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Origin

Madeline Joyce was orphaned as a child and was raised by her uncle, rich radio tycoon James Bennett. Growing up, she had always championed the causes of the downtrodden and the weak.

In 1941, Madeline joined her uncle in visiting an electrical experimentation station where a scientist was developing new means to harness electricity. The scientist showed Bennett and Joyce his newest invention, a gravitational device that apparently granted him super-human powers. The scientist was horrified by what he had become and sought to kill himself. Madeline, hoping to use the device to gain super-human powers to help those who needed help sneaked into the facility that night and used the device on herself, and was jolted into a coma. The scientist returned to his lab and seeing Madeline comatose, assumed that the girl was dead. In a fit of grief the scientist set the device to explode, killing himself and destroying the device. Madeline was thrown clear from the blast, and survived. When she came to, she discovered she had gained super-human strength, durability, could fly, and could project "x-ray vision"[1]. While the gravity device was responsible for endowing the device, they apparently only activated latent mutant abilities within her[2]. After gaining her powers, Madeline developed the costumed identity of Miss America to fight crime.

World War II

1941

In her earliest recorded adventure, Miss America investigated strange accidents at a local steel plant and learned that it was being sabotaged by Nazi spies[1]. Using her new found powers, Madeline was easily able to best the Nazi agents and turn them over to the authorities[3]. She later prevented Nazi agents from blowing up a bridge[4][5].

Invaders & Liberty Legion 1942

While investigating a Nazi spy ring, Miss America ended up meeting the Whizzer and the two worked together to capture the spies. They were subsequently contacted by Bucky who was recruiting a team of heroes to rescue the Invaders from the hypnotic control of the Red Skull. Miss America and the Whizzer joined the group, who dubbed themselves the Liberty Legion[6]. After a series of successful mission crushing spy operations, the Liberty Legion earned the ire of the Red Skull who unleashed the enthralled Invaders to destroy American landmarks. Miss America joined her team mate the Patriot in stopping Captain America from destroying Liberty Hall in Philadelphia. Although the pair succeeded, Captain America still managed to escape[7]. When the Red Skull sent the Invaders to attack Yankee Stadium, the Liberty Legion was there to oppose them. Miss America assisted her team mates until Toro (now free from the Skull's control) destroyed the device keeping his team under the Nazi's control prompting the Skull's hasty retreat. With the battle over, the Liberty Legion pledged to stay together and combat the Axis menace at home while the Invaders fought in Europe[8].

New York came under siege by Nazi operatives led by Brain Drain. When a fleet of Nazi fighters led by Sky Shark, the Liberty Legion and the time displaced Thing worked together to fight off his invasion. After fighting off the Sky Shark, Miss America and the Legion left the Thing to answer a distress call from various secret weapons factory. Joining a squad of Legion members, Miss America failed to stop Master Man from stealing a new prototype cockpit glass that could handle great speeds. Soon the collection of stolen devices was used to complete Brain Drain's new Swastika shaped air fortress.[9] The Legion then came to the Thing's aid to destroy the fortress clashing with Master Man, Sky Shark, and U-Man, destroying the ship and capturing the Nazis. With the battle over, the Thing reclaimed a canister of Vibranium that was accidentally cast back in time and returned to his own era.[10]

An independent woman, Madeline was angered when during an early Liberty Legion meeting she was delegated to taking notes. She decided action was better than words and flew off to investigate Nazi spy activity in the area. Going to a bar frequented by German-Americans, she witnessed the capture of Professor Schneider at the hands of Nazi spies led by Iron Cross. She attacked Iron Cross, and held her own but was ultimately knocked out. Before Iron Cross could leave with Madeline as his prisoner, the rest of the Liberty Legion had caught up with her. However, despite their efforts the entire team, except for the Whizzer were captured[11]. Taken aboard a Nazi U-Boat, the Legion members were placed in stasis. However, the Whizzer managed to get the aid of the Invaders who came to the Legion and Professor Schneider's rescue. During a clash between the Sub-Mariner, the Liberty Legion was freed, but the sub was compromised. Iron Cross then escaped with Schneider, leaving the Legion to drown inside the sub[12]. Rescued from the sinking sub, the Legion worked together with the Invaders to rescue Schneider and defeat Iron Cross, who was sent falling into the ocean. With the battle over, the Whizzer asked Madeline to attend a USO show with him, calling him out on asking her on a date, he quickly covered by saying the entire Legion should go[13]. The two then began falling in love with each other.

