Adventure Comics #441, October 1975
The back-up feature is an unpublished saga of the Seven Soldiers of Victory – written in the Golden Age but never rendered and completed until 1975.
Part Five: The Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy
“Dead End Animals!”
Writer: Joseph Samachson, Penciler/Inker: Ernie Chua (Chan), Colorist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Joe Orland
The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy drop (literally) into the Land of Magic. Hearing a fight in a nearby club, they see animals in human clothing walking, talking and fighting! The animals – dressed and speaking as a juvenile gang, attack and subdue SSK & Stripesy.
They awake tied to a chair, and trick their rat guard in leaving so their friend, a lion, can untie them. The chair walks away – even the furniture act human!
Star Spangled Kid plants a torch and matches in the pouch of a kangaroo and then sets fire to the club. The furniture evacuate the building and spot the planted evidence. The furniture and the animal gangs fight it out.
The furniture win the battle and make the animals vow to be good or else. To thank our heroes for helping reform the Dead-End Animals, the lion asks his friend the whale to give SSK and Stripesy a lift back to earth.
This stuff is just getting weirder and weirder …
The “Dead End Animals” are based on the Dead-End Kids, later morphing into the “Bowery Boys”, stars of dozens of comedies. Ironically, the Bowery Boys were never made into a comic book (at least not in my searching!); odd – Huntz Hall and Leo Gorcey would have fit in perfectly in a 1950’s DC/TV humor comic (ala Sgt Bilko, Jackie Gleason, etc.)
The letter column contains two positive reviews of the then-debuting SSOV storyline. I got this issue off the stands, being a big Aquaman fan even then. I had not heard of the Seven Soldiers at the time and this weird back story picqued my interest. It took me many decades to gather up all these issues!
About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped. Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!