Carolyn McNamara

 

The US and Second World War

In Captain America Comics no. 1, two servicemen approach President Roosevelt with misgivings about the war. Roosevelt responds, “What would you suggest, gentlemen? A character out of the comic books?”1 Captain America made his first appearance just months before America’s entry into the Second World War. The average boy-turned-superhero takes on Hitler in the first issue, leaving no question as to where his allegiance lies. While Captain America reflects a nationwide surge in nationalism on the eve of war, there are subtler forces at work that shape the making and message of these comics. Race, technology, Great Depression ideals, and nationalism all come into play in Captain America Comics, often revealing the darker side of wartime patriotism.

Jack Kirby and Joe Simon created Captain America in 1940. Their backgrounds shaped the superhero’s message. Jack Kirby was born in 1917 in New York’s Lower East Side.2 A second-generation Austrian immigrant of Jewish descent, “Jacob Kurtzburg” Kirby later changed his name to Jack Kirby because, as he put it, he “wanted to be an American.” His poverty-stricken neighborhood was filled with violence, much of which would later fill the pages of his comic books. Fights broke out everywhere. In one interview, he reminisced about one particular “climb-out fight.” “A climb-out fight,” he recalled, “is where you climb a building. You climb fire escapes. You climb to the top of the building. You fight on the roof, and you fight all the way down again.” Kirby also encountered anti-Semitism, which had the ironic effect of making him feel not bitter but thankful that America was a place where “people of all different backgrounds had to live together.”3 Kirby’s love for American diversity and his Jewish heritage later motivated him to draw a patriotic superhero who would take on the greatest anti-Semite of all time, Adolf Hitler4.

Like Kirby, Joe Simon grew up in the Lower East Side and was the son of a poor Jewish immigrant.5 The two men lived across the street from each other, and both had fathers who worked as tailors.6 Simon attended university and worked on the art staffs of a few newspapers before taking a job at Fox Comics where Kirby also worked. Simon recognized Kirby’s artistic talent immediately, so when Kirby asked him if he were interested in working on some side projects, Simon jumped at the chance. Simon recalled, “Jack had a great flair for comics. He could take an ordinary script and make it come alive with his dramatic interpretation. I would write the script on the [illustration] boards as we went along, sketch in rough layouts and notations, and Jack would follow up by doing more exact penciling.”7

A few months into their collaboration, Joe Simon conceived of the idea of a star-spangled superhero who would fight for America against Hitler himself. “Captain America was created for a time that needed noble figures,” Kirby once said. “We weren’t at war yet, but everyone knew it was coming. That’s why Captain America was born; America needed a superpatriot.”8 Simon likewise felt that Americans should enter the war even though most Americans opposed intervention in what was a European conflict. When asked about his motivations for creating Captain America, Simon explained, “…opponents to the war were all quite well organized. We wanted to have our say too.”9 Simon and Kirby believed that the best way to have their say was through comic books because, as Kirby put it, “Comics is [sic] an American form of art that anyone can do with a pencil and paper.”10 The comic book they created would become one of the most popular of the war years. 

The first issue of Captain America Comics appeared in March of 1941, nine months before the United States entered the World War. Isolationist sentiment still dominated public opinion but not the cover of issue no. 1. It features Captain America punching Hitler square in the jaw as Nazi soldiers fire at him from all sides. The story opens on a group of Nazi saboteurs bent on destroying American factories in order to thwart the war effort. When President Roosevelt learns of the sabotage, he tells the reporting officials of a possible solution, one of the “upmost secrecy.”11 Roosevelt leads the officials to a heavily guarded laboratory where they meet a frail young man named Steve Rogers. Steve is approached by the head scientist, told that he is “about to become one of America’s saviors,” and injected with a “strange seething liquid.” A miraculous transformation results. Steve grows taller, stronger, and smarter. He is now, readers learn, “The first of a corps of super-agents whose mental and physical will make them a terror to spies and saboteurs.”12 As it turns out, Hitler’s Gestapo has infiltrated the laboratory and open fire. Steve defeats the Nazis easily.13 Once a scrawny boy unfit for service, Steve Rogers is now Captain America, “a symbol of courage to millions of Americans.” He and his young sidekick Bucky invite readers to join them on future adventures.14

