02 Oct, 2014
By Jacobus Dixon
By the winter of 1940, superheroes were causing funny book magazines to just fly off the newsstands. They were an odd blend or mythology and athleticism wrapped in a brilliant package of primary colors. They often lived fulfilling lives as prosperous or wealthy men, but men still hungry for adventure. And almost all of their adventures involved finding the source of their problems and delivering a killer knockout blow to them. It was like watching a sports event with higher stakes and a team that you knew would win, but not how. And even though the hero’s tactics to triumph were often completely exaggerated and unrealistic, it didn’t matter! That was part of the fun. It would have been like saying Popeye was terrible because he misrepresents what spinach can do for you. But people didn’t read Popeye comic strips and watch Popeye cartoons because they wanted to see the effects of spinach on human physiology, nor did they read superhero comics for real solutions to the financial inequities of the Depression and American life in general. They wanted to be entertained, and seeing a colorfully clad athlete sock a local street tough or thieving businessman was just what they were looking for. But what was the next step? How do you keep these characters from going stale? Well…grouping them together to form some kind of team seemed like a good idea. And that’s exactly what All-American Publications did.