Monday, April 9, 2012

Golden Age Throwbacks: The American Eagle

Let's continue our exploration of the superheroes from the pages of Nedor Comics (a.k.a. Standard Comics) now in the public domain with another member of the Golden Age Throwbacks: The American Eagle. During World War II, comic book publishers created dozens of "Super Patriots" wrapped in stars and stripes and red, white and blue that embodied the American ideals of democracy and liberty (most notably Captain America who is still around today), and The American Eagle clearly falls into this category. Like his contemporaries, he did his part to defend democracy by battling Nazi and Japanese soldiers, spies and saboteurs both at home and abroad, and sell a few war bonds on the side. The American Eagle also had something that was becoming a growing comic book trend (starting with Robin the Boy Wonder in 1940) to attract younger readers at the time - a teenage sidekick known as Eaglet.

THE AMERICAN EAGLE
Origin: Transformed
Real Name: Tom Standish
First Appearance: America's Best Comics #2 [Nedor Comics September 1942]

ABILITIES
Prowess  5
Coordination  4
Strength  8
Intellect 3
Awareness  3
Willpower  3

Stamina  11
Determination  3

SPECIALTIES
  • Aerial Combat Master
  • Martial Arts Expert
  • Science Expert (Biology)
  • Science (Chemistry)
  • Science (Physics)
POWERS
  • Ability Increase (Strength)
  • Flight 6
  • Supersenses 6 (Enhanced Vision, Extended Vision)
American Eagle and Eaglet
QUALITIES
  • Sidekick: Eaglet (Bud Pierce)
  • Epithet: Democracy's Champion
  • Epithet: Soaring Symbol of National Honor and Courage
  • Catchphrase: Here's my personal Mickey Finn!
  • Catchphrase: Clear for action!
CHALLENGES
  • Enemy : Axis Powers
  • Enemy: Organized Crime (post-war)
  • Weakness: Needs to wear a cape to fly (but not a device power)
Point Total: 48

EAGLET
Real Name: Bud Pierce
Notable Stats: Strength 7; Flight 6; Aerial Combat Expert; Martial Arts
Notable Aspects: Connections: The American Eagle (Tom Standish)

ORIGIN STORY
Tom Standish
Tom Standish was a young scientist working in the lab of Dr. Wolfe where the two were collaborating on a serum that would mimic the strength and flight capabilities of the American bald eagle. Standish accidentally spilled the serum on a cathode ray tube which began to glow with an eerie light. Curious as to what effects the serum had on the tube, he plugged it into a projector and was bombarded with a strange black light. When he went to inform Dr. Wolfe of his discovery, he accidentally overheard Wolfe conspiring with Nazi saboteurs to poison America's water supply.  The Nazis seized him and threw him over a cliff, but much to Tom's surprise, he survived the fall without a scratch and learned that he now possessed superhuman strength and the ability to fly. He had become the living embodiment of America's national bird, the bald eagle! Using his new found powers, he went back to the lab and put an end to the Nazi plot by pushing the whole building and its villainous occupants over the same cliff he was thrown from earlier.

Bud Pierce
Now without a job, Tom Standish returned to the city to look for work where he was almost struck down and killed by a speeding car if not for the quick action of a brave and surprisingly strong teenager by the name of Bud Pierce. Standish learned that Pierce was the son of a circus strongman which accounted for his above average strength and athletic prowess, and that the lad was now out on his own in the world. He offered to take the young man in and together they decided to pool their resources and get back on their feet. Shortly after, Tom Standish was offered a new job in a lab but soon discovered he would be working for the same Dr. Wolfe who had survived the earlier fall from the cliff.

Fed up with Wolfe and the Nazis operating so blatantly out in the open on American shores, Standish designed a costume for himself and decided to stop them once and for all disguised as The American Eagle! With the help of Bud Pierce, who created his own costume and secret identity known as Eaglet (after exposing himself to the same black light cathode ray tube to gain the ability to fly), the super-heroic duo put an end to Nazi and Japanese Axis threats on American soil and abroad for the duration of the war. Tom Standish got a job with the United States government as a scientist and consultant, and his duties for Uncle Sam often led to crossing paths with America's enemies. After the war ended, The American Eagle and Eaglet continued to serve their country by taking the fight to organized crime.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING
The American Eagle was originally created by writer Richard Hughes and artist Kin Platt and first appeared in America's Best Comics #2 (September 1942) and Exciting Comics #22 (October 1942), both published by Nedor (a.k.a. Standard) Comics.

2 comments:

  1. Jaerdaph,

    I love your take on (and passion about) Icons character creation. Your blog is a reference for me. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you very much, Fabrício! I really appreciate you taking the time to check it out. :)

    ReplyDelete