Red, White and Blue proved to be a very popular series during these years, appearing not only in All-American throughout this period, but also in the 1940 New York World’s Fair, the first two issues of All-Star Comics and the first six issues of World’s Finest, before settling into Comic Cavalcade. Doris is never specifically demoted from being their boss, but we never see her function in that capacity, and she appears to be equals with them, until close to the end of the period.
The stories themselves tend heavily toward repetition. Over and over scientists discover some new weapon, or a prototype plane/tank/sub has been constructed, and Red, Whitey, Blooey and Doris are assigned to protect them/retrieve them/save the kidnapped scientist. The only major variation to this is when they need to find out who is sabotaging munitions factories, and they do that an awful lot as well.
As the series progresses, Red ceases to be the hero in each and every tale, and Blooey gets a few stories as the lead. Whitey is made the muscle of the group, and gets to be the hero a few times. Doris is generally the one to figure out the bad guys plans, although in All-American 33 she is the only one to elude the nazi spies who have been sent out to capture the four. She defeats her enemy, disguises herself as the woman and takes down the spy ring, freeing the boys.
There is a rivalry between Doris and Red, both trying to show the other that they are the better spy, but there is clearly also some romance between them. That being said, Doris does kiss Blooey in more stories than she kisses Red.
There are a few stories without Doris, but in most of them she shows up before the end, usually having been in disguise, appearing in the tale as some other woman.
By 1942 the stories are picking up some of the paranoia that pervades other series, with anyone and everyone possibly being a nazi spy. Our heroes encounter them at a roller skating rink, a Hollywood film set, a Texas oil facility, a scrap yard, a coconut warehouse, even a laundry. Still, this does get balanced somewhat by the tale in All-American 52, in which neighbours who become suspicious about a man living on their street cause more problems through their gossip that is necessary, and the end of the story reminds them to leave the spying to the professionals.
As 1944 begins, the series takes a definite turn. Doris has stopped going on cases with them, now simply baking pies and acting like a jealous girlfriend. She does not even believe Red when he explains his flirtations with a German spy as part of his job, as if she had never done the same thing herself!
And then the group gets split up. Red is sent with the army to fight the Japanese in the Pacific, Whitey joins the forces in Europe, and Blooey goes off with the navy. Each story deals with only one of the characters, who relates his adventures in a letter to the other two. Their stories alternate in issues of All-American, but Whitey is the star of both the Comic Cavalcade adventures that end this era.
Red, White and Blue continue in the Late Golden Age
Red, White and Blue: All-American 10 – 59 (Jan 40 – July 44)
New York World’s Fair 1940
All-Star Comics 1 – 2 (Summer – Fall 1940)
World’s Best Comics 1 (Spring 1941)
World’s Finest Comics 2- 6 (Summer 41 – Summer 42)
Comic Cavalcade 1 – 2 (Winter 42 – Spring 43), 5 – 7 (Winter 43 – Summer 44)