How The Hindenburg Almost Altered Comic Book History

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The Hindenburg Disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, when the passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg famously crashed in Lakehurst, New Jersey when trying to attach to it’s mooring station after a transatlantic flight from Germany. The crash impacted the world, but if not for a small quirk of fate, the impact could have been so much deeper.

Magazine publisher Martin Goodman was on his honeymoon in Europe with his wife, Jean Davis, during the late spring of 1937. They had planned to travel back home to New York  by riding on the new Hindenburg airship, but Goodman was too late to buy tickets – although there were tickets available, the Goodman’s would have been seated separately in order to make the flight. Because he was unable to secure two seats next to each other, Goodman decided to take a plane back to the United States instead, thereby avoiding the last fateful flight of the Hindenburg by his desire to sit with his beloved.

Martin Goodman made it back from his honeymoon entirely unscathed, and went on to found Marvel Comics first incarnation Timely Comics later that year. Had Martin Goodman been able to purchase two tickets together on the final Hindenburg flight, had he been one of the thirteen passengers killed he would have never hired his wife’s seventeen year old cousin  Stanley Martin Lieber  as an assistant in 1939. Lieber made would make his comic book debut, after filling the ink pots, proofreading scripts and generally being an office gopher, by writing the story Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge in Captain America Comics #3 dated May 1941. With a desire not to ruin his reputation before having a chance to write The Great American Novel by writing comic books, Lieber  would use the pseudonym Stan Lee.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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One thought on “How The Hindenburg Almost Altered Comic Book History

  1. Pingback: From The Archives: How The Hindenburg Almost Altered Comic Book History – Ramblings Of A Comics Fan

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