You've probably heard that Captain America this past week was revealed as having been a deep cover Hydra agent literally for the past 75 years--his complete existence. We have been assured by the writer and editor of the current issues that this is, in fact, the one true Steve Rogers and is neither a dream, a hoax, an imaginary story, a ruse, or any other comics trope one might use to weasel out of this.
Needless to say, there has been a bit of a fuss. DC is undoubtedly less than thrilled that coverage of this particularly nasty little plot twist--in the works for nearly two years, we're gleefully told--has knocked the just beginning coverage of their rebooting REBIRTH out of the comics headlines.
First came those who were highly offended and went so far as to offer death threats to the folks behind it. Come on, people! That's just wrong! Stop it. Now!
Then came the apologists who try to put themselves above it all and tell everyone else to stop over-reacting. "It's just a story. In a few months, he'll be back to normal." We are reminded that in the past, Cap has been been turned into a Nazi, a white supremacist, even a werewolf for gosh sake! He's even been DEAD! Several times! He always ends up back to normal.
Only Cap wasn't turned into a Hydra agent. We are told that he secretly ALWAYS been one. All those times he fought the Nazis, the terrorists, the haters, he was in actuality one of them and laughing at the big "joke" he'd put over on us all.
And we aren't over-reacting.I must admit that I'm not losing any actual sleep over this but I feel I have a right to be indignant. I've known Cap a lot longer than Nick Spencer--a former Cincinnati politician whom I might conceivably have run into in my various bookstore capacities over the years. I can flat out guarantee you that Cap is not, nor has he ever been, a fascist. They can write whatever they want, of course, but there's something they don't seem to understand. They don't "grok."
Captain America has transcended into more than just a fictional character. Like Superman, he represents "truth, justice, and the American way" to millions around the world who may never have even seen a comic book. He's bigger than Marvel. He idealizes our freedoms, our struggles, our history, and our future.
Since DC and Zack Snyder have already effectively taken away Superman--the real Superman--Cap had stepped right into his position as the ultimate hero. Now, what Marvel has done is tantamount to telling the fans and long-time supporters of Cap that in the real world, no one cares about you. There are no ideals, no heroes, no one you can completely depend on, respect, and trust to help you when you need help. Everyone is secretly plotting against you.
Just as my generation was positively affected by Cap's ideals, today's kids WILL feel the betrayal here, as this extremely ill-considered and ill-timed plotline ultimately does nothing more than promote paranoia, despair, and anger in a political climate where we need hope more than ever.
And yes, I know at the end of the day, it's just a story and just a fictional character and won't affect the outcome of the next election one single bit. But if YOU can't step back and see that there really is more to it than that, then I feel sorry for you.
Marvel, I used to love you, warts and all.
I can't help but wonder how Disney approved this concept to come out just weeks after CIVIL WAR with literally millions of dollars of Captain America merchandising at stake. Or were they even told about it in advance?