Marvel has taken a lot of heat in recent days for its shameless She-Thor publicity stunt, but the announcement that Sam Wilson will be the new Captain America does not deserve similar scorn. While its press release on the decision to give Falcon a chance to shine in a new role successfully articulates Rick Remender’s thought processes, it also includes further evidence of Tom Brevoort’s rhetorical buffoonery.
Superhero Hype reported July 16:
This fall, Sam Wilson flies where eagles dare, as the intrepid Falcon assumes his new role as Captain America. A new chapter begins in ‘All-New Captain America” #1 by Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen.
“This is it,” says Remender of the culmination of two years of storytelling in ‘Captain America’ and the dawning of “All-New Captain America”. “This is the fireworks factory we’re arriving at, and now everything’s going to blow up and be very pretty and exciting to look at. It leads into an evolution of Steve Rogers’ character that I had very early when I was given the job. I think that it’s important with these stories to do things that are natural and make sense and have an inherent logic to the universe, but are also constantly shifting and exciting, keeping the drama high. In order to do that it really comes down to creating new dynamics.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun writing Sam. It’s a completely different attitude. The fact that he’s not a soldier shifts things up a bit. Sam’s not going to be Steve. Steve can be very rigid. That can be kind of joyless at times, whereas Sam is absolutely not that.”
This is logical. Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers have a long history together. Iron Man fans know that Tony Stark and Rhodey have a similar dynamic. Fair-minded fans — even if they dislike the move — will admit that on many levels it makes sense for Falcon to become Captain America in the event of Steve Rogers’ death or prolonged absence. In fact, one could make a convincing argument that Anthony Mackie deserves a chance to play Captain America in the event that Chris Evans walks away from big screen Captain America role a few years down the line. Agree or disagree, there is sound logic behind what Marvel is doing.
Enter Tom Brevoort, whose track record of embarrassing behavior can fill many, many blog posts.
“While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background,” adds editor Tom Brevoort, “He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself.
The idea that Steve Rogers — Captain America — would have less empathy for his fellow Americans than anyone who might temporarily fill his shoes is cringeworthy. To understand what Mr. Brevoort means by the “common man,” one must first view his comment within the context of his own openly-leftist politics.
Ronald Reagan may have put it best during a 1978 radio address to the American people in regards to elitists’ references to the “common man.”:
“I wonder, though, about the people in those cars, who they are, what they do, what they’re thinking about as they head for the warmth of home and family. Come to think of it I’ve met them oh, maybe not those particular individuals but still I feel I know them. Some social planners refer to them as the masses which only proves they don’t know them. I’ve been privileged to meet people all over this land in the special kind of way you meet them when you’re campaigning.They are not the masses or as the elitists would have it the common man. They’re very uncommon. Individuals each with his or her own hopes and dreams, plans and problems and the kind of quiet courage that makes this whole country run better than just about any other place on earth.”
A character like Steve Rogers, who would have experienced the horrors of Nazi Germany up close and personal — who would have lived in a time when black men had significantly less rights than they do in 2014 — would certainly empathize with any grouping that racial bean counters or “social justice warriors” could come up with. A man like Steve Rogers, who we’re told has gone to all corners of the earth to fight tyranny and injustice and pure evil — heck, all corners of the universe — would most-certainly have empathy for all Americans that is equal to or greater than the man who borrows his shield.
Steve Rogers, however, has one thing that he can’t overcome in the mind of Tom Brevoort: he is a blonde-haired blue-eyed white man. It doesn’t matter if he’s fought for freedom and liberty all around the globe, or traveled the stars to save the entire planet — his empathy for the “common man” is always up for debate. In Mr. Brevoort’s world, a social worker in 2014 probably has more empathy for how “social structure” affects a community than the soldier who saw the death and destruction caused by the “social structure” that created Nazi Germany.
Marvel fans can be proud of the fact that Sam Wilson will officially be Captain America for an extended period of time, but they should shake their heads in disappointment that a guy like Tom Brevoort represents the company.
I like Remender talking about character evolution. I may not be a fan of his but at least he seems to understand that stories need to make sense.
I find it offensive that a social worker has “got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged” than ANYONE else.
While there are many good social workers there are also many that are useless. We have had examples here of a department of social workers failing to realise a young child was in an abusive home despite many visits. The child unfortunately died at the hands of someone who lived in the family home.
I used to avidly read Captain America comic, and despite being a fossil from the second world war he was someone who had empathy for everyone. He stood for the American ideal and even as a British teenager I knew that was a good thing.
I will be very interested to see what Marvel have planned for Steve Rogers. Maybe he will become the Superior Baron Zemo!
That’s the thing: Cap is supposed to represent the American ideal. How can he be the living embodiment of the principles that made our country great and still have less empathy for Americans than a guy who is going to fill in for him for a few months or a year? It makes no sense. It’s insulting to anyone who is a fan of Captain America.
You’re close, Andrew. Get ready for the Superior Iron Man. (No, this is not a joke.)
I had read that Doug. I’m just surprised they didn’t add a hyphen between Iron and Man
So will the Mandarin switch bodies with Tony Stark? Yeesh. I don’t understand where this villain worship comes from….
