In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today, based on a suggestion by reader Tom A., we look at the various ways that Hitler has died in the Marvel Universe…
The first indication that Adolf Hitler died differently in the Marvel Universe than “real life” was in a surprising place, 1953’s Young Men #24, which was where Marvel (then Atlas Comics) tried to reboot their Golden Age heroes. The lead story, by Hank Chapman and Russ Heath, has the Human Torch return. The story gives a recap on his career up until this point and check out what Chapman just squeezes into a SINGLE FREAKING PANEL…
Yeah, just casually, he has the Human Torch kill Hitler.
Okay, so that was the 1950s, when the Marvel Age began in 1961, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby weren’t exactly worried about the continuity of their comics from the 1950s.
So in Fantastic Four #21, we meet the Hate-Monger. Note how they hyped his secret identity…
At the end, his Hate-ray is accidentally turned on one of his own men, who then shoots and kills him (who says Invisible Girl was useless?)
Nick Fury unmasks him and it is shockingly HITLER!
(Note that they at least do suggest that maybe it wasn’t Hitler, but one of his doubles instead)
Okay, so now years later, in the famous What If…? #4 (by Roy Thomas, Franks Robbin and Springer), we have the Human Torch killing Hitler established as part of Marvel continuity…
Damn, Hitler sure talked a lot for a dude who was MELTING!
Man, I just can’t get over how awesome it is that part of Marvel’s long-standing continuity is that Hitler was killed by an android. Hilarious.
Okay, so in Captain America #211, Jack Kirby introduced Nazi X!
At the end of the issue, Arnim Zola reveals that he saved Hitler’s brain (Kirby had only JUST introduced Zola a few issues earlier)…
In Super-Villain Team-Up #17 a couple of years later, Peter B. Gillis gives us the grand unifying Hitler theory for the Marvel Universe. Torch killed him, but Zola transported his mind to a clone boy which became the Hate-Monger. He also had ANOTHER body, which was Nazi X, so Gillis impressively tied in all the disparate stories together.
He also ends the issue with Hitler stuck in the Cosmic Cube, I presume in part to eliminate Hitler as an ongoing villain the Marvel Universe.
Okay, so that was the status quo, but recent years brought a couple if interesting changes, including one involving Cable and Deadpool. Check it out on the next page!
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