Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Hero for the Ages - Uncle Sam

Quality Comics created their character of Uncle Sam in the first issue of National Comics in 1940. His origin was given as a Revolutionary War soldier who, as he lay dying on the battlefield, had a vision of American freedom so powerful that his soul merged with the Spirit of Liberty and he remained on earth to fight for that ideal. Uncle Sam would manifest himself down through history, lending a hand in the cause of American freedom. The name Uncle Sam actually originated from the "US" stamped on the side of meat packing crates and the image was derived from a very popular recruiting poster created for World War I (lower left in the background image). Uncle Sam picked up an orphaned sidekick during the war named Buddy who is the kid waving from his uncle's back. He's one of those far too precocious for his own good kind of boy sidekicks who frequently provide the vehicle for moving the plot along. Uncle Sam was later revived by DC Comics when they took over the Quality line of characters and ended up leading the Freedom Fighters of Earth-X, where World War II lasted into the 1970s. There have been a couple of other attempts at revival with various measures of success, but his is an image that is unlikely to remain dormant for long. As for the action figure, I used a Super Powers Collection Joker body and the head from an Aquaman from the same series, along with the top hat from a Swamp Thing Dr. Deemo. The goatee was made from epoxy putty. One advantage I had when painting the stripes on the trousers was that stripes were etched into the Joker's legs. Sometimes you catch a break.

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