Atom-Age Combat (1st Series)

    (St. John, 1952-1953)
™ and © St. John Publishing Company

This series lived up to its claim of being “stranger than [most] fiction.” In the first issue, the intrepid Captain Buck Vinson leads the charge of flipper-wearing, bare-chested sea commandos up a rocky beach into the face of terrible enemy fire. Looking behind him, he observes, “This is rough! Guided missiles with atomic warheads have struck our sub!” Nevertheless, the half-naked commandos have no trouble routing the goggle-and antenna-wearing Communist hordes that threatened them.

There was no subtlety at play here, and lest you have trouble telling the good guys from the bad, the Communists were the ones with the exaggerated Mongoloid features who were so yellow that it looked as if each had late-stage jaundice. Even the Communist fighter pilots who are covered head-to-toe in flight gear have blazing yellow eyes underneath their goggles. Atom-Age Combat is not a great series, but it stands as a real curiosity piece of Cold War fantasy.

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