With the Invaders on an extended stay in the United States and without their British team mates Union Jack and Spitfire, the Whizzer and Miss America accepted an invitation to briefly work with the group. While going to investigate Japanese spy activity in San Francisco, Miss America joined the group on a rendezvous with Bucky and his Kid Commandos[14]. They were to late to stop U-Man from capturing Kid Commandos member Golden Girl for his master Lady Lotus. However the team eventually rescued her[15]. Shortly after this, Miss America and the rest of the Invaders helped defend Idlewild Airfield from an attack from another agent of Lady Lotus, the vampire Baron Blood[16]. Later, when the Human Torch was captured and enthralled by Lady Lotus, Miss America and the Invaders battled her super-team Super-Axis, freeing the Torch and capturing Super-Axis, save for Lady Lotus who escaped[17].

On June 19, 1942, Miss America and the Invaders acted as security for a secret meeting between President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from Nazi assassins using a growth formula[18]. Miss America and Whizzer soon returned to the Liberty Legion and their romance began to blossom further. One of their romantic interludes was interrupted on June 22 when they were attacked by members of Battle-Axis resulting in the Whizzer being captured. Miss America managed to flee, escaping her attackers[19]. Seeking the Invader's aid, Miss America joined them in tracking Battle-Axis to California. Accompanying Captain America to Westwood they were too late to stop members of Battle-Axis from stealing an oscillotron from UCLA. Even with the aid of the Silver Scorpion they failed to stop Battle-Axis from escaping with the oscillotron[20]. Reuniting with the Invaders, they tracked down the secret headquarters of Battle-Axis where they were attempting to cause a massive earthquake to destroy the American west coast. Battling their enemies, the Invaders were felled when they were betrayed by the Vision[21]. The Invaders eventually broke free and spoiled the plan. The members of Battle-Axis then fled unleashing a poison gas, and the team was only saved thanks to the Vision, who used his power over smoke to draw the poison away to his home dimension[22].

Back with the Liberty Legion, Miss America and the Whizzer joined their team mate the Blue Diamond in rescuing British Agent 12 in the Swiss town of Hessian Hamlet clashing with the farmers there who had been put under Brain Drain's control with special mind control helmets. Learning from Agent 12 that Brain Drain was plotting to use the devices somehow at the Markham Shipyards in America, Miss America went undercover to expose the plot. There she found her old foes Madame Mauser, and her Ubermadchen (Vichy Vixen, Axis Annie, Fraulein Fatale, and Penny Panzer) who had all previously clashed with Miss America in a previously unrecorded mission. Miss America, with the aid of the female workers stopped the Nazi operatives from rigging the communications system aboard the vessel they were building with the same mind control technology. After the battle was over, Miss America returned to the Swiss Alps with the control device and saved an outnumbered Whizzer and Blue Diamond. With the slaves freed, the trio then captured Brain Drain[23].

Solo Adventures 1943-1945

Miss America was involved in many solo adventures away from both the Invaders and the Liberty Legion. When encountering a woman being kidnapped, Miss America came to her aid, revealing her attackers to be Nazi spies led by a man calling himself the Pinhead Killer[24]. Next she clashed with a pyromaniac named the Flaming Hate whose arsons were inspired by his hatred of fire fighters, who he blamed for the death of his wife years earlier[25]. Unknown to Madeline at the time, the Flaming Hate was employed by the Organizers a secret cabal who created villains to distract super-heroes from getting involved in world affairs[26].

In December of 1943, time displaced American soldier Paul Anslem returned to World War II from the future with the Cosmic Cube in order to prevent his fellow soldiers from being killed in battle. However, the Cube ended up in the hands of the Red Skull who used it to reshape the world so that the Nazis ruled. Miss America was among many super-heroes that were slain and pinned to a wall in the Red Skull's hideout[27]. Later, when the Skull clashed with the combined forces of the Invaders, and time travelling New Avengers and Mighty Avengers, Anslem managed to get control of the Cube again. Anslem then used the Cube to resurrect Miss America and the other dead heroes who then attacked the Skull. Following the Skull's defeat, reality was restored to normal and Miss America's memories of the battle were erased[28].

Later, Miss America rescued the secretary of Lieutenant Harding when she was captured by Nazi spies[29], tracks down and puts an end to the Chain Murderer[30], and stopped the Peddler of Doom who knocked people out with drugged flowers in order to rob them[31]. When the criminal known as Killer Pedro seemingly came back to life after being shot by the police, Miss Ameirca revealed that Pedro had not died and was hiding out at his brothers cemetery[32]. Next, Miss America clashed with the Black Widow really a man in drag who was hired by women to kill their wealthy husbands[33], then stopped a group of Nazis from blowing up a nearby dam[34].

