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Sunday, January 8, 2017

American Comic Book Propaganda Versus Japan - 19

From time to time I've hit the archives of American comic books to show how they took on the Japanese during WWII.

Up above, we have the cover to Captain America Comics #13 published in April of 1942... just a mere five months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that initiated the United States entrance into WWII.

There's not much to tell you about the comic book, suffice it to say the action on the cover did not match the stories on the inside, as none of the stories directly featured Captain America fighting the Japanese or Prime Minister Tojo - as seen on the cover where an excited Captain America is seen yelling and smacking him in the jaw.

Cap's young compatriot Bucky Barnes (in the mask) stares in wonder at the fighting power of the American icon. Keep in mind that Captain America is infused with a super-soldier serum that gives him the strength to press 800 pounds.

Captain America is not a super-hero (IE, he does not have super powers), but he does possess enhanced abilities such as strength, agility, speed, endurance and reaction time superior to any Olympic athlete... though I wonder if that still counts against Usain Bolt.

Bucky Barnes, meanwhile, at this stage in his career is just a teenage kid in a suit... and is as strong as one. His history gets convoluted after this... as he was supposedly killed near the end of WWII when Captain America was blown off a rocket that put him in suspended animation and encased in ice until his revival in the early 1960s (Avengers #4 - the only Avengers comic book I never owned).

Anyhow... this comic book cover was one of Marvel Comics (known as Timely Comics back then) attempts to stir the American youth into knowing the enemy and is a direct jab in the ribs for everyone to remember Pearl Harbor.

You'll notice on the cover that Captain America, Bucky Barnes and Tojo are "larger-than-life" appearing as giants, while below and amongst them airplanes and warships are tiny cogs fitting a battle.

It almost makes it seem like the real men and women fighting the war are inconsequential to the battles of the comic book characters.

I don't think that was the creator's intentions... but that's what it looks like.

The cover was drawn by Timely artist Al Avison.

Banzai,
Andrew Joseph
PS: You know I love to do these sort of things on this blog because 1) I love to write about Japan; 2) I love history; 3) I love learning about WWI and II; 4) I love comic books; 5) I love combining all the above.

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