Ace Magazines was a comic-book and pulp-magazine publishing company headed by Aaron A. Wyn and his wife Rose Wyn. The Wyns had been publishing pulp fiction under the Periodical House and A. A. Wyn's Magazine Publishers names since 1928, and published comics between 1940 and the end of 1956.
Its most successful and longest-running superhero title was Super-Mystery Comics featuring Magno the Magnetic Man and his boy partner Davey, who appeared in 28 issues of the title's 48-issue run. Magno is nearly unique among superheroes for having neither an origin for his powers or any apparent secret identity. Horror comics included Baffling Mysteries, Hand of Fate and Web of Mystery, while their contribution to the crime comics was Crime Must Pay the Penalty (the title later shortened to Penalty for the final two issues). Ace's longest running series were the company's romance comics Glamorous Romances, Love At First Sight, Love Experiences and Real Love, which began in the late 1940s as the superhero books faded away, and continued until the company ceased publishing comic books in 1956. Other long running romance titles such as Complete Love Magazine and Ten Story Love began as pulp-magazine titles before switching to comics format in the early 1950s.
A number of Ace stories were used as examples of violent and gruesome imagery in the 1950s U.S Congressional inquiries into the influence of comic books on juvenile delinquency that led to the Comics Code Authority, namely Challenge of the Unknown #6, Crime Must Pay the Penalty #3 and Web of Mystery #19. Western Adventures Comics #3 was used as an example in Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, and in the United Kingdom Atomic War #4, Beyond #18 and World War III #2 were cited as examples by Geoffrey Wagner's 1954 book on the same subject, Parade of Pleasure — A Study of Popular Iconography in the U.S.A.
Although characters with the same names as Ace Comics characters have appeared elsewhere (most notably Jack Kirby's Captain Victory in an early 1980s series, and several DC Comics villains called the Black Spider), after the early 1950s all their characters remained unused until 2008, when Lash Lightning and Lightning Girl appeared in flashback in Dynamite Entertainment’s Project Superpowers. In the one-shot Project Superpowers: Chapter Two Prelude, it was stated that the two of them will appear in this line as part of a team called The Super-Mysterymen (presumably named after the Ace title Super-Mystery Comics).
Ace Magazine comic-book series were published through at least 17 affiliated entities:
- A. A. Wyn, Inc.
- Ace Books, Inc.
- Ace Magazines, Inc.
- Ace Periodicals, Inc.
- Ace Publications
- Ace Publications, Inc.
- Current Books, Inc.
- Humor Publications, Inc.
- Junior Books, Inc.
- Junior Magazines, Inc.
- L. B. Fischer Publishing Corp.
- Periodical House, Inc.
- Publishers Specialists, Inc.
- RAR Publishing Co., Inc.
- Readers' Research, Inc.
- Red Seal Publications, Inc.
- Unity Publishing Corp.
- All-Love / All Love Romances ( #26 May 1949 - #32 May 1950) - under Ace Periodicals / Current Books imprint
- All-Romances (#1 August 1949 - #6 June 1950) - under AA Wyn / Ace Periodicals imprint
- Andy Comics (#20 June 1948 - #21 August 1948) - under Current Publications imprint
- Atomic War! (#1 Nov 1952 - #4 April 1953) - under Ace Periodicals / Junior Books imprint
- Baffling Mysteries (#5 November 1951 - #26 October 1955) - under Periodical House imprint
- Banner Comics (#3 September 1941 - #5 January 1942)
- Beyond, The (#1 November 1950 - #30 January 1955)
- Captain Courageous Comics (#6 1942) - under Periodical House imprint
- Challenge of the Unknown (#6 September 1950)
- Complete Love Magazine (v26#2 May 1951 - v32#4 September 1956) - under Ace Periodicals / Periodical House imprint
- Crime Must Pay the Penalty (#33 February 1948 (issue #1), #2 June 1948 - #46 1955) - under Current Books imprint
- Dotty and Her Boyfriends (#35 June 1948 - #40 May 1949) - under AA Wyn imprint
- Ernie Comics (#22 September 1948 - #25 March 1949) - under Current Books imprint
- Four Favorites (#1 September 1941 - #32 December 1947)
- Four Teeners (#34 April 1948)
- Fun Time (#1 Spring 1953 - #4 Winter 1953/4) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
- Glamorous Romances (#41 July 1949 - #90 October 1956) - under AA Wyn imprint
- Hand of Fate (#8 December 1951 - #25 December 1954 - includes 2 issue #25's)
- Hap Hazard Comics (Summer 1944 - #24 February 1949) - under Reader Research imprint
- Heroes of the Wild Frontier ( 2 issues - #27 January 1956 - #2 April 1956) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
- Indian Braves (#1 March 1951 - #4 September 1951) - under Ace Magazines imprint
- Lightning Comics (#4 December 1940 - #13 June 1942)
- Love At First Sight (#1 October 1949 - #43 November 1956) - Under RAR Publishing Co / Periodical House imprints
- Love Experiences (#1 October 1949 - #38 June 1956) - under AA Wyn / Periodical House imprint
- Men Against Crime (#3 February 1951 - #7 October 1951) - under Ace Magazines imprint
- Monkeyshines Comics (#1 Summer 1944 - #27 July 1949) - under Ace / Publishers Specialists / Current Books / Unity Publishing imprints
- Mr Risk (#7 October 1950, #2 December 1950) - under Ace Magazines imprint
- Our Flag Comics (#1 August 1941 - #5 April 1942)
- Penalty (#47 November 1955 - #48 January 1956)
- Real Life Secrets (#1 September 1949) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
- Real Love (#25 April 1949 - #76 November 1956) - under AA Wyn imprint
- Real Secrets (#2 November 1950 - #5 May 1950) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
- Revealing Romances (#1 September 1949 - #6 August 1950) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
- Science Comics (#1 January 1946 - #5 1946) - under Humor Publications imprint
- Scream Comics (#1 Autumn 1944 - #19 April 1948) - under Humor Publications / Current Books / Ace imprint
- Space Action Comics (#1 June 1952 - #3 October 1952) - under Junior Books imprint
- Super-Mystery Comics (#1 July 1940 - vol 8#6 July 1949) - under Periodical House and Ace Periodicals imprints
- Sure Fire Comics (#1 June 1940 - #4 October 1940 - includes 2 issues #3's)
- Ten Story Love (v29#3 June 1951 - v36#5 September 1956) - under Ace Periodicals imprint
- Trapped! (#1 October 1954 - #4 April 1955) - under Periodical House imprint
- Vicky Comics (October 1948 - #5 June 1949) - under Ace Magazines imprint
- War Heroes (#1 May 1952 - #8 April 1953) - under Ace Magazines imprint
- Web of Mystery (#1 February 1951 - #29 February 1955) - under AA Wyn imprint
- Western Adventures Comics (#1 October 1948 - #6 August 1949) - under Ace Magazines imprint
- Western Love Trails (#7 November 1949 - #9 March 1950) - under AA Wyn imprint
- World War III (#1 March 1953 - #2 May 1953) - under Ace Periodicals imprint