Archie Takes Over with Pep Comics #41, Up for Auction

Pep Comics #41 is a noteworthy moment for Archie because it marks the real beginning of his takeover of the Pep Comics title's covers. This move cemented the idea that Archie and the Riverdale gang had become a truly big deal. Not only had he gotten his own series, Archie Comics, the previous winter, but he took over the covers of Pep Comics from the Shield, Hangman, and other MLJ superheroes with Pep Comics #41. A moment that helped show just how big Archie was becoming in the comic book industry, there's a Pep Comics #41 (MLJ, 1943) Condition: Apparent FR along with a bunch of other issues of Pep Comics up for auction in the 2022 May 22-23 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122221 at Heritage Auctions.

Pep Comics #41 featuring Archie (MLJ, 1943)
Pep Comics #41 featuring Archie (MLJ, 1943)

MLJ Magazines' Pep Comics series had featured their patriotic hero The Shield from the very beginning, sometimes with his sidekick Dusty the Boy Detective and fellow MLJ superhero Hangman. Archie had first appeared in Pep Comics #22, but didn't get a significant cover appearance until his own series debut in Archie Comics #1. The character had previously been featured with a small inset on the cover of Jackpot Comics #4 for his series debut in that title. He was then featured on the cover of Pep Comics #36 along with the Shield and the Hangman as a sort of one-off, but it was with Pep Comics #41 that Archie would take over the cover of that title for good.

The symbolism of the Pep Comics #41 cover by artist Harry Sahle is unmistakable. The Shield is proclaiming Archie as the new champion after he had apparently knocked out a gremlin labeled "gloom". The humor of Archie and the gang had overcome even the adventure of the MLJ superheroes. A historically fascinating symbolic moment for MLJ and the comic book industry as a whole, there's a Pep Comics #41 (MLJ, 1943) Condition: Apparent FR along with a bunch of other issues of Pep Comics up for auction in the 2022 May 22-23 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122221 at Heritage Auctions.

Pep Comics #41 featuring Archie (MLJ, 1943)
Pep Comics #41 featuring Archie (MLJ, 1943)
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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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