Monday, April 15, 2013

M: Miss America!



is for Miss America.

And I'll bet you thought I'd be singing..."Here she comes....Miss...America...". Well, rest easy...because I won't be doing that...nope...no way.

Anyway...

Created by Otto Binder and Al Gabriel, Miss America debuted in Marvel Mystery Comics #49 back in November of 1943 during the 'golden age' of comics, for the Timely comic line. 

A precursor to Marvel Comics, Timely began noticing the market was diverging away from 'just males' to include girls, as well as the superhero trend began to wane. To keep up with that trend, Timely began to introduce more female leads such as The Blonde Phantom, Golden Girl, Sun Girl, and....Miss America.

Miss America was really Madeline Joyce who, after tampering with a scientific experiment, was struck by lightning and thought dead. Madeline survived to find she could now fly and had 'greater than normal' strength. Her "flight" was actually done by being able to levitate herself psionically. With well timed leaps, she could levitate herself and appear to fly on her own.

Her book ran for 129 issues and she appeared regularly in Marvel Mystery Comics as well as All Winners Comic. In 1976, she was 'retconned' (retro continuity) into being a member of The Liberty Legion (you do remember them, right?) before joining the All Winners Squad.

The All Winners Squad
Miss America, Namor (the Sub Mariner), Captain America, the Human Torch, The  Whizzer
Miss America was never the 'glamorous heroine' type, but was always a solid character with an interesting backstory. When she was dusted off back in the 70s and 80s, she became a mainstay in any tale told back during World War II, getting a lot of facetime in The Invaders.

Her last big story arc hinted that she and Robert Frank (aka The Whizzer) were the parents of The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. This proved, later, to be false but I always thought it was a cool premise, given Quicksilver also had super speed.

She was so popular that they even named a pageant after her.

O.k..I made that up, but still...she was a fun character all the same.

Stop back tomorrow for one of Marvel's answers to D.C.'s Green Lantern....

======================================================================

For a fitting Music Monday, I'll leave you with "American Woman" by The Guess Who.



54 comments:

Manzanita said...

Now she sounds like a real Red, White and Blue type of gal. Like one I'd like to be on the same team with.

M.J. Fifield said...

I had no idea there was a Miss America super heroine. So much better than the Atlantic City one.

Trisha F said...

I hadn't ever heard of her (you know, the comic girl as opposed to the pageant girl(s)) before now. :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Never heard of her before but she sounds awesome.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

never hear of her either...but at least she had a cape!

Elise Fallson said...

I'm having a hard time picturing Ms. America as mother to The Scarlet Witch (who I really like) and Quicksilver. But it would make for an interesting family dinner. :P

Su-sieee! Mac said...

You've got me hooked. I want to know more about her. This was the best post I read today. Thanks.

Don't be a Hippie
Take 25 to Hollister

Nick Wilford said...

She sounds very cool! Not heard of her either but that isn't saying much. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

She survived longer than most. Surprised you didn't post the Styx song.

John Wiswell said...

She and Whizzer do have the looks of their alleged kids. That might have been neater than their real magnetic dad.

Also, an experiment that caused her to be struck by lightning? Superhero origins are all great.

John at The Bathroom Monologues

jaybird said...

Girl Power!! Rock on. I'm so happy they decided to start introducing strong women/superheros into comics. I'm still a little miffed at the video game world who continually portray women in tight clothes and a bad light, but that's a battle for another day, right? :)

Kelley Lynn said...

Never knew about this one. Thanks so much for sharing!

Sherry Ellis said...

I never knew there was a comic book Miss America!

Whole Foods Living said...

Woo hoo!! Go Miss America!! I love seeing female heroines!! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

Lisa said...

I remember Miss America, and Sub Mariner, but don't remember the Whizzer. I loved the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Once again I'm loving the history lesson!

LD Masterson said...

Here's another one I never heard of. I wish some of these characters were still around.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Nice song choice!
And it's too bad they didn't name the Miss America pageant after her . . . the pageant would be way cooler.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

That Miss America looks like a sweetheart! Love her super powers.

Loved hearing American Woman. It's been a while.

Jack said...

I don't think I've heard of Miss America either, though I think I should have. I know they did a girl counterpart to every boy superhero they did. (Batwoman, Supergirl, and so forth.) I like it when they do interesting backstories though.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Did she and Captain America ever hook up?

Mark Means said...

@Manzanita: I don't think they made them any Red, White, or Bluer :)

@M.J.: And probably a bit brighter, as well :)

@Trisha: Hehe...yeah, the other ones get all the good press :)

@Sheena: Yep, she was pretty cool!

@Daft: Heh, yes...real old school :)

@Nick: She was a great one, for sure!

@Alex: Hmm..I might have if I had thought of it..didn't even think of Styx (shame on me!)

@John: Yeah, lightning seems to be the catalyst for quite a few origin stories.

@jaybird: Ha! Yes, you're right and comics has their share of that too, but like you said...for another day :)

@Kelly: Glad you liked it!

@Sherry: Yep, there sure was :)

@Angela: Thanks and I have a few more on the way!

@Lisa: The Whizzer showed up here and there, but nothing too regularly..even back then.

@LD: Me too!

@Tyrean: Good point, I agree!

