Over 50 years before Quentin Tarantino took a few liberties with his depiction of Adolf Hitler's death in Inglourious Basterds, Marvel Comics also decided to get creative with that historical moment. Both fictional Hitlercides involve fire, but Marvel's scene wins because it's the only one where the fascist dictator is burned alive by a crime-fighting android. 

Marvel Comics

He's saying "OWW!" because he also stubbed his toe at that moment. Talk about bad luck.

 Yes, Hitler finds this end so undignified that, as he's burning, he begs his men to tell everyone that he killed himself -- he'll take the stigma of suicide over the shame of robo-murder. The scene first appeared in Young Men #24 from 1953, the issue where the original robotic Human Torch (no relation to the Fantastic Four member) returns to action after being gone for several years. When asked what he's been up to, the Torch is like, "Oh, you know, fought some smugglers, got a haircut, single-handedly ended a world war, etc." 

Since that issue, several Marvel writers have gone out of their way to reconfirm that, yes, Hitler was whacked by a perpetually burning piece of sentient machinery in this universe. In 1977, the scene was retold and expanded in What If #4, which revealed that the Torch brought along his kid sidekick, Toro, to watch the brutal tyrannicide. 

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics

"Frameproof button"? You can just say, "I wanted to burn Hitler alive," dude. We promise no one minds. 

 In the meantime, the Fantastic Four had fought a villain called Hate-Monger, who wore a purple KKK robe and was armed with a racism gun. At the end of Fantastic Four #21 (1963), the FF (including the new Human Torch) accidentally kill Hate-Monger, and upon removing his mask, they find out that he was none other than Old Man Hitler ... who'd somehow survived a bullet to the face and/or third-degree burns. 

Marvel Comics

There's a 99.99% chance that real-life Nazi-killer Jack Kirby drew this plot twist without asking Stan Lee. 

A 1980 issue reconciled both versions of Hitler's superhero-induced death by establishing that after the original Torch burned him alive, Nazi scientists copied his mind to a clone body, which became the Hate-Monger. So, canonically, two Human Torches had a hand in killing Hitler. Or three, actually, since while they were at it, the writers upped Toro's involvement from "just standing there" to "enthusiastically killing Hitler, too." 

Marvel Comics

Hitler is now tied with Phoenix for most on-page deaths. 

The scene was retold again in 1988 ... 

Marvel Comics

The "FWOOSH" adds some much-needed whimsy to it. 

... a 1990 issue that even put a cowering Hitler on the cover ... 

Marvel Comics

What does he mean by "you people"?! (Seriously, we want a No-Prize for finding that typo.) 

... a 1992 Spider-Man graphic novel that mentions Hitler was planning to off himself anyway ... 

Marvel Comics

"Ah, that must be Hans at the door with my auto-erotic asphyxiation gear ..." 

... a 2002 issue that reveals there was at least one other kid watching the gruesome scene ... 

Marvel Comics

Not counting all the ones who saw it in the Marvel Super Hero Squad episode about this. 

... TWO separate issues in 2010 ... 

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics

They don't even have to print the dialogue anymore -- every fan knows it by heart. 

... another one in 2019, when the idea of a superhero killing the president of another country simply due to a difference of opinion was probably deemed controversial ... 

Marvel Comics

Another example of the mainstream media silencing a prominent conservative.

... plus several handbooks and mentions here and there. At this point, it might be easier to list the Marvel comics where Hitler isn't killed by the Human Torch. That said, it's a little bit disappointing that this scene hasn't made it to other media yet. Here's hoping Kevin Feige and Tarantino can work something out to keep the tradition going. 

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com. 

Top image: Marvel Comics 

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