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Fighting American was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in retaliation for "issues" with the rights to Captain America. The first issue of Fighting American introduced readers to patriotic newscaster Johnny Flag, a war hero known for warning America about the dangers of communism. Those self-same communist agitators promptly beat him close to death, but on his deathbed he asked his feeble brother Nelson (who had been scripting Johnny's red-baiting speeches all along) to carry on his fight. Days later the army summons Flag to a secret lab where he is given a costume to fit his revitalized body, a sidekick named Speedboy, and enhanced superhuman abilities to fight bad guys as The Fighting American. The villains he fought were mostly for comic relief, with names such as Double Header, Hotsky Trotsky, and Round Robin.
In the 1990s, Marvel began a revamp project titled Heroes Reborn, bringing Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld and their creative teams back to Marvel on its core hero titles. Rob Liefeld's writing was not well received despite being the highest selling Captain America run at the time; 6 issues into his Cap run he was kicked off. In response, Liefeld created Agent America: an answer to Cap and a way for Liefeld to get to use his remaining planned work from the Marvel run. Marvel put a lid on that quick. Then Liefeld discovered a similar situation happened to Simon and Kirby when they created Fighting American. Liefeld called the last survivor of the two families to obtain the rights to produce the comic. A little redesign, a modification here and there, and Fighting American was ready to soar again!
Fighting American in the 90s
The new Fighting American was still named John Flag, and was still a young man who volunteered for a government experiment and came out the government's #1 super soldier. Equipped with his own shield, Fighting American went out to do his duty to protect his country. He had a trusted sidekick partner named Speed Boy (based on Bucky Barnes). Speed Boy was presumed dead only to resurface years later as a deadly assassin (similar to Bucky's own transformation into Winter Soldier). Fighting American had a few of his original rogues return as well, like Round Robin and Double Header. John Flag retired after the war and after he lost his partner. He came back into action once he heard that the Iron Cross was back from the dead. Fighting American was teamed up with a spunky new sidekick named S.P.I.C.E. Fighting American had a few allies who were introduced throughout his series such as Thor, Diehard, and Supreme. Fighting American quickly became a cornerstone of the Awesome Universe and was set to lead The Allies team book before the company folded.