Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Comics Monday: America's Greatest Comics

Today we present two issues of Fawcett's America's Greatest Comics featuring Captain Marvel and a whole host of other great Fawcett heroes!

In 1939, inspired by the success of Superman, Fawcett publications writer William Parker and Fawcett staff artist Charles Clarence Beck created Captain Marvel, who was introduced in Whiz Comics #2 (February, 1940) and quickly caught on, moving into his own title, Captain Marvel Adventures, early in 1941. The success prompted spin-off characters, beginning with Captain Marvel, Jr. in 1941 and Mary Marvel in 1942. Fawcett's line of comics expanded with such colorful characters as Captain Midnight, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, Nyoka the Jungle Girl and Spy Smasher (who became Crime Smasher after WWII). The circulation of Captain Marvel Adventures continued to soar until it outsold Superman during the mid-1940s.

America's Greatest Comics

[ Download America's Greatest Comics 01 ]

A declining comics market in the 1950s, along with a major lawsuit (National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications), resulted in Fawcett folding its line of comic books. Lash Larue, Nyoka, Strange Suspense Stories and other titles were sold to Charlton Comics. In 1972, after licensing Captain Marvel and featuring him in new stories, DC Comics purchased the Marvel Family and related characters in 1991.

America's Greatest Comics 02

[ Download America's Greatest Comics 02 ]

- Enjoy!


RKB said...

It's been said before, but it's a shame about DC buying out post lawsuit the Captain Marvel family. DC has never really done them justice except for maybe jeff smith. It's even more of a shame Marvel got the name (not to mention 'daredevil' and the black terror rip off costume for the punisher)
Between lawsuits and the comics code who knows what comics could have been.
Captain Marvel isn't even my fav (I'm a lev gleason/ charles biro fan), but I still like Cap's stories better than Superman. Nothing much ever done for supes (in any time period) compares to the Captain Marvel vs. Mr. Mind epic.
you have to kind of love those golden age titles where they throw everything and the kitchen sink into the comic.

Jim Shelley said...

RKB - you are not alone in thinking DC has really mishandled the Fawcett characters. Erik Larsen has said as much himself. I was actually very disappointed with the Jeff Smith version as well. What should have been a fun, quick read for kids turned into the rather boring and dreary comic. (But Bone's about 100 pages too long isn't it?)
You know what I would love to see? DC offer up some sort of Marvel Knights type of deal to creators on the Golden Age characters they own. So you could see people like Erik Larsen take a shot at Captain Marvel. Or Atomic Robo's Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener on some on the Freedom Fighters.


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