Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Knights Wore Khaki

"The Knights Wore Khaki" from Boy Commandos #2 (World's Best, 1943) by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon
Simon and Kirby had had some success following the sidekick trend with "kid gangs" comics, including the Sentinels of Liberty (AKA the Young Allies) for Timely, and then the Newsboy Legion at what would resolve into DC Comics, but the Boy Commandos would prove their most enduring hit in the genre. They started out in Detective, then moved to World's Finest, and soon got their own series in 1942. Believe it or not, they were part of DC's top three bestsellers, right behind Superman and Batman. The Boy Commandos took the fight to the Ratzies four years past the actual end of the war, and benefited, as you can see above, from Kirby's considerable imagination for mashing up all manner of material.

The most famous of the Boy Commandos? Brooklyn. Post-Crisis (and animated series) Superman fans know him better as "Terrible" Dan Turpin (who was drawn AS Kirby on the cartoon). The rest did appear as adults as well, in a short Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) arc. Not the same. The Superman books back then were really good at keeping Kirby's legacy alive (the Newsboys and Project Cadmus too).

3 comments:

  1. You know...there is literally nothing that can't be enhanced with the judicious use of Nazis as villains.

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  2. The best villain is a Nazi. The best monster is a dinosaur. The best sympathetic menace or hero is an ape. It's how I rate all comics and role-playing games.

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