The birth of superheroes at the end of the 1930s is a reflection of Jewish cartoonists’ gradual integration in the life of metropolitan New York. The inventors of “Superman,” “Batman,” “Captain America,” and “The Spirit” were the sons of East European Jewish immigrants. They presented their flawless protagonists as paragon US-American patriots. Even before the USA entered World War II in December 1941, comic book superheroes were already successfully routing the Nazis and Japanese. Their popularity lasted only until the end of the war.
In the early 1960s Jewish illustrators and authors created a new generation of superheroes, featuring characters such as “Hulk,” the “X-Men,” or “Fantastic Four.” Here, for the first time, one finds characters that play on specifically Jewish stories such as the Golem legend, but it is only in the 1970s that characters acquire an explicitly Jewish biography.
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