Bungleton Green and the Mystic Commandos by Jay Jackson
Trade Paperback – New York Review of Comics – Dec 2022 – 181 pages
In 1942, almost a year after America entered the Second World War, Jay Jackson—a former railroad worker and sign painter, now working as a cartoonist and illustrator for the legendary Black newspaper the Chicago Defender—did something unexpected.
He took the Defender’s stale and long-running gag strip Bungleton Green and remade it into a gripping, anti-racist science-fiction adventure comic. He teamed the bumbling Green with a crew of Black teens called the Mystic Commandos, and together they battled the enemies of America and racial equality in the past, present, and future. Nazis, segregationist senators, Benedict Arnold, fifth columnists, eighteenth-century American slave traders, evil scientists, and a nation of racist Green Men all faced off against the Mystic Commandos and Green, who in the strip’s run would be transformed by Jackson into the first-ever Black superhero.
Never before collected or republished, Jackson’s stories are packed with jaw-dropping twists and breathtaking action, and present a radical vision of a brighter American future.