Neon the Unknown
Classic Comic Books Home Page (with many articles on comics)
These best stories of the comic books are preceded by their issue number.
The Transatlantic Bridge (1940). Writer: S. M. Iger. Art: Alex Blum. Based on a cover by: Lou Fine. A European dictator plans to send troops over a bridge across the Atlantic to conquer the United States. The vicious dictator of this anti-Nazi story is clearly modeled on Hitler, complete with mustache. His country is called Kampfland, which echoes both Deutschland, and Hitler's infamous book Mein Kampf (My Fight).
This is one of the most politically impressive stories of the Golden Age. It urges the dictator's troops to revolt against him, and against war in general, and to live in peace with the rest of the world. It is both pacifist and anti-Nazi. The story's creators clearly loathed the Nazis and all they stood for. The story's passion and explicit political ideas still ring out today.
The story blames generals and dictators for all wars, and suggests that ordinary people are innocent of such things, and should revolt against this. How true is this? Clearly, in modern day democratic countries, many people are in fact opposed to war, and feel it would be bad for business. This has lead to a great decrease in war among the industrialized nations. This represents huge progress, especially compared to the years 1914-1954, when wars raged nearly continuously in the industrialized countries. But people today unfortunately are all too eager to sell arms to third world countries, thus destabilizing them and leading to huge loss of life. And in Hitler's time, historians have now established how broad based Hitler's support was among ordinary Germans. Stories like this are still too idealistic for the actual world.
The Transatlantic Bridge here is seen as a good thing, a marvel of technology. Lou Fine's cover showing the bridge is particularly creative. It is richly composed, and full of color.