So you all know that famous cover of Captain America punching Hitler, right?

I was leafing though it, and nary a punched Hitler in sight. Lots of nazis, yes, most of them punched, indeed, but the top banana is neither seen nor punched.

False advertising!

Btw, it's important to remember the historical context of that cover. It wasn't the only propaganda comic at the time, but it was published in 1941, before the US entered WW2.

According to polls, a large majority of Americans (70%-80%) were against getting into the war. Jack Kirby and Timely Comics (predecessors to Marvel) got heaps of anti-semitic hate mail and death threats over that cover. The governor of NYC, however, personally congratulated them and sent them protection!


This is all according to this article:

Anyway, I'm still disappointed there's no actual storyline that culminates in Hitler-punching. I think we had to wait until B. J. Blazkowicz personally gunned Hitler down to get a proper fantasy plot leading to direct Hitlerian violence.

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I wonder why so many superhero comics do that, some provocative cover depicting events that never occur in the actual storyline therein.

I mean, I get it, the cover sells, but wouldn't readers eventually catch on that the covers always lie?

@garbados At least now I can read those comics without first having to buy them, so the deception is mostly harmless.

@JordiGH there’s enough books with covers that don’t match the contents that I don’t think it’s any different? People are used to it.

There’s even a whole idiom about it: “don’t judge a book by its cover”.

@gannet ok but

Comic books are a visual medium in a way that most books are not?

If a book said on its back cover blurb that something happens in the book but it doesn't... well that would be unusual.

@JordiGH it’s true, and I was just realizing something related in my next reply.

I don’t know the reasons why the covers didn’t match on the comics, anyway, and it makes less sense than for written books.

@JordiGH I certainly have spent a fair amount of time grumbling about ways covers didn’t match the book I read!

And then come to find out that SFF publishers used to reuse cover art or else use cover art that was rejected from one book for another one. (Or so says an author I follow who wrote back in the 70s.)

Anyway, I suppose there’s an argument to made that it should be different for comics since you’ve got the artist right there making art for the actual story.

@gannet Now that you bring up SF covert art, this reminds me of that time I went down an internet rabbit hole trying to figure out why the liner notes of Bat Out Of Hell II had the songs illustrated with art I recognised from at least one Piers Anthony novel.

It's really fun to trace the artists who worked on cover art, they usually have very interesting portfolios, and I wish they were more widely known and were shown in more prominent exhibits.

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