Ace Comics (publishers)

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Not to be confused with Ace Comics. ‹See Tfd›
Ace Comics
Former type Comic book publisher
Industry Publishing
Founded 1940
Founder(s) Aaron A. Wyn, Rose Wyn
Defunct 1956
Headquarters Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Products Comics
Parent Periodical House,
Magazine Publishers

Ace Comics was the banner under which pulp magazine publisher Aaron A. Wyn and his wife Rose Wyn produced comic books between 1940 and the end of 1956. The Wyns had been publishing pulp fiction under the Periodical House and Magazine Publishers names since 1928. Like many comic book publishers of the day, Ace Comics earlier series included costumed superheroes, although as trends in the comic book market changed by the 1950s the focus shifted more to other genres, such as crime, horror, romance, and later, Westerns.

Their most successful, and longest-running, superhero title was Super-Mystery Comics featuring Magno the Magnetic Man and his boy partner Davey, who appeared in 28 issues of the title's 48-issue run. Horror titles included Baffling Mysteries, Hand of Fate and Web of Mystery, while their contribution to the crime comics genre was Crime Must Pay the Penalty (the title later shortened to Penalty for the final two issues). Their longest running series were the company's Romance titles Glamorous Romances, Love At First Sight, Love Experiences and Real Love, which began in the late 1940s as the superhero books faded away, and continued until the company ceased publishing comic books in 1956 as a result of the introduction of the Comics Code Authority. Other long running Romance titles such as Complete Love Magazine and Ten Story Love began as pulp romance titles before switching to comics format in the early 1950s.

A number of Ace stories were used as examples of violent and gruesome imagery in the 1950s U.S Congressional inquiries into the influence of comic books on juvenile delinquency that led to the Comics Code Authority, namely Challenge of the Unknown #6, Crime Must Pay the Penalty #3 and Web of Mystery #19. Western Adventures Comics #3 was used as an example in Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, and in the United Kingdom Atomic War #4, Beyond #18 and World War III #2 were cited as examples by Geoffrey Wagner's 1954 book on the same subject, Parade of Pleasure — A Study of Popular Iconography in the U.S.A.

Although characters with the same names as Ace Comics characters have appeared elsewhere (most notably Jack Kirby's Captain Victory in an early 1980s series, and several DC Comics villains called the Black Spider), after the early 1950s all their characters remained unused until 2008, when Lash Lightning and Lightning Girl appeared in flashback in Dynamite Entertainment’s Project Superpowers. In the one-shot Project Superpowers: Chapter Two Prelude, it was stated that the two of them will appear in this line as part of a team called The Super-Mysterymen (presumably named after the Ace title Super-Mystery Comics).

Comics published[edit]

In common with most publishers' practice in the 1940s/1950's, Ace Comics titles were confusingly issued under a number of publisher's names:

