Nowadays, whenever a bad guy is needed for a movie or comic book, there’s one group you can always go after: Nazis. They’re the catch-all for boogey men and super villains. But it wasn’t always that way, when Captain America #1 was published, the cover showed Cap punching Hitler in the face. It’s now one of the most iconic covers on any comic book, but at the time it was highly controversial for one big reason: the US wasn’t involved with the war yet.
At this point, it wasn’t even apparent just how evil the Nazi party really was but Jack Kirby and Joe Simon quickly learned just how crazy the world can get. Before they knew it, they started getting death threats from Nazi sympathizers and ended up getting a call from Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia who promised to make sure they were protected. Fast forward almost 70 years, and Ed Brubaker is in the same boat with his Captain America run and Tea Parties. Yes, I just compared the Tea Party movement to Nazis.
Super scientist bent on world domination!
Johann Schmidt had a rough childhood in Germany and could have easily become a super hero if the circumstances had been different. But once he realized he could get his way by killing people, he quickly descended into madness. He soon rose in the Third Reich and ended up becoming Hitler’s right hand man. Mostly all of this happened because Kirby and Simon thought Hitler didn’t work as a bad guy.
But after the Nazis were defeated, the Red Skull continued with desires of genocide and world domination. He’s jumped from terrorist groups like A.I.M. and H.Y.D.R.A. to more nefarious plots, like crippling the US economy.
Red Skull has gone through a multitude of costumes, but this time he’s in his most classic: the green jumpsuit. Nothing more than baggy pants and a shirt, Red Skull doesn’t exactly look like a super villain. He’s just a guy in pajamas wearing boots and white gloves. But like the Adventure Heroes, Red Skull is lacking any of his signature Nazi symbolism.
Red Skull’s most iconic feature though is his giant, red skull. His skull looks good and actually looks like a human skull, much more than Ghost Rider. In his right hand, Red Skull is clutching the Cosmic Cube! An artifact capable of making wishes come true, it never seems to work the way it should. It’s clear plastic and the look is well done.
Red Skull is lacking in the articulation department. He moves at the shoulders and the neck, but his jaw prevents his head from really moving. His neck is also looking downward. And for some reason, Red Skull is lacking waist articulation.
Most patriotic super hero in America!
There’s no one better to include with Red Skull than Steve Rogers himself! Captain America got a brand new sculpt and the first accessory in the entire Super Hero Squad line!
Captain America is posed mid-throw and it’s a unique look for him. He’s still got the flared boots and gloves, along with the odd chain mail chest and hilarious wings on his head. Oddly though, he’s sporting a giant grin on his face that feels out of place. If he had come packed with Hawkeye, it would be a great face for sparring but coming with his arch nemesis, it doesn’t feel right. Cap moves at the shoulders and waist.
Cap’s paint is well done and different from the past releases. His blue is now navy while his red is very vibrant. It’s a good look but there is the issue of the white parts. Since Captain America is cast in red plastic, it makes the white look pinkish.
Captain America’s left hand is outstretched to grip onto his shield which is removable! It looks almost identical to all the other shields that have been released. It makes Cap look like he either just caught it or is just about to throw it. It’s a nice touch, but by making it an accessory that just means it’s easier to lose.
I love it when heroes are paired up with their archenemies. So getting Captain America and Red Skull together is great. Sure, both figures have their flaws but they look right and make for good toys. Now if only Hasbro would release a business suit version of Red Skull.