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Communism in American Pop Culture
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Communism in American Pop Culture

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The short version of a powerpoint that talked about the way that communism was present in American pop culture for many years.

The short version of a powerpoint that talked about the way that communism was present in American pop culture for many years.

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  • Image found at:http://leahmariebrownhistoricals.blogspot.com/2010/07/royal-dildo.htmlSimilarly, information for the propaganda cartoons was found at this website
  • Information of early comic history comes from Comic Book ConfidentialThe New Comics info comes from the DC Year to Year book in the references
  • Image found in the article by Nick Turse entitled: Torturing Iron Man: The Strange Reversals of a Pentagon Blockbuster.Issue of Iron Man unknown.This is an example of the kind of Communist villains found in early Marvel and DC comics
  • Spanish KGBeast panel from Batman #417 (March 1988)Panel of communist sympathizers/spies from Showcase #73 (April 1973)Red KGBeast panel from Batman #417 (March 1988)Red Claw screen capture from Batman the Animated Series Episode “The Cat and the Claw Part One” (September 1992)NKVDemon panel from Batman #445 (March 1990)
  • Image from Superman: Red Son #1A predestination paradox in this instance is shown at the end of the miniseries when a descendant of this universe’s LexLuthor (Kal-L) ’s space ship lands in Soviet Russia in the late 1930s thus starting the events that lead up to the actual story. This is a way of showing that history is unchangeable in this universe and that the events in this tale would not ever change.
  • All panels except for the “He’s Watching You” poster come from the pages of Superman Red Son #1. The poster comes from the cover of Superman: Red Son #3
  • Image taken from the Red Star (GI Joe) article on Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Star_(G.I._Joe)Information GI Joe comes from prior knowledge of the television show
  • Image taken from: http://oregonmike98.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/red-dawn-via-1984-and-2010/


  • 2. INTRODUCTION Comic strips and cartoons have been used as propaganda since asearly as the time of the French Revolution During the French Revolution, cartoons were used to paint apicture of Marie Antoinette as the source of all evils The use of propaganda really has not lessened in recent years andhas spread from gaudy cartoons to comic books that are given tochildren
  • 4. EARLY HISTORY One of the earliest comics in American newsstands was 1933’sFunnies on Parade which sold for ten cents The first instance of a modern action comic book was created in1936 with New Comics It focused on FBI agents and was a nod to how fascinatedAmericans were with their government. Two years later, the first issueof Action Comics was released and comics were never the same.
  • 6. SUPERMAN: RED SON An Elseworld’s tale written in 2003 byMark Millar, Superman: Red Son explores theidea of Kyrpton’s last son growing up in theheart of the Soviet Union rather than in theAmerican heartland along with the idea of apredestination paradox. Lasting three issues, Superman: Red Sonserves as an example of how the Cold Warand communism continue to influencemodern media
  • 7.  Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!Superman: strange visitor from another world! Who can change thecourse of the mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands… And who,as the champion of the common worker, fights a never-ending battlefor Stalin, Socialism, and the international expansion of the WarsawPact. Superman: Red Son #1 page 5
  • 9.  Many films and television shows during the time of the Cold Warperiod were subtle (or not-so-subtle) pieces of propaganda forAmerican citizens. Just as comic books were getting children andyoung adults to think a certain way and look up to a certain kind ofideal, films and cartoons of the era were set up to guide viewers inspecific directions.
  • 10. CHILDREN GI Joe • Much like the role that Captain America played in getting children in the forties interested in war and patriotism, GI Joe served to pull the children of the Eighties into a kind of pro-America mentality using a diverse animated cast and the old standby of stereotyped villains and “reformed” Communist characters
  • 11. TEENAGERS Red Dawn • A group of teenagers go head to head with Communist invaders during this film that is directly marketed towards teenagers.
  • 12. ADULTS Rambo III (1988)  Rocky IV
  • 13.  Sylvester Stallone had two of the most famous anti-Communist/Soviet films inhis career and serves as the model for the “All-American” hero in the Eighties withhis portrayals of the rugged fighter Rambo and the determined boxer, Rocky. Both films were obvious in their anti-Communist message with Rambo III takingplace in Vietnam and having a high death toll of Communists while Rocky Balboagoes toe to toe with a brutish Russian boxer who has no regard for human life
  • 14. CONCLUSION In 2011, X-Men: First Class was released and had a significant part of the plotrevolving around Communist Russia and the Cuban Missile Crisis In addition to that, there are rumors of a planned remake of Red Dawn thatis set to start filming next year. Modern media shows us that no matter how long Soviet Russia has beenbroken up and communism, kept to places like China and Cuba, Americanmedia will find a way to introduce little red scares of their own. Americans willnever get tired of walking the tenuous line between pop culture and propaganda.