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#1229701 - Mon Sep 09 2019 08:03 PM Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20335
Loc: A glorious bold new America




I was just looking at the Chaykin topic, and Chaykin has done at least 2 stories where Nazis take center stage as the primary villains, over 40 years after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The first was in BLACKHAWKS in 1987-1988.

Chaykin's BATMAN: DARK ALLEGIENCES in 1996, is a story set in 1939 where Batman and other Golden Age DC characters meet Hitler socially on a diplomatic visit to the U.S. on the eve of World War II, and dances on the edge of an attempt on Hitler's life.

Dominic Fortune in several adventures (BIZARRE ADVENTURES 20, and HULK maagazine 21-25) also clashes with Nazis.


I think Nazis have particular iconic status as villains in comics because:
1) Comics heroes began in that 1938-1945 World War II period and partly grew to prominence as a "BUY BONDS/BEAT THE NAZIS" propaganda tool, so using Nazis in modern-era stories takes comics back to their roots, where all the classic heroes were never more admired.
and
2) At least until very recently, most comics writers and artists were and are Jewish, and therefore have a visceral hatred of Hitler and the Nazis. So they no doubt have a special pleasure in presenting new stories of defeating the Nazis.

I recall reading an interview of Joe Kubert some years before he died, discussing how he had family in Europe who died in the concentration camps. That no doubt adds another layer to things when you create a story about the Nazis.


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#1229702 - Mon Sep 09 2019 08:11 PM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20335
Loc: A glorious bold new America



One I can think of that killed off Hitler in a particularly grisly way is Byrne's 4-issue OMAC series in 1991. That was a great series right up till the last 6 pages of issue 4, when it went completely off the deep end and completely lost its way. I've re-read it several times and still can't put together what actually happened.

But it did present a particularly graphic BBQ Adolf Hitler.

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#1229703 - Mon Sep 09 2019 08:21 PM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: Wonder Boy]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20335
Loc: A glorious bold new America



Another particularly good story is in the revived anthology MYSTERY IN SPACE issue 114, Dec 1980, "Killing Time" written by Gerry Conway, with art by a new to the field Thomas Yeates. A story of a man in the future who decides to travel back in time and avert the tens of millions of deaths in World War II by killing Adolf Hitler sometime in the years before World War II began. Well scripted and illustrated, it's an interesting study of good intentions and unintended consequences, and the paradoxes of time travel and altered futures.

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#1229706 - Mon Sep 09 2019 09:41 PM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: Wonder Boy]
First Amongst Daves
Offline Banned from the DCMBs since 2002.

Registered: Wed Jan 23 2002
Posts: 15157
World War 2 was "the good war". It was manifestly clear who the bad guys were, especially when The Holocaust came to light. Other wars since then have been much more ambiguous. (As an aside, I find it weird that the French venerate Bonaparte, who had the same territorial ambitions as Hitler and willingness to shed blood - somewhere between 3m-6m people died during the Napoleonic Wars, an enormous number given the entire population of Europe was only 150m in 1800 - just not the propensity to wipe out Jews.) Anyway, American comics have always been very "good guy v bad guy" so casting Nazis as the villains is an easy fallback.

We see less Nazis in comics nowadays, and more fictional Middle Eastern countries - Qurac, Kandiq or whatever it is which Black Adam rules. I see from Doomsday cock that Geo-Force's Latveria has made a comeback, as an ally of Putin's Russia. I think we forget, as middle aged people, that when we first started reading comics - in my case, the mid 70s - only 30 years had passed since the war. Its now been 65 years. 9/11 was 20 years ago (we were on this message board) and that was the defining global event of most comic book writers and readers, not the Cold War or the Holocaust. (For people in their early 20s, it might be the Syrian civil war. I'll ask my oldest daughter.)

