NATIONAL COMICS #26 (1942)
The War era produced a staggering amount of outstanding covers, but none better than this simple, stark example by the great Reed Crandall. The iconography is direct and obvious: America--represented by the appropriated image of James Montgomery Flagg's immortal creation, Uncle Sam--rolls up his sleeves to get down to the business of taking care of the Axis. Set in front of an all-white background, he fairly steps off the page, while his faithful helper ("they also serve, who stand and wait") grins with the perfect knowledge that justice is being delivered from an unassailable moral high ground. Lovingly rendered by Crandall, Sam is exactly what America needed him to be in the moment of our greatest test: stalwart, firm and righteous, ready to accept the burden of the work to be done and to return to his place in society when it is finished. One can almost imagine the venerable Montgomery Flagg painting this scene himself, and certainly appreciating its story, its simplicity and its vigor.