When Jack Kirby drew Captain America saluting Adolf Hitler

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Hate and outrage have defeated love and optimism yet again.

On Monday it was suggested that Marvel had a story trick up their sleeve that would steal the spotlight from DC’s ramming-speed publicity blitz for its revamped universe and Rebirth #1.

A shocking!!! plot twist in Captain America Steve Rogers #1 that revealed Steve was really a Hydra agent all along seemed unlikely to unseat a wholesale rewriting of ten years of DC history, along with a shocking Alan Moore related plot twist.

But, today we have a genuine tweet storm and think piece blitz, all wrapped in a bow. The Geoff Johns-inspired return to hope, optimism and love has been blown away by the winds of antisemitism, insensitivity, destroying the legacy of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and every other sin modern comics can commit. The Marvel offices have been inundated with complaints including at least one (pretty vague) death threat, and other outraged reactions, as this tweet from assistant editor Alanna Smith reveals:

As a long time comics reader, of course the idea of a shocking!!!twist in a comic is so old hat that I can’t even waste the energy for a thumbs up or thumbs down on it. But it is always someones first rodeo, even when it isn’t. While most readers seem to know that comics storys are transitive things (and Steve Rogers has worked for Hydra before!) but the outcry this time surrounds the publicity blitz, which was designed to make people buy the comics, as Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort states more than once.

Among the many stated objections to the story is that it shits on the real feelings behind the creation of Captain America, the product, like most early comics, of Jewish creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Writer Nick Spencer, who, at least you gotta give it to him that he’s no dummy, is well aware of this history but the Hydra of today is “torn from the headlines” of reality with a slant more towards the terrorism and intolerance of current political groups as this Time magazine interview with Brevoort makes clear

Q: In the comic the Red Skull of Hydra talks about “criminal trespassers” who “make a mockery” of America’s borders and calls the refugees in Germany an “invading army” bringing “fanatical beliefs and crime” to Europe. Obviously, this hate speech is nothing new for the organization, but it sounds like rhetoric we’ve been hearing this election. Is that purposeful?

A: We try to write comics in 2016 that are about the world and the zeitgeist of 2016, particularly in Captain America. Nick Spencer, the writer, is very politically active. He’s a Capitol Hill head and following this election very closely. So we can talk about political issues in a metaphoric way. That’s what gives our stories weight and meat to them. Any parallels you have seen to situations real or imagined, living or dead, is probably intentional but metaphorically not literally. What are we supposed to think about the fact that someone literally named Captain America now supports these beliefs? Again, I don’t want to say anything too definitively because we’re laying out the story. But we want to push that button. There should be a feeling of horror or unsettledness at the idea that somebody like this can secretly be part of this organization. There are perfectly normal people in the world who you would interact with on a professional level or personal level, and they seem like the salt of the earth but then it turns out they have some horrible secret — whether it’s that they don’t like a certain group of people or have bodies buried in their basement.

At EW, Spencer also discussed this:

This issue also introduces us to a new generation of Hydra fighters, who resemble ISIS and white supremacist organizations. What were your influences there?
SPENCER: That’s exactly right. Those are the two things that are being conflated here to some extent. The Red Skull obviously has a lot of experience with fascism and Nazism and white supremacy movements. What we’re seeing here is an adoption of modern-day terror tactics. For me, those were an interesting couple of components to put together. What we see throughout the world right now is that these kinds of movements are heavily resurgent and seeing record-breaking recruitment numbers. So some of this is trying to be a little forward-thinking in picturing what the world might look like if these kinds of organizations decide to adopt these kinds of tactics.

What kind of relationship will Cap have with this new generation of Hydra?
SPENCER: It’s a big part of our story, what Steve’s beliefs are about what Hydra should be, where it should go, what it should focus on. To me, I always get really fascinated by this kind of thing. Any World War II history buff can talk your ear off about the internal power struggles of the Nazi Party. There were some fun parallels to play with here. There’s also a little bit of The Man in the High Castle here. It’s a difficult challenge to get people invested in Hydra characters because their ideology is so repugnant, but what The Man in the High Castle did so well was get you to pull for the lesser of the evils. You might be seeing some similar things here.

