The Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives (Some Spoilage May Occur)

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I think you may have hit upon the answer, Commander, when you said "perhaps they liked the alliteration".  "Seven Soldiers of Victory" rolls off the tongue nicely, "Eight Soldiers" (or Nine Soldiers) doesn't have quite the same ring to it.  As for possible racism, I'll give the creators of the time the benefit of the doubt.  In the 40's, Orientals were stereotypically depicted a certain way not just in comics, but in movies and editorial cartoons, as were just about anyone who wasn't a WASP.  It wouldn't be acceptable today, but that's looking through yesterday with the lens of today.  Unenlightened attitudes doesn't necessarily make anyone a bad person.

86)Next up, we see the cover of Leading Comics #10 (Spring 1944), with art by Luis Cazeneuve.  It depicts miniature versions of the legionnaires popping up out of a treasure chest to confront the machine gun-wielding King of the Hundred Isles, who looks like a beach bum with half a coconut on his head.

 

87)Chapter One: "The King of the Hundred Isles!":In which our heroes our cruising the South Pacific looking for some missing ichthyologists. Their ship strikes a rock and sinks, and the Legionnaires are scattered in all directions!

 

88)Chapter Two: "Crusoe and Crusoe Inc.!": The Crimson Avenger and Speedy find themselves on a deserted island.  Being clever fellows, they build a comfortable hut for themselves in which to await rescue.  They are surprised by some crooks, but manage to get the better of them.  Intrigued by the crooks' mention of a "King", they take the crooks' boat and go in search of their comrades.

 

89)Chapter Three: "His Majesty...King Baby-Face!": The Green Arrow and the Vigilante come ashore on an island where they discover the "Baby-Face" Johnson - a criminal with a penchant for collecting rare fish - has set himself up as king. They confront the criminals, but even as they do so, the island sinks, and criminals and crime-fighters alike must flee for their lives.

 

90)Chapter Four: "Taskmasters and Toilers!": Stripesy and Wing are cast up on an island inhabited by the pacifistic descendants of castaway mutineers.  These peaceful people have been enslaved by the King's men. The two heroes battle the crooks, but are accidentally knocked out by falling coconuts, and awaken to find themselves tied to trees, and about to be used for the criminals' target practice!

 

91)Chapter Five: "The Fortunate Fish!": The Shining Knight and the Star-Spangled Kid find the missing ichthyologists, but discover that the crooks have found them as well.  The heroes overcome the crooks with the help of an illusion-casting device that one of the ichthyologists has invented in order to deceive fish.

 

92)Chapter Six: :Revelation of Roguery!": The pacifistic folk learn to fight and rescue Stripesy and Wing. They are soon joined by the Shining Knight and the Star-Spangled Kid, Meanwhile, the other crooks escape from the ichthyologists!

 

93)Chapter Seven: "Kingdom's End!": The eight heroes are reunited and defeat the King and his men, leaving  them in the custody of the former pacifists, who promise to keep the villains at hard labor until the Legionnaires can arrange for the authorities to take them into custody.

 

Overall: I liked this one, particularly. It was good to see the usual partnerships all jumbled up, and see how the Legionnaires worked with diffenret teammates for once.  There were alot of interesting concepts in this one.

94)Next is the cover of Leaving Comics #11 (Summer 1944), with artwork by Luis Cazeneuve, showing several Legionnaires confronting - a hat!  We are also exhorted to "Back the 5th war loan!"

 

95)Chapter One: "The Hard-Luck Hat!": Crime lord "Handsome Harry" is upset when he is given someone else's hat to wear instead of his own "lucky" hat. Perhaps he is right to do so, as his gang is soon sore beset by all eight Seven Soldiers of Victory! Harry escapes, but the hat blows away!

 

96)Chapter Two: "The Banker and the Bandit!": The hat then comes into the possession of banker J.Billington Bilker, who has lost a considerable amount of money at the gambling establishment of criminal "King-Pin" Kong.  Kong coerces Bilker into helping him rob Bilker's own bank - but their scheme is defeated due to the chance intervention of the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy.

