With the big 4th of July holiday coming up, this weekend’s light-hearted bit of superhero escapism will combine some Revolutionary War nostalgia with some World War Two nostalgia. Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at the early adventures of the Nedor Comics hero called the Fighting Yank.
For many more Nedor superheroes click HERE.
THE FIGHTING YANK
Secret Identity: Bruce Carter III
Origin: See below
Powers: The cloak bestowed upon wealthy Bruce Carter III by the ghost of his ancestor, a Revolutionary War soldier, granted him a large degree of super-strength, made him bulletproof and let him run at over 60 miles per hour.
STARTLING COMICS #10 (September 1941)
Title: Introducing The Fighting Yank
Villains: Nazi Spies
Synopsis: Wealthy Bruce Carter III is the spitting image of his ancestor, Bruce Carter I, a soldier who fought in the Revolutionary War. Unjustly accused of neglecting his duty Carter’s ghost has been wandering since then hoping to restore the family honor. He believes fighting in the expanding World War will provide that opportunity for his look-alike descendant, so he emerges from his life-sized portrait on the wall of the Carter home. The ghost leads Bruce III to the attic of the old family home and reveals to him a cloak which will bestow super-powers on the wearer.
In his first adventure, the Fighting Yank rescues a Senator from Nazi spies who have replaced him with a lookalike. That lookalike has been using the Senator’s popularity to rally the people toward an alliance with the Axis Nations. Our hero exposes the deception and clobbers the spy ring. Bruce Carter III’s girlfriend Joan Farwell recognizes him under the domino mask and shares his secret identity with him from now on.
STARTLING COMICS #11 (November 1941)
Title: Champion Of America
Villains: The Volunteers
Synopsis: A Major in the United States Army is the secret leader of a vast army called the Volunteers, an organization plotting to take over the country and impose a military dictatorship. After the Volunteers blow up a munitions factory Bruce Carter has Joan Farwell infiltrate their organization as a secretary.
As the Fighting Yank he thwarts the Volunteers’ attempts to blow up the Pentagon and the Capitol while kidnapping the president. He also takes down their leader.
STARTLING COMICS #12 (January 1942)
Title: The Petroleum Blitz
Villains: American traitors employed by Germany
Synopsis: The Fighting Yank and Joan Farwell get involved when a gang of American Nazi sympathizers begin blowing up gas stations and oil refineries across the nation. Needless to say our heroes defeat and round up the gang.
Joan gets to kick some serious butt in the fight scenes this time around.
STARTLING COMICS #13 (February 1942)
Title: The Faceless Legion
Villains: Mavelli and his Faceless Legion
NOTE: That’s Captain Future in the cover pic.
Synopsis: A costumed mad scientist named Mavelli has granted himself super-strength to rival that of the Fighting Yank. He has also invented a ray-gun that fires balls of energy which transform the people they hit into faceless (as in smooth, featureless faces) thralls with greater than human strength. In addition they cannot feel pain.
To launch his plans to conquer the world, Mavelli has his Faceless Legion assassinate several high-ranking officers in Washington D.C. His plans to sabotage the Panama Canal and to kidnap the president and his cabinet are thwarted by the Fighting Yank, who also uses Mavelli’s ray-gun to literally KILL all of the incurable Faceless Legion. He also defeats Mavelli in a one-on-one fight.
STARTLING COMICS #14 (April 1942)
Title: The Return Of Mavelli
NOTE: Once again, Captain Future is in the cover pic.
Synopsis: Long after the previous story, Mavelli is being put to death in the electric chair. The dose of electricity doesn’t kill the supervillain, it just increases his strength and lets him smash his way out of the prison. He joins up with Nieder, a Nazi agent who runs a spy ring in the U.S. Mavelli invents a ray which causes insanity and has his and Nieder’s underlings use it on high-placed officials in politics and the military.
When the Fighting Yank tracks the villains down he squelches that operation so Mavelli and Nieder flee to a remote Pacific island held by their Japanese allies. From there the mad scientist develops a super-explosive and refines a process for turning unwilling natives into obedient flame-people after dipping them in the island’s volcano. Our hero locates the island, defeats the flame-people and causes the entire island to blow up in a massive volcanic eruption courtesy of Mavelli’s super-explosive.
