Is Captain America a traitor? Comic book fans are furious at Marvel for the revelation in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 that Captain America, is and always has been, a deep-cover mole for Hydra. The website PopSugar put it mildly when they announced that reactions “were extremely unfavorable.”
“For 75 years, the Marvel comic universe has held up Steve Rogers, aka the first Captain America, as a paragon of American values and virtues. Through all of the character’s many iterations and comic book runs, that has always held true: Steve Rogers is a good person who stands up for what is right and sacrifices where he needs to. He is, simply put, a hero — perhaps the image of a hero everyone recognizes.”
When Marvel decided to retcon that and throw Captain America’s history out the window, fans were more than displeased; they achieved Hulk-like levels of anger. As the Inquisitr reported earlier, comic book writer Nick Spencer has received death threats and Chris Evans, the actor who portrays Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was gravely disappointed in the decision.
Writer Nick Spencer told Entertainment Weekly that this was not a dream story, nor a parallel universe.
“One thing we can say unequivocally is: 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.”
Marvel’s Captain America has always fought for truth, justice, and the American way, just like DC’s Superman. He has always been a hero, always been an inherently good and decent man. When fans heard that Captain America was being retconned into a Hydra sleeper agent, most refused to accept it. Twitter was filled with hashtags of #NotMyCap and #SayNoToHYDRACap. Facebook was filled with angry, and occasionally obscene, memes and comments.
— Sebastiene Elston (@SebastieneE) May 26, 2016
#SayNoToHYDRACap because completely erasing a beloved character's 75 year legacy for "shock value" is not edgy, it's just bad writing.
— Lucia Camille (@luliebee) May 25, 2016
— Rick E (@Blanka1212) May 25, 2016
#SayNoToHYDRACap bc giving him a boyfriend would ruin 75 years worth of characterization but turning him into a nazi is totally fine
— ely (@kenobuckyy) May 25, 2016
Steve is a symbol, an icon, he gives everyone hope. Turning him into a villain destroys that hope. #SayNoToHYDRACap
— Devin (@nataliaromnovaa) May 25, 2016
— The 13th Dimension (@13th_Dimension) May 28, 2016
Comic book fandom never has been, and never will be, unanimous. Some fans liked the story. Comic book writer Marv Wolfman, best known for Teen Titans and Tomb of Dracula, said Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 “did its job. It got someone to look at it.”
Some people, especially those who don’t read comic books, wonder what all the fuss is about. Captain America is a fictional character. He’s not real.
Some comic book fans point out that this is bound to be a temporary story line — Captain America replaced by a shapeshifting Skrull, or a triple cross to bring Hydra down from within, or all just a dream, like Bobby Ewing in the shower on Dallas. Those people are ignoring the historical background of Captain America.
The website Panels pointed out the anti-Semitic element in all this. Captain America was created in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, both Jewish. Captain America fought Hitler and the Axis before the United States joined WWII. Captain America fought the fictional Hydra. Panels accused editor Tom Brevoort and writer Nick Spencer of “downplaying genocide” by making Captain America a member of the evil organization he’s fought so long.
“I know it’s clickbait disguised as storytelling. I am not angry because omg how dare you ruin Steve Rogers forever. I am angry because how dare you use eleven million deaths as clickbait…. I am angry because the very real pain of the Jewish community has been dismissed since this news leaked on Tuesday night as ‘Twitter outrage.'”
Captain America’s most famous speech was in Amazing Spider-Man #537, written by J. Michael Straczynski.
“Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — ‘No, you move.'”
Hundreds of thousands of Captain America fans refuse to accept the notion that Captain America is a traitor to the United States. They’ve taken to Twitter and Facebook to tell Marvel, “no, you move.”
[Image via Marvel Studios]