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VFW Magazine November 2017 : Page 29

at War used war as fodder for their works. BY DON VAUGHAN From the Civil War through the Iraq War, comic book writers and illustrators have ost comic books deal in fantasy, but many have tried to get it right when it comes to facts of war. The comic book as it is known today debuted in the mid-1930s with reprints of the era’s best-loved newspaper strips. But the instantly pop-ular new medium soon demanded original material, and like the pulp magazines of the ’20s and ’30s, war stories quickly became a reader favorite. Dashing aviators were among the first to be fea-tured, followed by other brave members of the armed services. Costumed superheroes also joined the fray, battling the Axis menace long before the United States declared war on Germany and Japan. Among the most notable was Captain America , whose premiere issue (March 1941) featured a cover illustration of Cap punching Hitler square in the jaw. Most war comics of the 1940s contained generic action stories that had little to do with the realities of combat. However, some titles strived for a degree of realism. Among them was War Comics , published by Dell, which launched in 1940 and lasted four issues. It would take another decade before historic and technical realism found a regular place on comic book spinner racks. b War-themed comic books experienced a decline at the end of WWII, only to be resurrected in huge numbers at the start of the Korean War in 1950. M War stories have long been popular among comic book readers. From WWII comics like The Battle of the Bulge and Bombing Nazi Germany (left), to Vietnam Journal and Atrocity Story (right), wars throughout history have been depicted. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017   • WWW.VFW.ORG • 29

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