STARTLING COMICS #15 (June 1942)
Title: Out of the Mists of Dead Time
Villains: Mavelli and Dr Heinrich
Synopsis: It turns out Mavelli escaped before the island was destroyed by using a secret underground river. Getting back to the U.S. he joins up with more Nazi spies, then publicly threatens to blow up an interstate bridge. The Fighting Yank saves the bridge despite Mavelli’s use of a special gas which can knock out even someone with our hero’s strength and his use of metal coils which can restrain the Fighting Yank.
Mavelli next works with Dr Heinrich, a mad scientist and parapsychologist. Heinrich has invented a device which lets him harness the souls of evildoers from beyond the grave and convert that spiritual energy into Godzilla-sized monsters. The resulting army of giant monstrosities run amok through the country with the Fighting Yank unable to stop them. When Dr Heinrich and Mavelli keep double-crossing each other our hero seizes an opportunity and destroys the summoning device. Mavelli escapes.
STARTLING COMICS #16 (August 1942)
Title: Snatched From Silent Graves
Villains: Doctor Vetter and Krag
Synopsis: A Nazi-sympathizing mad scientist named Dr Vetter works out of a creepy old mansion in Northern Virginia. He has already created a large, shambling brute named Krag to be his super-strong (but slow-witted) henchman. Next he invents bullets which will make it look like the military and scientific figures whom he has his underlings shoot are dead. Secretly, they are in suspended animation and he has them removed from their graves after burial and hypnotically extracts their secrets from them.
The Fighting Yank and Joan Farwell investigate and discover a secret underground tube system which lets Dr Vetter and Krag rob graves at will. Vetter also uses a method of shrinking henchmen down to a few inches in height. Our heroes overcome everything the villains throw at them. Dr Vetter dies in a hail of bullets from the police and with his dying breath he orders Krag to find Mavelli and work for him from now on. Krag escapes.
THE FIGHTING YANK #1 (September 1942)
Title: Here Comes The Fighting Yank
Villains: Mavelli and Mr Hamuka
NOTE: The Fighting Yank now has his own separate comic book but will continue appearing in Startling Comics, too.
Synopsis: The Fighting Yank gets caught between Mavelli with his latest plan and a Japanese Spy named Mr Hamuka. The latter refuses to work for the former, so the two fight each other as well as our hero. The Fighting Yank and Joan Farwell – who drives a steam-shovel this time – thwart Hamuka’s plan to keep blowing up ships at the Washington Navy Yard and also thwart Mavelli’s potent gas which renders all of Washington DC unconscious and helpless before him and his gang. Mavelli escapes in the end.
Title: Plague Rats in the Fog (It’s no Koalas in the Rain, but what can ya do?)
Synopsis: An Imperial Japanese agent named Nomma steals a fog machine from an American scientist whom he then kills. He uses the machine to coat an entire city with fog, which he and his men use as cover to machine-gun to death countless people in drive-by shootings. When the Fighting Yank puts the kibosh on that plan, Nomma unleashes dog-sized plague rats to spread a new disease he has invented. Our hero and his butt-kicking lady Joan defeat this plan as well.
Title: After The Fox
Villain: The Fox
Synopsis: The Fighting Yank and Joan Farwell take a plane to England, where they work at breaking up a spy ring run by a spy in a Fox-head mask (like a sports team mascot). After surviving multiple attempts on their lives by the Fox and his men, the Fighting Yank leads British commandos in a hit and run raid on occupied France. Once back in England he wipes out the spy ring and exposes the Fox as a War Ministry official named Redmont.
Title: Mavelli Strikes Again
Synopsis: The Fighting Yank’s archenemy Mavelli teams up with a ring of Imperial Japanese spies and launches a reign of terror around the country, sabotaging railroads, ships, arms factories, oil storage facilities, you name it. Our hero fights him at various locations across the country but never succeeds at catching the villain, even though he catches all the Japanese spies.
Mavelli’s sidekick Drygo extracts blood from a briefly-captive Joan Farwell to make a serum which temporarily makes Mavelli look handsome to help his sabotage efforts. In the end the Fighting Yank defeats the last of the spies and Mavelli himself before they can torpedo a U.S. warship. Mavelli seems to go down with the sub while our hero escapes.