Captain of America Issue No. 1
 

In the first issue, Kirby and Simon gave Captain America characteristics that set him apart from other popular superheroes and made him accessible to readers. First, unlike Superman or Batman, Steve Rogers was neither born with superhuman powers nor heir to a super fortune. In fact, he was so weak that he failed his physical and was unable to enlist. Steve may have transformed into a robust superhero, but he also knew what it was like to be powerless, a feeling that probably would have resonated with many young readers.15 Second, Kirby’s vivid drawings involve the reader in the narrative. Captain America often violates the boundaries of his panel frame, virtually leaping from the page to the next scene.16 Captain America also looks at and speaks directly to the reader and thus breaks the familiar fourth wall of the form.

Finally, Kirby and Simon say nothing about Captain America’s ethnicity. Steve Rogers is phenotypically white, but unlike Superman or Tarzan, his ethnic origins play no part in his backstory. By masking Captain America’s ethnicity, Kirby and Simon suggest that patriotism has no national origin in America.17

Captain America and his fellow superheroes provoked a backlash. Sterling North, literary editor of the Chicago Daily News, joined the critical choir, calling comics crude and a danger to children’s sensibilities, condemning parents who allowed their children to read comics, and labeling comic book publishers “completely immoral.”18 Isolationist groups such as the American First Committee and the German American Bund opposed Captain America’s interventionist message, and went so far as to harass Kirby and Simon outside their studio in the McGraw-Hill building.19 As Simon recalled, “…we got a lot of…threatening letters and hate mail. Some people really opposed what Cap stood for.” The creators were undeterred, and, in Simon’s words, “felt very good about making a political statement…and taking a stand against Nazism.”20 Their stand would face new challenges with the onset of the war.

The United States entered World War II in December of 1941, and the comic book industry mobilized with the rest of the country. The Office of War Information issued directives to news outlets and suppliers of popular culture, asking them to raise America morale by, for example, incorporating “the phrase ‘end of the war is in sight’…as frequently as possible.”21 Rival comic book publishers took advantage of Captain America’s success by filling newsstands with their own flag-waving superheroes, including Uncle Sam, the Star-Spangled Kid, and even Miss America.22 The government rationed publishers’ paper by reducing the allotment given to publishers by 15 to 20 percent.23 Captain America even lost his creators to military service. In 1943 Joe Simon volunteered for the United States Coast Guard. That same year, Kirby was stationed in the Fifth Division, Third Army, and served under General Patton on the European front.24 The brutality Kirby saw in war differed from the violence of the lower East Side, and like those earlier experiences, later manifested itself in his comics. In an interview with The New Nostalgia Journal, Kirby justified his use of violence, explaining, “I used to walk around and watch the dead bodies in the field…I feel what I’m doing in my comics is violent, but my kind of violence…violence, basic raw violence in which violence is inflicted in a mindless terrible way, I can’t see.”25 As the war progressed and Captain America Comics kept filling newsstands, the hero developed his message on violence, patriotism, and what it meant to be an American. 

Captain America quickly became Marvel’s best-selling comic and most popular comic book character. Marvel sold approximately a million copies of Captain America Comics per month throughout the war, a sizable chuck of the roughly 15 million comic books being sold each month.26 Comic books even accompanied the troops overseas. The New York Times estimated that one fourth of the magazines read by servicemen were comic books.27 In 1944, 41 percent of men between the ages of eighteen and thirty read more than six comic books a month. Forty-four percent of those in training camps read more than six comic books a month while 13 percent read comic books occasionally.28 The economy boomed and parents, now with income to spare, were finally able to give their children what the Great Depression had denied them. Those children often spent their money on comic books.29