While at the bank in her civilian guise, Madeline encounter a new super-powered villain named the Shocker who generated his powers from electric eels. Tracking him down as Miss America, Madeline bested the villain who was subsequently eaten by his own eels[35]. Following that battle, she next exposed Murder Inc. a group of men who worked out of a community mission, putting large life insurance policies on the homeless who lived there and then staged "accidents"[36].

When King Cobra murdered her Uncle Jim's friend John Harvey in order to obtain the blue prints of a new bomber, Miss America was there to take him down, preventing him from finding the blueprints hidden in John's pet goldfish. Miss America next got involved in solving the murder of society girl Dwana Lukas, whose body went missing after dying from poison. Miss America tracked the killer who turned out to be Dwana's uncle John, who sought to obtain her family fortune[37]. Later, Miss America clashed with Nazi hypnotist Dr. Von Helstog who was plotting to use an American bomber to destroy Washington D.C.[38]. Miss America next stumbled upon a plot by a glass blowing gang who hid knock out gas in their sculptures to rob their wealthy clients, and shut them down[39]. She next encountered a killer named the Cherub whose youthful looks were really the product of a de-ageing formula. Miss America took down the Cherub before he could use his formula to age her to death[40].

Later, helping in a manhunt to capture jewel thief Nick Bruto, Miss America discovered that the thief was using a scientists house with a built in anti-gravity device to escape the scenes of his crimes[41]. When American planes were seemingly shot down by the reincarnation of Blackbeard and a band of air pirates, Miss America helped expose him as a Japanese spy using a stealth plane to launch his attacks[42]. She next stopped Nazi plots to eliminate military personal carried out by the Fencing Master[43] and saved a group of Brisih WAAF's from Herr Cyclops while they were visiting Washington D.C.[44]. Miss America next became involved with an insurance company who was investigating Lorelei Riciardi, infamously known as "Lady Bluebeard" for her killing her wealthy husbands and inheriting their fortune. Although Riciardi subdues Miss America and poses as the hero at the costume party being thrown by her latest husband-to-be, Miss America manages to stop her[45]. While on a brief vacation, Miss America also encountered a couple trying to frame their mother for murder using local superstitions in a plot to take over her successful inn[46]. Later, while on the way to her uncles hunting cabin for a winter getaway, Miss America spoiled a plot by two greedy businessmen who killed their partner in order to cash in on his insurance policy[47]. Returning to the city, she clashed with a bank robbing couple called the Fox and the Vixen. When their latest robbery was botched, the Vixen was arrested while the Fox abandoned her. Miss America then tricked the Vixen into leading her to the Fox. However in the battle, the Vixen was accidentally gunned down by her lover, and the Fox was taken into custody[48].

By April 1945, the Liberty Legion reunited for one last mission in which they saved San Francisco from the Lava Men. During that time, Miss America and the Whizzer began talking about joining the Invaders again. When discussing the issue with the Patriot, she suggested he look else where as the Invaders already had Captain America and the Patriot would be redundant[49]. Later Miss America and the Whizzer were called by President Truman to join the Invaders along with the new Captain America and Bucky[50]. She joined the Invaders in battling Nazi forces in Europe shortly after this[51]. On April 25, Miss America was one of the many super-heroes involved in an invasion of Berlin that saw the surrender of the Nazis, and the death of Adolf Hitler[52]. Following the surrender of the Nazis, the the Invaders battled Japanese forces in the South Pacific. When the war was officially ended in August of 1945, President Truman suggested that the Invaders stay together and battle crime. The group renamed themselves the All-Winners Squad and Miss America remained a member[50].

After the War 1946-1949

1946 brought more solo adventures for Madeline, the first of which was preventing a gang of crooks from recovering stolen money accidentally sent off to a Chinese laundry[53], a complex jewellery theft scheme committed by the staff working for the spinster Varden sisters that attempted to implicate their employers[54], and a quartet of jewel thieves who robbed and murdered their victims on the busy streets of the theater district[55]. While staying at a New York hotel, Madeline next stopped the murder and robbery spree perpetuated by the Ghoul, who she revealed to be Joshua Crown, the owner of a rival hotel trying to drive the competition out of business[56]. She later busted Joe Carnation and his gang[57] and came to the aid of a woman named Marie who was being forced to purchase jewels and diamonds by crooked reporter Pat Borden when she was erroneously told she had inherited a fortune[58].

