Monday, June 27, 2022

Russkie-Smashers FIGHTING AMERICAN and SPEEDBOY "Roman Scoundrels"

There are those who claim today's media are merely Russkie dupes!

This story, not published until a decade after it was written and illustrated, might have proven them right!
Note: "Yutz" is Yiddish for "useless".
Note the sixth panel has been modified, likely to remove a knife, which the Comics Code wouldn't allow actually being plunged into someone's back!
This was one of three stories created for #8 of Prize's Fighting American comics that went unused when the series was cancelled with V2N7 (1956).
In 1965-66, Joe Simon was packaging a new line of super-hero/sci-fi titles labeled Harvey Thrillers for Harvey.
Besides titles with new super-heroes, he prepared two comics featuring classic characters that combined reprints with new material; The Spirit, which creator Will Eisner packaged, and Fighting American, which is where Joe published those never-used FA tales along with reprints!
Be Here on July 4th as Fighting American and SpeedBoy take on a traitor to America working for the Russkies!

Monday, June 20, 2022

Russkie-Smashers FIGHTING AMERICAN and SPEEDBOY "Three Coins in the Pushcart"

Sooner or later, every hero has to battle a criminal imitator.....

....out to discredit him, but not usually three of them at once!
Note: There are a couple of pop culture references you should be aware of in order to better understand this tale from Prize's Fighting American V2N1 (1955)...
The title is based on the title of a then-popular novel/movie Three Coins in the Fountain.
(There are no other similarities)
"Gorgeous Georgia" is a riff on then-popular professional wrestler "Gorgeous George"
(Again, the only similarity was the name.)
If you believe the story seems a bit "off", you'd be right, since the script wasn't by Joe Simon or Jack Kirby, but Carl Wessler, and the art (over Kirby layouts) was by John Prentice!

Monday, June 13, 2022

Russkie-Smashers FIGHTING AMERICAN and SPEEDBOY "Poison Ivan and Hotski Trotski"

Even though it's almost Flag Day...
...patriotic super-heroes don't take a holiday from Russkie-smashing!
They just keep going, like muscular Energizer Bunnies!
(BTW, Jack Kirby penciled and inked the cover, a rarity...even in the 1950s!
And the cover spells villain Hotski Trotski's name as "Hotsky"! )

This cover-featured tale from Prize's Fighting American #3 (1954), features the full-on satirical style the series became famous for!
As with almost all the Simon & Kirby Studio work for Prize, it's hard to tell where Jack leaves off and Joe begins...and vice versa!
One of the complications when two creatives who are both writer/artists collaborate, I suppose...


Monday, June 6, 2022

Russkie-Smashers FIGHTING AMERICAN and SPEEDBOY "Operation Wolf!"

It's obvious Joe Simon and Jack Kirby were having fun with their "Cold War Captain America"...

...when you see the almost Chester Gould/Dick Tracy-style names, usually involving bad puns, they came up with for villains!
This cover feature by Simon and Kirby from Prize's Fighting American #4 (1954) is almost "camp" the way the Batman TV series was...deadpan heroes surrounded by a totally-insane world!
Trivia: inept spymasters Rimsky and Korsakoff are based on the name of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, whose most famous work (to Western audiences) is "Flight of the Bumblebee" (used as written for the theme for radio's The Green Hornet, and updated many times since, including for the 1966 Green Hornet TV series!)
Though "Rhode Island Red" is meant here to indicate an American traitor working for the Russkies, it's actually the name of a breed of chicken!

Monday, May 30, 2022

Russkie-Smashers FIGHTING AMERICAN and SPEEDBOY "Super-Khakalovitch"

Russkies are not only sinister, cruel and evil...
...but they apparently really (literally) stink!
(BTW, I have no idea if the Cyrillic translations above are accurate or not!)

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby did a mash-up on the writing and illustrating in this tale from Prize's Fighting American #6 (1955), literally scripting, pencilling and inking different panels as they went!
Trivia: "Martha Hurry" is a spoof of Arthur Murray, who ran a successful chain of ballroom dance studios which continue to this day!
Murray himself passed away in 1991.