I’m kinda excited for Sam to be Cap. It is more organic and a natural transition than introducing an all-new character to take up the mantle. I’m just amazed they’re not forcing him to steal Steve Rogers’ name for the transition, like they’re doing with another character *ahem*.
At the end of the storyline, Thanos will use the Infinity Gauntlet to alter space and time so that Sam Wilson is and always has been Steve Rogers. His personality will be that of Sam Wilson, but everyone will call him Steve from then on and there will be a whole different history to Captain America. 😉
This story has good potential; I prefer Steve as Captain America but if there is going to be a replacement for a short time I am happy to see Sam take the shield. Now granted we are not supposed to say that because we are white males that keep being depicted as racists by liberal comic writers.
With that said I am still sad that Marvel keeps repeating the same story, how many times now has Steve lost the power and or been replaced? It was not long ago with the power element and it was not long before that he was “supposedly dead”. The real shame is that this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick using segmentation to get attention and sales.
I like Sam and I think this could be a good story, but I cannot shake the fact that this is just another shameful push from Marvel and that is insulting. Now if this was a clear temporary arc with no special agenda I think this would be great but I just struggle to get past it.
I believe this will only last a short time (until the next movie), and if Marvel were honest about this I think I would be more accepting of this. The book needs a change due to a severe sales decline but that can be fixed with more marketing and a better story.
For the record I do plan to give the new direction a chance and I will read at least the first few issues and reserve judgment on the story until after I read it (as I always do) even though I think Marvel is insulting its fans with this move that is under the guise of social responsibility. As a final note, I agree with your views on Tom Brevoort and how silly he is to think that Sam would have more empathy. If you read Captain America Steve cares about all and if anyone is more of an outcast it would be Steve.
Is this move racist from Marvel since it is giving a black male a temp job?
Sorry I could not help myself, but that is the liberal spin I would expect from the left.
Spot-on analysis yet again, Doug. Love it.
My reaction to it is here: http://colossus.mu.nu/archives/350536.php There’s a more in-depth Stark-Rhodes discussion in my post, natch. 😉
Nice! Thanks for the share.
Steve Rogers lived through the Great Depression, and would have seen people struggling to survive after losing their jobs. Undoubtedly, he would have a lot of empathy for people who are having that problem today. Maybe more so than someone who has had a relatively secure government job “for most of his professional life.”
I’ve heard that Chris Evans is contracted for fewer sequels than Anthony Mackie and/or Sebastian Stan, fueling speculation that Bucky/Winter Soldier or Sam Wilson will replace Rogers as Captain America in the movies sooner or later.
I think that Mackie would do a terrific job. He seems to have a magnetic personality. I’d really like to see Marvel Studios go that route when Evans hangs up the tights.
If Chris Evans does quit as Cap eventually, I’d rather have him assume the role of Cap than Bucky, to be honest.
Not to mention that he grew up as the son of poor Irish immigrants and lived in the slums during the Great Depression, not to mention that his parents were both dead by the time he reached adulthood. He didn’t just see people struggle, he was one of the people struggling during that time.
Cap’s a great character, it’s just more than a little annoying that people always forget about his humble origins when they talk about him.
This is classic. This is hilarious. I love this.
From the Wired piece ‘Giving Us a Female Thor and Black Captain America Isn’t Enough’:
Poor Graeme McMillan…he needs seriously help. Sam is working for a “white master,” you say? These guys are so sad.
McMillan is getting hammered in his piece’s comments. And rightly so, too. Ye gad …
I agree that making the Falcon Captain America is a logical step, unlike making Thor into a woman. The Falcon has a long history with Cap, after all.
And McMillain is an idiot. And he’s a master of hyperbole and distortion; he wrote the now-deleted smear article about Doug at Newsarama, after all. He’s yet another racially-obsessed progressive who sees racism in everything. “White master.” Yeesh. He obviously has some serious issues that he should get checked out.
Carl, I love it when that amazing memory of yours goes on full display. I’m glad you remembered that!
Haha! I’ll have to check it out.
Thanks. Not only that, but he’s a big-time apologist for bad writers like Slott, as that article about you made clear. He’s been writing idiotic articles like this for years. One that I recall was one he wrote for CBR where he lamented the “lack of diversity” (or something) in the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
Speaking of diversity, I got a great email from a reader this morning. Here’s an excerpt:
Note: Emphasis added.
Well said sir, I have been teaching the true cost of labor for years. It seems that the general public does not really understand business.
First Thor. They can’t use she-Thor, or Thor Woman as it would be copy write infringement. However, no one can copy write THOR thus it’s okay, despite stealing an idea of a female Thor which has been around for 20+ years published by an independent company.
Captain America, I just can’t get past this happening after Marvel got bashed for not having enough mainstream minority characters. As for Sam, I just don’t buy him as Cap. I’m sorry but most issues I just see him get beaten up, now he’s supposed to be the new Cap? It’s just not a fit I’m buying into.
Marvel’s “new direction” is something out of left field. Lady Thor? Sam as Cap? What are they drinking? PC koolaid?
Falcon becoming Cap for awhile doesn’t bother me. I get that one. However, most of the other moves seem like PC-stunts to attract praise by the media and a short-term sales boost.