Captain America Comics retain themes typical to Great depression popular culture. During the Great Depression, comic books often depicted crusades against corporate greed and deceit. The heroes of these comics fought against what Roosevelt called “economic royalists.”30 When he was not fighting Nazis, Captain America often engaged in similar battles against selfishness and fraud. In “The Case of the Fake Money Fiends,” Cap dresses up as a small town farmer in order to track down a local mob of counterfeiters.31 “The Return of the Red Skull” features two “hard faced thugs” who dress up as Bucky and Captain America to trick the public into paying to see them. Eventually, the Red Skull finds the superhero impersonators and, mistaking them for the genuine pair, hangs, them. The frauds are neither saved nor mourned, exhibiting a lack of sympathy for anyone who would cheat a fellow American out of a dollar.32 The surprise villain of “The Riddle of the Red Skull” is Mister Naxon, the head of a large aircraft organization who kills important American officials in exchange for the Nazis’ promise to make him the Greater Reich’s Post Minister of all American industry.33 These tales reinforce the New Deal assumption that unsupervised, unregulated business will become a corrupt menace.34

Sentinels of Liberty
 

Children made up a large portion of Captain America’s readership. For the young boys and girls of WWII, Steve Rogers was the manifestation of whatever member of their families who had been sent overseas. Steve’s heroics as Captain America provided a picture of war and soldiers that allowed these kids to imagine their loved ones fighting valiantly, very much alive. Captain America Comics even gave them their own role to play in the war effort by portraying them as brave defenders of the homeland. In “The Killers of the Bund,” Bucky assembles his young friends and tasks them with locating the German-American Bund’s secret hideouts. The Sentinels are shown listening at windows, on watch for traitors to the American cause.35 Pages advertising entrance into Captain America’s fan club, known as the “Sentinels of Liberty,” were featured in nearly every issue of Captain America Comics. These young readers had money to spend on the club’s membership cards and badges. An April 1944 census survey revealed that 20 percent of schoolboys between fourteen and fifteen years of age had jobs and that 40 percent of those between sixteen and seventeen years of age did as well.36 Kirby and Simon were not simply catering to young readers for their money. At the end of “Captain America Battles the Camera Fiend and His Darts of Doom,” the Captain looks directly at the reader and says, “All boys and girls are Sentinels of Liberty whether they wear the badge or not. America is safe while its boys and girls believe in its creeds!”37 While most children did not have the opportunity to contribute to the war effort as directly as Bucky and his pals, Captain America’s quote identifies another vital role they played: a source of hope for the future and something worth fighting for. 

nazis
 

In his fight to protect the American home front, the Nazis were Captain America’s most formidable enemy. Nazis differed from Kirby and Simon’s other villains. Unlike Oriental zombies, phantom hounds, or giant murderous butterflies, Nazis were literally men in uniform and did not immediately register as evil on a visual level.38 Identification of the Nazis as a force of evil often began with graphic representations: grotesque physical features, heavy German accents, and the ubiquitous placement of swastikas.39 Indeed, the number of swastikas incorporated into any scene featuring Nazis seemed limited less by where they would realistically be displayed and more by how many could fit onto the page.40 Kirby and Simon made the identification of forces of good and evil even easier by featuring real people such as Hitler, Herman Goering, and General Edward P. King. This allowed readers to transfer their feelings for the actual men to their cartoon counterparts. Once characters had been identified as a certain moral valence, they exhibited behavior appropriate to their identification.41 Nazis are always manipulative and lethal. They instigate every conflict, forcing Captain America to respond and paralleling American entry into the war. Finally, their hubris is omnipresent and overblown.42 Nazi villains celebrate their success with plans to rule the Fatherland or claims of surpassing Hitler.43 Captain America could not be more humble. He exhibits pride not in himself, but in his nation. After the defeat of yet another Nazi, he proclaims, “…you can tell that Austrian paperhanger this—tell him that our freedom has been threatened before and we’re still around to tackle anyone who thinks he can take it from us now! Hitler and his loot-crazed barbarians will find the farmer of Lexington and Concord very much alive in the spirit of every modern American!”44

Not only were the Nazis Captain America’s most formidable enemies; they were also his most common ones. This emphasis on Germany probably stemmed both from America’s pursuing a “Europe-first” strategy and from the Jewish creators’ preoccupation with the Holocaust and the fate of European Jewry. Other American enemies made their appearances. The most notable were the collaborators of Vichy France and the Japanese. In “The Terror that was Devil’s Island,” Steve Rogers goes to Vichy France’s POW prison to see his friend Tom Jason, who had ben taken prisoner by the Germans during their occupation of France.45 Steve finds Tom unshaven, emaciated, too scared to tell his friend what had been done to him. “Captain America in Murder Stalks the Maneuvers” features a Vichy Frenchman disguised as a representative of the Free French who replaces the fake ammunition to be used in the American soldiers’ war games the following day with real ammunition. This scheme kills several men.46

Meet Fang
 

While the portrayal of the French focuses on their status as traitors, depictions of Japanese are overtly racist. The Japanese in “Meet Fang, Arch Fiend of the Orient” have apish faces, sharp teeth, and claw-like hands. They talk openly of torturing and executing their enemies. Their target in this particular comic is the friendly, wise Chinese emissary in Steve Rogers’ charge, perhaps an allusion to the Japanese’s brutal behavior in the Sino-Japanese war.47 Edgar Snow, Mao Tse-tung’s early biographer, captured the logic behind this depiction of the Japanese as primitive and animalistic in comparison to other races. “The individual Japanese,” he wrote, “is aware of his unfortunate intellectual and physical inferiority to individual Koreans and Chinese…he is forever seeking ways of compensation.” Many Americans saw the Japanese’s brutality as a manifestation of this inferiority complex.48

Technology also figures prominently into this Manichean universe. Captain America and his fellow soldiers rarely wield anything more advanced than a rifle, while the Nazis employ all sorts of state-of-the-art weaponry. In “The Wax Statue that Struck Death,” “…a secretly trained mechanized unit, organized by the mysterious wax man, works feverishly to complete and equip their streamlined, metal monsters in the underground factories beneath densely wooded forest….”49 “The Return of the Red Skull” features the Red Skull’s power drill which pierces concrete, destroys buildings, and kills thousands.50 Chemical weaponry even makes an appearance in “Captain America and the Killers of the Bund,” as one Nazi threatens the Captain, “I think you’ll be interested to know dot after you’re dead, ve are going to spray der entire zity mit zleep gas und den capture it. Ve vill den avait der Feuhrer’s invasion.”51

Such differences in technology served two purposes. First, they reflected the actual differences in production between the United States and Germany. When it came to productivity, no country could match the United States. Henry Kaiser, developer of the Liberty Ship, was eventually dubbed “Sir Launchalot” for the huge number of ships he manufactured.52 When given the choice between quantity and quality, the Germans chose quality. Even German armaments minister Albert Speer acknowledged America’s “production miracle” and prophesized that “it would be evident to posterity that our outmoded, tradition-bound, and arthritic organizational system had lost the struggle.”53 More to the graphic point, the incorporation of technology made for more exciting violence than the stereotypical gunfight or hand-to-hand combat. All that metal and machinery presented Captain America with a foe of corresponding strength and allowed the hero to show off his fighting finesse.54

Allied victory in Europe signaled the end of Captain America Comics’ golden age. Stan Lee had replaced Kirby and Simon as the editor-in-chief before they were shipped off to war in 1943. It was he who took up the challenge of selling this beloved war comic to a postwar audience. Lee had begun work at Timely comics when he was just seventeen years old. He was related to Timely’s owner, Martin Goodman, so when Kirby and Simon were told to give the youngster a bit of work to do, the two comic veterans were annoyed by this blatant act of nepotism. Lee was determined to prove himself. The son of Romanian immigrants, Lee had grown up during the Great Depression and watched unemployment drag his father into a crippling depression.55 He resolved to work as hard as necessary to become indispensable at whatever job he took on. Lee made few friends in school and would turn to comic books as an escape from his loneliness.56 By age 15 he was repeatedly winning writing contests held by New York’s Herald-Tribune. After graduating from high school in 1939, Lee decided to approach Goodman about the possibility of a job and the chance to work with his heroes, the creators of Captain America.57 Kirby and Simon tasked Lee with the unappealing job of writing the two pages of text Captain America Comics had to include in order to qualify for second-class mailing benefits. “Nobody wanted to do that stuff because nobody read it,” Simon remarked, “so Stan did it, and he treated it like it was the Great American novel.”58

