One of my favorite super-comics this week was the cumbersomely titled Miss America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1, one of those one-shots Marvel’s been putting out fairly frequently this spring in which a brand-new 22-page story featuring a Golden Age character is paired with some reprints of actual Golden Age material.
Captain America, Namor and The Human Torch have all had their turn in the spotlight, and the previous issue featured a Namor/Torch/Toro/Electro/Angel/Ferret team-up. All of these were characters I was fairly familiar with, with the exception of The Ferret (who was in the Marvel Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1, maybe the best of the lot), but Miss America was a character I was completely unfamiliar with.
Well, it turned out her comic was pretty great too; Jen Van Meter wrote the story and Andy MacDonald drew it, and like each of the previous ones it featured some of the strongest super-art on display that particular Wednesday. Curious about Timely/Marvel’s Miss America, I poked around The Grand Comics Database to learn a little more about her, and I saw that she had her own single-issue long comic book in 1944, and her costume appeared on the cover of a Miss America Magazine, which appears to have been a romance comic.
And then I realized I actually had read a Miss America story before, and just a few years ago—I just didn’t realize that the Miss America in the 70th Anniversary Special was the same heroine was the same Miss America who appeared in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl, a 2006 Marvel Knights series by Peter Milligan, Nick Dragotta and Mike Allred.
Let’s take a closer look, after the jump!
Deceased villain The Pitiful One has discovered some green glop in the middle of a version of hell where dead Marvels go, and through its magic he’s able to return a crack team of dead people to the land of the living for 24 hours in an attempt to get Dr. Strange’s attention. His team consists of Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, former X-Static Tike “The Anarchist” Alicar and, of course, Miss America.
In Milligan’s story, Miss America’s a little too much a product of her time. While the quintet is temporarily alive, Tike makes a pass at her and she responds with a word that makes the hero flinch.
Odds are, it wasn’t “mutie.”
Back in hell, she tries to reach out a little…
But, when Wong is captured, well, black mutants aren’t the only ethnic group she apparently has a little trouble with.
Her and Tike begin to patch things up when they realize how out of place they are among the dead villains, and find out they actually have a lot common.
But, hell being hell, kissing is a painful, horrible experience.
When they end up fighting over the jar of magic green goo, however, they find that if sexual activity is horrible in hell, physical violence is almost as good as sex.
And they lived happily ever after. Well, actually, they’re dead, and are still dead at the end. And in a version of hell. But at least Miss America has learned racial tolerance.
Like the rest of Milligan and Allred’s X-Force/X-Statix run, the miniseries was fairly awesome, and among my favorite comics with the letter X in the title. This series is particularly appealing, as it guest-stars pretty much every dead Marvel character. Including Mockingbird who…hey, wait a minute…
Anyway, it’s available in trade, and well worth a read.