Yankee Girl has a stop to make. Artist: Ralph Mayo.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Harry "A" Chesler
First Appeared: 1946
Creators: Unknown writer and Ralph Mayo, artist
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Superheroes first turned up in American comic books just before World War II, and flourished during the early war years. Especially flourishing were a sub-species of superhero that wrapped themselves in the U.S. flag like a cheap politician. Inexplicably, these are referred to as "patriotic" heroes, indicating that wearing the flag like Captain Freedom or Miss Victory was deemed a mark of patriotism higher and more …

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… pure than that of Spy Smasher or The Unknown Soldier, who merely fought the war in costume on a day-to-day basis without using that particular color combination in their superhero outfits.

Production of new superheroes continued after the war — Atoman, Sun Girl and Miss Masque were only a few of the many that didn't appear until the fighting was good and over. Surprisingly, there were still new "patriotic"-style superheroes cropping up, even without an overseas enemy to pit them against.

Yankee Girl, for example, didn't show up until Red Seal Comics #17 (July, 1946). Maybe not even then. Tho a major reference site for '40s comics heroes says she started there, detailed indices of old comic books don't list her as having appeared in any issues of Red Seal.

What is known for sure is that she was published by Harry "A" Chesler, the early comic book entrepreneur whose publications had introduced The Clock (the first masked hero in comic books), and that her '40s appearances (perhaps her first real one) include Dynamic Comics #23 (November, 1947), where she replaced a teenager who put on a costume to assist police, named Yankee Boy. And that she isn't related to an even less consequential character named Yankee Girl, whom Chesler had published a couple of years earlier.

This Yankee Girl would get super with the magic words "Yankee Doodle Dandy!" which transformed her into a flag-clad hero with generic powers — super strength. invulnerability (or at least, enhanced durability), and ability to fly. She was Lauren Mason, a young socialite, who was able to use the words because she'd gained knowledge of some kind of ancient, mystic practice of one sort or another. Not much is known about her creation, but early appearances were drawn by Ralph Mayo, who also created Judy of the Jungle.

Yankee Girl had a brief and undistinguished career in '40s comic books, culminating with comics industry bottom feeder Israel Waldman appropriating her in the late '50s and reprinting a couple of her adventures without authorization. His IW Enterprises, later called Super Comics, did the same with The Blue Beetle, Firehair, The Lone Rider and other characters he didn't own.

In the early '90s, AC Comics (The Haunted Horseman, Nightveil), taking the attitude that any superhero nobody is in a legal position to defend is a superhero that's worth reviving for new adventures, revived Yankee Girl for new adventures. At AC, she's become a much more prominent character than she'd been in decades gone by, and now appears regularly as part of their Femforce.


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Text ©2010 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Harry "A" Chesler.