Friday, January 13, 2012

Number 1087

The non-PC Nazi

Doll Man helps an escapee from the Nazis who is being pursued by a Nazi in a purple hood who wears a corrective shoe. Huh. That sounds like making light of a physical problem, but it's fairly well solved in the story by never showing the villain, "Wobble-Foot," actually walking or dragging his foot. We see the corrective shoe only in the splash panel. The writer decided it would be more suspenseful if the victim heard the sound of the foot dragging. It didn't have anything to do with being politically correct; it wasn't uncommon for comic books to have villains with deformities.

Doll Man had a fairly long career for a superhero in the comics. I've said before I thought Doll Man was a bad name for a comic book hero, and it would scare boys away from the comic. I'm wrong. His comic book was still being published years after many of DC's heroes, including Flash and Green Lantern, had been canceled. Doll Man had a simple power: he could get really small, yet retain his punching power. DC used that as the basis for the powers of their revival of the Atom.

This story is from Doll Man #6 (1943), drawn by Al Bryant.


Don said...

The story may be referring to Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels. Wikipedia says, "The Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had a right clubfoot (possibly incurred after birth as a complication of osteomyelitis),[16] a fact hidden from the German public by censorship. Because of this malformation, Goebbels needed to wear a leg brace. That, plus his short stature, led to his rejection for military service in World War I.

Pappy said...

Hey, Don...interesting information. In those days it was easier to hide such things from the public. FDR in his wheelchair was kept from the public, for instance. I guess it was felt it would erode confidence if people knew their leaders had physical problems.

Unknown said...

On the last page we see Wobble-Foot approaching, the pistol in his right hand. In the panel with Wobble-Foot in it and Dollman jumping on him, the pistol is in Wobble-Foot's left hand. The very next panel, Dollman strikes Wobble-Foot's right hand (which is holding the pistol), causing him to shoot himself in the right temple. In the last panel with an unmasked and dying Wobble-Foot in it, the wound is on his right temple, which would make sense combined with the previous panels.

Now, you could make an argument that Wobble-Foot has a pistol in each hand, except the first panel of that page clearly shows Wobble-Foot with one pistol and had left hand against a tree.

Not sure why that struck me :)

Pappy said...

Unknown, too bad the editor didn't see what you noticed.