Hydra pamphlet

Your friendly neighborhood blogger wrote a piece of satire in January 2015 that involved Marvel Comics turning Red Skull into Captain America. Fast forward in time to May 25, 2016, and the company has, for all intents and purposes, done just that.

Captain America has seemingly been a Hydra agent since the very beginning — and Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort claims it is not a gimmick.

TIME magazine reported:

Every single month whether it’s a run of the mill month for Captain America or an extraordinary month, our job is to put him in situations that place that character under some degree of pressure and see how he reacts to that. And hopefully our readers are surprised, shocked, elated, see something of themselves, learn something about themselves. To say it’s a gimmick implies that it’s done heedlessly just to shock. The proof is always going to be in the execution. So you’ll have to read the rest of the story to see.

But I certainly believe it’s not a gimmick. It’s a story that we spent a long time on, that’s compelling and captures the zeitgeist of the world. It will make readers wonder how the heck we’ll get out of this.

The truth, however, is slightly different: Readers want to know how Marvel got into this mess. Hiring Nick Spencer — a man who is so weirdly partisan that he says Republicans are “evil” — explains a lot, but the problem goes much deeper.

Before we move on, however, here is what you need to know about Steve Rogers: Captain America #1:

  • Steve Rogers had an abusive father.
  • Steve’s mother, Sarah, is aided by a “Hydra Society” member one night after her husband beats her. She takes a pamphlet for Hydra’s New York chapter (because creepy skulls with tentacles would never set off warning bells).
  • Red Skull recruits the next generation of Hydra in 2016 by making fair points about Europe’s refugee crisis (i.e., Nick Spencer wants you to associate rather innocuous conservative observations with Nazi villains).
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. finds Baron Zemo, which prompts Captain America, Jack Flag, and Free Spirit to the lawless city of Bagalia.
  • Jack Flag ignores Cap’s orders and assists in confronting Zemo in the villain’s jet.
  • Captain America laments Jack Flag’s decision and then throws him out a cargo drop.
  • The issue ends with Captain America saying “Hail Hydra” to Doctor Erik Selvig, a scientist Zemo held hostage in an attempt to find the sentient Cosmic Cube known as Kobik.

Red Skull

The question on everyone’s mind, judging from the #saynotohydracap hashtag that trended on Twitter all morning, is simple: Why?

The answer: A culture of moral relativism inside the halls of Marvel is so prevalent that Doctor Octopus had to become “Spider-man” for over a year and now Captain America must run around as a Nazi-sympathizing Hydra agent for an extended amount of time.

Iron Man was turned into a villain.

Spider-Man was turned into a villain.

Captain America is now a villain.

Heroes battled each other in Civil War and will do so again in Civil War II.

Notice a trend? These are the hallmarks of an organization that is so uncomfortable drawing a clear line between good and evil that instead it would rather go with a “one man’s Captain America is another man’s Red Skull” approach.

Nothing matters: Captain America is Hydra. Doctor Octopus is Spider-Man. Iron Man is a George W. Bush allegory and Red Skull agrees with Republicans (and moderate Democrats) on the issue of Syrian refugees. That is your modern Marvel comic book, and it wouldn’t be so embarrassing if men like Tom Breevort didn’t lie about writing for “the zeitgeist.”

Captain America Jack Flag

Take the following claim by Mr. Brevoort, for example:

TIME: In the comic the Red Skull of Hydra talks about “criminal trespassers” who “make a mockery” of America’s borders and calls the refugees in Germany an “invading army” bringing “fanatical beliefs and crime” to Europe. Obviously, this hate speech is nothing new for the organization, but it sounds like rhetoric we’ve been hearing this election. Is that purposeful?

Brevoort: We try to write comics in 2016 that are about the world and the zeitgeist of 2016, particularly in Captain America. Nick Spencer, the writer, is very politically active. He’s a Capitol Hill head and following this election very closely. So we can talk about political issues in a metaphoric way. That’s what gives our stories weight and meat to them. Any parallels you have seen to situations real or imagined, living or dead, is probably intentional but metaphorically not literally.