 

97)Chapter Three: Muggs at Mealtime!": Criminal "Gas-Pipe" Grogan purchases disgraced banker Bilker's home - coming into possesion of the hard-luck hat. Grogan also takes ownership of Bilker's library. Reading one of the books, Grogan gets the idea to corner the local salt supply, forcing area restaurants to pay him a "tax" if they want to get any salt. This seems unlikely to me, but the plan works until the Vigilante more or less stumbles across it at lunch, and foils the saline shenanigans.

 

98)Chapter Four: "The Absent-Minded Victim!":  The hat now falls into the hands of a crook called "Bozo", an admirer of Grogan's. Bozo and his gang plot to steal the business of an absent-minded antiques dealer - seriously, this guy goes beyond "absent-minded" into a sort of low-level dementia.  However, the crooks' plans are foiled through the intervention of the Crimson Avenger and Wing.

 

99)Chapter Five: "The High-Hatted House!":  The hat now blows onto the roof of a house. As it happens, the house is approached by three escaped convicts (their leader is named "Bopper") who terrorize the family inside until they are defeated by the Shining Knight, who finds the hat and uses it as a distraction.

 

100)Chapter Six: "The Dummy Director!":  The hat is now found by the son of Wilbur Timmins, a second-hand clothes dealer, who puts it on a dummy outside his shop. The dummy - hat and all - is purchased  by a Mr. Jordan, who brings it to a board meeting at the company he works for, to use as a prop of sorts when he resigns from the company because he thinks the director, Mr. Akers, is a crook. Unfortunately, the whole board are crooks, and they abuse Jordan seeking to take possession of the stock certificate that he owns. The Green Arrow and Speedy intervene and stop the crooks, but Jordan reveals to the heroes that he had hidden the certificate in the brim of the hat, which is now lost in the struggle with the crooks, although when and why he would have done this is somewhat unclear.

 

101)Chapter Seven: "Hat's Haven": The hat - stock certificate and all - is now found by one Harry the Hobo - fka "Handsome Harry" - who sells the stock and uses the proceeds to open an institute for helping hoboes find jobs, although this is simply a blind for a school for criminals.  Alas for Harry, the Legionnaires tumble to his plan and bring it to an end, and the hard-luck hat ends up being used as a nest by some birds...

 

Overall: I found this pretty enjoyable - I don't recall seeing a story like this in a comic before, where a object is followed from owner to owner like this. It's interesting to see them trying different things like this.

102)Next up is the cover of Leading Comics #11 (Fall 1944), drawn by Jon Small, which features several Legionnaires shooting at balloons marked as clues!  What can this mean?  A million dollar challenge, apparently!

 

103)Chapter One: "Million Dollar Challenge!": Eccentric millionaire Weldon Darrel warning the Legionnaires to stay away. Naturally they race to his house, where he immediately captures him. One wonders the sort of fun Luthor would've had playing with these guys. Anyhow, it was all a ruse to get them there so he could presnet them with a challenge:  Find five caches of valuables he's hidden around the country, and he'll give a million dollars to a charity of their choice. Since there is apparently no crime going on in the country at the moment and the country isn't fighting for its life against world communism fascism, the heroes accept!

 

104)Chapter Two: "The Cache in the Canyon!": The Vigilante tracks down the first cache in a canyon in Wyoming, and deals with some claim-jumpers at the same time.

 

105)Chapter Three: "The Power of the Press!": The Crimson Avenger and Wing find the second cache hidden in an old printing press, but not without being chased by cops and criminals alike.

 

106)Chapter Four: "The Safe from the Sky!": The Green Arrow and Speedy find the third cache hidden in a meteorite in a museum, but find themselves also chased by crooks and cops who've heard about the mix-up that the Avenger and Wing had.

 

107)Chapter Five: "The Puzzle of the Pyramid!": The Shining Knight battles crooks as he finds the fourth cache in a steel pyramid - only to discover that these "valuables" are baby booties and a child's toys.

