Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: comic book heroes ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: comic book heroes
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Comics and Animation
Asked by: confabulate-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 18 Jun 2006 19:22 PDT
Expires: 18 Jul 2006 19:22 PDT
Question ID: 739230
How did Superman not just kick Hitler's ass?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: comic book heroes
From: scovel-ga on 18 Jun 2006 20:24 PDT
Although I dont have a straight compact answer for you- you may find
this interesting
Specifically the second section
Subject: Re: comic book heroes
From: khalperin-ga on 18 Jun 2006 23:19 PDT
Here is a brief socio-political history of Superman, complete with
observations on the superhero's history with Hitler, "supermen", his
Jewish creators, etc. Maybe this will shed some insight....

The following can be read in full at:

But no comic book hero embodies American ideals as does Superman. As
everyone knows, the man with the ?S? on his chest symbolizes ?truth,
justice and the American Way.?

What fewer people know is that the creators and definers of Superman's
Americanism were Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) and Joe Shuster (1914-1992),
two Jewish teenagers from Cleveland.

Superman's early development was awkward. 

Siegel first used the name in 1933 for a science fiction story titled,
?The Reign of Superman,? with illustrations by Schuster.

Inspired by the German philosopher Nietzsche, Siegel's first Superman
was an evil mastermind with advanced mental powers. Unfortunately, the
text of this story has been lost to history.

After Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 and proceeded to distort
Nietzsche's concept of Superman, Siegel and Shuster decided to rethink
their own concept of Superman's character. They changed their
Jewish-created Superman to a force for good...

In 1938, just before the outbreak of war in Europe and at a low point
in the Depression, Siegel and Shuster were working for Harry Donenfeld
and Jack Liebowitz at D.C. Comics in New York.

There, an editor finally agreed to let Superman appear in the first
issue of Action Comics (volume #1, June, 1938). Possessing superhuman
powers, Superman leaped tall buildings in a single bound and bullets
bounced off his chest as he lifted automobiles and ripped steel doors
from their hinges. In the first issue, Superman even rescued battered
wives from abusive husbands.

When America entered World War 11 after the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, Superman's character evolved into a combat hero. He destroyed
Nazi armor, Japanese submarines and everything else that was thrown at
the Allies. In fact, the cover of a 1944 issue of Superman featured
the Man of Steel throttling Hitler and Tojo by the collar.

Despite his superhuman powers, Superman shared some characteristic
traits with a majority of American Jews in the 1940s.

Like them, he had arrived in America from a foreign world. His entire
family?in fact his entire race?had been wiped out in a holocaust-like
disaster on his home planet, Krypton.

Like German Jewish parents who sent their children on the
kindertransports, or the baby Moses set adrift in the bull rushes,
Superman's parents launched him to Earth in hopes that he would
survive. And while the mild-mannered Clark Kent held a white collar
job as a reporter by day, the ?real? man behind Kent's meek exterior
was a virile, indestructible crusader for justice. This fantasy must
have resonated among American Jews, who felt powerless to help their
brethren in the death camps of Europe.

Superman obeys the Talmudic injunction to do good for its own sake and
heal the world where he can. Siegel and Shuster had created a mythic
character who reflected their own Jewish values.

By the 1950s, Siegel and Schuster grew dissatisfied with their
personal financial return from D.C. Comics's exploitation of their
character, and they sued the company for the ownership rights to
Superman. Eventually, D.C. Comics agreed to pay them a modest royalty
for the rest of their lives.

Today, Siegel and Shuster are largely forgotten. But the most
influential individuals ever to work in the American comic book
industry left an enormous mark on America's collective imagination
with a little help from Superman.
Subject: Re: comic book heroes
From: probonopublico-ga on 18 Jun 2006 23:33 PDT
Congratulations, khalperin-ga, you have just been awarded The Krypton
Medal for an Outstanding Comment in this here GA-laxy.

Well done!

By Order of The Gods of The GA-laxy

Subject: Re: comic book heroes
From: atk-ga on 19 Jun 2006 06:03 PDT
Though perhaps not as satisfying or interesting an answer as a looking
at Superman comics published contemporaneously with World War II, or
at a socio-historical look at the character, it may be worth noting
that DC Comics, in an attempt to explain the very question. They
established that during the war Hitler and a Japanese villain named
the Dragon-King used the magic of the legendary artifacts the Spear of
Destiny and the Holy Grail to magically protect Axis territories from
incursion by many supernatural and superhuman--including Superman (and
many other inredibly powerful superheroes of the time.)

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy