Captain America had quite the busy week.
Between the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend hashtag that made its rounds across the internet, the Civil War movie that continues to explode at the box office, and the shocking reveal that Steve Rogers has secretly been a Hydra agent this entire time in the comics, Captain America is on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days.
That includes the face of Marvel himself, Stan Lee, who was asked his thoughts on Hydra Captain America at a recent comic convention, according to Comic Book Resources.
“It’s a helluva clever idea,” the 93-year-old creator said during a panel discussion at Florida’s MegaCon last week. He then elaborated on his thoughts of the idea that he simultaneously called “crazy” and “good” in the same breath.
“I don’t know that I would ever have thought of it, for him to be a double agent. But it’s going to make you curious, it’s going to make you want to read the books… they’ll probably do a movie based on it, so I can’t fault it. It’s a good idea.”
And with that simple statement, Stan Lee hit the nail on the proverbial head. The move got people talking about the comics and becomes fertile breeding ground for potential feature films.
When asked straight up by Time Magazine, however, Captain America editor Tom Breevort refused to label the move a gimmick meant to draw in readers simply through its shock value.
“To say it’s a gimmick implies that it’s done heedlessly just to shock. The proof is always going to be in the execution.”
In fact, Breevort mentioned in a separate interview with Newsarama how surprised he was at the level of vitriol being directed toward writer Nick Spencer.
“This situation surprises me – and it really shouldn’t because I’ve lived through this sort of thing with Captain America at least twice before. We’re on the anniversary of Civil War. This is what it was like when we had Captain America killed at the end of Civil War. It’s just in 2006, the internet wasn’t quite the presence it is now. Even then, while it was a factor, it wasn’t what it is today.”
Breevort also commented on the assumption that the story is both politically charged and anti-Semitic in nature because of Hydra’s association with being the Nazis of the Marvel Universe.
“The reporting on this, and the sort of game of telephone on the internet about this went from it being ‘Captain America is Hydra,’ to ‘Captain America is a Nazi’ – which is already a leap – to ‘This is anti-Semitism,’ which is ridiculous, in that, if you look at the comic book that we put out, there is nothing in it that, in any way, shape, or form, is even slightly anti-Semitic. But because people were able to go ‘Hydra = Nazi, and Nazi = anti-Semitism,’ that’s what reactions became about.”
In fact, things had escalated in the days following to the point where Spencer himself started receiving death threats via Twitter, as reported by Bleeding Cool.
.@nickspencer die rat die rat die rat die rat die rat die rat die rat die rat die rat die rat die rat,
— Xeno (@Iapinoir) May 25, 2016
Ultimately, Spencer assured everyone that the groundwork for the plot twist was laid by the previous writers who came before him, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
“Rick Remender, who was the previous writer on Captain America, had been building towards this story of Hydra having infiltrated various institutions of government and various super teams,” Spencer told EW.
“So I started asking, who’s the worst person it could possibly be? It was really obvious straight away that there’s nobody who could do more damage and nobody that could be a more valuable Hydra plant than Steve Rogers.”
And no other plot twist could cause such an uproar than Captain America switching sides. Even Cap himself, Chris Evans, couldn’t help but chime in too.
What do you think? Is the Captain America: Agent of Hydra all shock value? Or is there some substance to it?
[Image via The Daily Beast]