U.S.A. Comics

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U.S.A. Comics
U.S.A. Comics #1 (Aug. 1941), featuring the Defender. Cover art by Jack Kirby (penciler) & Joe Simon (inker).
Publication information
Publisher Timely Comics
Schedule Monthly (1941-44)
Quarterly (1944-45)
Publication date August 1941 - Fall 1945
No. of issues 17
Creative team
Written by Stan Lee
Joe Simon
Artist(s) Jack Kirby
Alex Schomburg
Basil Wolverton

U.S.A. Comics was an American comic-book series published by Marvel Comics' 1930-1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books.

A superhero anthology running 17 issues cover-dated August 1941 to Fall 1945, it showcased early work by industry legends Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and famed cartoonist Basil Wolverton, introduced the Whizzer and other characters, and for much of its run starred Captain America during that long-running character's World War II height of popularity.

Publication history[edit]

U.S.A. Comics came from publisher Martin Goodman's Timely Comics, which by the early 1960s would evolve into Marvel. It was initially edited by Joe Simon, Timely's first editor, followed briefly by future Marvel chief Stan Lee very early in his career, and then by interim editor Vincent Fago during Lee's U.S. military duty from early 1942 through 1945.

A superhero anthology with no regular starring feature until Captain America began headlining with issue #6 (Dec. 1942), U.S.A. Comics introduced at least two notable characters: super-speedster the Whizzer and mythological ice-king Jack Frost, both in issue #1 (Aug. 1941). Both heroes were revived in 1970s Marvel Comics, generally but not exclusively in flashback stories depicting them in retroactive continuity as members of the World War II superhero team called the Liberty Legion. The first Jack Frost story, penciled by Charles Nicholas, is the leading contender for Lee's first published comics script, as opposed to a text story.[1]

Additional superheroes introduced in U.S.A. Comics include the Defender, by co-creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Mr. Liberty (renamed Major Liberty the following issue),[2] Rockman,[3] and Young Avenger, all in issue #1; Captain Terror,[4] and the Vagabond in issue #2 (Nov. 1941); crusading reporter Tom Powers in the feature "Powers of the Press" in issue #3 (Jan. 1942); the American Avenger in issue #5 (Summer 1942);[5] and the war-hero feature "Jap Buster Johnson" in issue # 6 (Dec. 1942).

The first several appearances of Captain America in U.S.A. Comics were bullpen collaborations involving multiple pencilers likely including Al Avison, Syd Shores, Mike Sekowsky, Ernie Hart and a young Carmine Infantino, with inkers including Hart and George Klein.[6][7] As of early 2013, comics historians have not identified the creative teams behind the character's appearances in issue #9 or #11 onward.

Alex Schomburg, Timely's most prolific early cover artist, drew the covers of issues #4, 6-7, 12-13, and 15. Unusually, Schomburg provided interior artwork for the Captain Daring story in #7. This Captain Daring is not the character who appeared in later issues of Daring Mystery Comics, but is instead a continuation of the "G-Man Don Gorman" feature from Daring Mystery Comics #4.[8]

Collected editions[edit]

  • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age USA Comics Vol. 1 (U.S.A. Comics #1-4)
  • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age USA Comics Vol. 2 (U.S.A. Comics #5-8)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vassallo, Michael J. "Carmine Infantino (1925-2013) - The Timely Years". Timely-Atlas-Comics. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Nevins, Jess.Major Liberty at Nevins, Jess, A Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. Archived 2010-08-21 at WebCite of latter.
  3. ^ Nevins, Nevins: Rockman
  4. ^ Nevins, Nevins, Captain Terror
  5. ^ Nevins, Nevins: American Avenger
  6. ^ Vassallo, Michael J. (2010). "Introduction". In Cory Sedlmeier, ed. Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age USA Comics, Vol. 2. New York: Marvel Worldwide, Inc. pp. vi–x. 
  7. ^ Grand Comics Database: U.S.A. Comics #10 (Sept. 1943)
  8. ^ Vassallo, Michael J. "USA Comics Volume 2 Golden-Age Masterworks". Timely-Atlas-Comics. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 

External links[edit]