Captain Flag.png

Captain Flag is a superhero created by MLJ Comics' writer Joe Blair and artist Lin Streeter. He first appeared in September 1941, in issue #16 of Blue Ribbon Comics.[1] He continued until the last issue, Blue Ribbon Comics #22 (March 1942).[2]

Fall 1941 was a boom period for patriotic superheroes as the country prepared to enter World War II; during this period, comic book publishers also launched Miss Victory, Miss America, the Star-Spangled Kid, U.S. Jones, the Fighting Yank, the Flag and Yank and Doodle, among others.[3] Captain Flag was the "only one" of the various patriotic-themes superheroes to be "trained by an actual bald eagle"[4]

Publication history

Captain Flag debuted in Blue Ribbon Comics #16 (Sept 1941), as a possible headliner for MLJ's superhero stable.[5] In his first story, written by Joe Blair and drawn by Lin Streeter, the character faced off against the Black Hand, a super-criminal working for the Nazis. The character's story in the next issue was drawn by Warren King, and introduced the strip's first supporting character, blonde secret service agent Veronica Darnell.[5] The Black Hand reappeared as a recurring menace several times, including Captain Flag's final 1940s story, in Blue Ribbon Comics #21 (Feb 1942).[5]

The character was revived two decades later, when MLJ (renamed Archie Comics) launched a "camp" superhero line inspired by the popular Batman TV show. In The Mighty Crusaders #4 (April 1966), the company brought back all of their patriotic 1940s heroes in a story called "Too Many Superheroes". Of the 18 superheroes who returned in that story, Captain Flag teamed up with Web and the Fox to form the Ultra-Men in Mighty Crusaders #5.[6]

Fictional character biography

His secret identity is Tom Townsend, the wealthy playboy son of an inventor father. A villain called the Black Hand kidnaps him and his father, intending to torture Tom's father in order to obtain the secret of his latest invention – a new bomb sight.[7] Tom's father dies resisting the questioning but before Tom, too, can be killed, a great eagle crashes through the window and carries him off.[8]

Training with the eagle's aerie at the top of the mountain, the healthy environment and hard living makes him an elite physical specimen. When the eagle brings a US flag, Tom takes it on as his namesake, and makes a costume out of the flag.[9] He names his animal savior-turned-sidekick Yank the Eagle,[10] and goes on to thwart the Black Hand, hanging him from a ship's yardarm.[7]


  1. ^ Markstein, Don. "Captain Flag". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  2. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 154. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  3. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 52. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  4. ^ Hoffer, Christian (September 6, 2017). "Celebrate Flag Day With These Five Obscure Star Spangled Superheroes". ComicBook. Archived from the original on 2022-02-16. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Mougin, Lou (2020). Secondary Superheroes of Golden Age Comics. McFarland & Co. pp. 132–134. ISBN 9781476638607.
  6. ^ Wells, John (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965-1969. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 77–78. ISBN 978-1605490557.
  7. ^ a b Mike Conroy (2004), "Black Hand I [1941]", 500 Comicbook Villains, Pavilion Books, p. 28, ISBN 9781843402053
  8. ^ Morris, Jon (2017). The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains: Oddball Criminals from Comic Book History. Quirk Books. p. 20. ISBN 978-1594749322.
  9. ^ Nevins, Jess (2013). Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes. High Rock Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-61318-023-5.
  10. ^ Seifert, Mark (2022-05-22). "Before Eagly, Yank the Eagle in Blue Ribbon Comics #16, at Auction". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved 2022-06-02.