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Collects U.S.A. Comics #1-4


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Collects U.S.A. Comics #1-4

30 review for Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age U.S.A. Comics, Vol. 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    I really love to go back in time and read some of the Golden age comics. this is a very nice collection of some of the lesser known Marvel (well still Timely then) heroes. Nice time vault of stories. Recommended

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Neno

    For comics historians and deep-diving fans, Marvel's (now defunct?) hardcover and softcover reprints of some of their earliest published comics was a godsend (as purchasing even beat up copies of the original comics is a bank-breaking proposal). The use of talent used on these books was uneven, though, with a lot of workmanlike (and just plain bad) publishing product. The first four issues of USA Comics is a good example. A Jack Kirby cover and two Basil Wolverton stories stand out; the rest of t For comics historians and deep-diving fans, Marvel's (now defunct?) hardcover and softcover reprints of some of their earliest published comics was a godsend (as purchasing even beat up copies of the original comics is a bank-breaking proposal). The use of talent used on these books was uneven, though, with a lot of workmanlike (and just plain bad) publishing product. The first four issues of USA Comics is a good example. A Jack Kirby cover and two Basil Wolverton stories stand out; the rest of the material, starring forgotten characters like Major Liberty, Jack Frost, The Defender and Corporal Dix, are simplistic patriotic tales of German saboteurs, slobbering despots and fifth columnists who barely try to hide their intentions. Expect little characterization or subtlety. Historian Michael J. Vassallo does a excellent job researching, identifying and making educated guesses at the mostly uncredited authors and artists, and reading the book from the perspective of seeing longstanding cartoonists' earliest work can be rewarding. I can only recommend the book, otherwise, for those, like me, who just want to read it all wholesale.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This early "golden age" stories are full of holes, incompetently created, poorly illustrated, and so on. God, how I love them so. This early "golden age" stories are full of holes, incompetently created, poorly illustrated, and so on. God, how I love them so.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adam Graham

    Marvel already had Marvel Mystery Magazine, and solo titles for Sub-Mariner, Captain America, and the Golden Age Human Torch. Narvel comics honcho Martin Goodman was never one to settle for good enough and so USA comics was yet another one of the comics and this book collects Issues 1-4, each containing multiple stories. It was home to a lot of second tier material and characters and at least in a couple of places, , but the book was not without its charm. The first three issues featured long sto Marvel already had Marvel Mystery Magazine, and solo titles for Sub-Mariner, Captain America, and the Golden Age Human Torch. Narvel comics honcho Martin Goodman was never one to settle for good enough and so USA comics was yet another one of the comics and this book collects Issues 1-4, each containing multiple stories. It was home to a lot of second tier material and characters and at least in a couple of places, , but the book was not without its charm. The first three issues featured long stories of nearly twenty pages, a rare thing in the golden age, allowing for complex plots. So let's dig into the highlights and lowlights of this book: 1) Rockman: This is a cool hero who really could have been developed further. Rockman was leader of an underground kingdom who surfaced (ha ha) when learning about the dangers of the coming war. The design and powers of the characters were cool. With a better creative team, this could have emerged. It's not quite the Destroyer, but still a great little feature. 2) The Whizzer: Marvel's golden age speedster superhero acquired his power after getting injected by mongoose blood. The character was really one of the best of Marvel's second tier golden age characters and his origin story (silly as it is) is here. 3) Captain Terror: This character appeared only in Issues 2-4, but was memorable. In his true life identity Dan Kane, he was not allowed to join the Navy due to his heart troubles and is persistently turned down when trying to help the country. However as Captain Terror, he's able to take on the enemies of America and be a heroic figure. The character is just inspiring and I can't help but wonder if in the back of his mind, Stan Lee wasn't inspired by this character when he created his own hero with heart problems, Iron Man. Lee was a young man at the time, working for Marvel and even wrote a couple stories in this book. 4) Corporal Dix: This feature only appeared in Issue 4 but was actually pretty well-done and endearing. Dix is a tough soldier on furlough and spending time with his little brother whose falling in with a bad crowd. It's a sweet, moving, and patriotic tale. I've read that there's more about him in the 2nd volume of USA comics which gives him a promotion to Sergeant. 5) Jack Frost: This is where I become a little less positive. Frost was a decent enough character and his ice powers were fun to watch, and the story in Issue 4 was particularly good, but really he seemed to be like an ice version of the sub-mariner with a very similar personality. 6) The Vagabond: A story about law enforcement officer who disguises himself as a hobo, and often the disguise just doesn't make any sense. It seems a little dumb. 7) The Defender: His story was actually a 19-page cover in USA comics #1 and was a prime example of Marvel ripping off itself. The Defender was dressed in a red, white, and blue costume and fought evil alongside a boy sidekick who looked almost identical (except for hair color) to Bucky. In addition, the costume is just atrociously designed. Red and white striped pants aren't patriotic. The thought behind this seemed, "To be a hero like Captain America except in the Marines, without the super soldier serum, and in a poorly designed costume." The scripts were weaker versions of Captain America stories. The only good thing I can say for the book is that it really made me appreciate the elegance and timelessness of Jack Kirby's design for Captain America even more. And the one-shot features, "The Young Avenger" and "Powers of the Press" are both forgettable. Overall, the collection has some good points such as Captain Terror and the Whizzer's origin that make it a decent book, but certainly not one that's worth its retail price.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Roth

    Basil Wolverton's "Rockman" is the great discovery in this volume. Basil Wolverton's "Rockman" is the great discovery in this volume.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rahadyan

    Reprints of USA Comics #1-4, published by Marvel's precursor Timely Comics from 1940-41. As most of the characters are C-list heroes such as The Defender, Major Victory, Rockman, Jack Frost, the Whizzer and the Vagabond, this is mostly of interest to comics historians and, well, fanboy geeks like me. Reprints of USA Comics #1-4, published by Marvel's precursor Timely Comics from 1940-41. As most of the characters are C-list heroes such as The Defender, Major Victory, Rockman, Jack Frost, the Whizzer and the Vagabond, this is mostly of interest to comics historians and, well, fanboy geeks like me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rich Meyer

    Some excellent golden age material in this one. While the patriotic characters (the Defender, Captain Terror, Major Liberty) may have headlined, theback-up features are the real gems of the book, namely the Whizzer, Jack Frost and the Vagabond. Fun stories with a justifiably jingoistic slant.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John

    The Basil Wolverton art is amazing. The rest is more of a So bad it's Good sort of fun. The Basil Wolverton art is amazing. The rest is more of a So bad it's Good sort of fun.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Davis

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peter Sanderson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Kahan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steven Heywood

  14. 5 out of 5

    thom hamilton

  15. 4 out of 5

    Troy-David Phillips

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark Stratton

  17. 4 out of 5

    J.R.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Derek

  19. 4 out of 5

    Szava

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Craft

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sgt Roman Hunter

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard Harrison

  23. 4 out of 5

    James Maslow

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  25. 5 out of 5

    ISMOTU

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jameson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Austin Lind

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael Hoskin

  29. 5 out of 5

    paul k maguire

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tony

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