The Shield is the name of several fictional patriotic superheroes created by MLJ (now known as Archie Comics). The Shield has the distinction of being one of the first superheroes with a costume based upon the American Flag, beating out Captain America by fourteen months. (Mister America, who later became Americommando was the first as he appeared at the same time as Superman in Action Comics #1, June, 1938, thereby beating Shield to the punch by some 16 months and thus beating Captain America by some 30 months.)
The Shield first appeared in MLJ's Pep Comics #1, dated January, 1940. The character was created by writer Harry Shorten and artist Irv Novick.
The Shield is really Joe Higgins, son of slain scientist, Tom Higgins, who was working on a chemical formula which would give someone superstrength. Joe continued his father's research and figured out the solution, which mean applying the chemicals and using a special light to give him super strength and invulnerability. He then becomes an FBI agent, whose secret identity is known only to FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover, and fights foreign agents and other threats to America.
He would later be joined by a kid partner, Dusty Simmons, in Pep #11 in 1941. His father had been killed by foreign agents, and he is adopted by Joe and given a costume. Both heroes wore their patriotic costumes beneath their street clothes and would change for action whenever the need would arise. Dusty would also partner with The Wizard's kid partner, Roy, as the "Boy Buddies".
The Shield was one of MLJ's most popular character, even spawning a club, the "Shield G-Man Club". He started in Pep, and several other MLJ titles: Shield-Wizard, Top Notch. But then a new character arrived who would over shadow him: Archie Andrews. He would take the Shield's cover spot on Pep, take his fan club, and cause the end of the MLJ superheroes.
The Shield would later be killed off, but his son would continue the legacy as the new Shield, referred to as "Shield III". During Archie's Red Circle Comics line, a series devoted to the "Original Shield" was published that ran 4 issues.
Archie published, under their "Red Circle Comics" name, a trade paperback collection of the first 8 Shield stories from Pep and Shield-Wizard.
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The Original Shield #1-5 CBZ zipfile