Mr. Brevoort liked the word “zeitgeist” so much that he used it twice in one interview, but it’s funny how the “zeitgeist” only relates to making Republican presidential candidates look like Nazis and then turning Captain America into a Hydra agent — all in the same issue where a guy with ties to white supremacists turned himself into a Hyrda suicide bomber.

Why is it that Marvel’s zeitgeist-quota is laughably focused on metaphors of white, Republican males as evil instead of, say, national security threats posed by Islamic terrorist organizations controlling large swathes of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Afghanistan?

How strange is it that Nick Spencer did not find it timely in a post-9/11 world to have Captain America team up with Ranger-run task forces in Pakistan, but he did to turn him into a Hydra agent?

If you increasingly find yourself feeling like Doctor Erik Selvig or any other characters who are held hostage in Marvel’s comics, then you should know that you are not alone. The characters you grew up with are now beholden to partisan writers and editors who enable immature and mean-spirited fantasies. Hashtag’s like #saynotohyracap are fine, but withholding hard-earned cash should always be the primary method of conveying displeasure.

Tune in here in for future updates into the sad decline of Marvel’s comics division and the activist-creators behind it all.

Update: John C. Wright was kind enough to link to this post. To all of his readers: Welcome!

Captain America Hydra

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

62 comments

  1. Really Nick Spencer? How in God’s good and holy name was that ever a good idea?

    I’ve learned to never assume that something is so stupid that someone would never do it, because you’ll find out very quickly that you’re wrong. Yes, some people really are that dumb.

  2. F*****g sickening.

    If this is what they’re doing to Cap, thank God I’m a manga fan! At least the MCU does Cap – and heroism – right.

    1. “At least the MCU does Cap – and heroism – right.”

      No matter what happens down the road (if the culture keeps going the way it is, then even the movies will be subject to this garbage), the MCU has given us some pretty good movies. The first “Iron Man,” “Winter Soldier” and “Civil War” are probably my favorites in no particular order.

    2. “If the culture keeps going the way it is, then even the movies will be subject to this garbage.”

      Believe me, I’m under no illusions that they won’t become political preaching later on.

      “The first ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘Civil War’ are probably my favorites in no particular order.”

      Likewise. All three of those are excellent movies. This is why as of right now, I’m a fan of the MCU. Shame on Marvel for messing up its characters just to be a dime-store MSNBC.

  3. It’s pathetic, not to mention downright insulting, that they’re doing this. Especially since it’s Cap’s 75th anniversary. Kirby and Simon are rolling in their graves.

    Not only that, but there’s an SJW campaign on Twitter that wants to coerce Marvel into giving Cap a boyfriend. Never mind that he isn’t gay and never has been; if they want such a character, they should create their own.. Peggy Carter, Sharon Carter, Diamondback, Bernie Rosenthal and many others would beg to differ. To me, they’re just activists masquerading as fans, much like the writers working for Marvel these days.

    1. It’s pathetic, not to mention downright insulting, that they’re doing this. Especially since it’s Cap’s 75th anniversary. Kirby and Simon are rolling in their graves.

      The idea is to crap all over beloved icons, since they see everything that came before them as “racist, sexist, and homophobic.”

    2. “The idea is to crap all over beloved icons, since they see everything that came before them as “racist, sexist, and homophobic.”

      True. You see it in all forms of media, from comics to books to movies. Everything that came before them must be altered to fit in with the SJW view, or else they’ll try and ban it.

    3. It’s pathetic, not to mention downright insulting, that they’re doing this. Especially since it’s Cap’s 75th anniversary. Kirby and Simon are rolling in their graves.

      Let us assume for the sake of argument that this is a temporary thing or it will be explained away due to some Cosmic Cube-weirdness that will set everything right again. Even if we grant Spencer that much, it’s still a giant insult to Kirby and Simon.