Both these interviews seem to have ignited more outrage than the story itself. At Panels, Jessica Plummer draws the line straight to outright antisemitism: On Steve Rogers #1, Antisemitism, and Publicity Stunts:

But Nazis (yes, yes, I know 616 Hydra doesn’t have the same 1:1 relationship with Nazism that MCU Hydra does) are not a wacky pretend bad guy, something I think geek media and pop culture too often forgets. They were a very real threat that existed in living memory. They are the reason I can’t go back to the villages my great-grandparents are from, because those communities were murdered. They are the reason I find my family name on Holocaust memorials. They are the perpetrators of unspeakable, uncountable, very real atrocities.

It’s easy, especially if you’re not Jewish, to think that anti-semitism is a thing of the past. It’s not. It flies under the radar, mostly, until suddenly it doesn’t: with graffiti in Spain, hateful party games in American high schools, vicious threats being flung at Jewish journalists for criticizing Trump. With physical attacks—with deaths—in France. Nor is neo-Nazi rhetoric, which hews closer to 616 Hydra’s shtick, a goofy make-believe thing. Not when the Republican presidential nominee spouts fascist ideology that echoes Hitler’s rise to power and spurs a literal rise in hate crimes against Muslims.
But writer Nick Spencer and editor Tom Brevoort are more concerned with making this “something new and unexpected”; with having “fun” and getting readers “invested in Hydra characters.” Because what’s more fun than downplaying genocide?

I’m not going to pretend to be cool here. I’m emotional. This is emotional. Captain America isn’t even my usual guy to get incandescently angry over the erasure of his coded Jewish history— that’s Kal-El, the Moses of Krypton—but reading this comic made me feel sick to my stomach. Reading the flippant responses of many non-Jewish readers—including friends—has brought me to tears. Somehow a community that gets up in arms about whether or not Batman has a yellow circle behind his logo seems to think that being angry about this is stupid, or indicative of a lack of experience with comics.

Another Jewish comics commentator, Brett Schenker, looks at the history of the character and finds the current storyline offensive to the origin of Cap:

And Simon and Kirby—born Hymie Simon and Jacob Kurtzberg—were not making it lightly. Like most of the biggest names in the Golden Age of comics, they were Jewish. They had family and friends back in Europe who were losing their homes, their freedom, and eventually their lives to the Holocaust. The creation of Captain America was deeply personal and deeply political.

Ever since, Steve Rogers has stood in opposition to tyranny, prejudice, and genocide. While other characters have their backstories rolled up behind them as the decades march on to keep them young and relevant, Cap is never removed from his original context. He can’t be. To do so would empty the character of all meaning.

But yesterday, that’s what Marvel did.

Schenker also points out that the creation of Cap, at a time when the US itself was dealing with isolationist factions with Nazi ties, drew a chillingly similar reaction to today’s story:

Captain America famously debuted with his punching Hitler a year before the United States entered the war. And while the comic sold nearly one million copies and most responded favorably to it, some objected. It was provocative. In Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed,

Simon is quoted as saying:
When the first issue came out we got a lot of … threatening letters and hate mail. Some people really opposed what Cap stood for.

History has repeated itself in an even more recent times. In 2010, a lettering shortcut led to the portrayal of an actual Tea Party banner in a Captain America story written by Ed Brubaker. The panel drew fire from right wing websites and Brubaker received so many death threats he was forced to take down his public email. Marvel writers were subsequently forbidden from discussing any kind of politics publicly.

As someone who comes from a mixed family of Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics and Buddhists, I’m certainly aware that antisemitism is a real and current thing, and that 11 million people died in the Holocaust when the most civilized nation on earth designed the most efficient way possible to burn people in ovens. But I’m not convinced that this Steve Rogers story is advocating that, or that a story that deals with the current iteration of Hydra is negating the ideals of Cap’s creation. If anything, the above story from 1979 that shows cap with an actual Swastika shows that this idea is not new.

