Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Golden Age Idol--The Civil War Captain Americas?!?

And you thought Captain America overslept...

The Yank and the Rebel--they were never given any other names--ended up at each others' throats at Gettysburg, when...

And so they missed the rest of the war...and several more wars!!

Yes, that panel does say "radioactive radiations." Golden Age, man...

Fast forward to 1941, and a munitions test awakens them...

[So, wait...they were doing munitions tests at Gettysburg?!?!?]

...but they're still pretty feisty despite their multi-decade nap!

What follows is strangers in a strange land!

Amazed by progress...but still feisty!

They get clued into history...

So there!!

Of course, they get caught up in a plot by Nazi saboteurs, and captured, and framed, and...

...well, things get weird.

Their inexperience with contemporary technology is used to good effect:

Actually, that's a pretty good bit of history, as TNT wasn't invented until after radioactive radiations put them to sleep!

Of course, they foil the Nazis, and inspired by how united our country is, put their differences behind them!

Not the worst premise for a series, right?

But in their second appearance, almost all of the potential is flushed away. Rather than men-out-of-time who overcome grave differences to join the modern world, they're been dumbed down to a Golden Age equivalent of the Odd Couple--bickering roommates who call each other names but still get along:

So, to heck with arguments about the greatest tragedy in our nation's history--now it's arguments about who does more work and who gets the girl!

Of course, things still get...weird.


And yes, they still get mixed up with Nazis. But they're no longer fish out of water, suddenly understanding how cars work, and adopting contemporary slang.

Ratzis? They know about cars blowing up?

The girl they were fighting over turns out to be the spymaster...which just leads to lots of "hilarious" bickering!!

Ah, but there was no next issue of The Flame, and Reb & Yank never appeared again.

I can't say it's too bad. There are some interesting potential stories here, but it was pretty damn unlikely that comic books of the era would ever allow themselves to even vaguely address them. And once they dumped the "men awakened in a new time" angle, well, there's just not that much "there" there, certainly not enough to differentiate them from every other deep-in-the-back-of-the-book feature in the industry.

So farewell, guys. We don't need to see you later.

From The Flame #7 (1941) & #8 (1942)

1 comment:

SF said...

That history lesson! From the perspective of WWII, the Civil War was 3/4s of a century before. And the Union very definitely won it.