      “Not only that, but there’s an SJW campaign on Twitter that wants to coerce Marvel into giving Cap a boyfriend. Never mind that he isn’t gay and never has been; if they want such a character, they should create their own.”

      I saw that trending on Twitter yesterday. It’s a bunch of people who don’t give a single rip out the character’s history as long as they get what they want. You can’t get much more selfish than that. Everything takes a back seat to their personal politics. I’m glad that people are finally starting to catch on to their act.

  4. Like you said, Doug, this is the one book that should transcend petty partisan politics, but for years writers have been using Captain America as a vehicle to espouse their liberal worldview, which to me is anathema to the character. It’s sad and pathetic. At least Marvel’s movie division has their priorities straight.

    And when you call writers out on it, they make snide, sarcastic remarks. When people complained about the recent Serpent Society and said that liberals should create their own Captain America, Kurt Busiek responded by saying, “They did. In 1941.” That made me shake my head.

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this kind of thing is why I don’t read modern Marvel books. Why would I drop money on a title that utterly destroys the character of Captain America, and equates conservatives like myself with one of the most evil ideologies on the earth? Why would I fund writers who are so unprofessional and belligerent towards those who dare to question them, and ram their political views down readers’ throats? It’s insane.

    I will continue to vote with my wallet, and I hope others do as well.

    1. “I will continue to vote with my wallet, and I hope others do as well.”

      I hope there are tens-of-thousands of others like you out there.

      Marvel just gave Captain America the “One More Day” treatment. Who got the shaft worse: Steve Rogers or Peter Parker?

  6. “Fast forward in time to May 25, 2016, and the company has, for all intents and purposes, done just that….”

    Seems like the least they could do is pay you royalties. 🙂

  7. Ok, so what’s next huh? Getting Sam Wilson to face Steve Rogers in a mantle war? Hmm? Have a fight to see who wears America’s flag? Have him wrest the symbol of America from that “traitor” Steve Rogers and then become locked in constant combat with him as an full agent of the new Hydra that teams up with the sons of the Serpent to attack migrants?

    Oh oh oh, you know what would really depressing? If Steve Rogers fights ISIS fighters as a Hydra agent. Oh man…

    Man I am so sorry for what is happening to this comic book legend, Doug.

    1. “Ok, so what’s next huh? Getting Sam Wilson to face Steve Rogers in a mantle war? Hmm? Have a fight to see who wears America’s flag?”

      I read that when Steve came back that Sam “agreed” to let him share the mantle. I thought, “Ummm, he’s Steve Rogers — he doesn’t have to “agree” to share the title Captain America at all.

      This idea is so bad. It would be great if previous writers came forward and ripped everyone involved a new one.

  8. Today is a bad day for comic books.

    At this point I think it might almost be better if superhero comics just die out. Maybe if we just take a break for ten years some new talent who actually appreciate the medium could revive it and bring some sort of actual creativity to the table.

    As it stands we’ve got the PC-posse/SJW/Future Totalitarian Regime of America using Marvel Comics as their personal propaganda platform and across the river at DC we’ve got the Geoffrey Johns fanfiction-verse, where golden boy/chief “creative” officer Geoff Johns has turned heroes into murderous psychopaths (see New52 Aquaman), shoe-horned childhood bad/rejected ideas into actual canon (see “Geoff Johns Superboy” debacle), reversed what is possibly the greatest, most selfless sacrifice in superhero history (see Barry Allen and Crisis on Infinite Earths) so that the same character, who is characteristically well-versed in the negative effects of time travel, can pervert the entire universe he died saving when he weirdly and selfishly runs back in time to save his mommy (see Flashpoint). This man, in a mere decade, has made such an irreversible mess of 75 years of history/continuity that his only apparent option (as seen in today’s DC: Rebirth #1) is essentially…
    SPOILER
    …just passing the buck and blaming Watchmen for the continual decline in comic book quality
    /SPOILER