 

108)Chapter Six: "Murder in Miniature": The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy battle crooks as they find the fifth cache in a toy bank. They crooks catch them, and put them "on trial" for their crinmes against criminals.

 

109)Chapter Seven: "Conclusion": The team reunited and confronts Darrel, only to learn that "Darrel" is a fake. It's really Darrel's secretary - who strongly resembles his employer - who set the heroes to finding the treasures because the crooks in his employ weren't smart enough.  Naturally the impostor is defeated and the real Darrel is freed, and is so grateful, the he gives the heroes the money they had been promised for charity.

 

Overall: Another fun story - these heroes get caught pretty easily, but they always escape easily, too.  It's ineteresting watching them work out that things aren't what they seem.

Should Read "Leading Comics #12"

The Baron said:

102)Next up is the cover of Leading Comics #11 (Fall 1944)

 

 

110)Next up is the cover of Leading Comics #13 (Winter 1944-1945), by Luis Cazeneuve, which features marching robots in leisure suits meancing our heroes.

 

111)Chapter One: "Trophies of Crime": We start off in a museum, where a guide is showing off trophies received from the Legionnaires, and explaining their history. We flash back to see a master criminal, the Barracuda,  tellling his men that he wants to gather several crime-lrelated items as trophies for his own personal "museum". Coincidentally, our heroes have been planning a raid on his HQ, and although the villain escapes, the heroes gain information about his plans.

 

112)Chapter Two: "Crime's Cornerstone": The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy prevent the theft of a cornerstone from an historic prison building that had been demolished.

 

113)Chapter Three: "The Cup of the Borgias!": The Shining Knight prevents the theft of a special cup used by the Borgias to poison their enemies.

 

114)Chapter Four: "The Rubber Dagger!": The Vigilante prevents the theft of a rubber dagger that was used in a murder - the gag is that it was frozen to make it rigid enough to penetrate human flesh, then allowed to thaw so that no one would think of it as a murder weapon.  So, that particular plot device is older than I thought it was!

 

115)Chapter Five: "The Sails of the Sally C.!": The Crimson Avenger and Wing pose as sailors aboard a ship to prevent the theft of a sail that had been used to help a criminal escape capture.

 

116)Chapter Six: The Iron Band!": The Green Arrow and Speedy prevent the theft of an iron ring with a secret radio inside, that a criminal had used to keep in contact with his gang.

 

117)Chapter Seven: "Mementos of Victory": We flash forward to the museum again, where we learn that the exhibit was a trap set by the heroes to capture the Barracuda - who is caught despite trying to take a museum-goer hostage. Kind of careless of the Legionnaires not to consider the possibility of danger to civilians, but it works out OK in the end.

 

Overall: Another fairly entertaining story.

Baron, If no-one has replied to your post, then its easy to edit your last post. Just hit 'reply' in a post you want to make a correction to.

 

Then hit the HTML button and delete the html text before the first word of your original text you want to copy.  Hit HTML button again and you can edit the post, 'add reply' and then once the corrected post is showing delete the offending incorrect post.

 

BTW - I see you are numbering each 'verse' like in the bible.  I like that.  Think big.

You're right - I didn't think of that.

 

I hadn't thought of the "biblical" connection, that's an interesting notion.

118)Next up, we have Leading Comics #14 (Spring 1945), with a cover by Jon Small, on which we see our heroes ffighting characters escaping from a giant book.

 

119)Chapter One: The Bandits from the Books: A Doctor Wimsett has discovered a method to bring fictional characters from books to life, and does so, even though he hasn't got a workable way of putting them back into the books again, which seems awfully irresponsible of him, particularly since several fictional villains have gotten loose and started causing trouble. Our heroes go to the Doctor's lab, and Humpty Dumpy fairly shamelessly rats out his fellow figments, and the chase is on.

