Captain America was first debuted as a Hitler-punching, epic war hero in a comic book written by two Jewish men named Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. The alias of Steve Rogers, Captain America, was pumped with a super serum to become the human embodiment of the United States of America. With the mind of a man with tolerance and justice as his goal and the body of the perfectly ripened warrior, Captain America soon became an icon in the U.S. The comic came out in 1941, right when everyone in the United States was worried about going to war with Germany and other Axis powers. The creators used Captain America as war propaganda, and soon, Captain America became the most popular soldier during World War 2.
So, 75 years after this man of justice and bravery was first introduced, why does it make sense to turn him into a Nazi? Nick Spencer, the writer of the comics who made this whole thing happen, has a lot to say about that. In an interview with Daily Beast writer Melissa Leon, Spencer explained, “Look, everybody who’s working on this story loves Captain America. I know that it may not seem like it today. But this book (the comic book in question) is edited by Tom Brevoort, who has been protecting this character’s legacy for a very long time now. He’s not gonna let me do anything that he thinks is going to endanger that character’s legacy and how the character is perceived… It’s always tough… Our job is often to put the characters through things and that can often be mistaken for a lack of respect or care for the character.” This logic is exactly the problem with Marvel at the moment. Marvel heavily relies on shock value for sales, despite literally everyone else absolutely despising it. The disgust with this new plot twist has lead to the hashtag #SayNoToHYDRACap. It might not seem like much, but fans from all over the world are using this hashtag for their public outcry. Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, and Twitter are all sites that fans have been vehemently using to discuss and protest the big reveal.
Many people have even sought out Nick Spencer specifically to complain to. Spencer said that this is what he hoped for when the book was released, also saying that he loved the energy of all the people reaching out to him. It doesn’t make much sense why a guy would like to be disliked so much or receive so many death threats, but… Okay? He himself said that he was the most hated man in America, “and Donald Trump is running for president!”
Fans are hoping that this will be like other shocks in the comics where the problem is explained and dismantled after an issue of a story arc passes over the course of a few months. However, both Nick Spencer and editor Tom Brevoort have dismissed these hopes by going on the record to say that evil, Nazi-sympathizer Captain America is here to stay. “This is something that is gonna have a profound effect on the Marvel universe. I’ve seen a lot of people say things like, ‘Oh, it’ll be wrapped up in the arc,’ or ‘Give it six months.’ And I can tell you, that’s not the case. This has real lasting repercussions that are gonna be with us for a while,” says Spencer.
When discussing a major character death in the Civil War 2 comics, Brian Bendis, the writer, broke down the marketing hook that they’ll use for their own comic. “A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy. This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime.” When asked what damage would be done, both with the previously stated “future events” and the turmoil that would personally devastate the Marvel team, Bendis replied with, “It has to fall somewhere between Hitler and self-defense.” Considering that there’s now a white supremacist in the Avengers, I think it’ll be closer to Hitler.
If the Captain America movies will follow the canonical Hydra reveal, Civil War would have been child’s play. Prepare for an honest to goodness World War 3. Thank you, Nick Spencer. Everything would’ve been much better if you had just given Cap. a boyfriend.
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