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The Junior Rangers Uncover the Evils of Nationalism

This is a feature called "A Political World," where we spotlight 20th Century comic book stories that came out back when comic books were not political at all, unlike comic books nowadays.

Today, we look at a story featuring the Junior Rangers that showed the evils of nationalism.

The Junior Rangers were launched by Crestwood's Prize Comics in the pages of Headline Comics #1 by Jack Binder. Binder was almost certainly doing a riff on Jack Kirby and Joe Simon's Boy Commandoes (this is interesting because Prize Comics is today perhaps best known for the fact that Simon and Kirby then went to go work for them after the war as the main place for Simon/Kirby comics)...

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In the second issue, they introduced a fourth member to the youth team, a Chinese member named Chin Lee...

I love how the one kid couldn't help but still be racist to Chin Lee even after he joined the team. "Dude, he's our ally!"

They continued to be the lead feature of Headline Comics, even after Binder left the feature, with artists like Bernard Krigstein and a very young Gil Kane working on the feature, as well, over the next couple of years.

This brings us to Headline Comics #17 (they messed around with the numberings on books back in the day, so I don't know what issue number they claimed it was), which is presumably by Henry Kiefer, where the Rangers run afoul of the evils...of nationalism!

Some crooks are trying to force any immigrant business owners to pay them protection fees...

The boys get involved and discover that they plan on papering the area with anti-immigrant rhetoric to help them with their goal to lean on the immigrants for protection money. Luckily, the Rangers stop them...

Chin Lee then gets to deliver a message about how such actions have no place in the United States...

Okay, folks, I'm sure you have suggestions for good political storylines from the "good old days when comic books weren't political," so drop me suggestions at brianc@cbr.com!

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