This review presents the first detailed presentation of the parallelism between the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the Captain America graphic novel ‘TRUTH: Red, White and Black’, published as a graphic novel by Marvel Comics in 2004 as a paperback, and then in 2009 as a hardcover. First written, published and distributed monthly in 2003 as pre-sequel seven comic book series to tell the story of the origins of the WWII superhero Captain America. In 2003, Marvel Comics chose to tell a ‘very dark story’ to explain the origins of Captain America, a half century after the initial introduction of Captain America as a WWII action hero in 1940. By detailing—for the first time—nine parallel aspects between these two storylines, this review demonstrates how Marvel Comics brought the tragic Tuskegee Syphilis Study story into the popular press, thus reaching an audience far beyond traditional bioethics academicians. This review is intended to stimulate and guide classroom discussions on the ethical issues at the core of the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study allowing bioethical issues to be made more accessible to the general public, via school curriculums, by the use of graphic novels.
- Curriculum development
- Folk media
- Human research subject protection
- Literature review
ASJC Scopus subject areas