Jack Kirby's son condemns Capitol rioters wearing Captain America symbols: 'Disgusting and disgraceful'

Rachel Yang
·4 min read

Neal Kirby, the son of late Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby, has condemned the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday. In a stirring statement, Kirby also slammed insurrectionists who donned symbols of the Marvel superhero, writing, "these images are disgusting and disgraceful. Captain America is the absolute antithesis of Donald Trump."

CNN anchor Jake Tapper obtained Kirby's full statement to the insurrectionists, which also detailed the origins of the iconic comic book character.

"My father, Jack Kirby, along with his partner Joe Simon, created Captain America in 1941. Perhaps the most iconic symbol of patriotism since the 'Spirit of 1776,' Captain America has stood as a symbol and protector of our democracy and the rule of law for the past 79 years," Kirby wrote. "He was created by two Jewish guys from New York who hated Nazis and hated bullies. Captain America stood up for the underdog, and, as the story as written, even before he gained his strength and process from Army scientists, always stood for what was righteous, and never backed down."

The rest of his statement reads:

"At 72, I have a fairly vivid personal memory of every political and cultural upheaval since Castro's revolution in the mid-1950s. Add to that my father's stories, and I could probably paint a picture of the battlefields of northern France surrounding the city of Metz in WWII as well. However, the events that transpired at our nations' Capitol on Jan. 6, an insurrection inspired and fomented by our own president, will be the event that haunts me forever.

"While watching one of the horrific videos of the storming of the Capitol, I thought I noticed someone in a Trump/Capt. America t-shirt! I was appalled and mortified. I believe I even caught a quick glance of someone with a Captain America shield. A quick Google search turned up Trump as Captain America on T-shirts, posters, even a flag! These images are disgusting and disgraceful. Captain America is the absolute antithesis of Donald Trump. Where Captain America is selfless, Trump is self-serving. Where Captain America fights for our country and democracy, Trump fights for personal power and autocracy. Where Captain America stands with the common man, Trump stands with the powerful and privileged. Where Captain America is courageous, Trump is a coward. Captain America and Trump couldn't be more different.

"My father, Jack Kirby, and Joe Simon, the creators of Captain America and WWII veterans, would be absolutely sickened by these images. These images are an insult to both their memories. If Donald Trump had the qualities and character of Captain America, the White House would be a shining symbol of truth and integrity, not a festering cesspool of lies and hypocrisy. Several of our presidents held the same values as Captain America. Donald Trump is not one of them."

Punisher writer Garth Ennis has also spoken out against insurrectionists' appropriation of the Marvel character's skull logo, calling the rioters "halfwits."

"I've said this before a couple of times, but no one actually wants to be the Punisher," Ennis said. "Nobody wants to pull three tours of duty in a combat zone with the last one going catastrophically wrong, come home with a head full of broken glass, see their families machine-gunned into bloody offal in front of their eyes, and then dedicate the rest of their lives to cold, bleak, heartless slaughter.

"The people wearing the logo in this context are kidding themselves, just like the police officers who wore it over the summer," he continued. "What they actually want is to wear an apparently scary symbol on a T-shirt, throw their weight around a bit, then go home to the wife and kids and resume their everyday life. They've thought no harder about the Punisher symbol than the halfwits I saw [on Wednesday], the ones waving the Stars & Stripes while invading the Capitol building."

Chris Evans, who embodies Captain America on screen, denounced the rioters' actions on Jan. 6.

"Just think of the carnage had they not been white," he tweeted, adding in another post, "So many people enabled this."

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