Notes

“The Golden Age superheroes were shaped by the rise of Fascism”

Art Spiegelman writes about the history of superheroes and the rise of Fascism at The Guardian. And he includes his response to this very essay being cut from an upcoming compilation of golden age Marvel comics. “At this point, it might be worth pointing out (not out of ethnic pride, but because it might shed some light on the rawness and the specific themes of the early comics) that the pioneers behind this embryonic medium based in New York were predominantly Jewish and from ethnic minority backgrounds. It wasn’t just Siegel and Shuster, but a whole generation of recent immigrants and their children – those most vulnerable to the ravages of the great depression – who were especially attuned to the rise of virulent antisemitism in Germany. They created the American Übermenschen who fought for a nation that would at least nominally welcome ‘your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free … ‘”

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