SUPERMAN #14 (1942)

Just one month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor plunged America into the second World War, Superman #14 appeared, featuring the third of only eleven war-/patriotic-themed covers on the series. Ultra-nationalism was the order of the day, with jingoistic images represented from comics to advertising, magazine covers to toys. In comparison to most others publishers' heroes (notably Timely's), Superman was plainly a slacker, rarely involving himself in the war effort, but in this beautiful design, Fred Ray pulls out all the stops to create a rich, eye-popping cover. The shield, emblazoned with symbols of the American Flag, is the perfect backdrop for the regal figure of Superman and his majestic eagle. Emerging from behind the shield like the United States from a long slumber, are the machines of war--the representation of what we would need, in reality, to take on Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini. If you wanted to give someone an idea of the mood of America during those troubled times, you need look no further than this red, white and blue masterpiece with its highlight of gold and posture of calm steadfastness.