The Future of 1997 in Fiction House's Fight Comics #1, Up for Auction

The feature Spy Fighter in 1940's Fight Comics #1 from Fiction House divided the world into three warring superpowers, as explained in the opening caption blurb: "The year is 1997. Only three nations have emerged from the great war of 1939 — Russmany, ruler of all Europe and all Africa; Mongo, the kingdom holding Asia and the orient; and Greater America, last refuge of Democratic government, a powerful and rich nation, which includes both the continents of North and South America and numerous islands in the Pacific. Bitter enemies themselves, Mongo and Russmany, nevertheless, at last agree to a truce. America is the rich prize they covet, their two dictators ruthlessly plot to undermine America with their insidious spies."

The story of Spy Fighter immediately follows with the leader of Russmany — drawn to look like Hitler — vowing to march on America, while his fellow dictator notes that they must undermine America's government with propaganda and spies first.  America's counter to this situation is a superhuman named Sabre, "holder of all modern athletic records, and possessor of the greatest mind of our time combined with an almost supernatural knowledge of the art of telepathy."  And this is just the start of the fighting in Fight Comics.  There's a copy of the debut of this important Fiction House series, Fight Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940) CGC FN- 5.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2022 October 13 The Fiction House Showcase Auction #40199 at Heritage Auctions.

Fight Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940)
Fight Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940)

Fiction House got its start as a pulp publisher with its long-running Action Stories series in 1921. The company was also a relatively early entrant in comics' Golden Age with Jumbo Comics, which came about five months after Action Comics #1 debuted Superman for the publisher we now know as DC Comics. Based on how Fiction House reacted once the rest of the comic book industry became aware that Superman in Action Comics was a hit, the notion that the successful Action Comics title had a similar name to their Action Stories flagship pulp title must have stung. The publisher subsequently launched comic book titles that were counterparts for a variety of their pulp series. Fight Stories and Fight Comics, Jungle Stories and Jungle Comics, Wings and Wings Comics, and of course, Planet Stories and Planet Comics.

Fight Stories was launched by the publisher in 1928, with a focus on boxing stories.  The pulp series ran 1928-1932, 1936-1952 for a total of 106 issues, and is best remembered for boxing stories by Conan creator Robert E. Howard. Notably, Fight Comics was a significant departure in theme from Fight Stories from the outset.  While the comic book did make a nod to its pulp roots with a bit of boxing content like Kayo Kirby, there was never any doubt that this was a general adventure comic book.  The undercurrents of the theme of war at the beginning became more explicit war comic stories (eventually with a healthy dose of Good Girl covers and art) after America officially entered WWII the next year, and more definitive superheroes were added to the lineup as well.

As for the superhuman character Sabre from the Spy Fighter feature, he wore a simple pair of trunks in that debut story in a likely nod to the title's pulp boxing origins.  But the Fight Comics series quickly evolved with its era, and there's a Fight Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940) CGC FN- 5.5 Cream to off-white pages and many other issues of the series up for auction in the 2022 October 13 The Fiction House Showcase Auction #40199 at Heritage Auctions. In addition to the items listed in this post, you can check out Fiction House titles such as Planet Comics, Jumbo Comics, Jungle Comics, Fight Comics, Rangers Comics, Wings Comics and much more. New to collecting Fiction House or want to learn more?  Bleeding Cool is doing an ongoing deep dive into the history behind Fiction House in the run-up to this auction. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.

Fight Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940)
Fight Comics #1 (Fiction House, 1940)
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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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