Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Golden Age Heroine - Miss America

In another offering from the house of Timely/Atlas/Marvel, I'm presenting Miss America. Of course today she would be named the more politically correct Ms America, but this was the 1940s after all. Born Madeline Joyce, she was a ward of the radio tycoon James Bennet. She had always been a passionate supporter of justice but never felt she had the power to really campaign on its behalf. Then one day upon visiting Professor Lawson, who's experiments with electricity Bennet had been financing, she learned that he had gained certain powers during one of his experiments. Returning later Madeline was exposed to massive concentrations of electricity during a storm and, after a brief period of coma, became super powered herself. She had the power of flight (called psionic levitation??), superhuman strength, X-ray vision and enhanced intelligence. She first appeared in Marvel Mystery Comics #49, October 1943 and subsequently lasted through #85 in February 1948, although there were apparently some skipped numbers. She also had her own comic for a while. She was also a member of the short-lived All Winner's Squad, one of the few superhero groups fielded by Timely during the period. She was resurrected (in more ways than one), both in retro stories printed in the 1970s but set during World War II, and also as the wife of another Golden Age character later in life. I rather like her because she's "perky" in many of the stories. There was a fellow who was posting Miss America stories on the web for a while but I don't know if they are still available. The action figure required more than the usual amount of work. I used the body from a Toy Biz Dagger figure and the head from a Xena. I had to sculpt the shock of hair over her forehead and dreml the back of her head to sculpt the little skull cap she wore. I also sculpted the puffy sleeves. The skirt and cape were made from T-shirt material and the shield on her chest was done freehand, which was a bit of a task. I'm not sure about the color of the hair. It's difficult to tell whether she was a blond with dark highlights or a brunette with light highlights. I ended up making her a brunette because I liked the look better. During the retro period she seems to have been given auburn hair. Hey, so I used a little artistic license - that's what artists do, right??

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