Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How We Learned To Start Worrying And Fear The Bomb!

Would you like to know why everybody who grew up during the Cold War is so screwed up?

Because they had to read stuff like this every day:


Published by Ace Comics, every issue of Atomic War! began with this (or a similarly worded) caption, to reassure us that they had a valid reason for scaring the crap out of us:

And what exactly happens?

Well, Russia reaches a peace agreement with the West...but the wording on that banner ought to make someone nervous:

But no, the poor naive free world buys it hook, line and sinker!

Of course, you can't trust the commies:

And thanks to help of a traitor in "Air Defense Headquarters"...

Start spreadin' the news...

Well, surely people would be safe in shelters!

"The shelters became pools of death." Thanks for the nightmare, Ace Comics!!

OK, that's sure no "duck and cover" scenario. But it was just New York City, right?

No, not Chicago!! Now the Cubs will never win the World Series!!

The worst part of nuking the Windy City?


And they Soviets aren't done kicking the crap out of the Midwest...

But, really, that's not much different than modern day Detroit, am I right? (I'm from Michigan, so I get to say that).

The Russians also tried to fry Washington, D.C., but we're stopped by the sacrifice of a brave U.S. pilot.

But there was plenty more Atomic War! to come!

The title went on for 4 issues, in one continuous story, Tom Clancy-style, of the Russian attack and our response.

But apparently Ace didn't think we'd quite had 100% of the crap scared out of us, so they followed up with this:

No escape for you this time, Washngton!!

And we still have our lead-off caption, this time just bit less "we just want to educate everyone" and a little bit more "raise defense spending now!!!!!!!"

I think I begin to detect a wee bit of a political agenda from these comics...

World War III lasted only two issues (unlike the terrible DC 52/World War III, which was 4 issues of terror and pain). But it was the same basic premise: a sneak Russian atomic attack, followed by the story of the battle on several fronts--along with many messages that America nneded to be better prepared.

So when you wonder why your parents and grandparents are so screwed up, it's because of the comics they were reading. Not the horror or crime comics--the atomic war comics!!

Atomic War! was published in 1952-53. World War III was from 1953.


Bill said...

The Cincinnati Reds? Oh Johnny Bench, how could you?

Britt Reid said...

Both Atomic War and World War III had different continuities based on the same premise due to the fact they were scripted by different writers (and the editors were extremely sloppy)!
You can read about it here...

SallyP said...

Well...at least the cows got out.