Libertarian Party Founder Pins Stan Lee as a Right-Wing Conspirator


Delightful blast from the liberto-right wing past from a 1966 issue of Young Americans for Freedom New Guard magazine, in which future Libertarian Party founder (and current LP Senate candidate in Arizona) David Nolan sees a strong anti-commie streak in that era's Marvel super hero comics, dug up by the Comics Comics web site. An excerpt:

Bigger than the Birch Society, YAF and the Americans for Constitutional Action all rolled into one, there has recently emerged on the contemporary scene a new potentially right-wing organization of formidable power—the Merry Marvel Marching Society. This extremist group, cleverly disguised as an innocent venture in comic-book publishing, is busily undermining the minds of our nation's youth and indoctrinating them in a set of beliefs which can only be described as patriotic and wholesome…..

Marvel Comics are funny as well as epic. Their characters are human, as well as superhuman, and their dialogue is peppered with wisecracks. The characters refuse to be stuffed shirts—and when an unwary Marvel hero assumes a "holier than thou" attitude, his colleagues are not the slightest bit reluctant to take him down a peg.

But despite their lightheartedness, the heroes are indeed heroic, and the villains villainous. This in itself is not amazing—but the fact that the heroes run to being such capitalistic types as arms manufacturers (Tony Stark, whose alter ego is Iron Man), while the villains are often Communists (and plainly labeled as such, in less than complimentary terms) is a breath of fresh air in a world such as ours, where all too often "good guys" and "bad guys" are portrayed as being indistinguishable.

And it is in their frank recognition of the difference between good and evil that makes Marvel Comics, at least in my opinion, "right wing" in tone. The "Bullpen Gang," as the Marvel staffers refer to themselves in print, is not afraid to say that good and evil are mutually incompatible. Furthermore, they equate good with freedom and evil with totalitarianism, whether Communist, Nazi, or inhuman in origin. This is the "message" so assiduously repeated in all their sagas—and with such a message, no YAF member should have any quarrel.

Nolan could have done a more thorough job proving his point, but it is one no reader of circa 1961-67 Marvel Comics could disagree with too strongly, especially Lee's tendency to rely on communists, as well as less reliably ideological tyrants such as that subterranean Stalin the Mole Man, as villains (even pre-glasnost gorillas of the people's republics were going to be slugged into submission by the Fantastic Four and Giant Man), with the implication that it's always every red blooded American mutant and superhumans' responsibility to fight any fight, bear any burden, etc. to stymie their schemes.