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RIDE WITH THE RANGERS
By Ed Sanchez
With most of the world in the grips of the second World War, and the United States just weeks away from involvment and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Fiction House published the first issue of Rangers Comics. This Golden Age title featured War-flavored stories, as well as adventure stories, and ran for more than 60 issues over the course of the next 12 years.

The title began with a feature story introducing The Rangers of Freedom and their battle with Super-Brain's legions. This strip ran for the first seven issues, and with the 8th issue, the main story in the title became the U.S. Rangers, a similar strip led by Ranger Captain Morgan, who faced off against Jade, the woman without a soul. Throughout the course of the series' run, characters such as Commando Ranger, Firehair, Kazanda, Tiger Man, Werewolf Hunter, Glory Forbes, Sky Rangers, Space Rangers and Suicide Smith appeared in the strips. The title featured work by some great Golden Age talents, such as Lee Elias, Bob Lubbers and John Celardo. The colorful and action packed stories would also on occasion feature controversial artwork like the Hypodermic Needle panels in #33, and pages depicting females alluringly clad in lingerie. Also of note are the Bondage covers, most often depicting a female in some state of undress and either tied up or restrained in some manner (#14, #15, #17, #27 & #29 are typical examples).

After 69 exciting issues, the last issue was published in 1953. The following year, some of the titles' titillating covers and panels would prove to be fuel for the fire in the Senate Subcommittee hearings on Juvenile Delinquency. The hearings, which put the comics industry on trial, eventually led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority, an organization designed to police the content in comics. The controversial content in Issue #63 was even used in Parade of Pleasure, a book on the censorship of comics. After nearly 4 decades under the influence of the Comics Code Authority, leading publisher Marvel Comics recently joined the increasing number of publishers who no longer submit their books to CCA.

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RANGERS

 

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