In the wake of the insurrection at the US Capitol last week, several comics symbols were misused by the rioters, including The Punisher. Several were also seen wearing clothing bearing the Captain America symbol.
While it’s obvious that Captain America would want nothing to do with an invasion of the Capitol by white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and attention seekers, it’s also notable that Jack Kirby, the co-creator of Captain America would have been equally enraged. If there’s one thing that Jack Kirby hated, it was Nazis and white supremacy. He’s on the record many times as having fought Nazis on both the soil of Europe as a member of the US Armed Forces, and in his personal life.
Kirby’s son Neal, noted the misuse of his father’s most famous character, and wrote a strong statement, as shared by CNN’s Jake Tapper in a tweet.
Neal Kirby, the son of Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby, was distressed to see some of the January 6 terrorists/rioters wearing shirts with versions of his dad’s creation corrupted by the image of the outgoing president. His message to them: pic.twitter.com/RTH9UNs491
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 14, 2021
“My father, Jack Kirby, along with his partner Joe Simon, created Captain America in 1941. Perhaps the most iconic symbol of patriotism since the ‘Spirit of 1776,’ Captain America has stood as a symbol and protector of our democracy and the rule of law for the past 79 years. he was created by two Jewish guys from New York who hated Nazis and hated bullies. Captain America stood up for the underdog, and, as the story was written, even before he gained his strength and prowess from Army Scientists, always stood for what was righteous, and never backed down.”
“At 72, I have a fairly viVID personal memory of every political and cultural upheaval since Castro’s revolution in the mid – 1950’s. Add to that my father’s stories, and I could probably paint a picture of the battlefields of northern France surrounding the city of Metz in WWII as well. However, the events that transpired at our nations’ Capitol on Jan. 6, an insurrection inspired and fomented by our own president, will be the event that haunts me forever.”
“While watching one of the horrific videos of the storming of the capitol, I thoguht I noticed someone in a Trump/Capt. America t-shirt! I was appalled and mortified. I believe I even caught a quick glance of someone with a Captain America shield. A quick Google search turned up Trump as Captain America on T-shirts, posters, even a flag! These images are disgusting and disgraceful. Captain America is the absolute antithesis of Donald Trump. Where Captain America is selfless, Trump is self-serving. Where Captain America fights for our country and democracy, Trump fights for personal power and autocracy. Where Captain America stands with the common man, Trump stands with the powerful and priveleged. Where Captain America is courageous, Trump is a coward. Captain America and Trump couldn’t be more different.”
“My father, Jack Kirby, and Joe Simon, the creators of Captain America and WWII veterans, would be absolutely sickened by these images. These images are an insult to both their memories.
If Donald Trump had the qualities and character of Captain America, the White House would be a shining symbol of truth and integrity, not a festering cesspool of lies and hypocrisy. Several of our presidents held the same values as Captain America. Donald Trump is not one of them.”
As someone who personally knew and loved Jack Kirby, I can state unequivocally that he is still with us in spirit, opposing Nazis wherever it is needed.