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Or how about this actual panel drawn by Jack Kirby that shows Cap saluting Hitler. A real person who killed 11 million people. Not a fictional hate group. Of course mind control was to blame..and we didn’t have Twitter. (Both images courtesy of Justin Jordan.)

No matter what the precedents, this is all certainly a publicity stunt to get people to think about all the above, however, and cynicism at that is a natural reaction. Teaberry Blue, who works in the comics industry has a long tumblr piece that pretty much deals with all my reactions and finds the toxic hand of while male privilege behind it:

4) One of the biggest problems I see is that while the comic itself says a lot of really interesting things about recruitment to hate groups, and Nick Spencer has actually been quite eloquent on this point in his interviews (it’s by far the best part of most of his interviews), they are still being presented from a very privileged perspective. There is an attitude inherent, also in the interviews, that speaks to that privileged perspective of someone who has the luxury of not expecting people to be hateful.  There’s quite a bit of dialogue about being surprised at finding out that otherwise good people are white supremacists. It feels a lot like, for Brevoort and Spencer, they want to talk about the horror of finding out their friends on Facebook are Trump supporters, but don’t realize that for the vast majority of us, we can’t live in a world where we are blissfully unaware of hatred until someone is really overt about it.  They seem to think they’re telling their audiences something new with this message, without realizing how it comes across to people who DO deal with hatred steeped in identity politics.

5) Yes, there have been other stories where Steve has been evil.  There’ve been other stories where he’s been a Nazi/Hydra agent.  On one hand, it’s important to acknowledge that this isn’t exactly new, but on the other, the particular fanfare around this event is pretty distasteful. And those were not attempted at a time when racial hatred were already at a recent high, specificlly in the context of addressing that heightened racial hatred. There are people in the US dealing with real repercussions of real hate groups right now, and who very validly are having an emotional and visceral reaction to this.  They have a right to. It’s great when privileged people who recognize a problem want to use their platform to educate other privileged people, but they need to think about how that deeply affects the disprivileged people who are also part of their audience and who cannot escape those things in reality. Again, presentation is key.

While this is an important notion to consider, Spencer’s statements seem to indicate that he’s at least aware of current events and the “real repercussions of real hate groups right now.” As a cynical viewer of comics history, I confess, I didn’t see this as anything but the latest shocking!!! story line. Cap has been appeared to be evil before and he’ll appear to be evil again. And then he’ll be the good guy we all love in between. Conflict is the basis of all storytelling. I’m guessing Spencer and Brevoort saw it as the same thing, and weren’t aware how deep and wide current comics fandom’s focus on the politics of identity runs.

At the same time, when advocates of inclusion are adopting the same tactics as the Tea Party, maybe it’s time to step back and think a little. Did Marvel do something dumb? Maybe. Until the entire idea is explored in more than a single shocking!!! panel, I’m not going to judge it.

On a larger level, Marvel is totally winning! They’re getting the kind of publicity and attention that a million dollars can’t buy. They won. Hate and Hydra beat hope and optimism yet again. I’ve expressed this opinion in the past and been told I’m trying to “silence voices.” I’m certainly not. You can be as upset, outraged or offended as you want and the quality of the think pieces written about this is already impressive. But I also have the right to express my opinion and to find fault with the actual, as opposed to ideal, outcome. Or at least, I think I do.

And by trend reports, outrage over Marvel has totally beaten DC’s turn to hope love and optimism. So the one tangible result of all of this will be that Marvel and DC go right back to hate, shock and pain. You voted with your attention and hate won.

My suggestion? Boycott Marvel AND DC and go read Love and Rockets instead. You’ll be glad.

Comments

  1. MBunge says

    “Cap has been evil before and he’ll be evil again.”

    Captain American has not been evil before. He’s been brainwashed, manipulated, impersonated and mistaken. He’s never been evil. Or least he never was when I was reading Marvel Comics, which admittedly stopped back in the early to mid 2000s. So I guess I can’t speak to much after that or about any continuity changes made that would explain how, for example, Hydra would even have been a thing in 1930s/40s America since it was actually created by Baron Strucker in World War II-era Japan.

