Classic Covers Question
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7 hours ago, N e r V said:

That would be James Steranko...:tonofbricks:

That's a good "gotcha" post.   Context is everything and that brief excerpt from Steranko's History just didn't provide enough.  It's been awhile since I read both volumes, but I should've recognized the source.  That's on me.

Indeed, his comments are well written, but in retrospect, I'm inclined to disagree with Jim's sentiment about Cap's growth as a character and tarnished dignity.  The trends were changing to horror, but Cap had been moving right along with them.  The decision to drop the character and continue Cap's numbering was probably more about the strength of the horror trend and saving the cost of another 2nd class mailing permit.  

 

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Kind of ironic actually. Many of the early Cap books had a pretty heavy horror slant. Seems a little fitting that he left the same way.

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8 hours ago, Cat-Man_America said:

That's a good "gotcha" post.   Context is everything and that brief excerpt from Steranko's History just didn't provide enough.  It's been awhile since I read both volumes, but I should've recognized the source.  That's on me.

Indeed, his comments are well written, but in retrospect, I'm inclined to disagree with Jim's sentiment about Cap's growth as a character and tarnished dignity.  The trends were changing to horror, but Cap had been moving right along with them.  The decision to drop the character and continue Cap's numbering was probably more about the strength of the horror trend and saving the cost of another 2nd class mailing permit.  

 

 

1 hour ago, Robot Man said:

Kind of ironic actually. Many of the early Cap books had a pretty heavy horror slant. Seems a little fitting that he left the same way.

Well horror as a genre was still very early on in July of 1949 when Cap #74 was out but it would mostly replace superhero sales when it got going and not become a regular part of the superhero formula with any degree of success. Timely from the beginning showed off its pulp roots with its villains and some of the dark stories/fates it took them on. Timely always was the closest publisher in comics to the pulps from day 1. That tinge of horror ran throughout its line before, during and after the war with varying degrees.

Superman existed prior to the war by a number of years. He was the beginning of the superhero formula and a proven success. The war provided him with a worthy advisory at the time and he saw benefit from it in sales. After the war he being the number 1 guy in comics received  nice media exposure from the serials and into his own tv series later. In comics Mort Weisinger took a new approach to the character that helped give him a life after the war.

Batman had his own universe he operated in. He also existed  well before the war started and had one of the best rogues gallery to keep him busy fighting crime. He didn’t need a war to keep him occupied. I actually think some of his best stories were post war. As the number 2 guy it would be years before he entered into his fat Elvis period in the later part of the 1950’s and DC would need to address his “fall” with a revamp.

Captain America was released one year before the US got involved with world war 2. At the time in the US the war was raging all around Americans and was on their minds now. It didn’t matter if they were for or against it now the US government was all but in it officially and when Cap was punching Hilter on the cover every one knew who he was. So much so Hilter appears yet again on the second issue. The series had the advantage of having Simon & Kirby do its first 10 issues and by the time they left the US was about in the war anyway and Cap became the poster child of US involvement in the war. How much more in your face is a superhero wearing the American flag as a uniform? Captain America started his crime based stories about a year before the war ended but they obviously didn’t work well enough to sustain him. The introduction of Golden Girl and the strange removal of Bucky shows some last gasp attempts at saving the character. It wasn’t a story or art problem either because both seemed fine. Fans at the time just weren’t interested in his new post war role of crime fighting. Perhaps if Simon & Kirby or another creative force were around to retool the character he might have survived the decade. Years later Stan Lee took a different approach with the “man out of time” concept to make him work in the silver age. I don’t know if Stan ever realized it but that was clearly a nod to Cap’s previous problem at the end. A superhero now out of his “time” (the war years).

 

No “gotcha” posting was intended. :foryou:

I never get tired of seeing collections like yours or Bedrocks posted here so it wasn’t intended as a slight to you...

 

 

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2 hours ago, Robot Man said:

Kind of ironic actually. Many of the early Cap books had a pretty heavy horror slant. Seems a little fitting that he left the same way.

Yeah, there’s an obvious irony to it.  Each publisher made calculated strategic choices in positioning themselves for market share.  MLJ was ...arguably... the biggest purveyor of shock and horror in WWII, until they discovered the strength of the teen humor market, grabbed the lead with Archie and gradually distanced themselves from the war-horror imagery altogether.  

