FIVE FOR FRIDAY: PATRIOT WEEK
In the star-spangled tradition of Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters and Captain America, who have books hitting this week, we take a moment to remember our 5 favorite comic book patriots
By Brian Warmoth
Posted September 28, 2007 12:35 PM
America gave the world comic books, jazz, baseball and microwaveable popcorn, which countless heroes in red, white and blue have stood up to defend (along with freedom, liberty and other such things on occasion, of course). With Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti launching their new Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters series this week, alongside the release of Captain America: The Chosen #2, we felt a little bit of the American spirit bubbling up and decided to count off our five favorite heroes to stand up for the American Dream.
5. The Star-Spangled Kid
Among the many heroes to pick up some red, white and blue spandex in response to Nazism was Sylvester Pemberton, whose legacy stretches nearly across the entire history of DC Comics. Dreamed up by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and Hal Sherman, the Kid fought injustice alongside Stripesy, aka Pat Dugan, whose stepdaughter Courtney Whitmore eventually picked up his equipment as Stargirl.
4. The Shield
This MLJ and Archie Comics icon is notable because he beat Captain America’s debut by more than a year. The original man behind the mask was Joe Higgins, an FBI agent who completed his deceased father’s quest for a super-strength-giving chemical formula. Scattered others over the past 60 years have picked up his mantle, including Lancelot Strong, who rebooted the hero’s story under Cap creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
3. Liberty Belle
Journalist Libby Lawrence wore a replica of the American emblem that resonated whenever the Philadelphia landmark rang, granting her temporary super-strength. She led the All Star Squadron and eventually married fellow member Johnny Quick. Her daughter Jesse now uses the Liberty Belle name as a member of the Justice Society of America, where her husband Rick Tyler also fights as Hourman.
2. Uncle Sam
One of the most fearsome pairs of fists in all of comics belongs to this legend, who first came to comics from wunderkind creator Will Eisner at Quality Comics when he rose to action as the spirit of a dead patriot. Since then, the character came to DC and in addition to starring in an epic must-read Alex Ross miniseries, now leads a newly formed team of post-Infinite Crisis Freedom Fighters in his second miniseries from Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti.
1. Captain America
Some superheroes become legends, and a few transcend comics altogether to become indispensable pieces of history—Captain America has been there ever since Steve Rogers took the super-soldier serum and punched Hitler in the face in 1941. In another Five for Friday, we could easily fill this list with the likes of USAgent, Ultimate Captain America, Bucky and others who have spun out of his pages, but they all rightfully belong in this No. 1 slot, a fact that’s more than corroborated by the widespread media reaction that erupted when he was shot earlier this year.
A bit surprised Wonder Woman wasn't there. Maybe it's because she doesn't really eschew "truth, justice and the American way" and she's just wearing a costume that resembles the American flag.
Actually, Superman eschews "truth, justice and the American way" and though he's as American as apple pie, I suppose he isn't quite a patriot either...or else he'd be wearing as costume that resembles the American flag. Plus he's an alien. Dirty stinking aliens.