World War II Era Adventure Comics Meet 2016

 

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Reading adventure comics from World War II in today’s political climate is startling. The whole country may not be as tuned into and invested in our modern wars as Americans of the 1940’s were. However, the themes in the 2016 presidential race are reflected in the anxiety-fueled, hyper-masculinity these vintage comics present. From “Americas Most Exciting Fiction for Men” featuring The Sword of Don Manuel, “a brave sword, a proud sword” to visualizations of “…strange, menacing invaders from another world, growing and multiplying, ever more powerful, filling the earth with fear,” in Fantastic Novels magazine, flipping through these pages one can feel it tugging at the way some Americans feel about the modern world. If we suppose that this era was when America was great, some feel that for it great again, a douse of super-ego masculinity should save us from foreign, unfamiliar threats. The oversimplification of good and evil, of the nature of fear, is charming in comics. It is less-so in actual politics.

Remind you of anything you’ve heard or seen in the current media?

"Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow" Summer, 1942, (p.12-13)

“Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow” Summer, 1942, (p.12-13)

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"It was a brave sword, a proud sword, and along its shining blade ran the stern warning: 'Blood Me Not in Dishonor.'"  "Adventure Magazine: 'America's Most Exciting Fiction for Men'" September, 1950 p.40.

“It was a brave sword, a proud sword, and along its shining blade ran the stern warning: ‘Blood Me Not in Dishonor.'”
“Adventure Magazine: ‘America’s Most Exciting Fiction for Men'” September, 1950 p.40.

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 "Life out of stardust—strange, menacing invaders from another world, growing and multiplying, ever more powerful, filling the earth with fear."  "Fantastic Novels Magazine" May, 1950, p.15

“Life out of stardust—strange, menacing invaders from another world, growing and multiplying, ever more powerful, filling the earth with fear.”
“Fantastic Novels Magazine” May, 1950, p.15

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About the author

Laken Sylvander is an undergraduate pursuing degrees in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and French as a member of the class of 2017.