  • All-Love / All Love Romances ( #26 May 1949 - #32 May 1950) - under Ace Periodicals / Current Books imprint
  • All-Romances (#1 August 1949 - #6 June 1950) - under AA Wyn / Ace Periodicals imprint
  • Andy Comics (#20 June 1948 - #21 August 1948) - under Current Publications imprint
  • Atomic War! (#1 Nov 1952 - #4 April 1953) - under Ace Periodicals / Junior Books imprint
  • Baffling Mysteries (#5 November 1951 - #26 October 1955) - under Periodical House imprint
  • Banner Comics (#3 September 1941 - #5 January 1942)
  • Beyond, The (#1 November 1950 - #30 January 1955)
  • Captain Courageous Comics (#6 1942) - under Periodical House imprint
  • Challenge of the Unknown (#6 September 1950)
  • Complete Love Magazine (v26#2 May 1951 - v32#4 September 1956) - under Ace Periodicals / Periodical House imprint
  • Crime Must Pay the Penalty (#33 February 1948 (issue #1), #2 June 1948 - #46 1955) - under Current Books imprint
  • Dotty and Her Boyfriends (#35 June 1948 - #40 May 1949) - under AA Wyn imprint
  • Ernie Comics (#22 September 1948 - #25 March 1949) - under Current Books imprint
  • Four Favorites (#1 September 1941 - #32 December 1947)
  • Four Teeners (#34 April 1948)
  • Fun Time (#1 Spring 1953 - #4 Winter 1953/4) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
  • Glamorous Romances (#41 July 1949 - #90 October 1956) - under AA Wyn imprint
  • Hand of Fate (#8 December 1951 - #25 December 1954 - includes 2 issue #25's)
  • Hap Hazard Comics (Summer 1944 - #24 February 1949) - under Reader Research imprint
  • Heroes of the Wild Frontier ( 2 issues - #27 January 1956 - #2 April 1956) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
  • Indian Braves (#1 March 1951 - #4 September 1951) - under Ace Magazines imprint
  • Lightning Comics (#4 December 1940 - #13 June 1942)
  • Love At First Sight (#1 October 1949 - #43 November 1956) - Under RAR Publishing Co / Periodical House imprints
  • Love Experiences (#1 October 1949 - #38 June 1956) - under AA Wyn / Periodical House imprint
  • Men Against Crime (#3 February 1951 - #7 October 1951) - under Ace Magazines imprint
  • Monkeyshines Comics (#1 Summer 1944 - #27 July 1949) - under Ace / Publishers Specialists / Current Books / Unity Publishing imprints
  • Mr Risk (#7 October 1950, #2 December 1950) - under Ace Magazines imprint
  • Our Flag Comics (#1 August 1941 - #5 April 1942)
  • Penalty (#47 November 1955 - #48 January 1956)
  • Real Life Secrets (#1 September 1949) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
  • Real Love (#25 April 1949 - #76 November 1956) - under AA Wyn imprint
  • Real Secrets (#2 November 1950 - #5 May 1950) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
  • Revealing Romances (#1 September 1949 - #6 August 1950) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
  • Science Comics (#1 January 1946 - #5 1946) - under Humor Publications imprint
  • Scream Comics (#1 Autumn 1944 - #19 April 1948) - under Humor Publications / Current Books / Ace imprint
  • Space Action Comics (#1 June 1952 - #3 October 1952) - under Junior Books imprint
  • Super-Mystery Comics (#1 July 1940 - vol 8#6 July 1949) - under Periodical House imprint
  • Sure Fire Comics (#1 June 1940 - #4 October 1940 - includes 2 issues #3's)
  • Ten Story Love (v29#3 June 1951 - v36#5 September 1956) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
  • Trapped! (#1 October 1954 - #4 April 1955) - under Periodical House imprint
  • Vicky Comics (October 1948 - #5 June 1949) - under Ace Magazines imprint
  • War Heroes (#1 May 1952 - #8 April 1953) - under Ace Magazines imprint
  • Web of Mystery (#1 February 1951 - #29 February 1955) - under AA Wyn imprint
  • Western Adventures Comics (#1 October 1948 - #6 August 1949) - under Ace Magazines imprint
  • Western Love Trails (#7 November 1949 - #9 March 1950) - under AA Wyn imprint
  • World War III (#1 March 1953 - #2 May 1953) - under Ace Periodicals imprint

Characters[edit]

  • Ace McCoy (in Sure-Fire Comics)
  • The Black Ace (in Four Favourites, Super-Mystery Comics)
  • The Black Spider (in Super-Mystery Comics)
  • Buckskin (in Super-Mystery Comics)
  • Buck Steele (in Sure-Fire Comics)
  • The Clown (in Super-Mystery Comics)
  • Captain Courageous (in Banner Comics, Captain Courageous Comics, Four Favourites)
  • Captain Victory (in Our Flag Comics)
  • Corporal Flint of the RCMP (in Super-Mystery Comics)
  • Dr Nemesis (in Lightning Comics, Super-Mystery Comics)
  • The Flag (in Four Favourites, Our Favourites)
  • Green Arrowhead (in Indian Braves)
  • Hap Hazard (in Four Favourites, Hap Hazard Comics)
  • The Lancer (in Super-Mystery Comics)
  • Lash Lightning and Lightning Girl (in Lightning Comics, Sure-Fire Comics (as Flash Lightning))
  • Lone Warrior and Sidekick Dicky (in Banner Comics, Captain Courageous Comics)
  • Magno the Magnetic Man (in Four Favourites, Super-Mystery Comics)
  • Marvo the Magician (in Sure-Fire Comics)
  • Mr. Risk (in Four Favourites, Men Against Crime, Mr. Risk, Our Favourites, Super-Mystery Comics)
  • The Raven (in Sure-Fire Comics and Lightning Comics) based on Ace pulp character Moon Man.
  • The Sword (in Captain Courageous Comics, Lightning Comics, Super-Mystery Comics)
  • The Unknown (in Four Favourites)
  • The Unknown Soldier (in Our Flag Comics)
  • Vulcan (in Four Favourites, Super-Mystery Comics)
  • Whiz Wilson, Time Traveler (in Sure-Fire Comics)
  • X The Phantom Fed (in Sure-Fire Comics and Lightning Comics) based on Ace pulp character Secret Agent X.

References[edit]