Pimping my site, again.

http://www.worldcomicbookreview.com


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#1229718 - Thu Sep 12 2019 10:07 PM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: First Amongst Daves]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20335
Loc: A glorious bold new America

You make some good points that I agree with, that World War II is diminishing in its influence on global events, as a result of 9-11-2001, the millions of non-assimilating muslim immigrants in Europe who are becoming a majority in many European nations, the war and exodus of refugees you mention in and from Syria, the rise of Al Qaida and ISIS as a global Islamic threat, and the rise of China with clear ambitions to displace the U.S. as the world's superpower.

My only point that deviates from that is the world of U.S. comic books, that emerged from primarily Jewish writers and artists, and a "Buy Bonds, fight the nazis!" focus that initially brought comics to prominence in the U.S.
And that so many efforts in comics go back to those Axis-fighting glory days, to try and revive that spark. I think a large part of that 1940's appeal is its upbeatness and complete lack of cynicism.

Roy Thomas did a great deal to keep that period alive and even resurgent in the present with his Marvel work on THE INVADERS in the 1970's, and then after 1980 on his move to DC did the same with ALL-STAR SQUADRON, INFINITY INC., and YOUNG ALL-STARS. And other JSA writers have carried on from the foundation Thomas built.

Likewise Mike Mignola in HELLBOY and other spin-off books. Hellboy even has a pseudo Golden Age origin, that has him emerge from the 1940's and World War II, and rooted to other pulp heroes in a few stories. The Nazis in Mignola's stories are essentially the undead, empowered and kept alive by occult forces, that make them an enduring threat in the modern era. Mignola was on the cutting edge using zombies (or zombie-like characters), before zombies became the cross-media rage that they are now.

Your point about World Wars I and II being "the good wars" is still a widely held perception. A book that profoundly changed my worldview on that subject is Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War by Pat Buchanan (2008), that argues (citing other historians) World Wars I and II were both completely avoidable, and both wars were caused by a series of diplomatic blunders on the part of both Britain and Germany, and actually puts primary blame on the British, and in particular, Churchill.

So while not widely perceived that way, even those wars can be argued to not be "good wars", necessary wars, but wars that could have been avoided.

I don't know how the perception is in Australia or Europe or Russia or China, but the slightest awareness of the conflict in Syria here in the U.S. is virtually nonexistent, except by those most aware of the news, maybe 20% of the country.
And even watching news in the U.S., the news here is much more America-centric than, say, BBC or DW News or RT news. I'm amazed at the ratio of the broadcast devoted to world news when I watch BBC, relative to that of FOX, CNN, or even PBS News Hour.

So... while the under-30 crowd in the U.S. might be less aware of Nazis, I don't know how socially conscious or concerned they are about Syria. Certainly in the U.S., the liberal media programs its viewers to see Republicans/conservatives as a new rising "white supremacist" threat, the new Nazis, and any fear of islamic violence, muslim non-asssimilation, and outright muslim hatred of the west as "islamophobia".

The media programs the public, particularly those under 30, to see any sense of self-preservation of our culture as "racism". And therefore does the opposite of what comics and other culture of the 1940's did, that made us proud of our culture, and passionate about making any personal sacrifice in the cause of preserving it from external invasion and conquest.


Modern liberal/progressivism (that has also infiltrated comics writing) sees the U.S. and broader western culture as something to be ashamed of, built on a racist past, with a huge debt to pay for its past sins, unworthy of its sovereignty or preservation. And indoctrinated in that notion, the new generation are passively timid about defending it, out of either indifference or leftist anti-Americanism, welcome its destruction and its being melted into a new globalist/socialist order. (An anti-western/ anti-capitalist mindset that ignores the far greater corruption, inequality, brutality and genocide of any other culture outside of Western nations.)

So, amid this bombardment of leftist indoctrination, I can see where a 1940's style message of nationalism and patriotism would go against the grain of what's currently being indoctrinated. Perhaps what's needed are more comics offering a counter-narrative, to de-program readers out of the prevailing narrative.

