Captain America writer Nick Spencer has started writing a brand new series for Marvel Comics with Steve Rogers back as Captain America. What Spencer might not have expected was to get death threats for a cliffhanger at the end of the very first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers. Bleeding Cool reported that fans started sending Nick death threats on social media because of how the writer ended that first issue.
Luckily, Spencer is taking it in stride. The Captain America writer responded to the massive amount of tweets coming his way with one response. There are spoilers in the rest of this article for those who have not read Nick’s most recent issue.
I can't respond to 9000 tweets per second, but if I could, I would say I admire your passion— Nick Spencer (@nickspencer) May 25, 2016
The problem with the twist at the end of the issue was that Spencer had Captain America take his own sidekick Jack Flag and throw him from the airplane, seemingly committing cold blooded murder. Captain America then turned to the captured Doctor Selvig and shockingly says the words “Hail Hydra.”
Now, with all the panic that came from fans, including death threats on Twitter aimed at Nick Spencer, no one seems to understand that this is one issue in a series and the cliffhanger twist took up a total of five panels in the entire comic book. There is very little chance that Captain America is Hydra, and while fans of comics are often a little jumpy when something happens, major news organizations are jumping to conclusions as well over the start to Spencer’s story.
No less than CNN chimed in by claiming that Nick’s cliffhanger means that Captain America has always lived a lie and was always a Hydra agent and a bad guy. They assumed that Captain America has always been a Hydra agent, and this new series by Spencer proves it.
The problem here is that this Captain America writer has a lot of issues to tell his story and everyone is getting angry with just one issue and one part to a larger overall story. Even Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort stepped up to defend the Nick Spencer story in a quote to CNN.
“This is really just the tip of the iceberg in a larger story. The most basic reason for doing this is to see if you’re paying attention and make readers long for the next issue.”
That is the purpose of a well-written cliffhanger. Fans were not happy with Spencer’s cliffhanger and do not seem interested in waiting to see where Nick’s story leads them, instead allowing the cliffhanger ending to send them over the edge.
Fans told the Captain America writer to “die,” to “kill yourself,” and called Spencer’s decision in the story to be “repulsive.” Many people have also decried this as a “gimmick” instead of the beginning to a story that might share the same political intrigue that Nick Spencer’s own Captain America: Sam Wilson plays out so well.
Interestingly, this comes at the same time that a new hashtag started before the issue was released. That hashtag was #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and had people debating if making Captain America gay would work or would turn people away.
The new decision by Captain America writer Nick Spencer was to have Captain America do something that looked despicable and then appear to be a Hydra agent. Honestly, either situation would have caused death threats – one, because people might disagree with a gay Captain America and two, because people hated a twist that is likely going to lead to something completely different than what people are fearing.
Captain America writer Nick Spencer has many, many years of Captain America adventures to fall back on. For much of the last century, stories have been written about Captain America fighting Hydra agents, and Spencer is a writer who has proven to be a quality storyteller in other comic issues. Surely, all the history of Captain America should give this writer some leeway to tell his story.
Instead, Nick Spencer received only anger from fans. Sometimes it is impossible to make comic book fans happy, and the new Captain America writer is learning that firsthand thanks to a slew of death threats coming his way.
[Image via Disney]