Thursday, October 9, 2008

Volume Three, Number Thirteen

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Part Five
After the release of "Wizard-Shield Comics" MLJ Magazines waited until the spring of 1941 to launch their next superhero oriented title. Like their first four books "Jackpot Comics" was an anthology but appeared only quarterly with the final issue being number nine (spring 1943). Following the format that had been established by National/DC's "Comics Cavalcade" Jackpot featured additional adventures of the top characters from MLJ's other anthologies (Blue Ribbon, Top-Notch, Pep and Zip) in hopes of giving them the additional exposure necessary that would eventually lead to them receiving their own title. It didn't hurt company finances either to release a comic starring its top stars under one roof.

Initially the top stars of Jackpot were "The Black Hood", "Mr. Justice", "Steel Sterling" and "Sgt. Boyle". These heroes though soon lost their dominance-not only in "Jackpot Comics" but across the MLJ line-as beginning with Jackpot number four (which appeared at the same time as "Pep Comics" #22 December 1941) the "Archie" comics series began appearing in the title (and Pep).

So much has been written elsewhere about the early days of Archie Andrews and his friends that it won't be necessary to go over it here. His appearance in Jackpot though did not seem to draw any additional attention to the title because as stated earlier it was canceled with issue nine. Beginning with the following issue it was renamed "Jolly Jingles Comics", an all-humour title which itself only lasted until issue number fifteen (winter 1944-45).

NEXT WEEK: The Hangman and Black Hood.

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