Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Number 1166: The All-American flying, two-fisted, butt-kicking girl

Miss America was one of the patriotic heroines of World War II, created for Marvel Mystery Comics in 1943. You can read her history here. Otto Binder is credited for her creation, as he is for these two seven-page backup stories from Marvel Mystery Comics #52 and #56, both 1944. The Grand Comics Database credits Charles Nicholas with pencils and inks.

I like Miss America, and I like the earnest attempt to create a super character for girls. Miss America is slim and svelte, looks like a teenager, but looks can be deceiving. She can fly, put a grown man out with her fists, and give the heave-ho to enemies of Uncle Sam.

I found these stories online in about 2003, and saved them. They were only 500 pixels wide. I have enlarged them to 725 pixels. If you are the person who put these online originally I'd like to hear from you, give credit where it's due.

Today is the release date for Zombies, yet another book in Craig Yoe's fantastic series of comic book reprints.

This time Craig has teamed up with one of the great bloggers, Steve "Karswell" Banes of The Horrors Of It All. I've followed Steve's blog since its inception, and his knowledge of horror comics of the 1950s is unparalleled. Craig was right to get Steve to help, because in my opinion there isn't anyone more qualified.

I haven't seen the book, and yet I'm recommending it. Readers who've read my past reviews of the series know how highly I prize these books from Yoe, not just for their contents, but for their permanence. When you buy a Yoe book you are buying a guarantee of a quality product, printing, paper, binding...there is no skimping, but the books are very affordable. You can't afford to miss them, that's for sure.

Go to or Yoe Books to order. If you're fortunate enough to have a great comic shop locally that carries these books, please support them.


Chuck Wells said...

Pappy, there used to be a really cool webpage that had posted quite a few Miss America stories. I enjoyed her bronze age appearances as a member of The Liberty Legion and in issues of The Invaders, but I've always wondered why Marvel didn't choose to revive her, since every one of her golden age adventures was topnotch?

TheUUShadow said...

Great to see two of Miss Americas golden age stories. She had a minor resurgence in the 70's as a member of The Libety Legion. She died of cancer as told in a flashback in The Avengers.

Regarding Yoe Books, I can't express my agreement with you strongly enough. I've loved every precious tome I've gotten from them!

Pappy said...

Chuck, considering how modern day comics creators choose to treat Golden Age characters maybe we're lucky they didn't do Miss America.

That Miss America webpage you remember is where I got the scans for these stories. I remember I had dial-up internet and a modem in those days. It took forever to download these things, but I liked them enough to put up with the inconvenience. I'm glad I did.

Pappy said...

UUShadow, thanks for your note. I have a few more of these stories in my files, and I hope to get to them someday. I issue my standard disclaimer: don't hold your breath or they'll be calling you blue boy.

Also, thanks for reinforcing what I said about Yoebooks: "I've loved every precious tome I've gotten from them!" is how I feel.

In a larger sense, we're living in a Golden Age for comic book reprints, what with thousands of Golden Age comics available online, several blogs showing old comic book stories, and books from Yoe, Fantagraphics, Dark Horse, and several other publishers reprinting classic comics. It was what I used to dream about when I was a kid, just starting out in comics fandom in have all these wonderful comics available. Despite these cultural riches I have a problem: 1) I'm retired and on a fixed income, so I can't buy every book I want, and 2) even if I could afford them I'd have to buy another house just to make room for them. So I stick with what I like the most, and that's still enough that books are crowding me out of my home. What a pleasant problem.

Brian Barnes said...

Somebody call Marvel Boy, this is how a superhero should act! It's amazing how vastly different the approaches are, for what is pretty much the same time period in comics.

It's almost the polar opposite; Marvel Boy pretty much just runs around doing nothing until a resolution falls in his lap, Miss America literally punches everybody until there is nobody left. The way she immediately just jumps the shop keeper (with what evidence?) is great.

It's a bit weird how many times they mention that she's "slim" in the opening pages of the first story.

Pappy said...

Of course she's slim, Gumba...she was probably hanging out with her high school buddies at Pop's Chok'lit Shoppe, five straws sharing one Coca-Cola. No McDonald's super-sized McCalories in those days!

darkmark said...

The guy who put them up is Dennis Mallonee.

Pappy said...

Darkmark, thanks for the information, and thanks to Dennis Mallonee, to whom this posting is dedicated. Thanks for the scans, Dennis.