Lee was determined that Captain America’s rivalry with the Nazis continue despite their surrender to the Allies in May 1945. For a full year after the war’s end, Captain America would carry on fighting Hitler’s minions.59 In the August 1945 comic “The League of Hate,” Nazi agents were still carrying out sabotage in the United States. Rather than assassinating American leaders or destroying industry, their aim was to, as Hitler put it, “spread propaganda for a soft peace” (Weiner). Other elements of the comic altered dramatically. Servicemen had composed a large portion of Captain America’s readership. Lee believed that the best way to retain this readership was to have Captain America’s storyline mirror veterans’ experiences returning home. “The Private Life of Captain America” appeared in November 1946 and established Captain America’s civilian identity. In this story, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are honorably discharged from the army. Steve returns to his prewar occupation as a social studies teacher at Lee High School, fighting common criminals as Captain America in his off time.60

Despite the change, sales continued to suffer. In April 1948, Lee made another major alteration to the Captain America canon by giving the hero a new sidekick. In “Golden Girl,” Bucky is shot and hospitalized. The fall of this cherished character was meant to symbolize the loss the American people suffered during the war.61 Captain America recruits his longtime friend Betty Ross as his new sidekick, and she takes on the identity Golden Girl. Lee chose Golden Girl as Bucky’s replacement in the hopes of capitalizing on the popularity of female heroines and tapping into the female demographic.62 Lee’s efforts were in vain. Timely canceled Captain America’s monthly in 1949.63

Censorship was an obstacle all comics in the postwar period faced. In 1954, psychologist Dr. Frederic Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent in which he argued that kids who read comic books were more likely to grow into delinquents. Wertham presented as evidence the youths he had worked with as a clinical psychologist. He asserted that the youths who regularly read comic books also were also those who committed the most acts of juvenile violence. The book received enough attention for the issue of comic book content to earn a congressional hearing.64 The Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency convened its “Comic Book Hearings” in April of 1954.65 In response to the range of criticism presented at the hearing, several comic book publishers came together to form the Comics Magazines Association of America (CMAA). This association issued the Comics Code Authority (CCA) more commonly known as the Comics Code. Publishers who agreed to adhere to the Code’s stipulations received a seal informing the public that this particular comic book met the organization’s standards of decency. The Code prohibited comics from including excessive violence, depictions of drug use, criticism of the government, sexual imagery, or detailed portrayals of crime.66 Publishers were at a loss. They risked losing readers’ interest by adhering to the Code, yet consumers would not buy comics that lacked the CMAA’s seal. Between 1954 and 1956, eighteen comic book publishers closed their doors.

The Comic Code proved a death sentence for many, but Stan Lee saw it as an opportunity. The Code required that comics be wholesome and moral, both of which were characteristic of Captain America Comics. Nazis were no longer a viable enemy for Captain America. Instead, Lee took a cue from the national anxiety mounting in response to the rise of Red China, the development of hydrogen bombs by the Soviets, and McCarthyism by making Captain America’s new enemy the forces of communism.67 The first issues of the revival appeared in 1954. The top of each issue read “Captain America…Commie Smasher.” The rehabilitated Captain America’s adventures were as bombastic and political as those of the original series. In “You Die at Midnight,” Captain America breaks up a communist spy ring that had been attempting to extort information about America’s atomic research from a shipyard employee by threatening to murder his blind son.68 The cover of issue #77 depicts Captain America fighting off a ship full of communists, flying through the air just past a subtitle that reads, “Striking back at the Soviet.” This exaggerated form of warfare may have sold millions of comics during the war, but it did not appeal to the readers of what was now the Cold War era. “Captain America…Commie Smasher” was canceled that same year after just three issues.69 

