"Chapter 1: Forged Faces": Senator Northrup Bristol hires Curwen, a formerly famous sculptor, to re-shape the faces of his henchmen, using a special flesh-flexing formula. Bristol's gang kidnaps the President and half of the Senate, imprisons them in a dungeon under his Headquarters in Everytown
- The Star-Record says that no one man could do the things that he does . . . Well, he doesn't exactly do it all alone, because like I said, there's 130 million people behind him, giving him strength to keep on fighting evil, and make this country the swellest place in the world to live --
- 1 Synopsis for "Chapter 1: Forged Faces"
- 2 Appearing in "Chapter 1: Forged Faces"
- 3 Synopsis for Chapter 2: "The King of Crime"
- 4 Appearing in Chapter 2: "The King of Crime"
- 5 Synopsis for "Uncle Sam a Fake!"
- 6 Appearing in "Uncle Sam a Fake!"
- 7 Synopsis for Chapter 3: "The Man Who Sold His Country"
- 8 Appearing in Chapter 3: "The Man Who Sold His Country"
- 9 Synopsis for "The Mad Poet, or, Uncle Sam Battles Inky Pinky Omblagoo Folder Dobble Bottlepoo"
- 10 Appearing in "The Mad Poet, or, Uncle Sam Battles Inky Pinky Omblagoo Folder Dobble Bottlepoo"
- 11 Synopsis for Chapter 4: "The Steel Helmets"
- 12 Appearing in Chapter 4: "The Steel Helmets"
- 13 Notes
- 14 See Also
- 15 Recommended Reading
- 16 Links and References
Synopsis for "Chapter 1: Forged Faces"
Senator Northrup Bristol hires Curwen, a formerly famous sculptor, to re-shape the faces of his henchmen, using a special flesh-flexing formula. Bristol's gang kidnaps the President and half of the Senate, imprisons them in a dungeon under his Headquarters in Everytown, and replaces them with imposters. In Washington, Curwen impersonates the President, and a tough thug named Joe impersonates Uncle Sam. Bristol then manipulates the reduced Congress and legislates the Youth Training Act of 1941, to conscript all 12-year-old boys in the nation. It's wildly unpopular and a mob marches on Bristol's office; he deploys his "Steel Helmets" with whips and clubs to disperse them.
All the boys of Buddy's age, including Buddy, are rounded up and housed in special camps. Bristol hires them out to his industrialist associates as factory labor. His greater scheme is to instigate a war, and profit from it with his munitions factories. Buddy escapes and alerts Uncle Sam. A titanic struggle ensues, at the Everytown Steel Mill and elsewhere. Uncle Sam finds and frees the President and Senators. Curwen escapes, but most or all of the impersonators are caught. Northrup Bristol is not arrested nor impeached, or apparently even suspected of being behind this scheme.
Appearing in "Chapter 1: Forged Faces"
- Senator Northrup Bristol
- his Steel Helmets
- Joe, Uncle Sam impersonator
- Curwen, a sculptor, FDR impersonator
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (Unnamed)
- Half of the U.S. Senate
- Senator Mason (Dies)
- U.S. Marines
- Washington, D.C.
- Capitol Building
- Bristol's Washington Office
- Curwen's Studio
- Everytown, U.S.A.
- Bristol's Everytown Office
- underground dungeon
- Uncle Sam's Cottage
- Everytown Steel Mill
- Bristol's Everytown Office
- Uncle Sam's ramshackle jalopy
Synopsis for Chapter 2: "The King of Crime"
Two idiot geniuses, Doctors Blink and Link, create a fanged, giant, superhuman monster criminal, who kills them and goes on a crime rampage. King Killer assembles a gang and pulls some big crimes, then moves out into the desert, and establishes a city, to which gangsters and hoodlums from every part of the country are drawn, in caravans. Out in the wasteland they build at least five huge fortified cities, a Kingdom of Crime in the heart of America. A delegation is sent to Washington, D.C., to petition for the admission of the County of Rex, as a full-fledged state, to the Union. Congress unanimously agrees, and soon Rex is the fifty-first state of the U.S.A.
Rex is a haven for violent criminals, who can't be pursued across the state line surrounding it, at least not by the police. Uncle Sam arranges to have himself kidnapped into Rex, and this ruse brings him into King Killer's palace. He thrashes the kidnap gang, and submachine guns are useless against him, but King Killer throws a gas grenade into the melee, killing all of his own men and knocking out Uncle Sam, who is soon chained up. Then to replenish his ranks, Killer leads a recruiting raid on Everytown Prison.
Soon Uncle Sam recuperates himself and rips apart the cell he's held in, plus a good deal of King Killer's palace, then sets out at high speed to stop the prison break. Killer's killers try to stop him with high explosives; no dice. Sam confronts the gang outside the prison and beats them all up hand-to-hand. King meanwhile tries to shoot Buddy in the back, an attempt that's foiled by a stranger, a boy of Buddy's age who catches that bullet instead of him. King escapes the scene.
Soon an enormous mob of Everytown citizens and police march on Rex, with Uncle Sam at their head. Directing the posse to hang back, Uncle Sam smashes a hole in the city's stone wall and walks into the town alone. He meets and fights with King Killer, for the rest of that day, with both of them performing incredible feats of durability and strength. This goes on all night and into the next day, cleaving a swathe of destruction thru the city of Rex.
This titanic struggle continues for two more days and nights, and only ends when Uncle Sam punches King Killer into a hydroelectric generator, absorbs a gigantic near-fatal electric charge, grabs King and dives into a reservoir. The water foams and splashes for a time, and Uncle Sam returns to the surface with King Killer, subdued at last, at least for the moment.
King Killer is imprisoned in a specially built steel cell, but vows that no prison can hold the King of Crime!
Appearing in Chapter 2: "The King of Crime"
- Dr. Link (Dies)
- Dr. Blink (Dies)
- King Killer
- his gang
- Joe, a bully (Dies)
- unnamed boy (Dies)
- Everytown vigilante mob
- Washington, D.C.
- Everytown, U.S.A.
- Everytown Prison
- Rex (the 49th state, admitted in 1941)
- Rex City
- at least four other cities
- Rex Reservoir & Hydroelectric Plant
- streamlined high speed passenger train
- railroad hand cart
Synopsis for "Uncle Sam a Fake!"
Star-Record reporter Laney Pederson editorializes against Uncle Sam, denouncing him as a fraud, and debunking his so-called feats of fortitude and strength. His article makes specific mention of several events from National Comics #1 (July 1940), including the kidnapping and rescue of the U.S. president, and the annihilation of the fascist Purple Shirts organization, and from National Comics #4 (Oct 1940), detailing several of Uncle Sam's alleged feats of invulnerability and super strength.
A rival newspaper, the Daily World (which employs Laney's ex-boyfriend), undertakes to establish Uncle Sam's bona fides, and sends a photographer (the boyfriend) out to get some evidence. But as we know, Uncle Sam can not be photographed. So when Sam climbs into a burning building to rescue a woman, the only evidence consists of eyewitness accounts. But Laney Pederson herself is on the scene when it happens, and she angrily quits her job at the Star-Record. She and her boyfriend get back together and plan to get married. Buddy Smith writes an article verifying Uncle Sam's existence and deeds, and gets it published in the Daily Almanac. Buddy claims that Sam's feats are not supernatural, but reviews the events of National Comics #5 (Nov 1940), almost all of which are distinctly supernatural.
Appearing in "Uncle Sam a Fake!"
- Laney Pederson
- her boyfriend
- her editor
Synopsis for Chapter 3: "The Man Who Sold His Country"
In November 1940, a disillusioned and embittered third-party presidential candidate, Horatio Brown of the Progressive Party, was electorally, psychologically, and spiritually crushed by FDR's re-election. He vowed "I'd give anything to be KING for a month !!!" That very night Brown made a deal with the Devil: in return for the Panama Canal Zone Defense Plans he would become a dictator! He delivered the plans the very next night. Soon Horatio Brown was the dictator of a small tropical island, population 20,000, and he oppressed the people horribly.
Meanwhile several Foreign Powers, possessing the vital defense plans, declared war on the U.S. and deployed a large fleet of warships toward Panama. The U.S. Navy intercepted it but the attacking fleet was far larger and prevailed. Aboard the U.S. flagship was Uncle Sam, hurling torpedoes like javelins and mines like shot puts, but soon the battleship he rode on started taking direct hits. A tremendous explosion hurled Uncle Sam and Buddy far from the scene of the fighting, and they landed near Horatio Brown's Island Dictatorship, and swam ashore.
Uncle Sam and Buddy were ushered into the Dictator's throneroom, where Brown gloated that soon the U.S. Pacific Fleet would enter the Panama Canal Zone, and be destroyed, and he boasted of being responsible for it. Sam took umbrage at this and punched the daylights out of Brown, who saved himself by pointing out that while this went on, the fleet was approaching its doom. Uncle Sam decided to swim to Panama, and with Buddy holding on to his coat-tails, he dove out the window and did just that!
