Under the Radar

Remember When Nazis Were the Bad Guys?

The 82nd Airborne's response to the Charlottesville protests reminded Americans of how united we were against Nazi Germany during World War II. Mark Fertig's new book Take That, Adolf! (available as either a paperback or an ebook) explores just how important comic books were to the U.S. war effort in the 1940s.

It's hard to remember that an alarming number of Americans opposed any involvement with the war right up until the morning of December 7, 1941 and quite a few of them publicly admired Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini for their strong leadership.

Comic book writers and publishers took the lead when it came to stirring up American opinion against the Axis powers. Many were European immigrants or the children of immigrants and they were hearing rumors of Nazi atrocities from family members back home long before most Americans had any idea what was going on in Germany and Eastern Europe.

Take That Adolf! includes more than 500 digitally restored examples of comic book covers from the war years and a long essay from author Fertig. He doesn't shy away from writing about (and showing) the unfortunate caricatures of the Japanese enemy or African-Americans.

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Here are 10 examples of covers featured in the book. Not all of them are sourced from the restored scans, but everything looks fantastic in the versions included in Take That Adolf!

1. Silver Streak Comics #14

September 1941 (artist: Jack Binder)

2. Captain America #1

March 1941 (artist: Joe Simon/Jack Kirby)

3. Daredevil Battles Hitler #1

July 1941 (artist: Charles Biro)

4. Real Life Comics #3

March 1942 (artist: Alex Schomburg)

5. Fighting Yank #4

June 1943 (artist: attributed to Jack Binder)

6. Green Lama #6

August 1945 (artist: Mac Raboy)

7. National Comics #39

February 1944 (artist: Alex Kotzky)

8. Daring Comics #3

April 1940 (artist: Alex Schomburg)

9. Superman #23

July-August 1943 (artist: Jack Burnley)

10. USA Comics #6

December 1942 (artist: Alex Schomburg)

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