Captain America after Pearl Harbor

Behind this excellent Alex Schomburg cover (rife though it is with unfortunate racial stereotypes) lay not only a pair of adventures of the Young Allies, the kid gang team led by Captain America’s young pal Bucky and his rival, Toro the Flaming Kid, but an after-the-fact account of Captain America’s experiences after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

This short feature was written by Stan Lee, who even at this young age was Timely’s editor, and illustrated by Don Rico, one of several artists who had stepped in to illustrate the captain’s adventures following the departure of Cap’s creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for DC/National Comics.

It’s a short bit of naked propaganda, but it is interesting to me that Lee and Rico keep captain America out of costume all during these flashbacks. This story isn’t about daring do heroics, but the very real struggles that genuine G.I.s were then facing in the PTO.

It’s a bit startling from a modern day perspective to see Captain America being quite this jingoistic, but it’s worth remembering that this was part of what the character was designed to do: to drum up support among its audience for the United States’ involvement in what would become World War II.

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