One of the more unfortunate images to come out of the deadly violence incited by Donald Trump last week was the sight of several pro-Trump rioters wearing clothing with Captain America’s shield as they ransacked the Capitol.
After all, as more than a few people noted at the time, Captain America is well known for a few things. Like for instance he defends democracy instead of working to overthrow it like Trump’s supporters when they interrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s lawful election victory. Also, he’s a bitter enemy to genocidal fascists, instead of proudly associating himself with them, as a great many of Trump’s supporters did during their violence. And of course, he’s a patriot, unlike the traitors who started the American Civil War, whose flag several of Trump’s rioters waved.
Naturally, fans of Marvel’s Nazi-punching superhero were not amused. Fortunately, they’ll be pleased to know that according to Neal Kirby, son of comics legend Jack Kirby who co-created Cap with Joe Simon in 1941, his father would wholeheartedly agree with them. In a stirring statement shared Tuesday night by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Kirby angrily denounced Trump’s rioters who, he said, were examples of everything Captain America — and his father — opposed.
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“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,” Kirby wrote.
“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,” Kirby continued. “However, the events that transpired at our nation’s 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 thought I noticed someone in a Trump/Capt. America t-shirt! I was appalled and mortified,” Kirby went on. “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.”
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And just in case there is any ambiguity, Kirby added: “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 privileged. 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,” he concluded. “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.”
So, to recap: Captain America thinks fascists are bad.