Wednesday May 25 2016 no fewer than three people messaged me in the middle of the day hsocked at the major twist in Steve Rogers: Captain America #1. Personally I was expecting something silly like they would make him have a crush on Bucky as the slash fiction fans on twitter had started the whole #givecapaboyfriend thing. Instead we got, well pictures speak loader than words:
The implication is that Steve Rogers has always been a Hydra sleeper agent. My friends were fuming. There’s a lot wrong with this revelation. Captain America is one of those rare heroes who is as upstanding, good natured and earnest as Superman, but still relatable, conflicted and human. It betrays 75 years of the characters history. It has numerous continuity issues as Cap has been the one standing in the way of Hydra for decades. Captain America was created by Jewish writers and artists as a way of making a political statement during World War Two a full year before the US entered the war. This is insulting to them. Finally, it’s ugly political allegory for the current state of affairs in the US.
I could write a whole article about each of those points but why bother? That’s exactly what Marvel wants. They want everyone to make a big deal out of this. They want someone like me who hasn’t been collecting the comics to go out and buy this. Its just a gimmick, and genius marketing.
Captain America’s appeal is that he represents the best of us the ideal. Making him a Nazi the entire time as is implied with the first issue of this run isn’t going to last. It’s sensationalism, to get everyone’s twitters twittering. Comics do this kind of thing all the time. Did you know that Gwen Stacy once had an affair with Norman Osborn and gave birth to his twin children who grew into adulthood and vowed revenge on Spider-Man or something? Did you know that Professor Xavier had a team of X-Men that died in the line of duty, and he subsequently mind wiped everyone of knowledge of them so that they would continue to fight for him? These and Captain Hydramerica are all dumb storylines. They won’t last. The core myth of these characters is what has endurance. That’s what will live on. Not a hyperbolic character assassinating story. So hang on tight Captain America fans. The Sentinel of Liberty will always be our idealized hero.
Personally I choose to believe that there is some reality warping trickster who has an Infinity Gauntlet or a Comsic Cube that will occasionally screw with the back stories of these heroes. One day one of the four wall sensitive characters like Deadpool Squirrel Girl or Howard the Duck will catch him in the act, and beat the snot out of him… Maybe I’ll pitch that story to Marvel.
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- The Superhero’s Log: The Origins of Liquid Silver
- Nova of the Machines
- Death and Professor Longfellow
- The Jazz Age
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