It was commonplace in the forties. Comic book heroes from Captain Marvel, Jr. to Sub-Mariner were joining the war effort. Many comic covers of the day depicted colorfully clad characters engaged in mortal combat with the Axis powers, usually drawn to unreal extremes. Others had your favorite caped crusaders promoting War Bonds, and sometimes Hitler was being punched,
thrown, or even tackled on the 30 yard line. American superheroes were patriotic and ommitted to victory (the original meaning of holding up the first and second fingers in salute).
But what about today?
We are engaged in another war for survival. The enemy is as dedicated to our destruction as ever. Brave airmen, soldiers, sailors, and marines are crossing the oceans to spill blood, and in turn have their own blood spilled. Victory is as vital now as during the second world war. But a
change has occurred in the superhero community, one that is mirrored in the Hollywood community. The war effort is not supported, other than by hollow sentiments of "supporting out troops." Joining America's battle with Islamic terrorists (at least in spirit) isn't fashionable with the long underwear crowd. It is either ignored or passively mentioned, usually in reference to the attack on September 11th, 2001; the sole aspect of our fight comic editors feel comfortable with.
It even got as bad as having Captain America going on a brief apology tour through his title, much like the one being given by our current president. In fact, while I'm no expert on the subject, I can't think of one pro-American stance by a comic book character occurring in-continuity. Have you noticed any covers depicting Superman busting up a terrorist cell? How
about Aquaman stopping a boat loaded with explosives and would-be martyrs just before it strikes the side of an American ship?
But what has nearly been created is a cottage industry of producing comics with the president on the cover. Smiling, or maybe giving the thumbs up.
As if to say "All is well."