    The creators of today have no respect for their craft. They seem to be more concerned with stoking their egos on twitter and using these characters to fulfill personal fantasies and push political agendas than they are with, oh I don’t know…
    -contributing to the future of comic book culture with genuine creativity
    -elevating a nearly 100 year old art form so that it’s no longer looked down upon as the entertainment of just weird kids and virgin nerds
    -telling complex and compelling stories worthy of critical praise or academic recognition
    -figuring out how to increase interest in comic books and pull the medium out of its ever-worsening sales tail-spin

    I don’t know. I’m so outraged as a fan right now that I can’t think straight and actually don’t really want to call myself a fan anymore. At this point it appears my Marvel/DC boycott may never end.

    1. “Today is a bad day for comic books.”

      This Captain America hurt. I’m not going to lie. It’s not even like they just screwed with someone from a few years ago — they went all the way bak to the beginning to sully his character. As I mentioned in another comment, even if they someone work their way out of it in 10 months the mere fact that they would even go there … is gross.

      “At this point I think it might almost be better if superhero comics just die out. Maybe if we just take a break for ten years some new talent who actually appreciate the medium could revive it and bring some sort of actual creativity to the table.”

      I find it hard to argue with you on this one. There really isn’t much out there in terms of Marvel and DC work to get super excited about, and to the extent there is readers are always waiting for the next shoe (or was that re-boot?) to drop. If you like something then just wait a few months for them to reboot it.

      “The creators of today have no respect for their craft. They seem to be more concerned with stoking their egos on twitter and using these characters to fulfill personal fantasies and push political agendas…”

      I’m sitting her watch that one sail out of the ballpark. You made some serious contact with that one.

  9. Well, I’d say Jack Kirby was rolling over in his grave, but Carl beat me to it. Gee, what a shocker they waited to pull this stunt after the latest Captain America movie already came out–not before. Couldn’t risk the backlash or increased publicity, huh, Tom?

    There’s no question that this is an idiotic story full of brazen retcons, plot holes, and general bad writing, but here’s something else to consider. Back in the ’90s, Marvel pulled this kind of stunt with Iron Man in “The Crossing.” “Oh, Iron Man has been manipulated by Kang for years! Oh, noes. Better kill him off and replace him with a younger version of himself.” Yeesh, it’s bad enough that Marvel recycles old concepts and stories, but they’re basically recycling the garbage that people absolutely hated. And y’know, Kurt Busiek of all people should know better than to get catty on this or try to defend it. He co-wrote the “Avengers Forever” mini-series with Roger Stern, which (in part) cleaned up the whole Iron Man/Kang mess.

    And Brevoort? I used to really respect the guy for standing up to the bosses by refusing to allow Mary Jane have a miscarriage during the Clone Saga, but that guy has been involved in one bad move after another for years. All goodwill has been erased.

    I used to say “I’ll go back to Marvel when they do quality stories.” Well, this is a sure sign that’ll never happen. Now, I’m gonna have to say, “I’ll go back to Marvel when Disney shuts it down for a while and cleans house.” The House of Ideas seriously needs a renovation.

    1. “Back in the ’90s, Marvel pulled this kind of stunt with Iron Man in ‘The Crossing.’ ‘Oh, Iron Man has been manipulated by Kang for years! Oh, noes. Better kill him off and replace him with a younger version of himself.’ Yeesh, it’s bad enough that Marvel recycles old concepts and stories, but they’re basically recycling the garbage that people absolutely hated.”

      I vaguely remember that. I picked up a copy when he became a teenager and was like, “What the heck is this? Nope.”

      Marvel was a mess in the 90s with just bad writing and stupid hologram covers, but now its bad and political. The next wave of writers will have been raised in Safe Space America, so get ready for some serious weirdness in the not-too-distant future.

      Perhaps the pendulum will eventually swing far enough in the opposite direction that Marvel 2030-2040 will be decent. 😉

    2. “Marvel was a mess in the 90s with just bad writing and stupid hologram covers, but now its bad and political.”

