Monday, December 8, 2014

Trivial Pursuit perpetuates the Nazis-banned-Superman myth

In 2008, both in Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman and here, I addressed the recurring claim that Hitler or his Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels personally indicted and banned Superman at a Nazi meeting. 

It turns up in sources including Superman at Fifty (1988; page 32), Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones (2004; page 162), and Jerry Robinson’s essay in the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum exhibition catalog Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero—The Golden Age of Comic Books 1938-1950 (2004; page 21).

However, the Nazis were famously fanatical about documentation and we haven’t found mention of this incident in their—or any other—records. So believable though it may be, there is no known proof that it really happened. Researchers including Dwight Decker determined a likely source of what we must consider a myth.

I learned recently that Trivial Pursuit (Genus 5 edition) isn’t helping:

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