Thursday, May 26, 2016

Captain America is a Nazi?

Alright, now see, this is the problem with doing a month-long celebration when you try to cover a wide spectrum of things: stupid shit happens and people want me to sound off about it. So, we're talking about this. First up, in case you're new to the party, I'm a comic book fan and I will readily admit that Captain America is a particular favourite of mine. He's this character who stands for the literal best in humanity. He stands for an ideal, not a governing body or some bureaucratic mandate. He is, and pretty much always has been, the hero for the people who need a hero. Even without being wrapped in a flag, that has never changed.

Like when this happened.

He was a character created two brave young comic creators as a message about what they thought of the Nazi regime. Two young Jewish comic creators invented a superhero to go punch Hitler in his stupid mustache before the Unite States of America even entered into the fray. Think about that. Captain America is a very important comic character who means a lot to people. He's been through a whole heap of shit over the many decades since his creation, but he always kept to the core of who he is as a character.

Bad alternate reality versions written by overrated fuckstains, notwithstanding.
So, that brings us to the problem at hand, a new comic series is which it is revealed that Captain America...Steve Rogers..is and has always been a member of Hydra. Now, Hydra is one of those longstanding go-to criminal organizations that Marvel uses at length because it offers perfect cannon fodder for heroes to beat on. Also, they were formed by Nazi and often have many Nazis in their ranks. According to Nick Spencer's story, Steve was indoctrinated at childhood, which is when they still had strong Nazi ties, meaning that he and his mother were both Nazis. Nick Spencer has retroactively turned an idealistic hero created to fight Nazism and inspire hope that two Jewish men came up with...into a fucking Nazi.

I was going to make a funny angry face but my real feelings slipped out instead.
Now, Spencer created one of my all-time favourite comics ever, The Superior Foes of Spider-man. It was a comic about a group of Spider-Man's less effective enemies trying to make things work. It was fun, creative, hilarious, and is worth reading over and over again. It's a great comic series. His other stuff is pretty good too. The thing is...that doesn't matter, because this entire concept is a shitty idea. It's the kind of idea so shitty that it will literally stick to his career forever. Nick Spencer will now be the guy who made Captain America a Nazi. But, outside of how stupid it is as an idea, it also doesn't work from a logical point of view...even in comics, where suspension of disbelief is a common thing. Which begs the question: why do it? Simple...it's fucking cheap shock value clickbait.

Which is working spectacularly well too, it seems.
I'm not an idiot. I have been reading comic books long enough to know good and damn well this is about as permanent as the New 52, Superman being dead, the Superior Spider-Ock, Azrael Batman, Super Fascist Iron Man, and Power Girl not having a boob window. It's a temporary gimmick designed to get attention in the hopes that it will lead to higher sales. But there's a massive problem with this, that has not escaped the attention of others: Nazis aren't silly comic characters. They're fucking Nazis. Murderous douchebags who literally tried to take over the world and enforce a doctrine to wipe out people who were different. Millions of lives were extinguished by them. Countless families, gone forever. And they just turned Captain America into one of them as a fucking sales gimmick.

It sure is, Cap. It sure is.
When Nick Spencer's new Steve Rogers: Captain America book was announced, I was excited about it. I like Captain America, I like Spencer's writing, I like the other Sam Wilson: Captain America book, and I don't hate the new look Steve is sporting. Now I'm done. I will not be reading any of the following issues of the series, even if offered to me for free. I honestly feel like dropping Sam Wilson: Captain America now too, because all I'll be thinking of is this shit the entire time. One terribly conceived idea to use the shock value of turning Captain America into the same pieces of shit he always stood against has left me debating whether I want to ever read anything Nick Spencer touches ever again.

I think it's time to see other people. It's not me, it's you.
Is the shitstorm this stirred up justified? Yes. Oh fuck, yes. Did you pay attention to the whole thing about how a character who was created by two Jewish guys is now being touted as having always been a secret Nazi? Yeah, this isn't acceptable and people are right to be angry about it. I'm angry about it and will probably always be angry about it, in all honesty. This is not a silly comic book geek issue, this a clear cut case of a company and a writer using horrible shit to sell books. But hey, at least we know that, under Nick Spencer's pen, Captain America is a Trump supporter. So, while I sit here and debate whether I want to set the Nick Spencer comics I own on fire, I promise that I'll most definitely be writing about something animated next time. Probably. Later days, bleeders.

I guess Mark Millar saw this shit coming all along.

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