Sunday, August 29, 2010
Nurses as Supporting Characters: Love Confessions 29 - "Victory in His Arms"
Love Confessions 29 published by Quality Comics has a nice Ogden Whitney cover. Despite the temptation to think so, the nurse is not romantically involved with the wounded soldier in the hospital, as the cover might suggest. Instead the nurse figures as a support character in "Victory in His Arms", and really only appears at the beginning and end of the story. This story is interesting in that it certainly has an anti-war component. Joan's anti-war sentiment is, however, about to cause her some grief:
As Joan ponders her fate, she begins to moderate her anti-war position to accommodate the need to defend the freedom that allows her to be outspoken against war. I love the panel on page 5, so typical of romance comics, where the woman lies awake in bed at night, wrestling with emotional turmoil. As might have been predicted, this part of the tale, in which Joan is in a kind of love limbo imposed by her break up with Gar, is brought to an end when she receives news that he's been wounded.
Gar has had a few realizations after having been on the front line, and so his position has mellowed. The two are now in the same place regarding this difficult topic, and ready to move forward with their relationship, the division resolved. The nurse's motherly and friendly role is befitting of the image of nurses in the mid-1950s, and we're left having received the message that war is sometimes a necessary evil.
Romance comics came into being 2 or 3 years before EC launched the war comic genre with Two-Fisted Tales in 1950, but blends of the genres exist, especially in the first half of the 1950s concurrent with the Korean War. These blended stories are, however, mostly found in the romance comics, and of course there are even romance comics with war in the title, such as True War Romances and Wartime Romances.