Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Ah, yes, that thing with turning Captain America into a long-time Hydra agent

I’m sure you’re aware of that thing. I sure am and I don’t follow comics at all. I trust your reaction was the sane and reasonable “HORRIFIC CLUELESS INSANITY” with flung objects, which is how all right-thinking people naturally reacted to the thing about Captain America actually being evil.

Here is a post from Renay at Lady Business: Captain America: Steve Rogers – The Only Power Left to Us is Money, in which she sanely and rationally suggests a boycott.

Boycotts work when they target specific behavior. A wholesale Marvel/Disney boycott is ineffective; they’re diversified (curse them for being smart at business, and also, billionaires). cover of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 with Steve, Sam, and Sharon running toward the viewer Refusing to buy and removing from your pull or digital subscription list Captain America: Steve Rogers #2 (June 29, 2016) and all subsequent issues will be more effective than swearing off all Marvel comics. Also, it doesn’t punish other creative people at Marvel who had no control over this situation. That sends a message to Marvel, The Company: this comic/plotline is not profitable! That’s easier for them to grasp than nuanced discussions about history and cultural respect that it’s clear they have no interest in listening to at this particular time. Although it doesn’t hurt to tell them, either, by writing emails or letters to outline exactly why you aren’t supporting the comic. This post has a longer list on how to make financial decisions that impact this specific comic that are active rather than reactive.

I don’t know that this suggestion is necessary — is anyone planning to buy Issue #2? Anyone? Surely not. Sheer revulsion should do the trick without an official boycott. But hey, I hope the half dozen people were were going to go on with the comic decide to join this boycott instead.

Anyway, if by chance you were not aware of this thing with turning Captain America evil, this post offers a good roundup of links, so you can click through and find out all about it. As far as I’m concerned, it takes the number one spot for Most Awful Plot Twist Ever. And as I say, I don’t even follow comics.

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6 Comments Ah, yes, that thing with turning Captain America into a long-time Hydra agent

  1. Pete Mack

    Never mind the what one might think of Captain America as an icon; the whole thing made absolutely no sense as a plot twist. Just terrible storytelling.

  2. Mike S.

    My reaction was more of an eyeroll than outrage. Superhero comics have been addicted to Events and “everything you knew is wrong” for decades now, and the media enable them by being like Charlie Brown with the football. I remember all the serious-minded “what Superman dying says about us as a society” pieces in the mainstream press a quarter century ago, as if an overwrought sales gimmick were really going to become the permanent status quo.

    Here, too, it’s obviously a cheap and eminently successful bid for attention, and demonstration that not even Disney can make a comics company take advantage of big screen success to actually attract new readers. (Marvel Studios: “We just had a movie that reminded everyone who Steve Rogers is!” Marvel Comics: “Steve Rogers is a Hydra agent!” Disney Brand Manager: “…”)

    But at the end of the day it’ll be a reversible contrivance: time travel, magic, other dimension, clone, brainwashing (Jack Kirby had Cap brainwashed into a Nazi, complete with stiff-armed salute and attempted assassination of the supreme Allied commander, back in Captain America Comics #2), whatever. Marvel isn’t actually sticking a billion dollar IP into the shredder, even if they’re dragging it through the mud.

    In a year or three, Steve will be who he always was. And then it’ll be some other character’s turn in the barrel. It’s as if superhero comics have a Law of Conservation of Dumb. I wish it weren’t so, but all you can really do is grit your teeth and wait for them to get over it.

    (And maybe be a little wistful for the Silver Age, when whatever madness the cover promised– “Superman destroys Earth!”; “Batman is an alien!”– would at least be resolved by the end of a single issue instead of dozens.)

  3. Kootch

    I used to collect Marvel comics from the late 70’s to around 2009. I stopped after seeing how writers were twisting my favourite characters like pretzels in order to come up with something “new” or “edgy” – fake crises instead of good storytelling. Marvel may or may not get over this latest contrivance but they’ll have to do it without my money. You’re right, our most effective action is voting with our feet.

  4. Rachel

    Well, Mike, that is a little *too* sane and rational a response! I guess to reach the eyeroll This again? stage, you have to follow comics enough to see more of the obviously stupid and offensive plotlines pop up and vanish.

    Uh, was Batman ever actually an alien?

  5. Mike S.

    BTW, the explanation for Cap’s being a Hydra agent turns out to be (stripped of the various baroque complications) that the Red Skull caused a cosmically powerful being/artifact[1] to alter history.

    [1] a Cosmic Cube, incarnated as a little girl named Kobik, because, well… http://screenrant.com/captain-america-steve-rogers-hydra-explained/

    While our heroes apparently haven’t gotten around to reversing the process, I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be fine. Probably around the time they explain to the adorable/omnipotent little girl that she made a mistake and would she please fix it, thanks.

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