Men fighting giant monsters is a story concept that has stood the test of time. It's man vs nature run amok. It's also a symbol for all sorts of things… none of which I want to discuss at the moment. Because it's also a very good way to create a war comic without connecting it to any particular conflict, and that's likely what editor Robert Kanigher had in mind. The title had been focused largely on World War II stories for nearly eight years by the time The War That Time Forgot debuted in Star Spangled War Stories #90 in 1960, and the ongoing dinosaurs vs soldiers battles quickly became the title's regular cover feature. There's a copy of one of the most unique feature debuts of the Silver Age in Star Spangled War Stories #90 (DC, 1960) CGC VG 4.0 Off-white pages in today's session of the 2021 July 4-5 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122127 from Heritage Auctions.
Star Spangled Comics had launched about three months before the U.S. entered World War II, with content that was often war-related in some way. After the war, the title came to include Robin (and for a while, Batman and Robin) stories for over three years with tales of the American Revolution starring the character Tomahawk becoming the title's cover feature as the Robin stories came to an end. With the Korean War in progress in 1952, the title was rebooted as Star Spangled War Stories but did not feature stories about the war of its time. Instead, the title typically ran World War II stories with a focus on unique characters, such as French Resistance fighter Mlle. Marie, as well as historical tales of other wars.
The War That Time Forgot appears to be inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Land That Time Forgot, which was originally serialized in the pulp Blue Book Magazine in 1918. That story is set in World War I, with a German U-Boat running off course in the South Pacific and finding a remote island near Antarctica populated by dinosaurs and other primitive life. The Land That Time Forgot was reprinted in Amazing Stories in 1927, and of course, was more generally preceded by the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World (1912) and Jules Verne's Mysterious Island (1874). Notably, the 1951 ACG comic book Operation: Peril #6 has a cover that is very similar to the typical The War That Time Forgot cover.
The feature lasted in Star Spangled War Stories until 1968 when it was replaced by the World War I tales of Enemy Ace. A fascinating bit of DC Comics Silver Age history, there's a copy of Star Spangled War Stories #90 (DC, 1960) CGC VG 4.0 Off-white pages in today's session of the 2021 July 4-5 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122127 from Heritage Auctions.
Star Spangled War Stories #90 (DC, 1960) CGC VG 4.0 Off-white pages. "War That Time Forgot" series begins. Mlle. Marie story. Ross Andru and Mike Esposito cover. Andru, Jerry Grandenetti, and Irv Novick art. Overstreet 2020 VG 4.0 value = $196. CGC census 6/21: 9 in 4.0, 45 higher.