, one would ink faces, one would ink figures, and one would ink backgrounds. Artists and writers of the era sometimes huddled collectively into New York City apartments for an entire weekend of all-nighters, grinding out pages at a frantic pace. A Newsweek article cited 25 million copies of comic books being sold each month. By the mids, eager would-be publishers were blockaded from entering this expanding field by the paper shortages of World War II.
Kids were encouraged to donate their used comics to paper drives, resulting in their rarity in the 21st century; high-grade copies of s comics can now command prices in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Voraciously reading these comics were millions of American boys. The medium spoke to them, its superheroes offering inspiration during a trying time.
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In retrospect, the era is better remembered for its novelty and profusion, not for the quality of its material. Most superhero stories at this time were primitively scripted and crudely drawn, yet audiences then were less discerning, seeking escapism rather than artistic or intellectual engagement. There were exceptions, though. Other standouts highly regarded by collectors and historians include: the charming Captain Marvel tales whimsically drawn by C. Cultural stereotyping , reflecting the social prejudices of the day, was rampant during the Golden Age of superheroes.
To be fair, there was no bigoted board of comics creators orchestrating these characterizations. Interestingly, Germans—other than Adolf Hitler, a short, comical-looking man ripe for caricature—were rarely stereotyped physically, given their physiological similarities to Anglo-Americans. But these pejorative portrayals were justified, many thought in the early s. His multicultural heritage was often referenced in passing but never fully explored during the Golden Age.
World War II only worsened the Asian stereotype. Kato, the Japanese houseboy and high-kicking companion to the Green Hornet , became a Filipino after the Pearl Harbor bombing. On the rare occasions they appeared in print, African Americans were shown as manservants or comic-relief sidekicks. Yet some favorable multicultural depictions did occur during the Golden Age, most notably in Blackhawk. The end of World War II nearly marked the end of the superhero. With the Axis forces eliminated as the menace du jour , the number of superhero titles dwindled.
Publishers went out of business, and those that survived pivoted not on superheroes but on new genres of comics like funny animals, Westerns, horror, crime, romance, and science fiction , although sales of such titles were lucky to reach half of the readership generated during the World War II boom. Common themes also changed. Radiation-spawned monsters became a recurring theme in superhero comics by the s; Plastic Man fought giant ants, and Batman and Robin were plagued by giant bees.
Frederic Wertham. A psychologist, Wertham published a book titled Seduction of the Innocent , indicting comic books for causing juvenile delinquency and moral decay among youth. Rather than fall under the wrath of the federal government, in September of that year the comic-book industry created the Comics Magazine Association of America CMAA , an organization made up of all comic-book publishers that wanted to get their comic books distributed.
The CMAA immediately went to work adopting the self-censoring Comics Code Authority CCA , whose 41 standards described strict editorial guidelines for depicting sex, crime, horror, and violence within the pages of comics. Sales shrunk even more, as many parents forbade their children from reading comics.
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