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Secret Origins Vol 2 19

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"The Coming of Uncle Sam": At the onset of winter in 1777, near Valley Forge Pennsylvania, Revolutionary Patriot Samuel (last name unknown) was killed by Hessian mercenaries, whom he'd decoyed away from a crucial supply wagon train bound for Valley Forge. As he lay dying, Uncle Sam appeared to


Quote1 Just take my hand, Samuel - - and you'll be possessed of unimaginable power and invincibility. You'll be as strong as America's belief in you - - and in itself! Quote2
-- Uncle Sam



Appearing in "The Coming of Uncle Sam"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Scar
  • Snyle

Other Characters:

Locations:

Synopsis for "The Coming of Uncle Sam"

At the onset of winter in 1777, near Valley Forge Pennsylvania, Revolutionary Patriot Samuel (last name unknown) was killed by Hessian mercenaries, whom he'd decoyed away from a crucial supply wagon train bound for Valley Forge. As he lay dying, Uncle Sam appeared to him, and had his own face and build, and asked him "Are you willing to give up Eternal Rest, to help me defend our country always?" And he was.

He was seen again, at least five times, in 1812 on the high seas, in 1861 at Gettysburg, in 1865 at Appomattox, in 1898 on San Juan Hill, and in 1918 in France. Then in June 1940, Uncle Sam manifested for the second time in the 20th century, in the Midwestern town of Glen Valley, which was being taken over by the Black Legion (run by Herr Scar and his adjutant Snyle), with all but one local businessmen ready to capitulate. That one guy, Samuel (last name unknown) was approached by the living spirit of America and was, with a handshake, imbued with unimaginable power and invincibility. He would be as strong as America's belief in him, and in itself.

That evening, outside of that town, a big-tent rally meeting was taking place, with local residents and dust bowl refugees, and unruly impromptu speaker Ezra Smith was rallying people to resist the Black Legion, who wore nazi-style uniforms with double-Xes in place of swastikas and all wore Hitler moustaches. The Black Legion had an underground fortress near town, and secretly had at least three panzers, with maybe 100 troops. A Black Legion hit team whacked old Ezra Smith and burned down his tent and sent his grandson, Buddy Smith, fleeing into the night, where he met up with Uncle Sam. The following afternoon, the gang actually invaded the town and started blowing stuff up, until Uncle Sam, and Buddy, confronted them. Unc single-handedly kicked the butts of most of Scar's men, and shook Scar himself out of his fleeing tank. Presumably Scar and his gang ended up in a Federal pen.

Appearing in "The Secret Origin of Guardian and the Newsboy Legion"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Chips Carder
  • Frankie the Fence

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for "The Secret Origin of Guardian and the Newsboy Legion"

One evening in early January 1942, in Suicide Slum, Metropolis, rookie cop Jim Harper gets beaten up by some thugs, and decides to take a new approach to crimefighting. He breaks into a costume shop, assembles an "action outfit" that includes a sturdy shield and a crash helmet, leaves some money on the counter, and goes after the gang. He finds them in a pool parlor and smacks the hell out of all of them. He can't arrest them, so he ties them up and leaves them for the regular police. Also one of them drops his wallet, and Harper checks the serial numbers on some of his cash; it turns out to match the serial numbers from an earlier ransom payment.

As he leaves the pool hall, the Guardian encounters a large glowing sphere of alien energy, and is pulled inside it, to have a completely different adventure in which he teams up with Ted Wildcat Grant and Al the Atom Pratt, in which they must fight and defeat a man well-known to all three of them: Nat Milligan aka Joe Morgan, who had, earlier in their lives, trained all three of these men as fighters. He also meets Alan Green Lantern Scott, and is invited to join the All-Star Squadron.

The next day, Harper arrests four quasi-delinquent, roller-skate-equipped young newspaper vendors, all orphans, pushed into crime by financial desperation, for shoplifting a hardware store. He accompanies them to their hearing, and asks the judge to keep them out of reform school, and remand them to his personal custody. He wants to try a different approach with these kids, and legally becomes their guardian.

The boys don't exactly reform instantly, and soon a local lowlife, Frankie the Fence, uses them as a distraction for an armed robbery, in which a man is killed. This doesn't sit well with the boys, who go visit Frankie to tell him off, but Frankie decides to shut up these potential witnesses with a gun. The Guardian bursts into the room, and takes down the fence with one big roundhouse punch, then lets him get away, hoping he'll run back to his unknown boss. Frankie pulls himself together and runs to the waterfront, gets in a boat, and speeds away, pursued by the Guardian, who borrows an unguarded boat, and who is in return pursued by the Newsboys, who now are stymied; the Guardian took the last boat. They convert a wooden wagon into a makeshift rowboat, and follow along as best they can, figuring along the way that a nearby lighthouse is the likeliest place for a hideout. This turns out to be correct, and at the lighthouse the Guardian has run into trouble. Frankie's boss, Chips Carder, a smuggler, has managed to head-konk the Guardian unconscious. The boys show up; Guardian sees them and the bad guys don't. Guardian suggests, in language that only Big Words understands, that they should paint the lighthouse light red. They very quickly accomplish this, then charge inside to brawl with Chips and Frankie, while the red light above draws the Coast Guard, who arrive just in time to shoot Chips Carder as he draws a bead on the Guardian's back. While the USCG is sorting things out, the Guardian slips away, and motorboats back to shore.

Before the first episode is even over, the boys begin to suspect that the Guardian is Jim Harper.

Notes

  • Uncle Sam
    • This retelling of Uncle Sam’s origin seems to be the “New Earth” version of these events. It incorporates elements from the Uncle Sam stories in National Comics #1 (July 1940), National Comics #5 (Nov 1940), and Uncle Sam Quarterly #1 (Sep 1941)
    • In the “Quality Universe” version of this story, as seen in National Comics #1 (July 1940), the “Oakie” refugee camp was at the border of California, vice Glen Valley. Also most of the plot concerned a successful kidnapping, and rescue, of the U.S. President.
    • Whatever state this "midwestern town" is in, it has saguaro cactuses growing right outside of it.
    • Dropping a boulder onto Uncle Sam doesn't even muss his hair or crease his hat. Sam can catch cannon shells like footballs and throw them back with deadly effect. He can tie a rifle barrel in a knot.
  • Newsboy Legion
    • This retelling of the Guardian's and Newsboy Legion's origins seems to be the "New Earth" version of these events. It incorporates elements from All-Star Squadron Annual #1 (1982), in which Jim Harper's background is expanded upon. Harper's participation in the events in the Annual takes place between the 2nd and 3rd panels of the 4th page of the original story from Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942).
    • In the "Earth-Two" version of these events, Suicide Slum was in New York City. In this retelling, Suicide Slum is in Metropolis.
    • The date of early January 1942 is based on concurrent events taking place in All-Star Squadron.

Trivia

  • No trivia.



See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


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