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Saturday, January 16, 2016

War Comics Key Issues Part 3


We are at Part 3 of this War Comics key issues series, and the ones presented in this part are definitely no easy finds. Not only was the Red Scare rampant in the U.S. consciousness, the very threat of nuclear war loomed heavily during this time period.

Although atom bomb covers were featured earlier in non-war comics, the popularity of these types of covers carried over into traditional war comics also. Like horror comics, the pre-code violent stories or gruesome covers are pretty sought out by collectors.

If you missed Part 2, that link will bring you back. Otherwise, here's the next batch of war comics to gander at.



WAR COMICS #11
Burning bodies cover

Looks like I'm gonna have to list this one out of date order. Just like the pre-code horror comics, collectors seek out gruesome covers for war comics as well.

War Comics #11 has the cover of burning bodies via a G.I. with a flamethrower. This is an Atlas/Marvel comic and is one of the more valuable issues from the series.

Actually, it's the 2nd most valuable of the series behind the 1st issue. This comic series is Atlas/Marvel's very 1st war comic title. War Comics #11 has the cover date of August, 1952.

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G.I. COMBAT #1
1st issue to comic series 

Looks like I'm gonna have place this one out of order as well.

On the DC end, G.I. Combat is another popular war comics series of the era. The title, however, did not start with DC Comics. Quality was the first to publish this series and DC gained the rights and continued the title in 1957.

However, DC still continued the numbering, so there's nothing hairy about it. There's a few key issues within the G.I. Combat comic series and quite a few of the grey tone covers that seem to be quite popular with comic book collectors.

We will get to those as this series progresses. G.I. Combat #1 has the cover date of October, 1952.

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ATOMIC WAR #1
1st issue to comic series
Atomic bomb cover

The title says it all pretty much. With the cold war heating up and speculation about World War III fast approaching, it's no surprise that war comics would play upon the fears of a nuclear World War III. One of these war comics was Atomic War.

It was not a long-running series and only lasted 4 issues, but it's an interesting one. This series covered what World War III would be like during the time of publication.

Atomic bomb covers are highly sought out and valuable when it comes to war comics. Well, even when it comes to other genres also. Atomic War was published by Ace Periodicals and issue #1 has the cover date of November, 1952.

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TWO-FISTED TALES #30
Classic Jack Davis cover

Here we are with a classic war cover, and it's done by comic artist Jack Davis for this issue of Two-Fisted Tales #30. Jack Davis is a legend for E.C. Comics and part of the regulars that drew for Tales of the Crypt, Frontline Combat, The Haunt of Fear, Crime Suspenstories, The Vault of Horror and Two-Fisted Tales.

Jack Davis is the comic artist that drew the classic "Foul Play" horror story in Haunt of Fear #19 that involved a particularly twisted and gruesome version of a baseball game.

Two-Fisted Tales #30 has this classic cover by Jack Davis, and it has the cover date of November, 1952.

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COMBAT CASEY #6
1st issue to headlining comic series

Combat Casey proved popular enough that the War Combat comic changed its title to Combat Casey starting with issue #6 here. The series lasted until issue #34.

However, Combat Casey did make cross overs into other Atlas war titles as well. Robert Q. Sale does some amazing and gritty artwork and almost drew the entire comic feature throughout. Combat Casey #6 has the cover date of January, 1953.

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ATOMIC ATTACK! #5
Atomic bomb cover
Title change

Youthful Magazine's Attack! war comic series was an exceptionally violent war comic. Overstreet notes issue #1 from this series as "Extreme Violence".

The title would be changed to Atomic Attack! in this very issue, and the cover has an atomic-bomb explosion. This is another comic that dealt with the science fiction element of World War III, but it is still considered a war comic.

Because of the atomic bomb cover, Atomic Attack! #5 is one of the more valuable issues in the series. It's actually the 2nd most valuable issue in the series and only $25 dollars under the 1st issue according to Overstreet Guide.

Guide has this issue at $625 currently for 9.2 NM minus. Cover is done by Vince Napoli and Atomic Attack! #5 has the cover date of January, 1953.

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TWO-FISTED TALES #31
Civil War issue

With E.C. Comics, they not only covered World War II and the Korean War, they also had stories about the Civil War. This entire issue featured stories about the bloody war in a divided America, and once again, Jack Davis was an artist for this issue.

Not too many other comic publishers touched upon this war in the stories of their war comics, but E.C. had no problems dedicating an entire issue to it. This would not be the only issue they dedicated an entire issue to either, and Jack Davis loved rendering stories about the Civil War era.

January, 1953 is cover date for Two Fisted Tales #31.

