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Miss AmericaMiss America is a Golden Age superheroine in the Marvel Comics universe. She debuted in Marvel Mystery Comics #49 (Nov. 1943), and was created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Gabriele for Timely Comics, the 1940s precursor of Marvel.
The character received her own book, Miss America Comics (no cover date) in early 1944. Some sources list Ken Bald as the cover and interior artist, though Vincent Fago, Timely's interim editor for the drafted Stan Lee, recalled, "I hired a friend from the animation business, Pauline Loth, and she did the art for the first Miss America book".1 The series, however, changed format with its second issue to become the larger, magazine-sized Miss America, though with conventional comics book-style glossy covers and newsprint interior. Initiating this format as Vo1. 1, #2 (Nov. 1944), the publication relegated its superheroine to a secondary role and began focusing on teen-romance comics stories plus articles on such topics as cooking, fashion, and makeup. This second issue — which featured a photo-cover of an unknown model dressed in the Miss America costume — also introduced the long-running, teen-humor comics feature "Patsy Walker".
Together with the single superhero comic, Miss America ran 126 issues in a complicated numbering that continued through Vol. 7, #50 (March 1953), the 83rd issue, and then reverted comic-book format as Miss America Vol. 1, #51-93 (April 1953 - Nov. 1958). The magazine format had used photo covers of very every. In 1951, starting with Vol. #7, #40, 41, or 42 (information uncertain), the logo changed to Patsy Walker Starring in Miss America, with covers now depicting high-schooler Patsy, boyfriend Buzz Baxter and romantic-rival Hedy Wolfe in cartoon art by, variously, Al Jaffee or Morris Weiss. Socially aware teenaged heiress Madeline Joyce was the ward of radio mogul James Bennet, who was sponsoring a Professor Lawson, a scientist claiming to have gotten superpowers through a device that had been struck by lightning. Joyce, secretly tampering with the contraption during a thunderstorm that night, herself gained superhuman strength and the ability to fly after lightning similarly struck, knocking her unconscious. The panicky scientist, seeing the apparently dead young woman, destroyed the device and then killed himself. Joyce survived to fight crime as the patriotically garbed Miss America, appearing regularly in Marvel Mystery Comics and All Winners Comics.
In the latter, she was a member of Timely's superhero team the All-Winners Squad (hyphenated), fighting alongside Captain America and Bucky, the original Human Torch and Toro, the Sub-Mariner, and the Whizzer in the group's two Golden Age adventures. In the second of these, she wore glasses, one of the extremely few superheroes to do so. Miss America made her final Golden Age appearance in Marvel Mystery Comics #85 (Feb. 1948). In Giant-Size Avengers #1 (Aug. 1974), Joyce was revealed to have married fellow Golden Age superhero Robert Frank (the Whizzer), and to have had a son with him. However, Joyce died in childbirth due to radiation poisoning from her offspring, the radioactive mutant Nuklo. It was also suggested during this time that Joyce and Frank were the parents of Avengers members Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, although this was ultimately refuted when it was revealed that Magneto and his wife Magda were those twins' biological parents. Miss America was then retconned in 1976 as a member of the World War II super-team the Liberty Legion, set at a time before the Invaders or the post-war All-Winners Squad.
Miss America returned from the dead for 24 hours in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 (March 2006). She also appeared in the 1990s Spider-Man animated TV series, as one of the "Six Forgotten Warriors". She was voiced by Kathy Garver.
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