12 July 2011

The Presidents in Comics 3: Eisenhower

The Presidents in Comic Books
Dwight David Eisenhower

Years before "I Like Ike" buttons began circulating, Dwight Eisenhower had become a popular figure in comic books, rising to fame as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II.

Real Life Comics, July 1941

True Comics #23, April 1943

True Comics #43

Real Life Comics #4, September/October 1946

Superman #48, September/October 1947

Captain Marvel Adventures #110, July 1950

Picture Progress #5, January 1954
Curiously, this is the only issue I could find published while Eisenhower was President of the United States, save for three issues of Mad Magazine (#49, September 1959; #58, October, 1960 and #67, December 1961).

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #86, July 1965
The second of three stories, "Jimmy's D-Day Adventure," features then-General Eisenhower as well as Nazi leaders Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goring and Heinrich Himmler.  Written by Leo Dorfman, pencils by Curt Swan.

Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), 1966

Dell published this one-shot issue commemorating the life of Adlai Stevenson sometime in 1966.  Also featured are Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as Admiral Chester Nimitz and Cary Estes Kefauver, Stevenson's running mate in the 1956 election (losing to Eisenhower and Richard Nixon).

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos Annual #2, 1966

Perhaps it is telling that comic books published during his lifetime were more interested in General Eisenhower than President Eisenhower.  Lest we conclude that being the man in charge of D-Day was sufficient to earn Ike four-color immortality, a cursory look shows numerous posthumous comic book appearances.  One suspects his World War II contemporaries such as the aforementioned Admiral Nimitz have not retained their star power, so even though he is most often portrayed as a hero of World War II, we must surely recognize the influence of his time in office as president as having cemented his stature with the funny books.