Robert Morales and Kyle Baker’s 2004 graphic novel Truth: Red, White, and Black incorporates the visual vocabularies of social realism and a grotesque cartoon style in order to represent the devastating experiences of African Americans during World War II. The book’s revisionist version of the Captain America mythology depicts a black Captain, Isaiah Bradley, as not only the successful product of an experiment with super-soldier serum but also a would-be savior of Jewish concentration-camp inmates. The story both reveals the subversive potential of the Captain America story and challenges the traditions in which characters of color have been excluded from superheroic accounts of American culture by invoking some of the many real-world histories that shape accurate wartime accounts. Morales and Baker depict such histories through moments of cultural crisis, when racial identities visually oversignify the graphic boundaries that attempt to contain them, highlighting the interracial foundation of contemporary American literature.


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pp. 66-96
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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