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Marvel, Hitler, and Hate-Monger

$40_In_A_Checking_Account

Kind of digging this default avatar
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How well known is it among Marvel characters and or the public that Hate-Monger started existence as Adolph Hitler? You’d think Captain America would work on nothing else, and he’d be Mossad enemy number one, if they knew. But nobody ever comments. They can’t know, but how can they not?

He’s a spirit at this point, but when someone starts calling themself “Hate-Monger” and develops the powers, possession is the most reasonable explanation, especially in a comic book universe.
 

Coyote's Own

Former ACME QA Tester.
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He’s a spirit at this point, but when someone starts calling themself “Hate-Monger” and develops the powers, possession is the most reasonable explanation, especially in a comic book universe.
Marel doesn;t really do reboots like DC does, they just don;t mation things they want no longer to be part of their universe, and they more or less cease to exist (until some author uses them again).

So I'd say this would be the case with Hate-Monger being Hitler.
It hasn't been mention in long long time, so it save to assume it's no longer the case (and that unlikely to change).
 

awesomeocalypse

Registered User
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turning actual historical monsters (particularly ones who aren't even a century dead) into superpowered comic book characters feels a little gauche, frankly, and I'm not sure what it really adds. in the same way that Marvel's 9/11 issue was clunky as fuck because it tried to deal with real world emotions (which, for many Americans, was that this was one of the worst tragedies they'd faced in their lifetimes) about an event that, in comparison to the world-shaking/galaxy-threatening devastation that routinely threatens the Marvel universe, probably would not be that big a deal to most of these characters (particularly the villains--having characters like Dr Doom who have personal body counts higher than 9/11 suddenly break down in horror and sadness just didn't work at all). Giant buildings blow up practically every damn day in Marvel, so a few thousand people dying is bad but it certainly isn't some unprecedented event that characters like Spidey or Cap haven't dealt with a shitload of times before. Ultimately, bringing real world tragedy into comic book melodrama contributes nothing to our understanding of that tragedy while not really working within the context of that superhero melodrama either.

That's how I feel about Hate-monger as Hitler. What does it add? In the real world, Hitler was perhaps history's greatest monster. In Marvel, Hate-monger is a B-list villain at best. There's a danger of trivializing Hitler's real world misdeeds by placing them in a context where characters like Red Skull routinely outdo him in villainy. If a superhero has faced off with Thanos while he's trying to destroy the universe, Hitler cannot help but feel like he's on a lower tier of villainy, which is fucked up because he's, you know, Hitler. Alternatively if the comics opt not to triviiaze him, but rather use the Hitler connection to make the case that actually Hate-monger is one of the worst villains there is, then that has the unfortunate side effect of appealing to alt-right shits for whom "Hitler lives on as a powerful and undying supervillain" plays right into their fucked up power fantasies and nazi hero worship.

Ultimately I just don't think superhero comics are a great medium for these kinds of stories. That's not to say you can't tell fictional stories about 9/11 or Hitler or the kennedy assassination or anything else, not that comics are somehow inequipped as a medium to handle those stories. But while plenty of people have written great comics about stuff like the Holocaust (see: Maus), those comics don't revolve around, say, Dr Strange travelling through time to fight a demonic Dr Mengele or some shit, because that would be a fucking dumb way of approaching that sort of weighty subject matter
 

suedenim

Active member
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1. It was later established that Hitler was killed in his Berlin bunker in 1945. This remains Marvel Universe canon, and was mentioned only a few years ago.

2. Related retcon, the Hate Monger wasn't EXACTLY Hitler. He was the result of Arnim Zola transferring a copy of Hitler's brain patterns into a clone body.

Comics, everybody!
 

Coyote's Own

Former ACME QA Tester.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
1. It was later established that Hitler was killed in his Berlin bunker in 1945. This remains Marvel Universe canon, and was mentioned only a few years ago.
Was he still Torched by Jim Hamond, or they retcon that?
 

Menocchio

Eccentric Thousandaire
Validated User
Marvel kind of wants to have their cake and eat it too regarding Nazism. Hydra are Nazis in all but name, same for the Serpent Brotherhood and the KKK. It lets them parade around characters that aren't wearing actual swastikas, with the assault to good taste and possible legal consequences abroad that implies. People have gotten wise and don't want them to use Hydra anymore either, but they're probably still at least a half-step less inflammatory than literal Nazis would be.

So no, they probably aren't going to have actual Hitler in the materials.

(Hey, do you know Taika Waititi will play Hitler in his next movie? This has nothing to do with Marvel, but I just wanted to share that. Taika Waititi is making a movie about a little boy in WWII who idolizes Hitler, his mother (ScarJo) is hiding a Jewish child in their attic. Sam Rockwell plays his Hitler Youth leader. And Taika Waititi plays the boy's imaginary friend, Adolph Hitler)
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
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How well known is it among Marvel characters and or the public that Hate-Monger started existence as Adolph Hitler? You’d think Captain America would work on nothing else, and he’d be Mossad enemy number one, if they knew. But nobody ever comments. They can’t know, but how can they not?

He’s a spirit at this point, but when someone starts calling themself “Hate-Monger” and develops the powers, possession is the most reasonable explanation, especially in a comic book universe.
From his first appearance, the FF and Nick Fury know he at least looked like Hitler under the hood, though they speculated he might have been a clone.
 

suedenim

Active member
Validated User
From his first appearance, the FF and Nick Fury know he at least looked like Hitler under the hood, though they speculated he might have been a clone.
Right. And Reed Richards' speech at the end gives the moral of the story, which is similar to that of the Twilight Zone episode "He's Alive" - that whether Adolf Hitler is still around in a literal sense is beside the point, it's what he represents that is a constant danger. Also note the "pin-up" of Hatemonger from a later issue, and how his secret identity isn't mentioned, but its controversial-even-at-the-time nature is:



 
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