@C.Lee: I'm sure she was...until someone made her mad! :)

Mark Means said...

@Jack: Her backstory was pretty interesting, for sure :)

@Diane: Haha...not that I know of, but it would make sense :)

Christine Rains said...

I've heard of her! They need more female superheroes with solid back stories.

S.P. Bowers said...

Go Miss America! I'm afraid my favorite superhero isn't a classic one. I love Elasta Girl from the Incredibles. I mean, who wouldn't want to be able to stretch like that?

Julie Flanders said...

I had no idea Miss America was a superhero! Very cool. Although I'm kind of disappointed you're not singing. :D

Lady's Knight said...

Think she was the right choice for Miss America / skip the beauty pagent

dont hear about her much I remember seeing her here and there (after thought mostly)

Lady's Knight

Karen Tamara said...

Never knew about this one! Way more interesting than the pageant queens though. :)

And I love American Woman! Gets the blood moving...

Pk Hrezo said...

Learn something new everyday on your blog! And I love that song!

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Yay for female superheroes! Go Miss America :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Now that's one rocking female superhero! I just love that she came out back in the 40's.

Barbara Watson said...

I like her! She looks tough but is also pretty. :-)

Kathy Wiechman said...

I didn't know. Thanks for enlightening me about this heroine.
Kathy @ Swagger Writers

Mark Means said...

@Christine: Totally agree! :)

@S.P.: Hey, nothing wrong with Elasti Girl...she's not classic -yet- :)

@Julie: If you had ever heard me sing, you wouldn't be disappointed (that I'm not singing now)...hehe :)

@Lady'sKnight: She hasn't been around in a while, just guest starred here and there.

@Karen: Yep, now if the pageant queens could fly and lift trucks, they'd definitely be more interesting :)

@P.K: Glad you're enjoying and it's one of my favorites, too :)

@Rebecca: Agreed! I have a few more in the wings :)

@Stina: They definitely had some interesting characters back then!

Mark Means said...

@Barbara: She was plenty tough, indeed :)

@Kathy: You're welcome and thanks for stopping by.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

She should be the mascot for the Miss America pageant. Well, why not? :) Writer’s Mark

Amanda - The Southern UnBelle said...

People thought she was dead, but she woke up to find that she could fly and was super strong? Sounds to me like a vampire...

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I never heard of her but I love that song.

Morgan said...

LOL to the pageant line! ;-)

Holy A-Z challenge. You are rocking it, Mark. Really. I'm soooooo impressed.

:D

Nancy Thompson said...

Wouldn't be funny to see Miss America dressed up as...well...Miss America? Sorry My bad.

klahanie said...

What happened here? I thought "M" was for "Mark the Magnificent"!

I think I love Miss America! I bet you have posters of her, along with your "Mark the Magnificent" posters.

Guess Who, legendary Canadian band and yep, "American woman gonna' mess your mind...

Take care, dude.

Gary :)

Mark Means said...

@Nancy: Great idea and I agree...why not?? :)

@Amanda: LOL...well, these days, that might have been her fate. Back then the vamps weren't as popular, I'd wager :)

@Susan: One of my favorites, too. They used to come around, almost every year, when I lived near Cincinnati. Every year I said I was going to go seem and I never did. I wish I had.

@Morgan: LOL....thank you!

@Nancy: Haha...stranger things have happened in the comics!

@Gary: Well, since I'm not a comic book hero...obscure or otherwise...I didn't feel like I could pull a "Mark The Magnificent" post :P Haha...yes, sometimes they sure do! Take care, my friend :)

M. J. Joachim said...

Very cool! And such a timely piece today...Nice post, Mark:)

Valerie said...

This one is my fav so far! I love girl superheroes... Mostly because I am one... ;0)

Hugs!

Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I had all the Miss America comic books when I was a kid. AND--I saw the Guess Who 2x! Awesome band from my home town of Winnipeg.

Jenny said...

She is a fun character! I'm so glad to learn about her today.

Robin said...

Love to see some of the females in the feature. Miss America. I have to say I like it. Very patriotic. I can see why she was popular during WWII.

Carol Kilgore said...

Lots of music around today. About time someone include a female superhero :)

Mark Means said...

@M.J: Thank you! :)

@Valerie: A girl or a superhero? Or both? :)

@Joylene: Wow, that's very cool. You're way ahead of the curve on this one, then!

@Jenny: Thanks and I agree :)

@Robin: Back then, they had a ton of patriotic heroes. Sad to say that, these days, if we were in a similar situation...we'd probably not see as many.

@Carol: There are some really cool ones out there...they just don't get a lot of the good press :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Oh man! How did I not know about her? What a fabulous super hero!!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Super babies must be a real pain in the butt to raise.

:)

Heather

J.L. Campbell said...

Why do I get the feeling you know all there is to know about action comic books? :)

Mark Means said...

@Elizabeth: I know, she is pretty cool :)

@Heather: LOL...I'm sure they are, yes.

@J.L: I wish that were true, lol.

Melissa Bradley said...

I'm very late, but I loved this post. I enjoy reading about strong women in the comics and you have highlighted some really terrific heroines so far.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark .. I bet they did name the pageant after her .. or vice versa ..

Cheers to Miss America and Timely comics - Hilary

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