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View Diary: Captain America is Liberal. (45 comments)

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  •  A New Deal Liberal at that. (7+ / 0-)

    Captain America was created in 1940 by two children of Jewish immigrants, Joe Simon and Jacob Kurtzberg.  Kurtzberg is better known by the nom de plume he soon adopted as his legal name, Jack Kirby.

    In Europe WW2 was already underway and Hitler's persecution of the Jews had been underway for the better part of a decade.  It is probably no accident that Captain America, and indeed most of the American costumed super-heroes created around this time, came from the minds and artboards of Jewish creators.

    Kirby was a classic New Deal Democrat, a lifelong champion for the little guy and an avid hater of Richard Nixon before it became possible.

    In the 70s, while hippies were most frequently portrayed as as junkies and villains his work contained heroic portrayals of youth culture.  The central figure of one of his best works, THE GLORY BOAT, was a young pacifist who dies to save his pro-military father.

    Kirby was the central creative figure in the 1960s renaissance of Marvel Comics, creating the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and Thor and many others.  Alongside his earlier creation Captain America these characters are the cornerstone of the Marvel Universe and its wildly profitable movie offshoot.

    Kirby himself died nearly 20 years ago.  He was cheated out of the credit and money he deserved.  His creations are now owned by Disney and his family continues the fight to reclaim his fair rewards.

    Simon was from Syracuse, a liberal New York Republican in an era when some Republican liberals out-liberaled Democrats.  He too did work in the 60s & 70s celebrating the current youth culture.

    I never met the great Jack Kirby.  I had the chance once but he seemed not to feel well and it seemed inappropriate to disturb he and his family.

    I did meet Mr. Simon briefly several years ago, still energetic and vital well into his nineties.  He too has since passed away.

    In the past I've written here on the good Captain and the great Mr. Simon:

    In the 70s, in one particularly poignant storyline, CA abandoned his costume out of shame for the misdeeds or Richard Nixon.  That story was not by another creator, Steve Englehart, whose work provided much of the fodder for Chris Nolan's second Batman film, The Dark Knight.  Like so many of his brethren he was not properly paid or credited for that use of his work.

    Captain America at his core is a representation of the best that America can be.  Corny?  Perhaps.  Idealistic?  Sure.

    Nice diary.  Thanks.


    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:53:02 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the detailed info! (0+ / 0-)

      And the links!  Will eagerly read another opinion on the subject!

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 10:55:29 AM PDT

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    •  Oops! (0+ / 0-)

      Toward the end of that I reference the work of writer Steve Englehart but have inadvertently described it as "not" his work.  I believe the sentence originally read "not by Jack and Joe but..."

      I excised most but left the "not."

      Though I am sure he will never see this my apologies to Mr. Englehart.

      "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

      by Notthemayor on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 02:01:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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