Minute-Man
Publication information
PublisherFawcett Comics (1941-1972)
DC Comics (1972-present)
First appearanceMaster Comics #11 (February 1941)
Created byCharlie Sultan
In-story information
Alter egoJack Weston
Team affiliationsS.T.A.R. Labs
Office of Strategic Services
All-Star Squadron
AbilitiesPeak human physical condition

Minute-Man (real name Jack Weston) is a fictional comic book hero.

Publication history

Named after the minutemen of the American Revolution and sporting a costume inspired by the American flag, he was originally published by Fawcett Comics in Master Comics #11-49 (February 1941 - April 1944). He also had his own self-titled comic for three issues published from summer 1941 to spring 1942.[1]

Along with other Fawcett characters, he was purchased by DC Comics and made brief appearances in the Shazam! comics in 1976, and the Power of Shazam! comic in 1995 and 1996.

Fictional character biography

During World War II, Jack Weston is an army private in prime physical condition who dons a patriotic costume and becomes the Minute-Man, a "One Man Army" who combats enemy agents.[2] His double identity is known to his superior officer, General Milton, who sends the Minute-Man on unsanctioned missions behind enemy lines. Minute-Man is a member of a group of local Fawcett City heroes, the Crime Crusaders Club.

According to Jess Nevins' Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes, "his nemesis is the femme fatale Illyria, Queen of the Spies, but he also fights rebellious Haitian natives, robot spies, ten foot tall Nazi monsters, the Black Poet, agents of the Black Dragon Society, the evil Toymaker, mad scientists, mummies, vampires, and head hunters".[3]

Prior to DC Comics' Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries, Minute-Man was said to exist on the parallel Earth-S, home of the Fawcett heroes. He makes his first appearance in Shazam! when he rescues Billy from Mr. Mind and the Rainbow Squad, who have captured and gagged him. Cap feels unable to fight females, so Minute-Man shows him he can do it, inspiring Cap to beat the Squad, and reveal that its leader, Mr. Wonderful, is really his old enemy, the super-intelligent alien worm Mr. Mind. In this incarnation, the character was also a member of the Squadron of Justice, a team of Fawcett characters who joined forces with the Justice League and Justice Society. He was incorporated into the mainstream DC Universe in the wake of the Crisis.

In the new timeline, Weston defends Fawcett City for a time following the war with his fellow heroes. Eventually retiring from costumed heroism, he is shown to have become a government agent in the Power of Shazam! series, as an occasional ally to Captain Marvel.

Death

In Justice Society of America (vol.3) #3, Jack Weston (mistakenly referred to as Jack Burton), his children and grandchildren are killed in their sleep by an unknown assassin in their home in Clearwater, Florida. Minute-Man was one of three patriotic superhero bloodlines destroyed by the efforts of Vandal Savage, along with the bloodlines of Mr. America, Commander Steel and General Glory. Savage wished to stop the prevalence of relatives taking on the heroic identities and/or powers of their loved ones.

Reception

In American Comic Book Chronicles: 1940-1944, Kurt Mitchell and Roy Thomas discussed the merits of the early Minute-Man stories: "The strip began as a lazy imitation of Captain America: given a top-secret commission to ferret out and smash subversive threats to the nation as the patriotically garbed Minute-Man, Jack Weston posed as an ordinary private as cover. There was no origin, no explanation for his extraordinary fighting prowess, no kid sidekick or grotesque Nazi villains, for Minute-Man was stuck in the world of fictitious fascist nations that [Joe] Simon and [Jack] Kirby scorned as too timid for the times".[4]

References

  1. ^ Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 172. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  2. ^ Green, Paul (2017). Encyclopedia of Weird War Stories: Supernatural and Science Fiction Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Film, Television, Games and Other Media. McFarland & Co. pp. 123–124. ISBN 978-1476666723.
  3. ^ Nevins, Jess (2013). Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes. High Rock Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-1-61318-023-5.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Kurt; Thomas, Roy (2019). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1940-1944. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-1605490892.