Captain America And Other Superheroes Punching, Kicking And Strangling Hitler

Above: The iconic cover of Captain America #1 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

Superman ended the war in his own comic in February 1940, but that didn’t stop Captain America, the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch from having their own Nazi fighting adventures well before Pearl Harbor ever happened. Comic books boomed during World War II, tripling their sales between 1940 and 1945, and some historians have sited these anti-Nazi comics as pushing America towards entering the war. After all, if Captain America is fighting Nazis, shouldn’t America herself?

In any case, the effect of the Captain America #1 cover in December 1940 was electrifying, selling out in days and getting a second printing of over a million copies.

Simon had known Kirby did energetic figures in motion, dramatic foreshortening and rippling musculature, high-impact punches. But until Jack poured all his rage and exultation into this grinning, granite-fisted embodiment of America vaulting over Berchtesgaden walls, smashing through legions of jackbooted fascists, and belting Hitler himself in the jaw, he had never shown just what he could do.

From Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby got unprecedented deals and became comic book star creators. Unfortunately, the deal went sour and after they quit, writing the comic fell into the hands of a 19-year-old Stan Lee. It should be noted that after America entered the war, both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby went into the army. Kirby was apparently quite a war hero, scouting advanced locations and drawing maps. Stan Lee, on the other hand, was a bit of a rapscallion, which resulted in my all-time favorite story in the history of comics.

His commander hated him for his cocky grin, his unshakable self-confidence, and the huge Buick Phaeton convertible he drove to and from camp every liberty. Once Stan connived to break into the camp post office after hours to get a plot summary Martin Goodman had mailed him. When he was caught, his commander told him with satisfaction that he’d be court-martialed and sent to Leavenworth. But Stan called Goodman, who called someone in the army and said that the writer of Captain America was being threatened with court-martial. The next day Stan was let out of the brig. His commander’s hatred only grew hotter, but from that time on, it was a a silent hatred.

From Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones

So great! And now for the most universally approved comic book drawings ever, because let’s face it: We can all enjoy seeing Hitler getting the sh*t beat out of him. God I hope they have a scene of Chris Evans punching Hitler in the new Captain America movie, that’ll make one awesome gif.

A big thanks to the dedicated researcher of Hitler beatings, Hitler Getting Punched.

Captain America by Paulo Rivera

Captain America by Jack Kirby

Superheroes vs. Hitler by John Watson

Captain America by Marcos Martin

Captain America Reborn by Bryan Hitch

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