Brown's soldiers all despised him, and at this point one of them told him so, and that as soon as the U.S. fleet was dealt with, he would become unnecessary. Brown had a second mental breakdown, but also decided that his best move was to betray his fellow betrayers. He stole their airplane and flew to Panama. He got there ahead of Uncle Sam, who swam faster than a passenger liner. Horatio crashed but survived, and sprinted inland, with a small U.S. flag in one hand and a pistol in the other. Uncle Sam and Buddy pursued him thru the jungle. They converged on a hilltop shack, the spy hide-out of the demolition team. There Brown gunned down at least one of his foreign associates, and blew up the hide-out with a previously-planted explosive. Uncle Sam and Buddy arrived moments too late to be caught in the blast, and Sam quickly deduced that Horatio Brown had had a change of heart, and redeemed himself at the cost of his life.
Appearing in Chapter 3: "The Man Who Sold His Country"
- Horatio Brown (Only appearance; dies)
- his Foreign-Power-provided mercenaries
- Unnamed Bargainer
- The Foreign Powers
- F.D.R. (Mentioned only)
- Panama Canal Zone Defense Plans
- Foreign Naval Fleet (damaged)
- U.S. Atlantic Fleet (cut to pieces)
- U.S. Pacific Fleet (en route)
Synopsis for "The Mad Poet, or, Uncle Sam Battles Inky Pinky Omblagoo Folder Dobble Bottlepoo"
An evil poet uses evil poetry to put a whammy on the attitudes of the people of America, but Uncle Sam catches him and chokes him until he writes the antidote poem, which quickly undoes the effects of the first poem. The poet is locked in a room with a parrot, and goes even more mad with the repetition and rhyming, until he does himself in.
Appearing in "The Mad Poet, or, Uncle Sam Battles Inky Pinky Omblagoo Folder Dobble Bottlepoo"
- Mad Poet (Dies)
- his hoodlums (thrashed and scattered)
- President Roosevelt (Cameo)
- a parrot
- Mad Poem: Inky Pinky Omblagoo Folder Dobble Bottlepoo
- Antidote Poem: Oogalbmo Yknip Ykni Oopelttob Elbbod Redlof
Synopsis for Chapter 4: "The Steel Helmets"
Northrup Bristol's subversive "Steel Helmets" paramilitary cadre begin fomenting violent riots and targeting foreign-born Americans, even in Everytown. Bristol's goons use tear gas to turn an athletic event, at Buddy's school, into an ugly riot. Then Bristol takes the stage in person, and persuades the mob to stop fighting, plus blames Uncle Sam for the whole incident and accuses him of some stuff he didn't do. The crowd buys it. Meanwhile a corrupt newspaper editor publishes a real photo with a fake caption, framing Buddy for the tear gas incident, and painting Northrup Bristol as the hero of the day.
Buddy's arm has gotten broken in all this turmoil, and Uncle Sam checks him into the hospital. A mob surrounds the hospital, denouncing Uncle Sam. Lots of people who really should know better have suddenly lost faith in the old guy, and it takes a toll on him. Sam literally lives on the faith and confidence of his American People, and when that starts to evaporate, Sam weakens and shrinks. One Steel Helmet jumps Uncle Sam, and beats him in a brief fistfight. The Steel Helmets try to finish off Uncle Sam with a dynamite bomb, which tosses him upward, to a place he had just that moment been discussing, the home of the Spirit People, up there in the Clouds. Sam's old spirit pals are all happy to see him, but on Earth, Buddy's not having it! He vows to devote the rest of his life to getting people to believe in Uncle Sam! He starts by organizing an Uncle Sam Club, among kids his own age. This soon draws the attention of the Steel Helmets, who raid one U.S.C. meeting. They arrest most or all of Buddy's pals, and lock them up in an old museum, but Buddy escapes.
Some of the Spirit People have the same problem that Sam's got; their people had lost faith in them, and supplanted them with dictators and war-makers. One ancient spirit tells Sam of a way back to the world, "a dangerous path through swamps of ignorance and jungles of lies" with Death besetting each step of the way. Uncle Sam goes for it. Soon in the Swamp of Ignorance he is attacked by a Monster of Greed. Energized by the kid gang's belief, Sam quickly defeats this beast, and advances into the Forest of Lies.
Meanwhile on Earth, Northrup Bristol's Steel Helmets have led insurrections in every part of the U.S.A., and set fire to the Capitol Building. Bristol installs himself as national Dictator. He then hunkers down in his fortified office, demanding reassurance from his Steel Helmets that Uncle Sam is really dead, and sending swarms of patrols out to catch Buddy Smith. Smith meanwhile sneaks into the old museum and frees his friends, then they steal some historical costumes and after a brief fracas with a squad of Steel Helmets, they escape into the night.
In the Forest of Lies Uncle Sam battles and defeats an assortment of monsters, then steps out onto a hill, blown by all the winds of the Earth. He's swept off of this hill and plummets all the way back to the real world, where he lands with a thump, right next to a pitched battle between a mob of ordinary citizens and a force of Steel Helmets. Buddy and his club are among them and they clue in Sam about what's going on. But one of the kids in the club is a traitor, and runs back to Bristol's base to squeal that Uncle Sam is back. Bristol back-hands the little fink, and then orders out his tanks, cannons, planes, and troops to get out there and fight Uncle Sam! Sweating heavily and shaking hard, they comply.
