Happy Birthday To The Co-Creator Of Captain America – Joe Simon

Joe Simon, born Hymie Simon, came into the world on October 11, 1913 in New York. Joe was a first generation American, his father having emigrated from England 8 years earlier. Joe lived a childhood of poverty, their flat doubling as the business location of his father’s tailor shop.

Joe got his start in professional art working for his school’s yearbook, when his splash pages were so good that two universities purchased the publication rights to use them in their own yearbooks. After graduating he replaced Al Liederman as assistant to art director Adolph Edler on the Rochester Journal-American where he produced occasional cartoons for the paper. After several papers closed he took the chance at moving to New York and then proceeded to work for several comics until he met Jack Kirby.

They connected immediately when Jack saw Joe’s suit. No other comic book artist wore suits, but Joe did because his father made it for him as a tailor. This was another connection between the two because Jack’s father was also a tailor. Their first project they worked on together was Blue Bolt issue no. 2.

It was during this time that Joe joined Timely Comics, which would go on to becoming Marvel Comics, as the company’s first editor, and while there he and Jack Kirby would create the iconic hero Captain America. The first comic of which was publised in March of 1941. The duo then continued to work together for over twenty years.

Captain America Comics #1 (1941)
While Captain Americ Comics #1 was published on March of 1941, it did presale in December of 1940. Months prior to the events of Pearl Harbor this comic book features Captain America decking Hitler. This comic put Nazis in the crosshairs of heroes and considering the fact that both the co-creators were Jewish makes sense.
Captain America Comics #10 (1942)
The last Captain America comic that Jack Kirby and Joe Simon produced before moving to DC Comics. This comic saw Bucky and Captain having to transport a weapon. When they’re compassion is used as a weakness, they are beset upon by a female Nazi spy. However Captain America is able to thwart their plans, and capture the spy. The spy begs for Captain to not torture her and Captain showcases that Americans don’t torture… that didn’t age well.
Captain America #25 (2007)
Near the conclusion of the Civil War storyline, the effects of that event left Captain America an enemy of the State. Arrested and brought to justice before the courts. In this moment, as he is being taken in custody a sniper lets out a shot that rips through his neck. Multiple shots to the torso. Captain America dies on the way to the hospital. The effects of which will cause a shockwave accross the comic book world. In more way then one. It’s said it might have been done as a way for Marvel to stop having to pay Joe Simon residuals. However, Joe thought it was hilarious and even produced this work of art to go alongside the death of Captain America.

So there you have it, some very great reads for the character that also connect directly to one of the original co-creators of the hero. Which are your favorite Captain America comic books?

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