    And for anyone who doesn’t think this whole thing is stupid and lame, what do you think the reaction would be if “The Walking Dead” came out with an episode this fall where they revealed that Rick Grimes has secretly been the scientist responsible for the zombie plague all along?

    If anything can happen, then nothing that happens can mean anything.

    Mike

  2. WW2HistoryGal says

    Totally agree with MIke’s comment (above)..

    As a writer, I like to think that if I were given the awesome privilege of writing a story for a character who has been around for 70+ years or more, I wouldn’t take the opportunity to totally screw up who he is and what he’s about. That is what bothers me the most. They sacrificed Cap’s character and his legacy for the sake of a stupid story that will “get people talking!” and supposedly make them money.

  3. Zer0n_Huggins says

    “If anything can happen, then nothing that happens can mean anything.”

    Nobody tell him about the magic time travel bullets.

  4. zach says

    Holy fuck, there is no sacrificing of legacy. It’s obviously going to be a fakeout. Have you brain donors read a comic before?

  5. George says

    It’s ridiculous for people to get angry over what is obviously a gimmick designed to get media attention and (hopefully) beef up sales. Didn’t we learn from the “death of Superman” (and later the “death of Captain America”) not to take these “shocking” twists seriously?

    Mike said: “Captain American has not been evil before. He’s been brainwashed, manipulated, impersonated and mistaken. He’s never been evil. Or least he never was when I was reading Marvel Comics, which admittedly stopped back in the early to mid 2000s.”

    Mike is utterly correct. Cap was brainwashed in that Lee-Kirby story where he salutes Hitler. I stopped reading Captain America in 1996 (after Rob Liefeld’s first issue), so I can’t speak to the last 20 years of Cap. But the character was never evil when I was reading the book.

  6. Kate Willaert says

    “There’ve been other stories where he’s been a Nazi/Hydra agent … those were not attempted at a time when racial hatred were already at a recent high, specificlly in the context of addressing that heightened racial hatred.”

    Kirby’s Cap-as-Nazi story was drawn in 1965, in the middle of the Civil Rights movement, when racial hatred was at a much greater high than it is now, with much greater repercussion than there are now.

    I’m not saying people shouldn’t be outraged by that recent panel if they want to be outraged, but why aren’t they equally (or more!) outraged by the Kirby panel? At that point the Holocaust was only slightly further in the past than 9/11 is to us now.

  7. says

    Heidi, I love this piece! You framed the discussion around this story so well.

    In the 15ish years I’ve been a comic book internet human, I don’t remember seeing people incensed about a comic book while invoking so much… I dunno, ethical high ground? It’s a bit surreal. Fun to see people argue it, though!

    I really love how Marvel’s marketing bit them on the ass this time. But it’s also one of those any press = good press sorta things, I guess.

    Still, it’s been a while since they had this kind of backlash! Probably since the Jemas days, right? Or maybe Joe Q’s Spider-Divorce was like this too and I’m not remembering it well.

  8. says

    “You voted with your attention and hate won.”

    For what it is worth (little?) we sold roughly 4x the copies of REBIRTH on Wednesday than we did of the new CAPTAIN AMERICA, so I’m not sure that this is an accurate hot take.

    -B

  9. SMill says

    ^^^

    I think the writer forgets that Captain America just had a worldwide blockbuster success in the cinemas, and people know him from not just the comic books – who have also been joining in this discussion. Of course it will seem like it’s more popular, when Rebirth only really effects long time DC fans.

    I think what everyone else is forgetting is that the issue you’re all talking about with the Hitler salute panel, is in tales #67. The cover for that story SETS UP the premise, doesn’t leave it till the end, and the cliffhanger, so to speak, is not on the topic of HOW this could be the case, because it is completely explained within the pages of the book, but how Bucky is going to rescue Cap. A completely different problem. No one tricked anyone, in fact the COVER was the selling point – when covers were used to tease the inside of a book, not just look pretty.

  10. Doc says

    I don’t buy DC’s love and optimism because I feel that their efforts are empty and hollow. It’s a show, and it’s a show that they aren’t even very earnest about.

