Today’s installment, page 223, wraps up our “Heroes Vs. Nazis” sequence. Sam did a great job, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been looking forward to the Nazi fightin’ scene for months. The Electric Team is a fantasy comic set in a fantasy world, so you might not have been expecting Nazis. So why did we go out of our way to bring them in?

First of all, I’ve been a comic book fan since I was 6, and the first time I read about World War II was in a comic. Actually, the first time I remember seeing the word Nazi in print was in a Captain America book I got at a school book fair when I was in, I don’t know, third or fourth grade.

Here’s the book:



That’s not an image I found online, that’s a picture I just took of my actual copy from that book fair in nineteen-eighty-whatever. It’s in surprisingly good shape. I read this book over and over, and it might have been my introduction to the work of Jack Kirby–maybe? It’s got the first Cosmic Cube story, and Avengers #4, and I deeply love both of those still. Anyway, the book’s introduction looks like this:



So there was (I think) the first time I ever heard of Hitler. Another one of my earliest comics was an issue of All-Star Squadron, which was set during World War II. Even though I grew up in the 80’s, I still had plenty of pop culture exposure to Nazi villains. Oh, and Raiders of the Lost Ark came out. From a young age I knew that one of the important things heroes did was fight Nazis.

At some point, Nazi fighting grew passe. I know in the 90’s many comic book fans started to see Nazi villains as a cop-out, like you were just going for an easy villain, a villain all good folk hated, instead of something with some depth or ambiguity. But then, in recent years, there has, unfortunately, been an upswing in real life Nazism in the United States. Nazi villains are relevant again. I liked heroes punching Nazis before, but now it has an added depth of meaning. Granted, having our hero punch a Nazi in the face isn’t a complex sociopolitical message. We don’t even normally focus on messages; here at Electric Team headquarters, we’re more concerned about entertaining stories. But we also know that kids read the comic, and since I learned about the evils of Nazism from comics, I feel like I should pay it forward to today’s youth. Hey, kids, check it out — Nazis are bad!