Miss America and the rest of the All-Winners Squad were reunited by the Human Torch and Toro who revealed that they were being challenged by a criminal named Isbisa. Isbisa challenged them to foil various crimes based on the different ages of man. Madeline's clue was pertaining to the Stone Age and it brought her to the town of Millstone where a criminal known as the Calcium Master was apparently turning his victims into calcium statues and ordering ransoms to change them back. Miss America was captured by Calcium Master, and learned that it was all a ruse, his victims kidnapped and replaced with statues. During their clash, Calcium Master died by falling off a cliff and Madeline freed his victims. She then reunited with the rest of the Squad and they deduced that Isbisa was attempting to steal an Atomic Bomb. Madeline assisted the All-Winners Squad in apprehending Isbisa, tossing him into a nearby river where he was apprehended by the Sub-Mariner[59]. In July of 1946, Miss America and the All-Winners Squad prevented an attempt by Phineas Horton's android Adam II from assassinating US Senator John F. Kennedy. During the course of the battle, Captain America was slain by Adam II, and the mantle was taken over by Jeff Mace -- the former Patriot[50][49]. Madeline later saved her cousin Mona from being murdered by Roger Lawton, a modern day blue beard who killed his wealthy spouses and made it look like an accident so he could claim their fortunes[60].

By September 1946, Miss America was once more involved with the All-Winners Squad, now under the leadership of Jeff Mace as Captain America. That month they went to England in order to prevent atomic scientist Dr. Klaus Fuchs from being kidnapped by Soviet super-heroes led by the original Red Guardian. Days later, Madeline was there to support Jeff when he learned his old reporter friend Jack Casey had died[61].

Soon Madeline revealed her secret identity to the government, and was sent on a mission to Buenos Aries to locate missing counter-espionage agent Ted Banning who was in the area compiling a list of escaped Nazi war criminals. Before leaving she was convinced to bring a bracelet with her, which unknown to Madeline, contained microfilm of plans to build a sun ray. This was part of a plot by former Nazi Rex Herr and General Eric Kesselwolfe to build the device and launch World War III. Ultimately, Miss America rescued Ted Banning and thwarted Rex Herr's plans and defeated his network of spies[62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71].

Returning home to the United States, Miss America investigated a series of strange spider inspired murders, clashing with a mad scientist calling himself the Spiderman. During the clash, the villains massive spiders were broken free and ate him alive[72]. She later investigated the murder of Elise DuBois catching Armando Laxo the killer[73]. She also solved the murder of actor Van Rogers, who was slain by Paul Connors, a play-write who was jealous of Van's relationship with fellow actor Vera Campbell[74].

The All-Winners Squad reunited once more to face the menace of the Future Man from the year 1,000,000 AD and his modern era lover Madame Death who were paving the way for a invasion of the modern era from the future. The All-Winners Squad split up to fight the Future Man's forces across the globe, with Miss America defeating an army of reanimated mummies in Egypt. The team regrouped and in the final battle sent Future Man and Madame Death hurtling backwards in time[75]. With Jeff Mace still trying to get used to his role as Captain America, Madeline had taken over the PR for the group. Addressing the media, and having a line of All-Winners Squad comic books being published. Her relationship with the Whizzer suffered some strain from the press of a potential romance between Captain America and Miss America. As they talked about it they were soon attacked by an army of zombies of US soldiers who died during the war. The All-Winners Squad worked together to battle the creatures until they were confronted by zombie version of the original Captain America and Bucky. Seeing through this ruse they soon realized that this was all orchestrated by Madame Death who had returned from the distant past where Future Man died. Miss America and the other defeated Madame Death, who died in battle. Following Madame Death's defeat, the All-Winners Squad held a press conference where Madeline announced that she and the Whizzer were engaged to be married[76].

In August 1947, Miss America and the other members of the All-Winners Squad defeated a group of Communist spies posing as alien invaders. By April 1948, she and the rest of the team began settling into their new headquarters located at the Baxter Building were they celebrated Captain America's birthday. Later that night when Bucky was shot, Madeline and the others offered to help Captain America capture the shooter, but Cap refused. Miss America was present when Captain America later left the team[61]. In her last recorded solo adventure as a super-hero, Miss America investigated the murder of singer Lois Anders, revealing the murderer to be Mary Collins who was trying to cover up the fact that she had sold Lois bad stocks[77].