      Man, you said it. Reading a bit of the alleged new Spider-Man book, it makes me miss the clone saga and the “The Spider” era. At least then, it was just bad story ideas and some lame writing. They wanted to entertain us, they just weren’t able to very well. I can understand that. The new Doc Ock, Stunner, Spidercide, etc. were bad, but they weren’t insulting. They were trying some new stuff, and genuinely trying to make it good. They failed, but they were making a real effort. The worst political stuff you used to get was overly naive do-gooder stuff, “can’t we all just get along and sing kumbayah” stuff.

      Now, they don’t even care. They casually insult the audience and call them evil. They make versions of the audience’s favorite characters that the readers don’t want and replace the originals, and when the readers complain, they put the blame on the audience. It’s disgusting.

      It’s so bizarre. I’m trying to imagine a situation where I made software that makes unnecessary political statements, and if you click the wrong thing it either insults you or crashes. Then when the users complain, I tell them if they weren’t jerks or idiots they’d want to use the parts that work right. And then when the customers complain to management, they back me up and say that what I made is good and the users’ desires are unreasonable. It doesn’t even translate to other fields.

    3. “I’m trying to imagine a situation where I made software that makes unnecessary political statements, and if you click the wrong thing it either insults you or crashes. Then when the users complain, I tell them if they weren’t jerks or idiots they’d want to use the parts that work right. And then when the customers complain to management, they back me up and say that what I made is good and the users’ desires are unreasonable. It doesn’t even translate to other fields.”

      This would be a pretty cool short story if you mixed it with 3 parts Ray Bradbury, one part Aldous Huxley. 🙂

    4. Hm. That’s an interesting idea. Software that has various options embedded, but they’re just there to see if you click on them so they can report you for reeducation or something, i.e. features that are only implemented in order to see if you’re guilty of wrongthink for wanting to access them. That’s insidious. I wonder if the Chinese version of Google does that.

    5. “I wonder if the Chinese version of Google does that.”

      The certainly have an army of censorship cops patrolling the internet. The Mandarin translation is something like “cop-cops,” where they double-up the word and it’s supposed to sound cute — even though it’s Orwellian.

  10. It reminds me of what I thought when I saw that they were having Spider-Man reveal his identity for Civil War. I immediately thought to myself, “You know guys, sometimes the reason something hasn’t been done before is because it’s a really bad idea. Originality isn’t everything.”

    I feel the same about this, except more so. By all means, do an alternate timeline, What If…Steve Rogers Became Captain Hydra? But come on, tainting the character’s history is despicable. Is this so Sam Wilson can be the “real” and more trustworthy Captain America? Maybe they can time that and Peter Parker’s inevitable death or disappearance leaving Miles Morales as the “real” Spider-Man to happen in the same month.

    1. “Is this so Sam Wilson can be the ‘real’ and more trustworthy Captain America? Maybe they can time that and Peter Parker’s inevitable death or disappearance leaving Miles Morales as the ‘real’ Spider-Man to happen in the same month.”

      Next month Marvel will write a “flash-back” tale where Uncle Ben whispers “Hail Hydra” in Peter’s ear after saying, “With great power come great responsibility.” Sigh.

  11. The sad thing is, once Marvel pull back the curtain on heelish characters, they will cease any and all attempts at being subtle with it. He will start acting all moustache-twirly (in this instance, HITLER-level moustache twirly) and the audience will be sitting there wanting someone to catch on but they won’t until it’s too late. Supporting characters we’ve known and loved for years will turn on the main hero without really thinking about the possibility he’s been manipulated or they’ve been manipulated.

    This happened to the “Superior” versions of Spider-Man and Iron Man. It will happen here because the former was a resounding success…and in the latter’s case, they didn’t even properly resolve any of it, they just blew him up and restarted him when Bendis took over (not that I’m complaining about Bendis, but I was invested in Superior Iron Man)

    1. “Supporting characters we’ve known and loved for years will turn on the main hero without really thinking about the possibility he’s been manipulated or they’ve been manipulated.”