    I also don’t buy Marvel’s kayfabe in telling us “Yeah, Cap’s evil, always was,” but I don’t know why kayfabe is necessary at all.

  11. Skottie says

    “Captain American has not been evil before. He’s been brainwashed, manipulated, impersonated and mistaken. He’s never been evil.”

    He’s a fictional character, He’s not real. Who the fuck cares, he can be anything.

  12. Cory!! Strode says

    I started watching Star Wars, and this Darth Vader guys defeated the rebels and and took Princess Leia prisoner all in the first ten minute. Screw it. This Locas guy wants evil to win and I refuse to watch the rest of these movies, books and comics because the bad guys win.

  13. Gurkle2 says

    The response on some corners of Twitter has really been unseemly, not just the death threats, but people who know it’s a fake-out and are pretending to be angry anyway, because anything that is even hypothetically racist must be racist.

    It’s the logical outcome of the idea that racism is whatever people say it is, and that you can’t question the pain of people who claim to feel pain on behalf of “marginalized” groups (to which they may not belong). When someone says “this hurts me as a black person/Jewish person/LGBT person,” the correct response is often “then don’t buy it, but your subjective feelings don’t make this racist.” The story is a fake-out, Cap is not a Nazi, HYDRA is not the Nazis and even if all of those things were true, it would not be insulting to Cap’s Jewish creators, and the people who claim otherwise are mostly being disingenuous.

    It’s like the white people on Comics Alliance and the like pretending to be upset that New 52 Wally West is being dumped for the white Wally West. Stop pretending you know what “representation” constitutes and take a poll or something. Like the poll that discovered 90% of Native Americans don’t mind the name of Washington’s football team.

  14. OldWarhorse says

    Actually, I’m voting with my wallet, Marvel won’t receive a penny of my money in support of any of their endeavors. I refuse to support what Marvel is doing for a buck the same as I refuse to patronize any project with which Roman Polanski is involved. Spend your money as you wish and lap up their vomitous sewage all you like, I’ll pass.

  15. Dan Abend says

    Kate,

    When my dog pisses on my rug, I smack him on the nose then and there. It doesn’t have as much of an effect if I do it 50 years later. The time to be angry at Marvel and Kirby for what happened in a comic in 1965 was in 1965. You know full well that comics and their content and pop culture in its entirety are taken much more seriously today than in 1965 and looked at much differently today by readers then it was 50 years ago. I’m sure that, out of all the comics ever printed in the history of comics, there is a lot of racist content to be angry about. When you find them all and post pictures of the offending panels on twitter, then yes, I will be upset at that too. That is a ridiculous diversionary argument made in some lame attempt to assign hypocrisy to people offended by what they saw in that Cap comic on Wednesday.

    As for being drawn by Kirby, so what? If a Jewish artist drew a comic about how awesome Hitler was, it wouldn’t necessarily follow that all Jews were totally cool with Hitler or said artist. That’s also a ridiculous, diversionary straw man argument. We’re talking about what’s going on now and we’re talking about it in a very different world than the one Kirby grew up in. More people have a voice via social platforms that didn’t exist in 1965. Most people who are angry about CapHydra weren’t even born in 1965 or just started reading comics in the last 10 or 20 years. I can be offended by the way the Japanese were drawn on comic covers created in 1940. But chances are I’d be much angrier if someone burned a cross in my front yard in 2016. Get it? There are levels, degrees. And the fact that this needs to be explained is like….JFC. Talk about privilege.

  16. Brian says

    The thing I’m mad at is that it’s just stupid and ruins the character. This, according to Marvel, means Cap has ALWAYS been with Hydra, making his earlier inspirational, America-loving stories a lie. It’s a major retcon that hurts the future of the character. this will take years to undo, if ever. I can’t read Spider-man because of the mess they put him through by retconning everything, now they’re doing it to Cap. For some reason, this goes further than other gimmicky stories because it shits on earlier work by better writers. And the weird post about this being about white privileged is just asinine and I would’ve expected better from The Beat. That’s a blatant ad hominem attack against people who just think this is shitty writing of a beloved character.

