Wednesday, 2 September 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1941

Years before Quentin Tarantino played fast and loose with the history of the Second World War, American comics were presenting youthful readers with the imaginstive sight of Captain America punching out Der Fuhrer. Take that, Fritz!

Captain America, almost the longest-standing Marvel hero, and almost the most successful, was the creation of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, a couple of youngsters with a promising career in front of them. Both Simon and Kirby would soon fall out with Timely publisher, Martin Goodman, quit the company, which in turn would give another promising youngster his big break. Yes, true believers, 1941 was the year that Stanley "The Manley" Lieber broke into comics. The rest, as they say, is history, with a smidgeon of hype.

Meanwhile, in the real world, America wasn't quite ready to enter the war. That would change, in November, when Japanese forces attacked a US naval base in Hawaii. Pearl Harbour would finally provoke America into taking sides, which would make things a lot harder for the Axis powers.

Meantime, in showbiz news, Citizen Kane and Dumbo were out at the pictures, as was The Maltese Falcon. And Woody Woodpecker was making his first appearance.

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