This is for the Comic Book Geeks in the audience. (Everyone else can read it too!)
On the Comic Book Resources Web-site they have a poll asking readers to vote on the greatest Super-Heroes of the 1940's. THIS was the height of the Golden Age of Comic Books and when Super-Heroes were truly super fighting the Axis Powers of World War II. They make mention of of 1930's with Superman, Batman, The Sub-Mariner and the Original Human Torch paving the way.
The list consists of the following:
1) The original Flash - Jay Garrick
2) Hawkman -Carter Hall
3) The Spectre
4) The Spirit
5) The original Green Lantern - Alan Scott
6) Captain America
7) The original Starman - Ted Knight
8) Plastic Man
9) Wonder Woman
A good list...with one glaring omission - WHERE THE HELL IS CAPTAIN MARVEL??!!
Captain Marvel was the best selling Comic Book of the Forties. This doesn't make him the best, but in my opinion he was the most fun to read. Cap sold so well that all through-out the Forties, DC Comics constantly had a lawsuit against Fawcett (the publishers of Captain Marvel) because He was the biggest competitor to Superman.
Captain Marvel was every kids dream of a Super-Hero. Impossible as it is, Captain Marvel was the best way of a young reader to imagine of becoming a Super-Hero. Cap's alter-ego was a ten year old boy named Billy Batson. All he had to do was shout the magic word "SHAZAM!" and he changed into the adult Captain Marvel. This appealed to so many readers of the Captains adventures, that for a period of three years in the mid 1940's, Captain Marvel Adventures was the only Comic Book to sell twice a month!
This omission makes no sense to me. When I first discovered Comic's Fandom and Fanzines of the Golden Age of Comics, they always talked of Captain Marvel and the Fawcett Heroes. Fawcett ceased publication of Super-Heroes comics in 1953 when most hero titles died off and tired of the constant lawsuits from DC. And when DC revived him in 1973, the comic book fandom was ecstatic. Cap is still around today, but has suffered under the hands of people who don't understand what the character is about.
Captain Marvel is one of my all-time favorite Super-Heroes. I've always said that my favorite Heroes of the 40's were Cap and Plastic Man. If I was going to vote (and I'm not due to the omission) I would vote for Captain America. C.A. is important to the Forties because of World War II and the patriotism of the era. And because he is a great character! Captain America is another favorite of mine and the first ten issues produced by his creators Joe Simon and the Great Jack Kirby are some of the best of the Golden Age.
Like anything else, sometimes things in this world don't make any sense to me.