Hit Comics

65 issues • July 1940–July 1950

hti #1By some accounts, Hit Comics was perhaps Quality's least successful title. It launched before the war boom, but then even afterwards it suffered from low paper quotas and a bimonthly schedule. Hit Comics also did not make the War Department's distribution list, which would have boosted sales. There were also no standout "hits" to be found. The first issue featured the Red Bee, a character that is now a symbol of Golden Age ??. But greats like Lou Fine contributed cover art (rare for the time) and Reed Crandall's work on "Hercules" and "Stormy Foster" was good as ever. Will Eisner often cited Hit as a title he co-owned, which was ironic because the first issue featured art by artists from Jerry Iger's studio (who subcontracted from Eisner). The Statement of Ownership from Hit #20 cites "Editor: S.M. Iger", giving credence to the fact that half of the money Arnold paid for producing went to Iger. With issue #22 Quality rushed to add three new strips in response to the U.S. entry into the war; all lasted for only three issues. With issue #35, the title went largely over to funny animal features, which kept it afloat for another five years.

Cover scans and creator identification courtesy of the Grand Comics Database.

Entries in yellow are costumed heroes. Click to read their profile.

Character Appeared in Issues… Notes
Blaze Barton, future explorer Hit #1–13 (July 1940–July 1941) By Henry Kiefer (#1-3). GCD incorrectly cites Maurice Gutwirth, who signed #12 only.
Bob and Swab, sailors #1-65 (July 1940–July 1950) By Klaus Nordling.
Casey Jones, conductor #1-3 (July 1940–Sept. 1940) By veteran cartoonist Munson Paddock.
Hercules (Joe Hercules) #1–21 (July 1940–April 1942) By Dan Zolnerowich ("Dan Enloz"). By Reed Crandall as "Gregg Powers" #10–20.
Jack and Jill, super sleuths #1-7 (July 1940–Jan. 1941) Art changes, always signed "Lowell Riggs." Also in National #8-22
Neon the Unknown (Tom Corbet) #1-17 (July 1940–November 1941) By Alex Blum? ("Jagor Maroy").
The Red Bee (Richard Raleigh) #1-24 (July 1940–Oct. 1942) By Charles Nicholas? ("B. H. Apiary"). Art changes
Strange Twins (Douglas and Rodney Strange) #1-24 (July 1940–Oct. 1942) By Alex Blum ("S.M. Regi"). Identical Twins separated in infancy when Rod was kidnapped by Wing Low, a Chinese Pirate. Rod grew up to lead a London gang while Doug became a scotland Yard inspector. But events have reunited them. Now with Wing Low they fight crime.
Tommy Tinkle and Mary Lou #1–25 (July 1940–Dec. 1942) By Arthur Beeman.
Weird Tales / The Old Witch #1-14 (July 1940–Aug. 1941) By various ("Pierre Winter"); Steranko's History of Comics quotes Busy Arnold as saying this strip was one of Lou Fine's earliest. The Witch never exhibited any magical powers.
X-5 (#1-4) / G-5 (#5-17), Super Agent #1–17 (July 1940–November 1941) By Will Eisner and Charles Sultan ("Cary Weyt"). Eisner created and earlier strip titled "ZX-5" in Fiction House's Jumbo Comics.
Betty Bates, Lady at Law #4–65 (Oct. 1940–July 1950) By Bob Powell ("Stanley Charlot"). Betty was also adept at jiujitsu.
Lion Boy #6–21 (Dec. 1940–April 1942) By George Tuska ("Merton Holmes") A Tarzan-like boy who survives his parents' plane crash in Africa.
Don Glory, Champion of Democracy #8–12 (Feb. 1941–Feb. 1943) By Nick Cardy ("Lincoln Ross"). A nondescript all-purpose suit-and-tie fighter
Dan Tootin, the Madcap Chemist #9–46 (March 1941–May 1947) By Jack Cole ("Ralph Johns").
Danger Darrow, aka "Hell Diver" #14–17 (Aug.–November 1941) By "Ace N. Hoell"
Ghost of Flanders #18–25 (Dec. 1941–Dec. 1942) By George Brenner.
"Stormy" Foster, the Great Defender #18–34 (Dec. 1941–Winter 1944) By Reed Crandall #18–20.
Captain Flagg, U.S. Marines #22–24 (June 1942–Oct. 1942) By Toni Blum and Nick Cardy.
Comet Kelly, aviator #22–24 (June 1942–Oct. 1942) By Vernon Henkel.
The Swordfish, Ensign Jack Smith #22–24 (June 1942–Oct. 1942) By Fred Guardineer.
Bill the Magnificent #25–34 (Jan. 1943–Winter 1944) Unsigned.
Kid Eternity #25-60 (Dec. 1941–Sept. 1949) By Sheldon Moldoff. Also in Kid Eternity #1-18
Woopy of Shoot'n Creek, hillbilly #26–29 (Feb. 1943 –Sept. 1943) By Art Gates
Willie the Wisp, imaginative boy. #27 (April 1943) Unsigned.
Billy Blackfeet #28–34 (July 1943–Winter 1944) An Indian character.
Her Highness and Silk #28–57 (July 1943–March 1949) 1st app. in Hit #27's Kid Eternity strip.
Sea Change (Hit #35)
Big Brother feat. Big Feller and Mitie Feller #35–58 (Spring 1945–May 1949)  
Egbert and the Count, the unlucky chicken and his fox pal #35–40 (Spring 1945–May 1946) By Ernie Hart. Moved to his own series for 15 issues
Jonesy, everyday doofus #35–48 (Spring 1945– Sept. 1947) 1st in Crack Comics #36 (Winter 1944). Also in The Spirit #6-22 (1946-50)
Marmaduke Mouse #35–41 (Spring 1945–July 1946) By Ernie Hart. Moved to his own series for 65 issues.
Charlie Horse #41-47 (July 1945–July 1947) Cowardly horse and his friend, Jeepers Creepers, the rabbit.
Sir Roger #42-65 (Sept. 1945–July 1950) A hifalutin hobo. By Michael Senich. Also in Crack #61-62.
Rasputin and Merwin, monkeys #48-53 (Sept. 1947-July 1948) Unsigned.
Peachy Pitts #55-57 (Nov. 1948-Mar. 1949) Teen "good girl."
Jeb Rivers and Catfish #61-65 (Nov. 1949-July 1950) Unsigned. Historical; riverboat he-man. Takes over the cover.