The Unknown Ant-War Comics Edited by Craig Yoe
Many people incorrectly view comic books as celebrating violence and romanticizing war. Others dismiss the medium because they believe the stories in them are trivial and juvenile. However, comics at their best contain powerful stories and comment on their times in striking detail.
This collection features comics from the 1950s and 1960s that went against the grain. It was more popular to support the war, even in comics, back then.
While a few comics of the time portrayed the horrors of war, the more blatant anti-war stories were largely unappreciated or so cloaked in metaphor that they went unnoticed by contemporary audiences. Today, we can more fully appreciate the efforts of the fine writers and cartoonists who were crying out for peace in their–and our–time. Journey back with us now, and discover the secret, surprising history of anti-war comics with this marvelously curated collection.
Some of the creators in this edition were not credited properly in the original books. However, a few of them went on to become legends in the industry. Steve Ditko drew and co-created several of Marvel’s biggest characters and stories. Dennis O’Neil is best known for his work on Green Lantern. Both are featured in this collection.
A few of the stories directly deal with soldiers and war, but many more of them deal with humanity’s tendency towards violence and the negative consequences that could come from it. Space travel and aliens play a role in many of the stories presented here.
One recurring theme is that humanity gets wiped out by the ultimate war. It lays the planet barren for the most part, but human beings manage to stay alive, bent on not repeating their mistakes. One story suggests that this pattern has happened time and time again.
I’m glad these stories have survived and have been collected. They may seem a little stale to a modern comic reader, a few of the stories could’ve been fleshed out further and expanded, but it is always great to look back at the history of any given medium.