You can see a preachy narrative in comics of the early 1970's like the O'Neil/Adams GREEN LANTERN issues. But it didn't go to the level of the current liberal narrative, that demonizes as Nazis everyone on the conservative side of the spectrum the way the current liberal narrative does.
And even demonizes even any Democrat/liberal who isn't perceived as "progressive" enough.

I wonder if it's the same in Europe and Australia and Japan as it is in the U.S. I actually suspect it is worse, because in the U.S., at least here there is a conservative media, despite that the media is 80% liberal, to push back and offer a counter-argument. From what I understand in Europe, there is no conservative media to challenge the liberal narrative.

But even most comics, TV and movies these days that portray Nazis just use them as a backdrop for zombies or other escapist fun. In the vein of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and so forth. So even presented for a modern audience, they've often lost their meaning.



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#1229723 - Sat Sep 14 2019 07:14 AM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: First Amongst Daves]
the G-man
Offline Officially "too old for this shit"

Registered: Fri May 16 2003
Posts: 43587
Loc: the right
 Originally Posted By: First Amongst Daves
World War 2 was "the good war". It was manifestly clear who the bad guys were, especially when The Holocaust came to light. Other wars since then have been much more ambiguous. (As an aside, I find it weird that the French venerate Bonaparte, who had the same territorial ambitions as Hitler and willingness to shed blood - somewhere between 3m-6m people died during the Napoleonic Wars, an enormous number given the entire population of Europe was only 150m in 1800 - just not the propensity to wipe out Jews.) Anyway, American comics have always been very "good guy v bad guy" so casting Nazis as the villains is an easy fallback.

We see less Nazis in comics nowadays, and more fictional Middle Eastern countries - Qurac, Kandiq or whatever it is which Black Adam rules. I see from Doomsday cock that Geo-Force's Latveria has made a comeback, as an ally of Putin's Russia. I think we forget, as middle aged people, that when we first started reading comics - in my case, the mid 70s - only 30 years had passed since the war. Its now been 65 years. 9/11 was 20 years ago (we were on this message board) and that was the defining global event of most comic book writers and readers, not the Cold War or the Holocaust. (For people in their early 20s, it might be the Syrian civil war. I'll ask my oldest daughter.)


Interesting points.

The United States entered World War II nearly 80 years ago. The time differential between today and the start of World War II is approximately the same as the start of World War II and the start of the Civil War.

Comic book writers in the 40s weren’t writing about the war between the states very much, so it’s unsurprising the creators of today would not be writing about WWII.

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#1229724 - Sun Sep 15 2019 12:09 PM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: the G-man]
Matter-eater Man
Online   argumentative Fair Play!

Registered: Sat Jun 07 2003
Posts: 14261
It's hard to imagine a war with Hitler in it as being avoidable. The war changed our superheroes btw. Maybe it would have happened anyway but those early Superman stories was about a guy with incredible powers fighting for social justice.

Fair play!

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#1229725 - Sun Sep 15 2019 01:55 PM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: Matter-eater Man]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20335
Loc: A glorious bold new America

 Originally Posted By: Matter-eater Man
It's hard to imagine a war with Hitler in it as being avoidable. The war changed our superheroes btw. Maybe it would have happened anyway but those early Superman stories was about a guy with incredible powers fighting for social justice.



I've cited Buchanan's book on the subject before, but I don't mind clarifying his points.

For example, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 was from the time of its signing almost universally regarded as very unfair to Germany, in seizure of land, slicing up nations of former Austria-Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland, so that former German majorities found themselves minorities in nations of other peoples. Hitler's allegations in 1939 that Polish nationals had attacked Germans were completely false at that time. But in the 10 years following World War I, these type of reprisal attacks on German people were frequent in the newly formed nations. One British Lord who was involved in the Versailles Treaty negotiations said that what was imposed on Germany "has guaranteed there will be a second world war".

The war reparation payments imposed on Germany from 1919-1923 were so high that the German government was massively printing currency in order to be able to make those payments. The 1923 collapse of the German Mark in Weimar Germany was precisely due to those terms. And Germany had its ports closed and was being starved in order to make them sign the 1919 Versailles treaty against their will.

