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).