Not everyone was happy with [Captain America]. This may surprise some people, but before America entered World War II there was actually a strong pro-Nazi sentiment in the United States. So much so that Simon and Kirby [Cap’s creators] received death threats and mail disparaging them in their creation, not helped by the fact that the two were also Jewish.
In fact, a pro-Nazi group called ‘The German-American Bund’ once marched in front of Timely’s offices [one of Marvel Comics predecessors]. The two called in the police for protection, and they sure as hell got it!
As it turned out, then mayor of New York, Fiorello LaGuardia, was a fan of Captain America and actually called them up to tell them “You boys over there are doin’ a good job. The city of New York will see that no harm will come to you.”
Jack Kirby, born Jacob Kurtzberg, and Joe Simon were two Jewish men in a dangerous time who did something extraordinary. They created a true American hero who stood up for the little guy, like them. They created a political statement by putting Captain America on the cover of their comic knocking Hitler out with one good punch. Because the US was not even in the war yet, this led to the two men receiving death threats. Both men served in World War II, fighting against the Nazi regime.
It is so incredibly disrespectful to these two men to write this new story line of Captain America. The writers have already said it isn’t a Skrull, or a LMD, or brainwashing… this is the new direction they are choosing to take the character in. In light of this new development I encourage everyone to remember the men behind the incredible Cap we have had for all these years and to take a stand against the new series. Don’t buy it, don’t reblog it, do not show anything but opposition to it.
In the past 36 hours or so, a lot of us have felt like we’ve had the rug pulled out from under us and that someone we have loved and trusted–some of us for all our lives–has been used against us to cause us pain. All for the sake of shock value and money.
There has been a lot of pain and suffering and we know Cap would want better for us and he would rather die than let anyone down like this.
Especially his Jewish fans.
What has happened with Steve Rogers Captain America #1 is horrifically antisemitic and spits on the legacy of the two Jewish men who created him to get the American population to care about Jewish lives in a time when no one really did. A genocide was happening and America did nothing. Around the world,antisemitism is on the rise again and Marvel is now having its own hand at it. If this enrages you–and it should–then you must want to do something.
Nick Spencer and Marvel Executives want you to think that since this has already been published and has apparently been years in the making (which is a stretch, to say the least, they said this started in 2014), the conversation on this is over and our anger is meaningless. I’m here tell you, this isn’t true–as a collective, we can force Marvel to change.This conversation is not over until we let it die out.
We may not be able to stop this run of Steve Rogers Captain America from completing but we can influence Marvel in two meaningful ways: we can make sure that no matter what, this is not permanent, and we can make Marvel consider what will happen if they continue this trend of antisemitism and bigotry, of ignoring the important legacy and impact of their characters.
Marvel is afraid of what we do and don’t spend our money on. Marvel is afraid of what we say to our friends, what we encourage our social groups to read and not read.
Marvel is afraid of irrelevance
If you are on twitter: Nick spencer is @ nickspencer, Tom Breevort is @ tombreevort, Marvel is @ Marvel, and Disney is @ Disney. Tell them you will not be buying any comic in this run or any future Captain America comics until this is resolved. Tell them this is antisemitic. Tell them you are disgusted. Tell them you no longer trust their products.
Through email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, tell them if you are a new fan who thought they’d be a lifelong fan or an old fan. Tell them you are now reconsidering every purchasing their merchandise or attending their movies. This does not have to be true, just spend a month or so not purchasing their official goods. PLEASE MARK YOUR EMAIL “OKAY TO PRINT.”
Comment on articles that only remark on how “shocking” this is and make jokes about this. Educate them and let them know how antisemitic this is. Let them know Cap’s true legacy. Let them know your anger.
SPREAD POSITIVITY FOR JEWISH FANS:
This post: outlines a potential day to create fanworks celebrating Jewish charactrs and headcanons. If the comics can’t be a safe space anymore, let us make fandom safer.
Most importantly, stay angry. Don’t let this moment pass.
We, as a fandom, are not powerless. We may not have superpowers, we may not have the individual wealth or social power to make a difference on our own, but we have the power to come together and let Marvel know we won’t stand for this. We will not passively stand by, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby would not want us to.
Captain America would not want us to stand by and let this happen.
The Incredible Hulk was inspired by a real woman who lifted a car to save her baby. According to Hulk creator Jack Kirby: ‘This woman proved to me that the ordinary person in desperate circumstances can transcend himself and do things that he wouldn’t ordinarily do.’ Source
Marvel’s Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016-) #1 costs $4.99 on comixology. Instead of supporting Marvel, donate to the ADL. While there is no space for a message on the regular donation form, the ADL offers a variety of ecards, including ‘In Memory’ and ‘In Tribute’. Let’s donate $5 (or whatever you can afford) in memory of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, the two Jewish men who created Captain America when the USA had not yet entered World War II. When you send an ecard, use the email for the executive VP of Media Relations: email@example.com (most of the Marvel email addresses are locked down tight).
What is the Anti-Defamation League? From their site:
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Now the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.
Hey everyone, with Jewish Comics Day fast approaching, I wanted to make sure everyone knew all the ways they could get involved. Whether you want to protest the Hydra!Cap storyline or just appreciate that without Jewish creators we wouldn’t have superheroes, there are lots of ways you can participate:
Get to know what’s going on
Read this post about what Jewish Comics Day is.
Read these to get informed about the Captain America storyline, the Jewish heritage of comics and Marvel’s antisemitism
Participate in Jewish Comics Day by posting
Use the hashtag #JewishComicsDay
Post and follow that tag on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr
Share, create and reblog posts about the day, about Jewish comics creators, about how much you hate Hydra!Cap, etc.
Create and share fanworks (writing, art, playlists, anything) that celebrate the Jewish heritage of your favorite superheroes. If you don’t want to make your own fanworks, you can still share and comment on and spread love for the works on the tag.
Make sure you spread the love across all the social networks you’re comfortable using.
Use the Avatar and banner provided here wherever you’d like.
Come to the local event in DC
If you’re in the DC area or attending Awesome Con this weekend, join us Friday, June 3 at 6:30 PM outside the Awesome Con event space for a meetup/protest/party in honor of Jewish Comics Day.
Cosplay as your favorite superhero, bring signs, or just show up with your awesome self to show your support.
Let me know if you’re planning any other local events!
This event is for everyone to participate in, but there are some things gentile allies should be sure to do.
Get your fanworks approved by one of the volunteer Jewish-sensitivity readers (search the #jewishcomicsday tag to find them) or a Jewish friend, if you’re at all worried about your portrayal.
Help moderate the tag on all social media by reporting, documenting or responding to antisemitism, hate or general skeptical questions. This is something we as allies can take on so the responsibility doesn’t fall completely on Jewish participants (like it usually does).
Sunday marks 99 years since Jack Kirby was born on August 28, 1917. To celebrate the birthday weekend, I’ve assembled visual timeline of what Lee & Kirby looked like through the ages.
Note that Stan Lee didn’t start sporting the mustache until Jack Kirby left. Any depiction of Marvel in the ‘60s that shows Lee with a mustache is inaccurate.
When Colleen Doran was illustrating Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir, I don’t know whether Lee requested she draw the mustache during that period or if it was just down a lack of research materials, but it kind of complimented the inaccuracy of Stan Lee’s memories.