The world will never be the same, it is the end of life as we know it, the bad times are here. At least, that’s how you might feel if you have been following the controversy around the release of Captain America Steve Rogers #1. The new issue written by Nick Spencer has had a lot of attention, which is hardly surprising seeing as we have just found out that Captain America has been a Hydra Agent all along.
The response to this has on the whole been negative, with some dissatisfied customers posting videos of burning the comic, and in some extreme cases Nick Spencer has even received death threats. This issue has been so controversial that my local comic book store (mega city comics) has had to limit sales to one per customer.
With all this in mind we have been a bit slow in the uptake of talking about this, and as big fans of the Cap’ we wanted to spend a little time digesting the news and evaluating the first issue before we published our opinion.
In hindsight I am glad that we made this decision, considering my initial response to this was to lay down, attempt to not cry, and then, inevitably, cry a lot. So instead now that we have had time to have a think about this we can offer some insight into what’s going on with Steve.
The theme of terrorism runs throughout this issue, and the early scenes in the story show the Red Skull talking about issues of migration across Europe and the issue of tolerance. The speech he gives is reminiscent of the fear-mongering that we experience from many politicians today.
Steve’s turn to the Hydra-side becomes a hard pill to swallow in light of this, considering that he has been perhaps the most moral member of the Marvel universe, and his fight against all bullies great and small has been an inspiration to many. It is because of this fact that so many people have been angry and upset by the new release. I have even seen some parents take to social media to tell stories of how their children have been in tears devastated at the news that their favourite hero is a bad guy.
It is, however, important to realise that controversies like this are not rare in the comic book world, and this certainly isn’t the first time it’s happened. Think back to when Dan Slott replaced Peter Parkers mind with Doc Ock’s, the response to that was just a volatile. And this turned out to be a very premature reaction considering that the Superior Spiderman series that followed was an outstanding piece of writing.
Characters die, they change, and they evolve. In fact, it is essential to good writing that they do so. Although Captain America is an extremely popular character he had undoubtedly been one dimensional up until this point. He was a morally just man who fought for freedom, and wore the stars and stripes whilst doing so. This could be the rejuvenation that the character needs.
Let’s also not forget that Nick Spencer is a superb writer who has contributed a series of popular works for both Marvel and DC, including the brilliant Iron Man 2.0 series.
With all this in mind I think it is important that we do not lose our heads yet, and we should at least wait until we have seen more of the story before we drive to Spencer’s house and give him a piece of our mind. This change is unlikely to be permanent, Peter Parkers mind is back to normal and it wouldn’t surprise me if this all turned out to be some sort of double, triple, quadruple agent type of situation.
I have trust in the writers and editors of Marvel to do right by Steve, and we will just have to wait and see if that trust is misplaced or not.
With such a controversial subject we would love to hear what you guys think, do you agree or disagree with what we have said? Let us know!