created by Joe Simon
and Jack Kirby
. The Fighting American first appeared in
The Fighting American #1
in April 1954.
At the start of the Korean War, the United States was
in the midst of a Communist scare and people need heroes to
believe in. As Captain America was created to fight the Nazis,
Simon and Kirby decided to create a "new" hero to fight the
Johnny Flagg was a radio and television announcer who
used his air time to tell people of the Communist menace. Johnny
was a superb athlete and a brilliant student and he used
all of his formidable skills to keep the United States free
of the Communist influence. In contrast to Johnny was Nelson
Flagg, Johnny's brother. A small, frail man, Nelson admired
his brother and wished that he could fight against those that
would destroy his country like only the tall, ruggedly handsome,
and dimple-chinned can.
As fate would have it, Nelson would get his chance, because
enemy agents killed Johnny for his anti-Communist leanings. Nelson
volunteered for a dangerous experiment that would transfer his
mind from his pathetically small body into the rebuilt body of
his brother. When the process was done, Nelson began his fight
against the red menace as The Fighting American.
The Fighting American found that the Communists were not without
defenders. Villains like Hotsky Trotsky, Poison Ivan, and
Peter Piper sought to undermine the American way of life and would
have succeeded if not for the Fighting American. But, as with
any good hero, the Fighting American did not fight alone, but
with a preteen boy, the partner to any defender of liberty. A
former page at the television station where Johnny Flagg works, this
unnamed boy became the Fighting American's sidekick Speedboy.
The Fighting American and Speedboy fought the Communists and
kept America safe for seven issues before passing into oblivion.
Rob Liefeld, the comic artist and writer, attempted
to bring The Fighting American back in the late 1990's after being fired from working on the Captain America
reboot in Marvel's Heroes Reborn.
Unfortunately, Liefeld was sued by Marvel Comics, because
the new Fighting American in his new incarnation looked almost exactly like Captain America right down to the shield. Marvel won the case, although Liefeld's company Awesome Entertainment was allowed to keep publishing
the Fighting American as long as there were some major
costume changes and he never threw the shield.
Thanks to Jet-Poop
for telling me about the Rob Liefeld
Other information on the Liefeld incident taken from http://members.aol.com/chrisv82/america.htm.