Leading Comics #14 Spring 1945 Cover by Jon Small and the story “The Bandits from the Book” by Joe Samachson.
A scientist, Dr. Wimsett, brings fictional characters from books to life with his formula. He keeps those characters locked inside of his house, but one day he forgets to put the lock on and all of them except Humpty Dumpty run away. The Seven Soldiers of Victory encounter Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Hamlet, Long John Silver, Falstaff, Uriah Heep, the Chershire Cat, the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, and Lilliputians from Gulliver’s Travels. The Seven Soldiers of Victory take it upon themselves to find and bring the runaways back home. This would be the last time the Seven Soldiers of Victory appeareduntil Justice League of America #100-#102 in 1972 twenty seven years later . After issue #14, the Seven Soldiers were dropped from Leading Comics and beginning with issue #15 in the Summer of 1945 and would become a funny animal title. At issue #34 in 1948, the comic was retitled Leading Screen Comics and would continue until the last issue #77 in August-September 1955.
My gorgeous copy of Leading Comics #14 came to me by being in the right place at the right time! In January 2020 during the Sunday of the Costa Mesa Comic Con, I was looking through a dealer’s box and found one of the Leading Comics I still needed. It was a raw book. Another collector noticed that I had pulled the Leading Comics out of the box and asked me if that was a title I collected. I told him it was. He then asked me which issues I still needed. There were like 3 of them at that point that I still needed. When I told him #14, he said good luck finding that one!!! I’ve been looking for a copy for over 20 years now!!! After he left, I was pretty upset thinking well here I am again with a title that I am close to completing and this guy tells me he hasn’t found a #14 in over 20 years. I can’t be looking for it for 20 years! Hell, I might be dead before I find it!
That night after I had finished eating dinner, I was still depressed thinking about the #14. I laid down on the couch with my iPad and went on eBay. I went into the search area and typed in “Leading Comics CGC” and sorted them by the newest listing. Suddenly I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!! In a fortunate stroke of serendipity, there before my eyes was not only a Leading Comics #14, but an absolutely gorgeous 9.0 copy with a buy it now of only $595!!!! I couldn’t buy it quick enough and four days later, it was in my hands where it shall remain for many years to come.