Captain America Comics remained canceled until 1964. During the hiatus, the success of other superheroes revealed where Captain America had gone wrong in his abortive revival. Most comic book readers at this time were older than those of the 1940s. They were college students who craved complexity from their heroes. Kirby and Simon had returned to Timely comics, now known as Marvel, in the 1950s. The duo paid close attention to the psychological motivations of their new characters. In 1962, they debuted Spider-Man, an unpopular, awkward high school student with a tough home life. Hulk first appeared the same year. His struggle to protect those around him from his uncontrollable transformations into a green giant also made him a fan favorite. If the next Captain America revival was going to succeed, he was going to have to develop some of the same depth exhibited by the popular characters of the time.70

Kirby and Lee worked together to give their beloved character complexity. They scrapped all the changes Lee had made to the canon since 1941. Steve Rogers was never a schoolteacher, Golden Girl was never the Cap’s sidekick, and the Captain had never fought the communists. They wrote a story that took Captain America and Bucky back to their last mission before the end of World War II. Near the story’s end, both the Captain and Bucky sit atop a missile heading straight for a major city. Cap realizes that he cannot deactivate the missile before it explodes. He tells Bucky to give up and let go of the missile, but Bucky refuses to doom the city. As Captain falls to safety, the missile blows up, killing Bucky. After crashing into icy waters, Cap is frozen in suspended animation. When he is unfrozen in 1964, he wakes to find himself an antiquated hero burdened by survivor’s guilt in an unrecognizably modernized world.71 Cap’s struggle to both cope with the past and adapt to the present was a hit with readers. Captain America quickly went from has-been hero to Marvel’s most popular character.72

Captain America’s evolution reflects the transformation of American society during and in the decades following World War II. Before America entered the fight, Captain America Comics represented the interventionist element of a nation still clinging to isolationism. The comics produced during the war mirror several elements of life on the home front including mass production of war material, racism, civilian perception of the nation’s foreign enemies, and an inflated sense of nationalism. The end of the war forced Captain America to discard his role as an uncompromising crusader. Readership had matured and wanted characters with more emotional complexity than was typical of Cap up to that point. Another important element in the rejection of golden age Captain America lies in the unique nature of World War II. Captain America was born out of America’s most righteous war to date. No conflict since WWII has been so clearly justified. Captain America was designed to represent good in a world divided between good and evil. When the postwar world proved to be more gray than black-and-white, the Captain was forced to adapt and take on his own morally ambiguous past. Regardless of the evolution Captain America’s message, his survival into the twenty-first century is indicative of the fact that America continued to see itself as a force for good. Captain America remains to this day a manifestation of America’s desire for righteousness.

