Comic Book Legend Jack Kirby Fought Fascism Any Place & Any Where He Could

Jack Kirby was a bad@$$ is whatever he did.

Mark Peters of Paste Magazine has a terrific write up about how comic book legend Jack Kirby fought against fascism in his writing, drawing and real life.

Even before enlisting in the army in WWII, he partnered with Joe Simon to create Captain America, whose first appearance to the world was punching Hitler in the face on the cover of Captain America Comics in March 1941.  Bare in mind this is before the United States officially entered the war.  That is a heck of a statement about how he felt towards the Nazis.

Once in the European theater, Kirby was often used on scouting missions. Because of his artistic skills, he would be sent ahead of his unit so he could draw pictures of the enemy positions.

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Jack Kirby Army photo: Marvel.com

It was on one such scouting mission that he discovered one of the worst products of the Nazis: concentration camps. The experience weighed heavily on him, as he described later to Ray Wyman in “Conversations with Jack”, which was excerpted in Jack Kirby Collector.

Jack was not afraid to throw down with Nazis anywhere.  As Mark Evanier describes in his biography Kirby: King of Comics, “…Jack took a call. A voice on the other end said, ‘There are three of us down here in the lobby. We want to see the guy who does this disgusting comic book and show him what real Nazis would do to his Captain America’. To the horror of others in the office, Kirby rolled up his sleeves and headed downstairs. The callers, however, were gone by the time he arrived.”

He vilified Fascism in a number of his post WWII characters such as Dr. Doom for Marvel Comics and Darkseid for DC Comics.  One of the most timeless villains he created was the hate mongering evangelists Godfrey for DC Comics whose followers despised diversity. This character was updated in the DC animated movies to be more of a Rush Limbaugh type shock jock television host with followers screaming things like “Tell it like it is Godfrey!”

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Kirby in 1992

Jack Kirby was a rough around the edges and take no prisoners type of guy that is harder and harder to find nowadays.  Kirby passed away in 1994 due to heart failure.

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