Argentine-born comic book artist Louis Cazeneuve is perhaps best known for his DC Comics work in the Golden Age on a number of titles including Detective Comics, Action Comics, More Fun Comics, Star Spangled Comics, Adventure Comics, and others on characters such as Aquaman and Shining Knight. He also co-created the Timely Comics character Red Raven with writer Joe Simon. Cazeneuve worked on a number of Fox Feature Syndicate titles like Weird Comics, Fantastic Comics, Mystery Men Comics, and others, and in Wonderworld Comics #28, he co-created the patriotic superhero character U.S. Jones. A little-remembered but important character who got his own title and fan club, you can get a copy of his first appearance in Wonderworld Comics #28 (Fox, 1941) Condition: GD- with its spectacularly weird cover by Edd Ashe, along with several other issues of Wonderworld Comics up for auction in the 2022 June 26-27 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122226 from Heritage Auctions.
U.S. Jones was a professional baseball player for a team called the Bisons. Pitching a shutout for his team one day, Jones suddenly starts throwing home run balls in the late innings, to the shock of the crowd and his teammates. After the game, Jones claimed he experienced a "dead arm", a not uncommon condition for baseball pitchers which is essentially fatigue due to overuse of the arm. However, the team's coach found a large quantity of cash in his locker and accused him of throwing the game.
Jones immediately leaves to go see a doctor to get his arm examined so that he can clear his name. The doctor scoffs at Jones for worrying about his baseball team and sports while the world is at war and the country is in danger. He exhorts Jones to join him on a team of a different sort, as he is engaged in some research that will help the country in its war effort. But Jones is preoccupied with proving that he wasn't involved in a gambling scheme and leaves the doctor's office.
Meanwhile, a local hobo called Grumbler is sitting at a diner in town when members of the Tonella gang arrive and start discussing their scheme to throw Bison games. They reveal that they planted the money in Jones's locker, and even though he had refused their overtures to throw the game that night, they lucked out when his arm went dead late in the game. They also divulge that they intend to pressure the pitcher of the next game to throw that game as well. Noticing Grumbler sitting nearby, the gang tries to throw him a few bucks to keep quiet about what he heard, but the hobo refuses and runs off.
The next day, Grumbler tracks down Jones at his apartment and tells him about the Tonella gang's scheme. Jones and Grumbler head to the stadium to try to stop them, but the Bison's pitcher had refused to throw the game and was soon shot by a member of the gang while on the pitching mound in the ninth inning. Rather incredibly, the game continues, and Jones manages to finish pitching the game for the Bisons despite his arm troubles, redeeming himself in the process.
Jones and Grumbler return to the doctor's office, and Jones finally agrees to join the doctor's project. The doctor injects Jones with what he calls a virus, which can be used to create a "race of wondermen" with which to defend democracy. Essentially, it's a Captain America-style supersoldier serum. But just as Jones begins to feel the effects of the virus, the Tonella gang breaks into the doctor's office, having followed them there to take revenge for Jones's baseball heroics. The super-strong Jones makes quick work of the gang, but the doctor gets shot in the struggle. With his dying breath, the doctor tells Jones he has already prepared a costume for this occasion. As Jones quickly puts on the patriotic garb, he vows to use his new powers to fight the enemies of democracy.
Wonderworld Comics #28 hit the newsstands about six months after Captain America Comics #1, and U.S. Jones is certainly cut from the same cloth as Captain America, even debuting with a "U.S. Jones Cadets" club, similar to Captain America's Sentinels of Liberty. U.S. Jones took over the covers of Wonderworld Comics for the last two issues of that series, and also got his own short-lived title for two issues, cut short by Fox's 1942 bankruptcy. A little-remembered but important character, you can get a copy of his first appearance in Wonderworld Comics #28 (Fox, 1941) Condition: GD- along with several other issues of Wonderworld Comics up for auction in the 2022 June 26-27 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122226 from Heritage Auctions.
Wonderworld Comics #28 (Fox, 1941) Condition: GD-. Origin and first appearance of U.S. Jones. Lu-Nar the Moon Man stories begin. Bondage cover. The spine is split from bottom to halfway up the book. Bears a "Free Copy" stamp on the cover, across the logo. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $290.