The Double Life of Pvt Strong #1

The Double Life of Private Strong #1, June 1959

A real oddity this one. With DC starting to revive their super-heroes with the Flash, Green Lantern and the JLA, Archie Comics thought they’d get in on the act as well. They hired Captain America creator Joe Simon to edit a super-hero line for them. Simon brought in his ex-partner, Jack Kirby, to illustrate the books. The Fly was one title, and The Double Life of Private Strong was the other.

Double Life is actually a revival of the old 1940s hero, the Shield. Why the comic wasn’t named after the hero, I don’t know — but it does make for a nice oddity. Imagine DC calling their flagship title The Double Life of Clark Kent.

The cover is supposedly by Joe Simon, though I’m not entirely convinced. The film strip images are drawn by Jack Kirby, and are rather fabulous. Internally, the comic is Simon and Kirby all the way, and was one of their last ever collaborations. Sadly,”the new action champ of comics” was not a hit, and the book was cancelled after the second issue.