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Spy Smasher, No. 9

Spy Smasher, No. 9  December 23, 1942December 23, 1942
Newman S. Hungerford Museum Fund, 2002.252.0

Spy Smasher, who appeared from 1940-1943, was among the first wave of superheroes created by the writers and illustrators at Fawcett Comics. The Fawcett Publishing Company was founded in 1919, and in 1940 they launched a comic book division based in Greenwich, CT. In addition to Spy Smasher, Fawcett also created Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Midnight, and Bulletman, among others.

Against the backdrop of World War II, Spy Smasher’s foes were usually Nazis and the Japanese. Both groups were presented as stereotypes—demonized or ridiculed as the enemy. In this cover image from 1942, Spy Smasher triumphs over Hitler, Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito, who are all trapped in a giant “V” for “Victory.”

The first modern comic book, Funnies on Parade, was printed by Eastern Color Printing in Waterbury, CT in 1933. The Connecticut Historical Society collection includes the work of many Connecticut-based artists, writers, printers, and publishers from the heyday of the American comic book.