Friday, June 3, 2016

Comics Controversy: Steve Rogers: Captain America #1

If you are into comics at all, you’ve heard about the controversy surrounding the new volume of the Captain America comic. If not, *SPOILERS*

Cap has been revealed as a sleeper agent for the evil organization Hydra. In the Marvel movies, Hydra is an offshoot of the Third Reich, making it not strictly a Nazi organization, but an organization started and run by former Nazis. This is causing some controversy, as Cap was created by two Jewish men, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and defined for a new generation by another Jewish man, Stan Lee (again, with help from Kirby). In the story, Steve Rogers has been a Hydra agent from the beginning. He’s evil.

My take on the story is this: Of course this Cap is a clone, alternate universe Steve Rogers, etc. It will all turn out okay and be wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end. However. there are two major problems here; 1.) The way Marvel approaches Cap generally, and 2.) The writer.

Marvel can't stand the thought of any character being pro-American. To love your country and show any type of patriotism at Marvel is flag-waving jingoism, by god! In mainstream comics, if you honor America you have to be a beer-guzzling gun nut who lives in a trailer park. If this story were written by Chuck Dixon, or Roger Stern or John Byrne, I would trust the writers to deliver a clever potboiler that pays off in the end and makes Cap into an even bigger hero. Writer Nick Spencer is on record gleefully proclaiming all Republicans are evil. I DON'T trust him. Not that I believe it, but the thought does cross one's mind that to Spencer (and Marvel) Cap is a Hydra (Nazi) spy, has always been one, and loves being one. One expects contempt for conservatives and America from Spencer and his ilk, and he in turn rarely disappoints. Therefore, even if the story is ultimately harmless, the messenger is not. Would it be so bad to have an issue where Captain America actually fights a bad guy and loves America? To Marvel, you betcha. Oh, for a pro-American sentiment anywhere in mainstream comics ... 


  1. Haven't read the book - yet. Hate the idea, but that panel with him whispering Hail Hydra - that's some gutsy storytelling. We'll see what happens.

  2. I guess. We can't really judge until the entire storyline is known. But I would just love to see an America-loving Cap defeat a supervillain for once. Just once! Alas, those days are gone, partly because Marvel Comics couldn't conceive of someone actually liking America. Sad.