DC took another approach in WWII.  National never delved in horror as such, and kept a tight reign on violent story content.  They stood by their tent-pole superheroes (Superman, BatMan & Wonder Woman) throughout the GA without ever canceling these lines, dropping secondary characters as numbers fell, but still holding onto the strongest into the early 1950’s, after horror and crime books were the dominant force.

Fawcett was DC’s greatest competition in the superhero market and managed to hold it’s own into the 1950’s in spite of changing trends.  Fawcett’s horror line was anemic, but the success of Captain Marvel and the Marvel family with younger readers thrived even in the film medium (ergo The Good Humor Man).  It took a long delayed civil lawsuit decision to make Fawcett throw in the towel and the ramifications of that are still being felt today.

Quality was never strong on the superhero genre and failed to make a mark in horror, but “Busy” Arnold continued Plastic Man and Doll Man even after the CCA completely changed the landscape.  Falling sales and debts probably persuaded the publisher to sell his portfolio of characters to DC (which continued the military Blackhawk team unabated, but dropped both Plastic Man and Doll Man).

In spite of arguments to the contrary, Timely/Atlas/Marvel always seemed to have a good feel for changing market trends, call it luck or whatever.  Perhaps they were a bit too quick in dropping superheroes or too slow in adapting them as with modest changes ...like PRIZE Comics did with Frankenstein moving between comedy and horror... that market might’ve remained viable.  Looking at the numbers of horror and war books published under the Atlas banner it’s hard to imagine Martin Goodman’s company wasn’t reaping a lion’s share of the horror profits while that gravy train was rolling down the rails.

Sorry, too much coffee today.  If your eyes aren’t glazed over already go for the glazed donuts; the choice is your’s. :grin:

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1 hour ago, N e r V said:

 

Well horror as a genre was still very early on in July of 1949 when Cap #74 was out but it would mostly replace superhero sales when it got going and not become a regular part of the superhero formula with any degree of success. Timely from the beginning showed off its pulp roots with its villains and some of the dark stories/fates it took them on. Timely always was the closest publisher in comics to the pulps from day 1. That tinge of horror ran throughout its line before, during and after the war with varying degrees.

Superman existed prior to the war by a number of years. He was the beginning of the superhero formula and a proven success. The war provided him with a worthy advisory at the time and he saw benefit from it in sales. After the war he being the number 1 guy in comics received  nice media exposure from the serials and into his own tv series later. In comics Mort Weisinger took a new approach to the character that helped give him a life after the war.

Batman had his own universe he operated in. He also existed  well before the war started and had one of the best rogues gallery to keep him busy fighting crime. He didn’t need a war to keep him occupied. I actually think some of his best stories were post war. As the number 2 guy it would be years before he entered into his fat Elvis period in the later part of the 1950’s and DC would need to address his “fall” with a revamp.

Captain America was released one year before the US got involved with world war 2. At the time in the US the war was raging all around Americans and was on their minds now. It didn’t matter if they were for or against it now the US government was all but in it officially and when Cap was punching Hilter on the cover every one knew who he was. So much so Hilter appears yet again on the second issue. The series had the advantage of having Simon & Kirby do its first 10 issues and by the time they left the US was about in the war anyway and Cap became the poster child of US involvement in the war. How much more in your face is a superhero wearing the American flag as a uniform? Captain America started his crime based stories about a year before the war ended but they obviously didn’t work well enough to sustain him. The introduction of Golden Girl and the strange removal of Bucky shows some last gasp attempts at saving the character. It wasn’t a story or art problem either because both seemed fine. Fans at the time just weren’t interested in his new post war role of crime fighting. Perhaps if Simon & Kirby or another creative force were around to retool the character he might have survived the decade. Years later Stan Lee took a different approach with the “man out of time” concept to make him work in the silver age. I don’t know if Stan ever realized it but that was clearly a nod to Cap’s previous problem at the end. A superhero now out of his “time” (the war years).

 

No “gotcha” posting was intended. :foryou:

I never get tired of seeing collections like yours or Bedrocks posted here so it wasn’t intended as a slight to you...

 

 

No harm done. I was a little upset with myself for not immediately recognizing the source.  I know Jim Steranko and that comment seemed out of character based on my recollection.  I’d made an assumption without rereading his full commentary on Cap published in Steranko’s History of Comics.  This was entirely my fault.  (thumbsu

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Posted (edited)

First post for me...   I bought a few goldens out of a collection including this Action 64 (First Toyman).  My one and only double cover. 

Craig 

IMG_2467.JPG

IMG_2465.JPG

IMG_2466.JPG

Edited by Craig Collins
wrong spot

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