Comic book characters and their relationship to the Cold War

Comic book characters and their relationship to the Cold War

The relationship between Comics and the times when they are produced is very clear. During the Cold War many stories already known became popular, generally, by the ideological context to which they made reference. As a cultural product, they serve too much to influence generations, to build ideas and create certain stereotypes.

I will list some comics that represent a bit of this cultural moment, represented deeply in certain characters. In the end, I want to speak with a little more space about a primordial HQ to understand the Cold War process within this universe.

Relationship between comic book characters and the Cold War


I saw that my colleagues pointed out the Hulk characters and that make up the. I liked the scores they made and I want to add a little bit of what I know about.



The, launched in 1962, (as João Farah said), in addition to also addressing espionage, is a clear fruit of atomic tension. So much so that, from a nuclear experiment, a destructive monster appears both inside and outside the territory. In later comics, it is revealed that the character’s power is equivalent to star explosions, that is, the capacity stored in him would be able to destroy the world very easily. So, in my view, the Hulk is an almost wide-open analogy of the atomic bomb.

Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four is a well-known group too, it appeared a year before the incredible Hulk, but it was created by the same screenwriter: Stan Lee. The team is an evident account of the space race, in which Americans not only reach space first, but also acquire extraordinary powers. And, based on these powers, they defend themselves from monsters coming from space (a fear that existed in exploring the ends of the universe, similar to the fear of navigators that there were horrible creatures living in the sea) and villains, almost always of other nationalities.


The famous Mutantes, on the other hand, report the “aberrations” that atomic radiation could cause. This word was a scientific term used to refer to the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedy.

Another important point worth mentioning is the racial conflicts present in the HQ and which are directly related to the Cold War era, since racism present in American culture has always been one of the negative aspects raised by the USSR. And, above all, the group is seen as a foreigner within American territory, so they live in isolation, try to hide.

Continuing with Marvel, I will comment on three more characters, who became known worldwide for being present in the films of.

Black Widow

black Widow

Black Widow, a famous character in cinemas and comics, is a Russian spy. An interesting fact about her is that she is possibly the only descendant of the Romanov family.

Another curious thing about her is that she is very lonely, catty and full of mysteries. It is a complete and even successful stereotype of a Russian at that time. So much so that there is always a suspicion about the character, because they are not sure about her past and, above all, as much as she left “mother Russia” behind, she is not genuinely American.

Iron Man

Iron Man, on the other hand, shows the “victory and capacity” of capitalism. The famous phrase “genius, billionaire and philanthropist” is almost a short manifesto about what capitalism wanted to sell to the world as an ideology: the production of intelligent, wealthy and altruistic people.

Even the character’s arrogance always prevails mainly because he thinks he is superior to others, with a broader worldview.

captain America

During the Cold War, Captain America also gained a lot of popularity. His fight against Hydra – the secret spy agency that aimed to take over the world – shows a “hotter” “fight” against the expansion of a “harmful” ideology.

It is an almost cultural ideological account of a US struggle against the USSR. It is not for nothing that the Captain’s greatest villain is the Red Skull, the main color of the communist flag.

DC Comics

Changing the publisher, DC presented fewer comic books that represented this war that was taking over the world, however, its products seemed more critical to capitalism.


The classic is an acid comic that reports the opposite extreme of what Marvel was gradually building as capitalism’s strengths. The idea of ​​an American dream melted into a lost, stunning and collapsed social life. Inequalities such as open fractures and morally questionable “heroes”, full of their paranoia and convenience to errors.

The character Dr. Manhatam, who accidentally became a “god” because of nuclear experiments, becomes aware of the horror of that society and the world in general. Thus, he, little by little, becomes alien and sees that humanity and its ideologies were not worth the effort of a salvation.

The Comedian is a very clear mockery of the “American dream” and the idea of ​​social evolution and the production of a society where everyone would achieve everything.

Super man


Finally, I want to talk about one of Superman’s most classic stories. The HQ in question is. There are so many incredible points in it that make it almost perfect. The first is subversion in the concept of Superman. Instead of wearing the colors of the American flag on his uniform, he is from the USSR and carries the communist symbol on his chest.

The publication by Mark Millar and Dave Johnson shows an alternative reality where the rocket of the last Krypton survivor crashed in the communist Soviet Union instead of the USA – and Superman becomes the hero of socialism. The publication, which takes place between about 1953 and 2001, mixes alternative versions of DC heroes with alternative versions of real political figures, such as Joseph Stalin and John F. Kennedy.

And this inversion alone raises many questions about history. A turning point in the comic is when Superman, who was seen as a walking weapon from the USSR (he was flying over the world, with an eye on US construction of weapons), saves a child in American territory. The surrounding population is surprised by the hero’s attitude, and then he drops the figure of an enemy. With the death of Stalin, he is considered to be the new great leader of the USSR, but he gives up that when he sees the damage that the population suffered with the oppression of the regime and the famine.

Then, he ceases to appear as a member of the USSR and becomes a walking “peace” treaty, which mediates conflicts.