On the new post-1919 map, Germany was separated from East Prussia, lost about 20% of their territory, and all of their overseas colonies, in oil-rich Camerun, East Africa (now Namibia), Tanganjika (now Tanzania) and other oil-rich colonies in what's now Indonesia (that Imperial Japan seized in 1941-1942 because they needed oil, no longer sold to them by the United States).

Up until the invasion of Poland on Sept 1 1939 (exactly 80 years ago) Hitler was mostly peacefully reversing the unfair terms of Versailles. He marched unarmed German soldiers into the industrial Rhineland and took those lands from France, back into Germany unopposed (he had ordered his troops to run if there were opposition, but France offered no opposition).
Likewise in a popular vote in Austria, the Austians voted (if I recall, 98%) to unite with Germany.

A large chunk of former Austria-Hungary had been given to Italy in 1919 by the Allied nations. Hitler signed an alliance with Mussolini, accepting about 1.5 million ethnic Germans were officially ceded to Italy, to make peace and form an alliance with Mussolini.

The Sudetenland was negotiated away to Germany in 1938 negotiations between Britain, Germany and France, and while Germany annexed all of Czechoslovalia (not just the Sudetenland, as negotiated) this was done without a shot being fired.

Even in the case of Poland, Hitler negotiated for at least a year. In Mein Kampf Hitler made clear his entire focus was destroying communist Russia, driving east into Russia and seizing lebensraum, or "living space" for Germany, populating the vast lands of Russia with Germans. Hitler wanted to (similar to Italy), form an alliance with Poland, and have them as an ally to help him invade Russia. And Poland was governed by a former Colonel who was a staunch opponent of communism, who had driven communists out of Poland in the 1920's after they tried to spread their Bolshevik global communist revolution into Poland after World War I. So there was some ideological compatibility and shared historic Polish/German opposition to Soviet Russia.

What Hitler had proposed to Poland was that they could keep the Polish Corridor and the 1.2 million Germans there, and all Germany wanted was the port city of Danzig (with a population of 100,000, and about 95% German) and to be able to build highways and railroad over the Polish Corridor, to unite East Prussia with the rest of Germany. Which was a pretty generous and undemanding offer.

The obstacle to that was Britain, who had given a "war guraranty" to Poland, that if Poland were invaded, Britain would declare war on Germany and send troops to Poland's aid to defend them. Without this "war guaranty" Poland would have negotiated. But with the guaranty, they would not negotiate.

Both Germany and Britain knew that Britain did not have the military forces to back their guaranty, and that it was a hollow protection. But apparently Poland was oblivious to this and refused to negotiate. Finally, Germany lost its patience, ended negotiations and invaded on Sept 1 1939. Knowing that Britain had no forces to back their war guaranty, and completely unprepared for war, he expected Britain to sue for peace. He was astonished when Britain and France declared war on Germany. It took Britain and France a long time to prepare for war after this. And they were humiliated at Dunkirk in May-June 1940.

If Britain had negotiated peace instead of declaring war, Germany would have turned its attention to Russia, and left Britain and France intact and unscathed. Their war declaration instead forced Germany to pre-emptively seize Denmark and Norway, then Holland, Belgium and France. It was Britain, not Germany, that sank the entire French navy after the fall of Paris, to prevent the French navy from being added to the German navy.

Adolf Hitler (and Kaiser Wilhelm II before him) both admired the British Empire, and considered Britain their natural ally. The British are largely Anglo-Saxon, peoples who came from provinces of Germany as mercenaries about 1,000 years before, and had assimilated into Britain.
Hitler admired how Britain despite being a tiny country had created a naval empire that spanned one fourth of the Earth's surface, and Hitler envisioned the two as allies, Britain its naval Empire, and Germany a continental empire (spanning continental Europe and all of Russia) as two great empires co-existing.
But in the cases of both Kaiser Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler, Britain saw Germany's rising industrial and military power as a threat to its hegemonic supremacy in Europe and on the seas.

