||Star Spangled Comics
In retrospect, Star Spangled Comics has not enjoyed
the respect the title deserves considering its status
as a long-running successful Golden Age anthology.
In one respect Star Spangled – for some reason
National Comics did not hyphenate the title –was
the company's last link to the Golden Age. By the
time the last issue, #130 (July 1952) appeared, the
other Golden Age titles left at DC were destined
to survive all the way into the Bronze Age and in some
Star Spangled, though, was converted into one of
DC's first three war titles. By the 1960s, during the
of comic fandom, the original run of Star Spangled
had been largely forgotten, even though it was one
of DC's fabulous "Big Eight" monthly anthology titles.
Star Spangled was the seventh anthology to arrive on the Golden Age scene, with #1 (Oct. 1941) soon followed by the eighth, Sensation #1 (Jan. 1942). Star Spangled outlasted all but Action, Adventure and Detective.
If you want the best examples of Star Spangled, you should best ignore the first six issues and start with #7 (April 1942) – a genuine collectible with debuts of Simon & Kirby's dynamic Newsboy Legion/Guardian series along with Robotman and T.N.T. with Dan, the Dyna-Mite. Only two super heroes appeared in the first six issues – Star
Spangled Kid (with Stripesy) and Tarantula, but you
also get those worthy fellows in #7-19.
Legion and their partner the Guardian, who beat S&K's Boy Commandos to the newsstands by two months with Detective #64 (June 1942), were pure Golden Age fun at its dynamic best, courtesy of the frenetic approach to storytelling of the inimitable S&K.
The covers were all great examples of Golden Age storytelling.
Every Golden Age collector should try to get at least
a couple of issues of Star Spangled #7-19, but they
won't come cheap. Issue #7, valued at $637 in "good" in the Overstreet Price Guide,
may be out of reach of many collectors and the others
all run in the $125-250 range, even in "good."
Tarantula, an intriguing backup strip, bowed out in
#19 (April 1943) as one of the first DC heroes to vanish.
T.N.T. and Dan followed into the comic book
in #23 (Aug. 1943). By then, though, there was a more interesting character
to follow – Liberty Belle, the All-American Girl, who made her debut in #20 (May 1943).
Liberty Belle appeared only in Star Spangled during
the Golden Age, but she had a respectable run for a
patriotic backup costumed hero – 49 consecutive
stories. She last appeared in #68 (May 1947), to be
replaced in #69 by Tomahawk. Liberty Belle was that
rare backup feature treated with total respect –she
appeared in 10-page stories except for a few 9-pagers.
Ideally, to balance out your Star Spangled collection,
you need a couple of issues with Liberty Belle.
Robin, the Boy Wonder, began appearing solo in
Star Spangled #65 (Feb. 1947), replacing the
Newsboy Legion, who never achieved the overall
the Boy Commandos. Batman made several cameo appearances with his young
partner and also appeared in standard Batman/Robin
action in #88-94 stories that
could just as easily have appeared in Detective. For some reason, those
of Star Spangled can be tough to find, along with other issues numbered
in the #80-87 range.
Robotman bowed out of Star Spangled in #82 (July
1948), switching to Detective to make room for Captain
Compass, one of DC's least memorable anthology
characters unless you love sea stories.
Stripesy, one of the worst of DC's Golden Age characters,
last appeared in the Star Spangled Kid strip in #81,
to be supplanted by Merry, Girl
Gimmicks in #82. In turn, she took over the Star Spangled Kid strip
in #84 and began appearing on her own in #87. Her
short run ended in #90
(March 1949), just one more victim, albeit little known, of DC's costume
Your best bet, then, is to get Star Spangled #88,
89 or 90, since you have rousing Batman and Robin stories,
along with tales of Merry, Tomahawk and Captain Compass
providing a good feel for the changes the title underwent.
Robin's last cover appearance was #95 (Aug. 1949),
to be supplanted by a long series of highly attractive
Tomahawk covers on #96-121.
Some of those covers alone make a few issues worth
Otherwise, your best bet is to pick up
at least a couple of issues of Star Spangled #122-130,
which feature nifty eight-page stories of Dr. Thirteen,
the Ghost-Breaker, one of DC's best supernatural-story
types. All of those final nine issues of Star Spangled
are pretty tough to find, especially #130. They
also feature the final solo appearances of Robin along
with Tomahawk, who gained his own title in 1950.
Dr. Thirteen was a nifty character, but perhaps
a bit too close in hoax-breaking theme to Detective's
long-running Roy Raymond, who lasted into the
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Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon
Amazing top-notch A-List artists + a huge room full
of comic book dealers selling tons of comics + throngs
of excited and loyal fans = The Paradise Comics Toronto
Comicon. Of course, CGC was there in the thick of it
and enjoying every minute, doubling submissions from
the last show which was in Toronto. Our submissions
weren’t just doubled in total volume of books,
but we also easily doubled the number of different customers
that submitted their comic books and comic magazines
to us! The prestigious CGC Signature Series took off
at the show and accounted for almost half of our total
Convention organizers, Peter Dixon and Kevin Boyd, set
up a great show that included a charity auction on Saturday
night that raised over $4,000 (Canadian dollars) for
The Canadian Children’s Help Line, The North York
Harvest Foodbank and A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR).
Following the auction, CGC Forum Members went to what
has fast become a convention event, the CGC Forum dinner.
L to R: comicmanager, ecfanman, plitch, paradisecomics,
"We are very pleased with how the show went. Everyone
had a lot of positive things to say. We are very relieved
that the dealers that came from the States like Harley
Yee and Koop’s Comics did so well," said
Peter Dixon. Another Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon
is scheduled for June 2004.
Jim Starlin, kevthemev, hogations, DAM60, AlexH
"I'm really happy with the feedback that I've been
getting from the fans, dealers and guests at Comicon.
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we
are strongly encouraged not to give up. I think we really
connected with the committed comic book fans in Toronto
and I'm really glad that CGC was able to be a part of
it. The first three questions we were asked about the
convention were 1) When is it? 2) What guests will be
there? and 3) Is CGC going to be there," said Kevin
Boyd after the show. Knowing Peter Dixon and Kevin Boyd’s
keen eye for detail and their knowledge of what makes
for a great show, next year’s show will not be
one to miss!
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