Buddy Smith, meanwhile, has been calling for volunteers in every corner of the country. A small but modern army of Steel Helmets besiege Uncle Sam's forces at the old log fort in the middle of Everytown, U.S.A. Just as they are launching their attack, Buddy's volunteers arrive on the scene. Seeing this, Uncle Sam regains his full size, strength, and zeal, and he rips into the Steel Helmets with gusto. Northrup Bristol tries to flee the battlefield in a car, but is murdered by two deserters from his own army. He manages to kill both of them but afterward lives only long enough to hear the first half of Uncle Sam's remarks about the importance of a fair trial.
Appearing in Chapter 4: "The Steel Helmets"
- Buddy Smith
- The Uncle Sam Club (First appearance)
- Senator Northrup Bristol (Dies)
- his Steel Helmets
- corrupt newspaper editor
- rat fink U.S.Club member
- Everytown Townsfolk: Bill Henderson, John Bates, Ben Roberts, Carson, Jim, Bedford, others
- Spirit People, up in the Clouds
- Everytown, U.S.A.
- Everytown Junior High School
- home of the Spirit People, up in the clouds
- Washington, D.C.
- Capitol Building (Destroyed)
- Chapter 1: Forged Faces
- Whatever state Everytown is in is Northrup Bristol's home state.
- The unnamed U.S. President in this story does not use a cigarette holder, or otherwise resemble Franklin Roosevelt, but he does have a small black dog, resembling Fala.
- How tough was Joe, the Uncle Sam impersonator? Joe smoked a cigarette and asked stupid questions while he was undergoing plastic surgery, that's how tough.
- How tough was Uncle Sam? Sam got knocked into a white-hot vat of molten steel, climbed back out, and resumed fighting.
- At this chapter's end, Northrup Bristol is still at large and still a U.S. Senator. His hireling Curwen escapes, and is not heard from again.
- Chapter 2: The King of Crime"
- Buddy Smith, who is himself an Oakie (per National Comics #1), sees a passing caravan of crooks and observes "What a pack! They must be Okies ..." He's not using it as an epithet, but the spelling has changed.
- Uncle Sam can pump a railroad trackworker hand cart faster than a streamlined high speed passenger train.
- King Killer and Uncle Sam make much comical use of the panel borders in their epic battle.
- It is not revealed when, or how, the State of Rex was disincorporated, but apparently at some point it was, because the State of Rex is never mentioned again.
- Uncle Sam a Fake! includes two pages of newspaper-style text, and a two-page bird's-eye view of Everytown, the American City.
- Chapter 3: The Man Who Sold His Country
- The Unnamed Bargain-maker is never explicitly named in this story; he just shows up, makes a deal, and delivers on his end of it. For all we know, he's just an extremely capable enemy spy.
- The "Foreign Powers" are not identified by name. They have declared war on the U.S.A., and at this story's end, the Pacific Fleet is moving thru the Panama Canal to engage their navy.
- The island ruled by the late Horatio Brown is not named. At this story's end, the island is presumably under the control of the troops from the Foreign Powers.
- The Mad Poet is told entirely in verse.
- F.D.R. appears, briefly, but his face is hidden behind an oversized microphone.
- Buddy Smith is called Uncle Sam's "foster son" in this episode.
- Chapter 4: Steel Helmets
- Senator Northrup Bristol was one of only two golden age supervillains who was a U.S. Senator, with the other being Black Condor's constantly-recurring adversary Senator Jaspar Crow.
- Since his last appearance (1st story, this issue), Bristol has taken to wearing pseudo-military black uniform, with a cape.
- Buddy Smith's arm gets broken.
- The Capitol Building is burned. Afterward, this is never mentioned again.
- World War II Recommended Reading
- Adventures in the Rifle Brigade (Volume 1)
- Adventures in the Rifle Brigade (Volume 2)
- All-American Men of War (Volume 1)
- All-Out War (Volume 1)
- Blackhawk (Volume 1)
- Blitzkrieg (Volume 1)
- Capt. Storm (Volume 1)
- Four-Star Battle Tales (Volume 1)
- G.I. Combat (Volume 1)
- Men of War (Volume 1)
- Military Comics (Volume 1)
- Our Army at War (Volume 1)
- Our Fighting Forces (Volume 1)
- Sgt. Rock (Volume 1)
- Sgt. Rock (Volume 2)
- Star-Spangled War Stories (Volume 1)
- Unknown Soldier (Volume 1)
- Weird War Tales (Volume 1)