      What about main characters? Haha. Doesn’t Spider-Man side with Captain America in Civil War II? Are we supposed to believe Spider-Man has fought side-by-side with a Hydra agent multiple times and his spider-sense never went off? Not once? Hmmm.

    2. It also makes Caol Danver’s side in Civil War II look in the wrong right off the cuff because it’s her side of the fence that Steve sits on, so they’ve sort of superficially made Tony’s side the one to take, you’re not given a choice this time, you either root for the man who waits for the future to arrive, or you root for a Nazi who wants to alter our fate. There’s no morally grey area in the argument anymore. Does’nt even matter if no character is yet aware of Steve’s background, unless the revelation that he is a Nazi is what ultimately ends the war when the series reaches it’s conclusion

      Marvel are going all out to gurantee you will be on team Tony’s side in Civil War this time, seeing as they failed to make his side look remotely appealing in the original when the plan was always to have had him be in the right as opposed to Steve.

    3. “It also makes Caol Danver’s side in Civil War II look in the wrong right off the cuff because it’s her side of the fence that Steve sits on, so they’ve sort of superficially made Tony’s side the one to take, you’re not given a choice this time, you either root for the man who waits for the future to arrive, or you root for a Nazi who wants to alter our fate.”

      D’oh! Good one, Marvel… I’m going to have a lot to write about this summer.

    4. A little off-topic, but did you manage to catch a look through Spider-Man/Deadpool#5? I was quite surprised to find they went there with a OMD tease…some people don’t think it’ll amount to much, but it looks like Marvel no longer consider a part of “One Moment In Time” canon (the part about Mephisto saying it “never happened” to MJ), because he clearly does remember the events of OMD again.

    5. “A little off-topic, but did you manage to catch a look through Spider-Man/Deadpool#5? I was quite surprised to find they went there with a OMD tease…some people don’t think it’ll amount to much, but it looks like Marvel no longer consider a part of ‘One Moment In Time’ canon (the part about Mephisto saying it “never happened” to MJ), because he clearly does remember the events of OMD again.”

      I did think the Deadpool movie was pretty good in terms of seeing the character realized on the big screen, but in general he isn’t my cup of tea. I can’t see myself purchasing anything with him as one of the main draws, even if Spider-Man is included.

  12. I should not surprised that the same publisher that thought that killing Spidey and replacing him with a villain in the year of his 50th anniversary has now done something similar to Cap, still it’s a bitter surprise. Even this is some kind of retcon done by the Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube it’s still a bad idea, i was happy to see Rogers take back the mantle and now …. One thing it’s sure i’ll never buy another book written by Spencer or another Captain America book until he leave.

    P.S. I have also liberal and moderate friends that think that this idea is awful.

    1. “I was happy to see Rogers take back the mantle and now …. One thing it’s sure i’ll never buy another book written by Spencer or another Captain America book until he leaves.”

      I have to imagine there are many life-long Captain America fans who just ended their pull-lists at the local comic shop. Marvel is hoping their are enough other comic fans out there who are into gruesome train wrecks that it will make up the difference.

      “P.S. I have also liberal and moderate friends that think that this idea is awful.”

      I was just talking with another friend about this last night. Getting overly political is like playing with fire. There is only so long you can do it before you start a blaze that gets out of your control and burns everyone. This may be a case where Marvel simply went too far. I hope the company pays a steep price for this stunt. I really do.

  13. What’s there to be said that hasn’t been said already : This is insulting not only to the creaters of the charactor but also the audiance (Old and New) because in 75th anniversary we get somethin insulting to the charactor that WE KNOW it’s a bait and swicth to call attention.

    However we honestly shouldn’t be surprised by this because remember this is the same company who replace their flagship charactor by one of his nemesis and even afterwards he still being made a joke by it.
    This is the same company who changes their charactors for the SJW.

