You’ve probably read about the new comic book issue of Captain America where he is revealed to a double agent for Hydra.
I will admit, the moment I read the news I got pretty riled up. I do not read the comics myself, but I have done a lot of research into certain character’s backgrounds, Cap’s being one of them. There is just so much material to work with. But I am a huge movie fan and Captain America is my favorite superhero. Hearing that his good name was being defamed in a comic book, even as he continues to be a hero on-screen just hurt my fangirl heart. Thousands of others feel the same way, if the explosion of outrage is any indication. It has honestly gotten out of hand with people making extreme threats and saying horrible things. Let me just take a minute here to say this. It’s very hypocritical to express love for a character who stands for goodness, justice, and freedom, only to later spew toxic waste out of your mouth towards someone for doing something you don’t like regarding that character. Guys, this is JUST a fictional story, these are FICTIONAL characters, and the individuals you are threatening are REAL people who have value and dignity. Let’s always keep that at the forefront of our minds when expressing our displeasure over something.
That being said, I was truly upset by this. We get very attached to our heroes, even if they are just fictional ones. And Captain America is like the pinnacle of a heroic good guy, and he has been that for 75 years.
But after my emotions had time to cool, and I spent a little bit more time in thought about this idea. It makes absolutely no sense for Marvel to turn their golden boy into a villain given the extreme success he has had both in print and on the screen. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that this is an incredibly effective (and incredibly aggravating) play on Marvel’s part to stir up a controversial media storm. In time, this plot twist will be explained and Captain America’s good character shall be restored. And here are 5 reasons why.
(1) Captain America is a pillar in American History. A recent documentary put out by Marvel celebrating 75 years of Captain America is incredibly eye-opening into just how intertwined the Star Spangled Man is with our real, life American history. Since the 1940s when Cap made his debut punching Adolf Hitler in the face, Captain America has had a response to the current events different generations of Americans have been facing. In every decade, Captain America has represented freedom, justice, and a moral compass that is both inspiring and comforting. He as a character has been a thread that tied multiple generations and events in history together.
(2) Captain America was created by two Jewish men, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. These two men created a character who stood in the face of Nazi injustice. He never gave up, never gave in, and always stood up to defend those who could not defend themselves. To make the character of Steve Rogers a Nazi now would be grossly inappropriate and fly in the face of what those two men created. Even though I believe this plot twist to be a way to stir up controversy and gain some media attention, I find it incredibly cheap and highly inappropriate. It is glaringly disrespectful to the two men (both of whom were in the service during WWII) and the legacy that they left behind. For shame!
(3) Captain America is one of the most popular superheroes of all time. While we enjoy Tony Stark’s snark, the off-the-wall randomness of Peter Quill, or feel giddy when we watch Hawkeye hit yet another bullseye, there is just no one like Captain America. Even if he is not your personal favorite like he is mine, he represents a stabilizing force that makes you feel secure and gives you someone to believe in. He’s loyal, reliable, consistent, and reminds you that there are still good people in this world who are willing to stand up for what is right. Sure, he’s fictional. But the magnificent thing about fictional characters is that they serve to highlight and accent truths about people in reality. Captain America represents the best part of who we are as Americans, is they said in the documentary, that is all he was intended to be.
(4) It would break America’s heart. If the huge amount of backlash is any indication, it already has. I have yet to read one positive reaction to this Hydra development. Even Chris Evans, the guy who has played Captain America for the last several years and really become this icon has responded with shock.
We live in a world where we often see our heroes fall. Sports celebrities, politicians, actors, prominent pastors and speakers, any one on a pedestal. It is easy to see how many people have become cynical and jaded at the thought that there is anyone who isn’t hiding some dark secret in their closet. But the truth is that not everyone has skeletons in their closet. We aren’t all about to reveal our dark side. Captain America is a good guy, a hero worth looking at and emulating. Our people, especially our younger people NEED good heroes and role models to look to. This is what Cap has been for 75 years, changing that now would be wrong.
(5) We are celebrating 75 years of Captain America. People, I bought a shirt to commemorate this. An amazing documentary was released celebrating and recounting 75 years of Cap history. The third solo Cap film, Captain America: Civil War is still kicking-rear in the box office and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Marvel isn’t so stupid as to forget all of that by ruining who Cap is.
I really and truly believe that this entire thing is a play on Marvel’s part to stir up controversy and gain attention. I think it is cheap, but I have to say, it has worked amazingly. If anyone had doubts about the loyalty of Captain America’s fanbase, those doubts are wiped out by now. This article that I have written and the thousands of other responses like it are just proof that you can’t take a good character down.
As to the comic itself, let’s just see what explanation they have for Cap’s supposed affiliation to Hydra. Meanwhile, I will continue to wear my Captain America 75 Years shirt proudly and enjoy this fictional hero that gives me hope.