Marvel get to the black heart of the Red Skull

Miniseries doesn’t shy away from history in exploring Captain America’s nemesis

Coming May, well in time for Captain America: The First Avenger, the five issues mini-series Red Skull recalls the character’s origin as Johann Schmidt and the events that led to him becoming Captain America’s axis enemy. Written by Greg Pak, who previously explored the holocaust for X-Men: Magneto – Testament, art is from Mirko Colak and covers are by the superb David Aja.

Almost as if a riposte to the backlash surrounding the lack of Nazi iconography on Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull, the series’ cover art is seeped in Third Reich propaganda. Check out the full gallery:

“Due to the nature of the story, I wanted to portray the historical aspects on the covers”, said Aja. “In doing so, I approached the covers as if they were real posters, newspapers and Nazi propaganda from that time, kind of in a documentary style. To make it work, I utilized different typographic techniques for each issue, emulating different typefaces in real work; so I needed a uniform tone, technique and color in the finished art to identify all the covers as a whole collection.”

“Red Skull was never intended to be one of our typical super hero comics, so it shouldn’t have anything like typical cover art,” said series editor Alejandro Arbona. “We knew David would invest the thoughtfulness and deliberation to capture the complex and difficult ideas of this story. In short, his covers say ‘This is what we’re doomed to watch Johann become,’ and his imagery – war, conquest, cruelty, a great evil – springs from the same tragic well. It’s a disturbing set of cover images, for a dark and disquieting story.”