 

120)Chapter Two: Treasureless Island!: In which the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy chase after Long John Silver and his men, who are accompanied by some Fenimore Cooper Indians for some reason, and stop them by the unique method of convincing them that the treasure they're after doesn't exist.

 

121)Chapter Three: Food for Falstaff: The Green Arrow and Speedy chase after Volstagg the Voluminous Sir John Falstaff, and prevent him from stealing a whole bunch of sausages.

 

122)Chapter Four: Hypocrites, Incorporated!: The Crimson Avenger and Wing fight the Old Man of the Sea (Some guy that apparently fought Sindbad the Sailor, not the Hemingway guy) and 70's prog rock band  Dickens character Uriah Heep, who are trying to rob a charity.

 

123)Chapter Five: The Giant Who Got A Job!: The Shining Knight confronts the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, whose sinister plan seems to involve finding work and being somewhat grouchy (which sounds pretty much like something I would do). The Giant is accompanied by the Cheshire Cat (who gets a job disappearing slowly), and the Lion and the Unicorn, who spend all their time fighting about something.

 

124)Chapter Six: Little Men With Big Ideas!: The Vigilante fights some Lilliputians (I don't recall the Lilliputians being particularly evil) and their sinister scheme to be small, annoying  and easily defeated.

 

125)Chapter Seven: Back to the Books:  In which the heroes return the figmentary felons to the lab, then promptly  let them get loose again, and the day is saved by the inspired device of Humpty Dumpty having a great fall!

 

Overall:  I thought this was kind of amusing. It reminds me of that Golden Age Superman story where a little weird guy brought comic strip villains to life, and they were beaten when Superman brought all their enemies to life, and then after the Crisis on Infinite Earths , Roy Thomas re-wrote it as an All-Star Squadron story.

 

 

The villain was Funnyface from Superman #19 (D'42) which I read in the Superman: From the 30s to the 70s hardcover. He was a frustrated cartoonist drawn to resemble...Jerry Siegel!!

126)Leading Comics 314 was the last Golden Age appearance of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Apparently, the book then switched to "funny animal" stories.  Joe Samachson had written a acript for what would have been issue #15, if it had existed. In 1975, this script was updated and serialized as a back-up feature in Adventure Comics #438-443. Alas, this collection doesn't contain that adaptation, and I've never seen it. The collection does contain Samachson's original script however, a tale about the Legionnaires' encounter with one Willie Wisher...

 

157)Chapter One: Land of Magic!: We begin in a cinema, where two men are discussing the film they are about to watch, a film about the Seven Soldiers of Victory. We then flash back to our heroes, who have found themselves summoned by one Willie Wisher, who has the power to get anything he wishes for.  For somewhat unclear reasons, he summons five film crews, and sends them and our heroes off to the Land of Magic!

 

158)Chapter Two: Knight After Knight!: In which the Shining Knight battles the Wizard Surlin, and his own mirror image!

 

159)Chapter Three: Dead End Animals!: In which the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy battle a gang a animal thugs who are led by an actual black sheep!

 

160)Chapter Four: Father Time's Inn!: In which the Green Arrow and Speedy help settle a dispute between Father Time and various celestial bodies!

 

161)Chapter Five: Kings Make A Full House!: In which the Crimson Avenger and Wing help King Mistybrain get rid of some unwanted house guests!

 

162)Chapter Six: Gnome Man's Land!: In which the Vigilante settles a dispute between factions of gnomes!

 

163)Chapter Seven: Willie's Last Wish: In which our heroes talk Willie into wishing he'd never been born!  Hey, they did the "Captain Kirk talks the powerful menace into destorying itself" bit, twenty years early!

 

Overall: An OK story - it seems a bit hard on Willie, he doesn't come across as evil, so much as misguided.  If this were a modern book, they would have to address who he was and how he got his powers - as it is, our heroes just accept that there's a guy who can wish for stuff.

 

The Series Overall: I quite enjoyed this, it was better than I remembered it being.  I heartily recommend taking a look at it, if you get a chance, and you haven't already seen it.

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