  17. says

    Dan: Wait a fershlugginer minute.

    YOu;re saying the context of the times forgives the previous stories where Cap was shown in a far more objectively offensive situation? Those of us who are waiting to be offended by the actual content of the Cap is Hydra storyline keep being told that the context doesn’t matter, it’s innately offensive to even suggest that Cap is a member of a hate group.

    I don’t get why context matters some of the time but not others.

  18. Thomas Roche says

    11 million is a very low body count to attribute to Hitler. For the Holocaust alone, that’s on the very low side of the documented toll. It doesn’t count any of the combat or civilian WWII deaths. Some studies of the Holocaust place those deaths alone at 20 million. Just being pedantic.

  19. Roto13 says

    I like how suddenly, after 50 years, Hydra is taboo because Nazis. People really do like to get mad about nothing.

    Unless they actually are stupid enough to think a cliffhanger at the end of the first chapter of a larger story means Captain America is being retconned into having been a Nazi for the past 75 years. Which I’m sure many of them are.

  20. MBunge says

    “He’s a fictional character, He’s not real. Who the fuck cares, he can be anything.”

    This reaction, which isn’t uncommon in these situations, always puzzles me.

    It seems like there are only two ways to read and enjoy fiction. You either get emotionally invested in the characters and situations and react to them as though they were real, much like people ride roller coasters for the thrill even though they’re actually safer riding the ride than they were driving to the amusement park. The other way is to intellectually admire the skill and design at work in the story. But while that may be appropriate for “Moby Dick” or “Infinite Jest,” it seems a bizarre reason to read a Captain America comic.

    Most comics, especially most of the books from Marvel and DC, are mediocre to outright terrible when judged on literary standards. If you think these things are actually that well-written, you need to get out more.

    Mike

  21. MBunge says

    “Unless they actually are stupid enough to think a cliffhanger at the end of the first chapter of a larger story means Captain America is being retconned into having been a Nazi for the past 75 years.”

    Speaking of stupid, you might want to work on your reading comprehension skills.

    MARVEL IS TELLING US THAT RECON IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

    Now, will they go back and retcon this retcon? Do they already have plans to do that? Sure. But Marvel lying to readers to try and manipulate them is a different subject from whether “Captain America has always been a secret Hydra agent” is stupid writing and offensive/insulting to fans of the character.

  22. Gurkle2 says

    “But Marvel lying to readers to try and manipulate them is a different subject from whether ‘Captain America has always been a secret Hydra agent’ is stupid writing and offensive/insulting to fans of the character.”

    If someone actually thinks Cap is now a Nazi, and feels bad about it, that’s fine. Their hurt is not a good reason not to do the comic, but they shouldn’t keep buying it if it makes them feel bad.

    What is irresponsible and offensive is people who know it’s not true, who know that it’s just a fake-out, and are angry on behalf of hypothetical other people who might not know it. It’s very much like the reviewers who say that they know a trope is OK in context, and then declare that it shouldn’t be used if it might hypothetically offend anyone, anywhere.

    If you don’t think Captain America is actually being revealed as a secret Nazi, then don’t react as if you did.

  23. George says

    Kate W. said: “Kirby’s Cap-as-Nazi story was drawn in 1965, in the middle of the Civil Rights movement, when racial hatred was at a much greater high than it is now …”

    I don’t know about that, Kate. Guess who might be our next president?

    As the Washington Post commented, Donald Trump’s ‘public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision.”

    And millions of Americans love it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-is-how-fascism-comes-to-america/2016/05/17/c4e32c58-1c47-11e6-8c7b-6931e66333e7_story.html

  24. MBunge says

    “If you don’t think Captain America is actually being revealed as a secret Nazi, then don’t react as if you did.”

    Again, Marvel is specifically telling us that Captain American is being revealed as a secret Nazi. People are allowed to be upset with that if they think it’s stupid or offensive. If doesn’t matter that they should know it will never last. Part of what makes them upset is that they know it won’t last because it’s just Marvel screwing around with a character they love, with full knowledge they’ll just retcon it away whenever they want.

