Welcome back to My Hero! Each week, Back to the Past uses this column to tell you why the obscure characters from our custom action figure collection are great! Years ago, we purchased the life’s work of an artist and comic fan whose chosen medium was granting forgotten comic characters the action figure immortality denied to them by major toymakers. We’re still sorting through it all, and we’re making new finds every week! This week’s find, who will soon be available on eBay,is Fawcett’s Commando Yank!
Not Quite Captain America
Commando Yank is Chase Yale, American broadcast reporter extraordinaire. While reporting on World War II from Europe Chase decided he needed to do something to help. Donning a mask and linking up with a team of British commandos, he becomes the special operative known as Commando Yank! Chase leads his commandos on daring raids against the Nazis throughout his wartime adventures.
Both Commando Yank and the air combat feature Phantom Eagle were launched in Fawcett Comics’ Wow Comics #6 in mid 1942. Until then, Mr. Scarlet & Pinky had headlined the series. Wartime fervor would keep the pair on the cover through issue #8, after which Mary Marvel took over. All the heroes, however, continued to share the anthology until Wow Comics dropped heroes entirely.
Of note, Commando Yank’s post war adventures featured him traveling the world and battling evil wherever he found it. Which seems like a bit of an ethics breach for a journalist, but what do we know?
A Fawcett Footnote
Technically speaking, DC Comics has owned Commando Yank since 1972. Practically speaking, most of his wartime adventures have long-since fallen into the public domain. DC’s only used him once, a non-speaking cameo in The Power Of Shazam! #12 over 25 years ago. The chances that DC Comics will come after anybody for using him are slim to nil, since he occupies similar legal territory to Captain Midnight.
That said, no one has really been brave enough to try. Despite Commando Yank making a pretty good public domain stand-in for Captain America (just look at him!), the usual suspects have avoided him like the rest of the Fawcett heroes. Since he’s been mostly ignored in the modern age, no one’s ever immortalized him in plastic. No one except our customerizer, of course. Watch this collection long enough and you’ll get basically the whole Fawcett line-up.
If you’ve got collection like our custom figures, be it more customs, original art, garage kits, convention sketches, whatever – and are looking to sell it, get in touch! or if you want a comment or quote on something we’ve written about, we’re always available! We can be found dang near everywhere as @b2pcollect.