SW10/HCC/WWW: Powernaut 1944 #7: Power Stars starring Stonewater Smith!

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sat May 18 18:51:45 PDT 2013

Finally the story can be told.


There was of course controversy.  So I have copious Author's Notes...

Oooh, the series is going into extra innings!  The world is demanding 
more characters with One Minute Origins, and that's what Power Stars 
1944 specializes in!  The world is also probably wondering why that one 
guy in Powernaut 1962 is called "Stonewater" Smith.  I hope to explain 
that here.

But there's a *lot* of controversy about any 1944 comic starring a Negro 
trained to fight white men.  Even some of my *2013* public cartooning 
audience saw the drawings *without color* and said, "You have a 
political agenda, don't you?"  I responded, "No, I'm writing about Negro 
aviators of World War 2 by accident."  I wish I'd added, "That's not 
politics, it's history."  The history of the Tuskegee airmen is fairly 
well known.

In our own timeline:  There was a comic book about Negro heroes in 1947. 
  There were promotional posters about Negro airmen during the war.  So 
I'm declaring that Power Stars Starring Stonewater Smith was published 
with authentic black-tone coloring, because white-tone wouldn't have 
fooled anyone.

As for the aviation:  I went to visit Boeing's History of Flight Museum 
while I was researching this episode.  That's where I found out about 
the promotional posters.  They do not admit to miniature planes in World 
War 2, any more than they admit to miniature aviators.  But military 
forces *love* miniature planes, as witness the modern use of drone 
aircraft.  So I've assumed a prototype mini-plane, a modified trainer, 
that could only hold a mini-pilot.  I put a *bit* of extra effort into 
making the plane look inspirational instead of cartoonish, because the 
Army cared about its promotional art.

As for boy heroes: The combatants were enlisting people awfully young by 
1944.  (My own father got in at the age of 16.  I am therefore one of 
the youngest sons of any World War 2 veteran.)  In any world where there 
were Boy Hero comics such as S.O.S., the U.S. Army would be looking for 
more boy heroes.  They probably lumped Stonewater Smith in with the 
Tuskegee pilots for convenience.  They also granted him an exemption 
from the 20/20 vision requirement for pilots, because how hard can it be 
to make corrective goggles anyway.

As for St. Louis: A comment came up in Powernaut 1962 that St. Louis is 
not particularly threatening as viewed by the nation at large.  However, 
even Detroit and Chicago did not quite have their current reputations 
for violence then.  I've put young Mr. Smith in Chicago Bears colors, 
which actually *helped* him fit in to St. Louis in 1944, but not enough. 
I actually researched NFL franchise history to say that. 

Power Stars Starring Stonewater Smith was probably not popular at the 
time. But I never said Powernaut comics were always popular.

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ ---------

When you *are* the leader... whatever goes wrong... whether you did it
or not... *you* are held responsible. - Barack Obama

I know. - Archie Andrews

- from Archie #617, March 2011, scripted by Alex Simmons.

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