    And by the way…people are generally allowed to get upset about anything they want.

    Mike

  25. George says

    Mike, the thought of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States upsets me. I can’t feel much emotion over Marvel’s cynical publicity stunt — the latest in a long, long line. We know this will be retconned somehow, so no need to get upset.

    At this point, I’m only interested in Cap (and most other superheroes) as movie and TV characters. These have become the “official” versions, whether or not fans want to acknowledge it. I pay less attention to the comic-book versions with each passing year. Glad they’re still out there and someone wants to read them. But I’m not that audience anymore.

  26. MBunge says

    “At this point, I’m only interested in Cap (and most other superheroes) as movie and TV characters”

    And that’s fine for you but people are allowed to care about different things.

    Mike

  27. MBunge says

    Okay, let’s review.

    “This is not a clone, not an imposter, not mind control, not someone else acting through Steve. This really is Steve Rogers, Captain America himself.”

    That’s from an article from this very website.

    Moreover, if some outside force is making Cap act this way THEN WHAT IS THE POINT OF THE WHOLE STORY? If this isn’t really Cap, then doesn’t that just make it repetitve and derivative in addition to stupid, lame and offensive.

    Here’s my guess. We’re going to be told that Cap has always had these intolerant, xenophobic views but will eventually become disgusted with how his milder prejudices led to the even more vile bigotry of modern Hydra, leading to him renounce those views and rediscover the virtues of tolerance that make America great. And then we will all be expected to just forget about it, like we’re all supposed to have just forgotten about who was responsible for killing Giant-Man in Civil War.

    Mike

  28. MBunge says

    I use words like “allowed” because they perfectly fit this situation.

    If I or anyone else doesn’t like the latest issue of Captain America, what the bleep difference is it to you? Why the bleep do you need to argue that not only should we not dislike it, but that we literally shouldn’t care about ANYTHING that happens in Captain America or any other comic?

    Your stated position makes no sense except as a expression of arrogant condescension toward those who have a different reaction. It’s not even like you are arguing in favor of “Cap has always been a secret Hydra agent” as a good idea. You just want to look down your nose at people who have an emotional attachment you don’t share. Why don’t you go to an Oklahoma City Thunder blog and tell those people they shouldn’t be upset their team lost Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals? It’s just a stupid game about putting a ball in a hoop that has no real meaning except what we arbitrarily assign to it.

    Who is really being unreasonable here? The people who love Captain Anerica and feel something terrible is being done to the character? Or the people who apparently don’t give a bleep about about Captain Anerica but want to troll those who do?

    Mike

  29. Oliver_C says

    “Boycott Marvel AND DC and go read Love and Rockets instead.”

    Boycott Marvel and DC, period.

    No shortage of other comics out there; hundreds of titles from dozens of countries.

    And if your friends don’t like the fact that you’re no longer buying every variant cover edition of THE AWE-INSPIRING ULTR-X-VENGERS or whatever, then get some new friends.

  30. Zach says

    @Briany – clearly means that comic storylines are temporary and that if you don’t like what a current writer is doing, wait 4 minutes and someone else will probably be doing something else.

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  32. Russ Maheras says

    I haven’t bought the issue in question, and will not support this story arc. This is another “New Coke” version Cap — a formula change that, as pointed out, Marvel has tried ramming down our throats several times before. I like the old Kirby formula, and that’s the only brand version I will support.

  33. George says

    Reading the comments here, from people I presume are adults (i.e., over 18) throwing hysterical tantrums over a FICTIONAL character in a FICTIONAL story, makes me think they need to spend more time in the real world. Especially you, MBunge.

    And it reminds me this great article: “Fandom is broken.”

    http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/30/fandom-is-broken

  34. Andrew says

    “While most readers seem to know that comics storys are transitive things (and Steve Rogers has worked for Hydra before!) but the outcry this time surrounds the publicity blitz, which was designed to make people buy the comics, as Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort states more than once.”

    It’s almost like we should care about something other than money!

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