So just finished going through every book I could find published in 1944, updating issue summaries and creating profiles.
1944 was, a pretty unremarkable year, as a lot of the stories published were pretty much as uninspiring. A lot of the stories featured similar plots, especially stories centered around battles against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. One specific plot comes to mind is a hero going to Kobe Island to stop Japanese forces from amassing a naval advantage there. There are both a Sub-Mariner story in Marvel Mystery Comics #52 and Human Torch story in Human Torch Comics #16 that features the same premise.
Other redundant stories include the typical person-gets-killed-and-leaves-a-final-will murder mystery, the millionaire being terrorized by crooks/Nazi spies, and so-on-and-so-forth.
Interestingly, this year featured the last Red Skull story published in any World War II era publication. The Red Skull last appeared in Captain America Comics #37 and not be seen again until Captain America Comics #57 in October of 1949 (It's a weird story where Captain America battles the Red Skull in Hell, so it's probably George Maxon or some other Red Skull impersonator).
Another interesting thing about 1944 is the complete abandonment of Mary Morgan's double identity as Miss Patriot. In Marvel Mystery Comics #50 in the winter of 1943 they gave Mary super powers with the intention of making her the Patriot's sidekick, but the idea was dropped by the next story and she was only portrayed as a powerless girl reporter in subsequent stories. It's not until 2010's Captain America: Patriot limited series is the Miss Patriot character revisited.
1944 saw the final appearances of boy detective Terry Vance from the pages of Marvel Mystery Comics, he made an appearance in two issues of the second volume of Mystic Comics before vanishing completely. The character hasn't been seen since. I can foresee the character returning somewhere since they made a profile for him in the most recent Marvel Handbooks and one of his stories was reprinted in the Young Allies Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 as well. Also disappearing from the comic pages was American soldier Sgt. Dix who was making regular appearances in USA Comics. However, the somewhat racist Jap Buster Johnson still continued to crop up here and there.
As for debuts during this time.. There wasn't any of mention except for the first appearance of Patsy Walker in Miss America Magazine #2 (or rather, her "fictional character" from the Earth-616 Patsy Walker Comics)... These early stories are very... dated... But other than Miss America, there Patsy Walker was the only other title that was geared at girls. The stories appear to be taking a page from the Archie Comics which were becoming popular at the time.
Another noteworthy change to the story telling was the change in appearance of the character Whitewash Jones. The racist big black lips were no longer being drawn on the character like his original portrayals in earlier issues of Young Allies.
Also, the character the Destroyer moved from fighting Nazis in Germany to the Imperial Japanese Army in Japan. Around this time, Allied bombings were beginning in Europe in general an in Germany in particular as the Nazis were beginning to lose ground in the war.
There are not really any remarkable characters who came out around this period, not a whole lot of costumed criminals. One that come to mind are Leopard Woman who has a striking resemblance to Batman's villain Catwoman (all be it wearing a skimpier outfit) most of the bad guys were just sadistic lunatics, mad scientists, or Axis spies.
In other related contributions to the site, I have been creating expanded histories for a lot of the bigger name characters -- because there is so much info on them -- covering all their appearances in chronological order. The characters I've done so far are:
Captain America</br> Bucky
I've done all these characters appearances in as best chronological order humanly possible... Meaning I also went and read all the various "flashback" issues of their chronological histories from the characters births up until 1944 (With the Red Skull in particular I did his entire life story until 1945 since there wasn't as much to add as say, Captain America considering all his activities in 1945 were all published in stories from the 1960's onward).
I also did some major changes to the entries for both the Nazi's and Japan. Since these are large armies that had massive rosters and other items of interest, I decided to break things up into subjects of interest.
Similarly the Imperial Japanese Army has been broken up into an Expanded History, Membership and Imperial Japan (Earth-616)/War Machines as well. If I had more free time I would probably go back and do the same for the United States Army, United States Air Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation... But meh.. I'll leave that to some other ambitious contributor.
Next up is 1945... 1945 is of course the last year of World War II with the fall of Nazi Germany during the Battle of Berlin that saw the death of Hitler and his cronies, and the atomic bombing of Japan that led to the Japanese surrender. It will be interesting to see the shift of characters going from fighting spies and Axis soldiers all the time to just dealing with regular criminals and bad guys in silly costumes. 1945 is the year where Captain America and Bucky "die" and are replaced by William Nasland and Fred Davis Jr. among other interesting tales.
1945 also begins the decline of super-hero comics with the characters being slowly phased out by 1949. As each 40's character I have been chronicling has stopped appearing I will do up an Expanded History or add more to an already existing profile for them (Because the only ones that are left are the longer lasting characters) I'll probably also go back and update the Expanded history of the Nazis and Imperial Japan to add chronological appearances of both armies that were published in post World War II stories as well. Stay tuned!