Step back into the golden age of comics with MLJ, the publisher that birthed the iconic Archie Comics and introduced us to the red, white and blue superhero, The Shield.

Among my most coveted treasures of this era is MLJ’s Shield-Wizard #7, released in August 1942, it stands as a testament to golden age awesomeness.

With cover art by none other than the legendary Captain America artists and creator Jack Kirby, this issue is a visual masterpiece that captures the essence of wartime heroism. The cover “has it all,” featuring a skull on a post, the Wizard taking on sword-wielding zombie pirates, a WWII Japanese fort lurking in the background, and the Shield‘s sidekick Dusty tied to the ship’s mast. This was eye-popping to the newsstand browsers, no doubt.

This pivotal issue marks a turning point for The Shield, as his costume is redesigned and his superpowers are stripped away, making him more akin to Captain America. The irony is palpable, as Captain America’s original creation was spurred by MLJ’s successful patriotic superhero, The Shield. Further impressed by the sales results from Captain America, the creators/artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby were promised profit sharing at Timely, and Joe was given senior editorship. But this honeymoon didn’t last long. Tensions around accounting for that profit sharing between Captain America artists Simon and Kirby and Timely publisher Martin Goodman eventually led to their dismissal.

In a surprising twist of fate, shortly after their departure, Jack Kirby showed up at MLJ, lending his artistic talents to penciling this unsigned cover of Shield-Wizard #7 (with inks by Irv Novick). This cover remains a rare gem in Kirby’s illustrious career, marking his only collaboration with MLJ during this time and an interesting intersection between Captain America and The Shield.

So delve into the captivating pages of Shield-Wizard #7, where heroes rise, betrayals unfold, and the legacy of Jack Kirby, the creative genius behind Captain America, leaves an indelible mark.

“The Shield and Dusty, Chapter 2…The Riddle of The Hun” Shield Wizard Comics #7

“The Wizard with Roy The Superboy” Shield Wizard Comics #7