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WORLD WAR III #1
1st issue to comic series
Atom bomb cover
U.S. Capitol destruction cover

The Cold War, Red Scare, and Nuclear Scare was deeply embedded in the American conscious during this time.

Many thought World War III was nearing and since it was the Atomic Age, nuclear war was on the minds of many in the U.S. While other publishers concentrated on the Korean War or World War II stories, Ace Periodicals melded a little science fiction or fantasy into the mix of their war comics.

This series told the stories of a possible what if World War III happened during the time and what it could possibly look like. It was the same fantasy war plot that Ace's Atomic War had.

Ace definitely pushed the envelope with this cover. Not only is this #1 scarce, it features an atomic explosion and the destruction of the U.S. Capitol.

It's a pretty shocking cover to look at and definitely terrifying to see or even think about. For those who like war comics, this one is a definite must-have.

The series only lasted two issues, though, but this is a classic atomic bomb cover. You'll hear this quite a bit throughout Part 3, but atomic bomb covers are pretty sought out and valuable to collectors of this genre.

Not entirely sure but Jim McLaughlin might be the artist who rendered this classic cover, and this issue is one of the most valuable war comics in the market. World War III #1 has the cover date of March, 1953.






TWO-FISTED TALES #33
Atom-Bomb story by Wood

During the Korean War and the height of the early Cold War era, nuclear war was a huge concern. People would dig bomb shelters in their backyard and prepare for a nuclear attack. Yes, that really did happen in U.S. then, and I'm sure you can dig up some old news footage concerning that.

In the world of war comics, it wasn't much different and the nuclear bomb stories as well as covers are quite popular even to this day. The beginning splash page to the story shows the atom-bomb's destructive force obliterating Nagasaki and its citizens.


This splash page is well-regarded by other comic artists and fans as one of Wally Wood's most brilliant of works. He is the genius that gave Marvel's Daredevil his iconic red costume. 

The story in this issue depicts a Japanese family before, during and after the fatal blast that helped to end World War II.

E.C. Comics was one of the few publishers of war comics that refrained from idealizing war. They aimed to show its realistic brutality from all sides and Harvey Kurtzman was notorious for his dedicated efforts in researching tons so to make the stories as historically accurate as possible. Many of his war stories were viewed as anti-war sentiments.

Pretty under-valued key issue currently in the market, but it surely isn't cheap in higher grade 9.4 and up. Most likely scarce as well. Two-Fisted Tales #33 has the cover date of May, 1953.

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BATTLE #17
Classic Hitler story

Ah, Hitler! Probably one of the most infamous leaders you love to hate, especially in the world of comic books.

For some reason, comic stories and covers that feature the infamous Nazi leader are quite sought out. This particular war comic issue isn't quite as valuable as some others in the superhero genre, but it is worth noting.

The story is noted as a classic Hitler story and is definitely no easy find in the current market. Well, at least, online it isn't an easy snag.

Might be one to think about. The Battle title is one of the few longer running war comics in the Atlas library. Battle #17 has the cover date of February, 1953.

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3-D ACTION #1
1st Atlas 3-D comic
1st 3-D war comic?

This is a one-shot comic that originally came with two pairs of 3-D glasses. Battle Brady and Sgt. Socko Swenski are featured in the story simply titled "Battle Brady" in this comic.

3-D Action #1 is one of the more valuable Atlas war comics, but still nowhere compared to All-American Men of War, Our Army at War, or Star Spangled War Stories. Hey, if you like 3-D and war comics, this one here is a double whammy then.

This issue may be the 1st and only 3-D war comic produced during the era. It ties with 3-D Tales of the West as the 1st Atlas 3-D comic since both were put out simultaneously.  

It should be noted that Joe Kubert and Norman Maurer developed the very first process for creating 3-D comics. It was called the 3-D Illustereo Process. 

There were other publishers who licensed the Illustereo Process and published 3-D comics before Atlas tried their hand at it. Mighty Mouse is the 1st character to get the 3-D treatment in comic book form.

3-D Action #1 has the cover date of January, 1954.

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Many of these are interesting issues and definitely some sought out covers and stories in the war genre. We got a bit of gruesome/violent covers (seen at the time), a classic Hitler story, and some atom bomb covers in this here part. 

Of course, I had to do some make up calls here, and I bet I'll probably have a special section near the end of this war comics series that deals with more make up calls. There are quite a bit of these war comics after all. 

Part 4 to this series will have more war comics key issues, and that's ready for viewing. Hope you enjoyed and enjoy the weekend! Just click the blue Part 4 link to continue.




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