America’s Uncle

Uncle Sam

After the success of MLJ’s The Shield, Will Eisner was assigned the duty of creating a red, white and blue super-patriot for Quality Comics.

His answer: Uncle Sam, the famed – and non-trademarked – personification of the United States. Using the character design created by James Montgomery Flagg for a 1917 recruitment poster, Eisner added the de rigueur youthful sidekick and pushed the strip into the direction of fables or tall tales instead of the paint-by-numbers adventure approach taken by other publishers’ super-patriots.

(Excluding Joe Simon & Jack Kirby’s Captain America, of course.)

Here’s the first appearance of one of Quality’s more popular – and enduring – characters from National Comics #1 (July, 1940). The script and art are by Eisner and Dave Berg (of Mad Magazine’s “The Lighter Side” fame).

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