STARTLING COMICS #17 (October 1942)
Title: The Cosmaton
Villain: The Adder
Synopsis: In the Washington D.C. area lurks a Nazi agent called the Adder. His face is horribly mutated and looks snake-ish, complete with snake fangs in his mouth. He has been using John Calvin’s newspaper the Daily Bugle (really) to pass coded messages accommodating his plans. Those plans? Having Axis Agents smuggle a high-tech device called a Cosmaton into the country piece by piece to avoid detection.
Calvin’s latest editorial supporting Japan in the war has brought unwelcome attention to the paper from a federal agent named Sloan. Since all of the Cosmaton’s pieces have arrived, the Adder decides to kill off Calvin for his editorial blunder. Using the high-tech device, the Adder causes a cat and a frog to grow to King Kong size and rampage through a business hub. The Fighting Yank defeats the giant animals and kills the Adder in battle.
THE FIGHTING YANK #2 (November 1942)
Title: The De-Oxotron
Villains: Nixo and his gang
Synopsis: An American inventor named Nixo turns traitor, hires a gang of men and begins using his latest invention, the de-oxotron, to shoot down test pilots at various proving grounds around the country. The Fighting Yank and Joan Farwell clash with Nixo, his men and his high-tech death-traps in multiple cities over the course of several days.
The ray from the de-oxotron destroys oxygen in the air, and doing that to the pilots caused them to suffocate to death and crash their planes. Now Nixo has created a SUPER de-oxotron which will destroy the oxygen in an entire city, wiping out millions. Naturally the Fighting Yank stops Nixo and brings him in.
Title: The Radium Rifle
Villains: Hackle and Mangler
Synopsis: Two Nazi saboteurs named Hackle and Mangler are at large. Hackle has invented a radium rifle that shoots irradiated bullets which strike with the force of missiles. With his hulking bodyguard Mangler he has been using his high-tech weapon to blow American ships out of the water by sniping at them. The Fighting Yank clashes with the duo a few times, sometimes saving their targets from damage. The radium rifle’s bullets can even stun our hero, but in the end he prevents Hackle and Mangler from destroying a skyscraper called the Tower Building. Both Nazi villains die, Mangler from a fall and Hackle from a grenade.
Title: The Lightning Man
Villains: Demenscha and his Lightning Man
Synopsis: Hitler sends word to Nazi spies in New York City to go to Upstate New York and kill off the mad scientist called Demenscha for not producing as promised. Demenscha has just completed his work as the spies arrive and he protects himself by unleashing his Lightning Man, a humanoid bolt of lightning which he crafted in a vacuum tube using actual strikes of lightning. The spies vow allegiance to Demenscha now instead of Hitler.
Inspired, Demenscha decides to play along with the Fuehrer for now, then overthrow him following the war. He has his Lightning Man destroy six Defense Plants but the Fighting Yank and Joan Farwell show up to save the seventh. After a monumental battle, our hero loses to the Lightning Man but drives it/ him away.
Joan is captured by Demenscha and his goons but manages to use the scientist’s equipment to create a Lightning Woman controlled by HER mind. She flies off to find the Fighting Yank and leads him to Demenscha’s lair just in time to stop the multiple Lightning Men that the Nazi has unleashed. Demenscha commits suicide to avoid capture.
STARTLING COMICS #18 (December 1942)
Title: The Lycans
Villains: Dr Fantom and a pack of wolf-spirits
NOTE: Pyroman was on the cover pic, not the Fighting Yank.
Synopsis: A Nazi sorceror called Dr Fantom is brought to America via a U-Boat. He casts a spell which unleashes the wolf-spirits of several long-dead werewolves and sends them out to prey upon the countryside. In this tale’s version of werewolf lore the Lycans can fly, are super-strong and can assume full-wolf form or erect-walking furry wolfmen form.
Fantom’s plan is to transform enough Americans into Lycans that he will have a werewolf army with which to conquer the country. The Fighting Yank gives it his all and, just barely, helps stop the supernatural rampage.
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