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Goodreads Israel Comix Bookshelf

Thursday, March 13, 2008


During the 1950s, the superhero genre fell out of favor with comics readers. In response, several comics publishers switched to such genres as romance, science-fiction, Western and horror.

Mini-biography comic stories still got published, including the one below (from Boys' Life Magazine, Dec. 1956, p. 54).

Dr. Weizmann used his scientific expertise to help the British produce explosives. In gratitude, the British government produced the Balfour Declaration.

Although war stories continued to be published in American comics, most of these took place during wars that Western countries fought, usually involving the American military. An exception is "An Army Is Born", which appeared in War War #16 (Feb. 1953) and was illustrated by Paul Reinman. This story takes place during a battle at Letrun during the 1948 War of Independence. The story shows how a lack of training and poor equipment made it difficult for the volunteer soldiers who fought there. At the end of the story, Mark sacrifices himself by blowing himself up near an approaching tank. Although the closest parallel for American readers of the time would have been the Japanese kamikaze pilots of WWII, it still seems odd to see a visual of an Israeli deliberately blowing himself up (even though it occurs on a battlerfield and not on a bus or in a cafe).

'...Just a handful of courageous men in an ancient land who faced legions of tarined, well-equipped troops!

'They came at us, 100 to 1 ... We made them pay...'

Mark carries a box of high explosives that the Arabs left behind

Mark tries to rally his fellow soldiers by reminding them of the American War of Independence

Mark blows himself up to stop the oncoming tank

a turning point in the battle