Even though Marvel Comics had many characters during the 1940s I have choosen to focus on Captain America because of it’s close ties the the war posters used in america during that time period.
In 1940, writer Joe Simon who at the time was working for Timely publications now known as Marvel Comics conceived the idea for Captain America and made a sketch of the character in costume. “I wrote the name ‘Super American’ at the bottom of the page,” Simon said in his autobiography. “No, it didn’t work. There were too many ‘Supers’ around. ‘Captain America’ had a good sound to it. There weren’t a lot of captains in comics. It was as easy as that. The boy companion was simply named Bucky, after my friend Bucky Pierson, a star on our high school basketball team.”
And thus a hero of propaganda to the war for all enlisters was born. It may not have started out that way but there was a clear and unmistakable message throughout the graphic design of the Captain America comic books America was good Nazi Bad. This is shown through the strong use of the bright, friendly and heroic shades of red white and blue of the Captain America costume clearly a representation of the American flag.
While the Nazi uniforms were often a mix of a dirty grey green coupled along with harsh black of the swatch sticker and blood reds, even some of the bad guys depicted such as Red Skull a depiction of a Nazi general with blood red skin and alien or skull bone like features.
The graphics were romantic with high action sequences and were not only displayed in comic book but were a reoccurring feature in newspapers and magazines, often used in the USA as advertising for young men to enlist in the war movement.
And as a final note it is interesting to see how a piece like this has managed to survive almost 7 decades and still lives on even though Captain America may have joined the Avengers and no longer fights off the Nazi the message still lives on in comic book form and has recently been transferred to film with a great amount of ease.