Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hitting Hitler!

Captain America Comics #1 was a blockbuster in a host of ways. While not technically the first patriotic hero (i.e.draped in the flag -- that honor goes to MLJ's The Shield), he was the first one who changed the hearts and minds of the readers. I was genuinely surprised to learn that many publishers were quite nervous about a cover such as the one above by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby showing a hero knocking Adolph Hitler in the jaw. They saw it as too provocative, but in the year 1941 Hitler's war had been raging for a few years and his intentions were clear. It seems odd that so many would be so reluctant to showcase a scene like this iconic one.

The image has become so ingrained in the comic book psyche that it's been homaged and swiped many times. Below are just a few.


  1. I think most Americans wanted to keep out of the war and there was a big anti-war movement led by Charles Lindbergh so that's probably why publishers weren't very keen on being seen as aggressively anti-Hitler. A cover showing Captain America punching Hitler was quite a provocative image when America wasn't even at war with Germany.

    1. That's no doubt true, but from this side of history I'd imagine that trepidation would surprise a lot of folks today who see Hitler as the purest evil to be called out plainly. That there were folks who didn't want to rock the boat is exactly my point. It's one thing for the official government to mince words, that I understand and even applaud as they run the risk of having to take actions the populace won't really support, but for individuals to follow suit seems squeamish.

      Rip Off


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