The Freedom Fighter

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To celebrate the 94th anniversary of Will Eisner’s birthday, here’s one of my favorite Golden Age tales by the legendary creator: “The Steel Helmets” from Uncle Sam Quarterly #1 (Quality Comics, 1941).

The story details the frightening prospect of a fascist dictator taking over America, yet avoids the heavy-handedness other Golden Age comics would employ by taking the form of a tall tale rather than your standard super-hero melodrama.

Given the mythical nature of Uncle Sam himself, both the topic and the story-telling device are more than appropriate in my humble opinion.

“The Steel Helmets” was written by Eisner, who also drew and inked the opening splash page. The rest of the comic was drawn by Dan Zolnerowich (pencils) and the great Lou Fine (inks).

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One thought on “The Freedom Fighter

  1. One should understand the significance of panels 7 through 9 on the 7th page ( ). The symbols of the various European nations, including John Bull, are shown as cast-off by their people because they want war.

    While some comic books were equating patriotism and opposition to domestic dictatorship with American entry into World War II, others were equating it with the exact opposite. Many popular historians and many of to-day’s journalists tend to treat the second camp as crypto-fascistic, but who here imagines that Messrs Eisner, Zolnerowich, and Fine wanted an American Hitler and our own Holocaust?

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