(pop culture)

Marvel Comics’ shield-slinging Captain America is, bar none, the most famous of the star-spangled freedom fighters known as the superpatriots. But he was not the first superhero to wear the colors of Old Glory.

The Shield was the first superpatriot. Pep Comics #1 (January 1940) introduced Joe Higgins, a man who avenges his father’s murder by applying dad’s secret formula “SHIELD” (an acronym for Sacrum, Heart, Innveration, Eyes, Lungs, and Derma) to his skin. The formula is activated when Higgins wears a specially designed outfit—which just happens to be star-spangled—that boosts his strength, speed, and stamina, making him the Axis-busting superhero, the Shield. The Eagle promptly parroted the Shield by flying into print in Science #1 (February 1940). Secretly Bill Powers, the Eagle, dressed in a blue suit with a golden eagle chest logo and red-and-white striped cape, fights the Nazis and their American sympathizers. Manowar, a superpatriot android, also premiered in February 1940, in Target Comics #1.

Uncle Sam—the Uncle Sam, the top-hat-wearing, white-goateed icon painted by James Montgomery Flagg in his immortal military recruitment poster—became a superhero in National Comics #1 (July 1940), in a tale by Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit. Imbued with patriotism-induced super-strength, Sam is more than a match for Nazis and saboteurs. Uncle Sam, a 1997 miniseries published under DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, features a dispirited Sam, muttering madly as the America he once knew has fallen apart.

Private Jack Weston was a true patriot, but not a superpowered one, which did not deter his zeal: In a red-and-white-striped shirt with blue sleeves dotted with white stars, he blazes onto the frontlines as Minute-Man, the “One Man Army,” in Master Comics #11 (February 1941). One month later, in March 1941, comic book readers witnessed two flag-furled firsts: Captain America #1, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and Feature Comics #42’s USA—”the Spirit of Old Glory”—the first star-spangled superheroine. Both debuted nine months before the United States entered World War II.

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
''I don't think [we] need superpatriots. We need patriotism, honestly practised by all of us, and we don't need these people more patriotic than you or anybody else.'
Again the academic superpatriots were in the forefront with plans and petitions to the Chancellor and the navy on how to starve Britain into submission.
He and the rest of the superpatriots, like Garoyian, Omirous, Lyssarides and Christofias should feel shame for cementing partition.
It took another 10 months, after a flurry of news reports about the John Birch Society, Welch's accusations, anti-Communist schools, and security seminars, before Eisenhower criticized "superpatriots" more forthrightly than did the speechwriters for a brief interval during its drafting.
Superpatriots had his works banned and even arranged for his name to be struck from his college yearbook.
"the country would be far better off if the generals could take over." He depicts Lemnitzer and other Pentagon "superpatriots" at the time as incurably disaffected with the Kennedy administration and itching for a chance to stage a coup.
During the Spanish-American War, the superpatriots called for a boycott of imported fashions.
I am very tired of being advised by superpatriots such as Dave Skovbo (letters, April 29) to take up residence in some other country.
He presents them as All-American "superpatriots" who exemplified American ideals yet were forced into mass detention.
While laboring under such a paradox, "superpatriots" in Nebraska were using symbols that resolved dilemmas, clarified issues, and provided courses of action.
In that time he has accumulated some powerful evidence supporting his claim that at the heart of Iran-Contra lay not a few rogue superpatriots shipping arms to Iran, but rather a massive cover-up by powerful G-men.
THE CIVILIZED REFER to the America's Cup as an elaborate high-seas chess match, techies emphasize its design strategies, superpatriots call it war, and fun lovers use it as an excuse to party.