1950s

By 1949 the All-Winners Squad disbanded, and the Whizzer and Miss America resumed their civilian identities of Robert Frank and Madeline Joyce and were married. They began work for the United States government as non-costumed superhuman security agents at a secret nuclear project located in New York City. Unknown to Frank, Isbisa, a former enemy of the All-Winners Squad, sabotaged the facility and staged a nuclear accident which exposed the Franks to massive amounts of radiation. Although Isbisa's act of revenge did not kill the Franks, Madeline was pregnant at the time, and several months later gave birth to a radioactive mutant son, Robert, Jr., later called "Nuklo." Because the baby emitted dangerous levels of radiation, the United States government took custody of him and placed him in an experimental chrono-module. There he would be kept in suspended animation until he ceased to emit dangerous levels of radiation.

Leaving the research facility with a generous government pension, the Franks decided to travel the world. Madeline Frank became pregnant again, and was in the tiny Balkan country of Transia when the pregnancy came to term. The Franks had found refuge in the scientific citadel atop Wundagore Mountain at the recommendation of nearby villagers who believed it to have modern medical facilities. With the evolved cow called Bova as midwife, Madeline gave birth to a stillborn child, even more radioactive and mutated than her first child. Madeline died of radiation poisoning hours later.

Afterlife

Years later, a mysterious villain knwon as the Pitiful One resurrected Madeline alongside a number of other heroes and villains (including Kraven, Mysterio and Anarchist) in order to use them as soldiers[78].

However, the nature of the afterlife is deceptive, as characters who appeared to be dead have been "seen" there and later revealed to be impostors, whether or not this was the real Miss America, or merely an impostor remains unknown.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Marvel Mystery Comics #49
  2. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #8
  3. Marvel Mystery Comics #50
  4. Marvel Mystery Comics #51
  5. Appearance in Miss America Comics #1 goes here
  6. Marvel Premiere #29
  7. Invaders #6
  8. Marvel Premiere #30
  9. Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1
  10. Marvel Two-In-One #20
  11. Invaders #35
  12. Invaders #36
  13. Invaders #37
  14. Invaders #38
  15. Invaders #39
  16. Invaders #40
  17. Invaders #41
  18. Giant-Size Invaders #2
  19. Invaders Vol 2 #1
  20. Invaders Vol 2 #2
  21. Invaders Vol 2 #3
  22. Invaders Vol 2 #4
  23. Miss America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1
  24. Marvel Mystery Comics #52
  25. Marvel Mystery Comics #53
  26. Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #9
  27. Avengers / Invaders #10
  28. Avengers / Invaders #12
  29. Marvel Mystery Comics #54
  30. Marvel Mystery Comics #55
  31. Marvel Mystery Comics #56
  32. Marvel Mystery Comics #57
  33. Marvel Mystery Comics #58
  34. Marvel Mystery Comics #59
  35. Miss America Magazine #2
  36. Marvel Mystery Comics #60
  37. Miss America Magazine #3
  38. Marvel Mystery Comics #61
  39. Miss America Magazine #4
  40. Miss America Magazine #5
  41. Marvel Mystery Comics #62
  42. Marvel Mystery Comics #63
  43. Marvel Mystery Comics #71
  44. Marvel Mystery Comics #72
  45. Marvel Mystery Comics #64
  46. Marvel Mystery Comics #65
  47. Marvel Mystery Comics #66
  48. Marvel Mystery Comics #67
  49. 49.0 49.1 Captain America: Patriot #1
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 What If? #4
  51. Captain America Annual #6
  52. Twelve #1
  53. Marvel Mystery Comics #68
  54. Marvel Mystery Comics #69
  55. Marvel Mystery Comics #70
  56. Marvel Mystery Comics #73
  57. Marvel Mystery Comics #74
  58. Marvel Mystery Comics #75
  59. All Winners Comics #19
  60. All-Select Comics #11
  61. 61.0 61.1 Captain America: Patriot #2
  62. Marvel Mystery Comics #76
  63. Marvel Mystery Comics #77
  64. Marvel Mystery Comics #78
  65. Marvel Mystery Comics #79
  66. Marvel Mystery Comics #80
  67. Marvel Mystery Comics #81
  68. Marvel Mystery Comics #82
  69. Marvel Mystery Comics #83
  70. Marvel Mystery Comics #84
  71. Marvel Mystery Comics #85
  72. Blonde Phantom #12
  73. Blonde Phantom #13
  74. Blonde Phantom #14
  75. All Winners Comics #21
  76. All Winners Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1
  77. Sun Girl #1
  78. X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1