Endnotes
  1. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Captain America Comics #1,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 3.
  2. Bradford W. Wright, Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America (Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press, 2001), p. 35.
  3. Gary Groth, “Jack Kirby Interview,” The Comic Journal, last modified July 19, 2011, http://www.tcj.com/jack-kirby-interview/.
  4. Jeff McLaughlin, Comics as Philosophy, (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005), p. 93.
  5. Joe Simon, Joe Simon: My Life in Comics (London: Titan Books, 2011), p. 9.
  6. Gary Groth, “The Joe Simon Interview,” The Comic Journal, last modified July 19, 2011, http://www.tcj.com/the-joe-simon-interview/; Laurence Malson, Superheroes!Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture (New York: Crown Archetype, 2013), p. 70.
  7. Robert C. Harvey, The Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996), p. 31.
  8. Ron Goulart, The Comic Book Reader’s Companion: An A-to-Z Guide to Everyone’s Favorite Art Form (New York: Harper Perennial, 1993), p. 23.
  9. Carole Kalish, interview with Joe Simon, “The American Dream…Come True,” Comics Feature 10 (July 1981), p. 26.
  10. Groth, op. cit.
  11. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Captain America Comics #1,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 3.
  12. Ibid., p. 6.
  13. Ibid., p. 7.
  14. Ibid., p. 8.
  15. Les Daniels, Comix: A History of Comic Books in America, (New York: Bonanza Books, 1971), p. 137.
  16. Terrence Wandtke, The Meaning of Superhero Comic Books (Jefferson: McFarland, 2012), p. 94.
  17. McLaughlin, op cit., p. 94.
  18. Gordon, op. cit., p. 136.
  19. Malson, op. cit., p. 75.
  20. Kalish, op. cit.
  21. David H. Culbert, Information Control and Propaganda: Records of the Office of War Information (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1986), p. vii.
  22. Wright, op. cit., p. 42.
  23. Ibid., p. 31.
  24. Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman, “Jack Kirby Biography,” Jack Kirby Museum, last modified 1972, http://kirbymuseum.org/biography/; Malson, op. cit., p. 80.
  25. Alan Light and Murray Bishoff, interview with Jack Kirby, “Stop Answering His Questions Murray!,” The New Nostalgia Journal No. 27, July 1976.
  26. Wright, op. cit., p. 36; “The Comics and Their Audience,” Publishers Weekly, April 18, 1942.
  27. Lieutenant J.G., “Nudes Preferred” letter, New York Times, August 2, 1942.
  28. Ian Gordon, Comic Strips and Consumer Culture: 1890-1945 (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998), p. 139.
  29. Wright, op cit., p. 27.
  30. Wright, op cit., p. 22.
  31. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “The Case of the Fake Money Fiends,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 227.
  32. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “The Return of the Red Skull,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 148.
  33. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “The Riddle of the Red Skull,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 43.
  34. Wright, op. cit., p. 23.
  35. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Killers of the Bund,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2008), p. 36.
  36. Gordon, op cit., p. 142.
  37. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Killers of the Bund,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2008), p. 84.
  38. Gordon, op cit., p. 24.
  39. Robert Jewett and John Shelton, Captain America and the Crusade Against Evil: The Dilemma of Zealous Nationalism (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2003), p. 223.
  40. Harry Brod, Superman is Jewish?: How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way (New York: Free Press, 2012), p. 68.
  41. Jewett and Lawrence, op cit., p. 223.
  42. Ibid., p. 225. 
  43. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Captain America,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 25; Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “The Return of the Red Skull,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 140.
  44. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Spy Ambush,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 3 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2009), p. 81.
  45. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “The Terror that Was Devil’s Island,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2008), p. 45.
  46. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Murder Stalks the Maneuvers,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2008), p. 218.
  47. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Meet Fang, Arch Fiend of the Orient,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2008), p. 85.
  48. Edgar Snow, The Battle for Asia (1942: World Publishing Co.), p. 65-70.
  49. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “The Wax Statue that Struck Death,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 102.
  50. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “The Return of the Red Skull,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 1 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2012), p. 141.
  51. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, “Killers of the Bund,” Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 2 (New York: Marvel Worldwide Inc., 2008), p. 37.
  52. David M. Kennedy, The American People In World War II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 225.
  53. Ibid., p. 225.
  54. Brod, op cit., p. 70.
  55. Ronin Ro, Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution (New York: Bloomsbury, 2004), p. 17.
  56. Ibid., p. 18.
  57. Ibid., p. 19.
  58. Ibid., p. 22.
  59. John Richards, Smashing Thru! The Story of Captain America, Comic Books, and the Evolution of American Youth (1938-1970) (Sonoma, CA: Sonoma State University, 2011), p. 82.
  60. Ro, op cit., p. 45.
  61. Cord A Scott, Comics and Conflict: War and Patriotically Themed Comics in American Cultural History From World War II Through the Iraq War (Chicago: Loyola University Chicago, 2011), p. 93.
  62. Richards, op cit., p. 93. 
  63. Ro, op cit. p. 47.
  64. Scott, op cit., p. 102.
  65. Ibid., p. 103.
  66. Ibid., p. 104.
  67. Ibid., p. 105.
  68. “Captain America Comics Vol. 1 77,” Marvel Database, http://marvel.wikia.com/Captain_America_Comics_Vol_1_77.
  69. Jeffrey K. Johnson, Super-history: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012), p. 56.
  70. Robert G. Weiner, Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays (Jefferson, NC: MacFarland, 2008), p. 30.
  71. Ro, op cit., p. 82.
  72. Ibid., p.83.
Reference

Culbert, David H. Information Control and Propaganda: Records of the Office of War Information. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1986.

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