'The Shield' was a patriotic comic book superhero created by "MLJ" (now "Archie Comics"), appearing as a star-spangled superhero more than a year before Marvel's 'Captain America'.
The Shield property and other MLJ characters are now being published again under Archie's "Dark Circle Comics" imprint, giving some competition to Marvel's 'Steve Rogers':
The Shield debuted in MLJ's "Pep Comics" #1 (Jan. 1940), created by writer Harry Shorten and illustrator Irv Novick, debuting as the comic book industry's first patriotically themed hero.
"He was soon followed by three other patriotic comic characters, "Minute-Man" (Feb. 1941), "Captain America" (March 1941), and "Captain Battle" (May 1941).
The Shield is chemist 'Joe Higgins', son of 'Lieutenant Tom Higgins' who was slain in an explosion orchestrated by Third Reich saboteur 'Hans Fritz', while Tom was working on a chemical formula for super-strength.
Joe finally figured out the solution, by applying chemicals to parts of his anatomy including 'Sacrum', 'Heart', 'Innervation', 'Eyes', 'Lungs' and 'Derma', also using x-rays to give him super strength. The initials also gave him his name.
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