Like Golden Age Ike, and his god-like control of the weather – Heroic Comics #31
Here on the blog we’ve examined many of the thick, meaty Golden Age tomes that once upon a time youths of yore could buy for a mere dime. Though the quality of the storytelling within could be iffy, especially when read through our jaded post-millennium eyes, there was a lot of bang for your ten cents — in terms of quantity, if not in quality. Can you get odd, clunky, glorious miniature biographies of personages as diverse as Eddie Cantor and Will Rogers in the modern rack fodder? Not really, no. Even if you’d want to.
Heroic Comics was no different from its kinsmen, and it had badass painted covers like the Harvey Fuller one seen above. An American destroyer explosively sinking its Japanese naval opponent? Please tell us more, comic book!
As the star-spangled title would indicate, Heroic Comics told stories of individual and small group valor, feats of derring-do and courageous last stands against all odds. The book is divided into two halves (though no real marker is seen), between more mature, real-life stories, and more cartoony, funny pages fare starring characters long forgotten. It’s in the first half that the charm of the book lies. Since this book was published in 1945, there’s a heavy dose of World War II heroism to be found in the several page shorts. Had to keep the literate youths pumped up with wholesome propaganda, after all. There’s aerial exploits in “By the Skin of Their Teeth”:
There’s more sky heroism in “Freeing the Maquis”:
There’s a paean to Jemadar Abdul Hafiz, who battled “Japs” to the death in India:
And tons more.
Most interestingly, there’s a four page story devoted to, of all things, the weather, with a senses-shattering cameo by Dwight D. Eisenhower, back when he was simply the Supreme Allied Commander, not yet the President of the United States. (Really, when your job title once had “Supreme” in it, anything after is a bit of a comedown.):
Fear not, weather nerds. This short goes into excruciating detail on the key component that weather prediction was/is to military planning — and anyone who knows their D-Day history understands that. There are even some modest little technical diagrams to go along with it:
The funnies in the second half are 100% forgettable. Well, 99% forgettable, since Vitaman (not to be confused with this Vita-Man), a husky lad with a red feather in his ear who gains super-strength when he takes a B1 tablet, is a spitting image for Big Boy:
And what more can you say. You got a lot with Heroic Comics. Most of it wasn’t that great, but, like modern processed food, there sure was a ton of it. And weather! And Ike! For a dime! Screw the March of Dimes and kids with polio, keep buying comics!