Yank and Doodle dispose of some rubbish. Artist: Paul Norris.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Prize Publications
First Appeared: 1941
Creators: Unknown writer, and Paul Norris, artist
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The early 1940s was a time of war fever in America, when practically everybody wanted to put on a uniform and bag a few Krauts or Nips. But if a kid wasn't old enough to get into the …

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… Army, he was just up a creek — in the real world, at least. In comic books, he always had the option of becoming a superhero. If even a blind man could do it, there certainly wasn't anything stopping a patriotic young lad from "enlisting" to battle America's enemies on the Home Front.

That's what Rick and Dick Walters, a pair of patriotic but insufficiently aged twins, did in Prize Comics #13 (August, 1941). They had a super power of sorts, each getting strong and invulnerable in the presence of the other, but mostly they just wanted to sock it to spies, saboteurs and suchlike. They called themselves Yank and Doodle, and if that seems overly cute, consider the later case of Roger Ramjet, whose four sidekicks were named Yank, Doodle, Dan and Dee.

Yank and Doodle were created by an unknown writer and artist Paul Norris, probably most famous for his years on Brick Bradford, but who also co-created Aquaman for DC Comics just a few months later. Their first cover appearance came six issues later, and four issues after that they became regulars in the position. In #24, they joined Dr. Frost (no relation), The Green Lama and the other heroes of Prize Comics in an effort to bring down Frankenstein, the title's ongoing bad-guy protagonist; but that was their only crossover with unrelated characters.

It was in #34 (September, 1943) that they actually did become related to another Prize Comics character. The Black Owl decided superheroing wasn't enough, and did what Rick and Dick couldn't — joined the U.S. military. He didn't simply abandon his superhero activities, but passed the costume and name on to someone else — Walt Walters, who happened to be the boys' father. The two series then merged, with Yank and Doodle functioning as kid sidekicks to an adult superhero, only there were two of them.

Norris continued as their regular artist up to the merger, but moved on afterward. In their subordinate roles, Yank and Doodle continued adventuring long after the war ended, but didn't regain their star status until 1947. That's when Dad got a bullet wound, and took it as a wake-up call that he'd gotten a bit long in the tooth for such a strenuous and dangerous activity. After that he retired to a background role, and the kids had the series to themselves again.

But the renewed glory was short-lived. Prize Comics became Prize Comics Western with its 69th issue (June, 1948), and ejected its remaining off-genre series. And that was the end of Yank and Doodle.


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Text ©2007-09 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Prize Publications.