By declaring war in 1939, Britain and France, in an effort to liberate 8 million Polish citizens, exhausted the wealth and resources of the British and French Empires, and even after winning the war, were vastly diminished, no longer able to militarily hold onto their overseas colonies. In an attempt to liberate 8 million Polish citizens, they exhausted their empires, and positioned Russia to seize all of Eastern Europe. In attempting to liberate 8 million in Poland, they only succeeded in enslaving a further 100 million people in all of eastern Europe.

In an alternate scenario, if Britain and France had not declared war, Germany would have turned its attention (as made clear in Mein Kampf) toward Russia, and Stalin and Hitler would have exhausted their resources in a war exclusively between them. And once exhausted, Britain and France could have come in at war's end and liberated Poland with little effort and their empires intact.

The European powers (Britain, France, Portugal, Germany, Russia, Holland, Denmark, for 400 years had betweeen them colonized the entire world. And only World Wars I and II snapped the spine of that power, destroyed that collective hegemonic power of Europe. Essentially a civil war between the nations of Europe, without which they likely would have controlled the entire world for several hundred more years. Only by exhausting European power in those wars did they become unable to hold onto their colonies.

There are many other examples. Mussolini initially despised Hitler, but isolated and humiliated in the global press by the British Empire, eventually turned to Hilter as the only available ally.

Imperial Japan as well, before and during World War I an ally of Great Britain, who actually helped Britain hold onto a lot of its Pacific colonies in World War I, was scorned by Britain after World War I, in favor of a naval alliance with the U.S. that humiliated Japan, and in a period of severe recession, none of the European powers would let Japanese citizens immigrate to neighboring European colonies in search of work to feed their families. The bitterness instilled in Japan by mistreatment by the European Allied nations stoked a resentment and hunger for revenge similar to that in 1920's/1930's Germany.

World War II was not as inevitable as it first seems. Buchanan points out many examples where things could have been handled differently, that could have prevented war. Or at least vastly altered the way it was fought, and what nations were involved. If the U.S. had not cut off oil supplies to Japan, they would not have the incentive to bomb Pearl Harbor and seize oil fields in Indonesia.



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#1229730 - Sun Sep 15 2019 10:40 PM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: Wonder Boy]
Matter-eater Man
Online   argumentative Fair Play!

Registered: Sat Jun 07 2003
Posts: 14261
Yes in hindsight WW2 might not have happened if Germany hadn't been dealt with so harshly after the first one. Once Hitler rose to power though I think it was inevitable. England would have been conquered just to keep the US from having a strategic spot nearby and a lot more Jews would have been killed. If I remember right that was why Japan wasn't dealt with as harshly as Germany was after WW2.

Fair play!

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#1229735 - Mon Sep 16 2019 01:37 AM Re: Comics fighting Nazis, and comics where Adolf Hitler gets killed off [Re: Matter-eater Man]
Wonder Boy
Offline brutally Kamphausened

Registered: Wed Sep 12 2001
Posts: 20335
Loc: A glorious bold new America


But again, Hitler admired the British and didn't have plans to attack Britain until they declared war on him in Sept 1939. He envisioned Britain as Germany's natural ally, as did Kaiser Wilhelm II before him. The British royal family was so intertwined with the name of the German royal family that they changed the royal family's last name to Windsor after World War I, so as to separate themselves from Germany.

Once Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, yes, they made elaborate plans to conquer Britain, and if conquered, liquidate its political leadership, Jews and so forth once conquered. But only after war was declared on Germany. There was a great PBS documentary I watched about 15 years ago, titled Hitler: The Wrong War on how Hitler never imagined being at war with Britain, and never anticipated Britain would actually keep its war guaranty with Poland it was completely unprepared for. Again, Hitler's focus was Russia, and then Hitler found himself at war with Britain, a nation he never expected to be at war with.




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