    This is, IMO, probably Captain America’s OMD and for me it’s a bit worse than Spidey’s because it pretty much makes 75 years of stories a complete lie, sure for spidey 20 years of his history was pretty much thrown into the garbage, but it’s not all of his history.

    This is what I say that these writers are tainting the characters because NOW this is all canon :
    Spider-Man was possessed by Doc Ock = No one gave a shit, No one cared and no one apologized for not recognizing him;
    Mary Jane Watson left Peter and started to work for Tony Stark = Makes her a huge hypocrite.
    Black Cat turns into a psychopath and mustach twirling villain.
    Ice-Man was always gay = Why not use Northstar instead of making pre-established character into homosexuals
    Thor is a different person and no one cares where the original is = Why not promote a book about the Asgardian Warriors with Lady Sif being the lead character so that maybe in the future we can have her own solo?
    Falcon is now Captain America so we have to say OK when really why do this to a character with his own identity and give him a new one
    Make room for the new Hulk to be Amadeus Cho while no one giving a crap about Bruce Banner who Marvel is probably trying to turn into the Maestro (Evil Hulk 2099).
    Spider-Man is being slowly being fazed out to make room for Bendis’ pet creation Miles.
    Killing anything resembling the Spider-Marriage.
    Captain America’s entire history is that he was a Nazi all along (Can’t wait for the variant where he shakes Hitler’s Hand… so that I can burn it)

    Now my question is : How do you fix this? Look at all of the things that I pointed out and, I bet you, that in a few years tops, they will not be remembered foundly by many future creators of these books and many other custumers as well.

    PS : Can’t wait for these “creators” to leave Marvel and the future creators make amends for what Marvel has done. Or the Mouse itself will barge in and clean house.

    PSS : My next prediction is that Dan Slott will make Peter the villain of the story and Otto the hero in the end of Vol 4.

  14. If anything this stunt has proved how irrelevant and out of touch today’s comic writers are. They see shock tactics as their only way to garner publicity.

    I imagine the meeting went something like this:

    “Its Cap’s 75th anniversary this year guys. Who wants to screw him up? Worst idea wins!”

    Normally you have a good idea of how long a story will last based on the next film but Cap just had a film released.

    Kids who come out of the theatre and go and buy this effluence will be put off buying more because the characters are being misused.

    1. “If anything this stunt has proved how irrelevant and out of touch today’s comic writers are. They see shock tactics as their only way to garner publicity.”

      There’s the rub, though — where does Marvel go from here? Once you make the good guys evil for shock the shock value, what do you do next? They’ve muddied the water so much that readers are just swimming in a cloudy pool of moral relativism.

  15. It’s especially insulting when you consider that both Jack Kirby and Joe Simon were Jewish. Not only that, but it strikes me as another lame attempt by SJWs to demonize patriotism.

    1. “It’s especially insulting when you consider that both Jack Kirby and Joe Simon were Jewish. Not only that, but it strikes me as another lame attempt by SJWs to demonize patriotism.”

      When you couple Nick Spencer’s comments about political opponents with his decision to make Marvel’s symbol of America into a Nazi sympathizer, it’s really hard for anyone to argue otherwise.

      Here’s one for you, Carl: Dan Slott is now playing apologist for Nick Spencer’s decision. The guy who stalked me around the internet and screeched and howled about how he would never trivialize the Holocaust (Note: He did), now is a cheerleader for Spencer’s disgusting story. That’s right Dan Slott, you now find yourself defending the decision to turn a Nazi-fighting super soldier into a Nazi-sympathizing agent of Hydra. Bravo.

    2. “Here’s one for you, Carl: Dan Slott is now playing apologist for Nick Spencer’s decision. The guy who stalked me around the internet and screeched and howled about how he would never trivialize the Holocaust (Note: He did), now is a cheerleader for Spencer’s disgusting story. That’s right Dan Slott, you now find yourself defending the decision to turn a Nazi-fighting super soldier into a Nazi-sympathizing agent of Hydra. Bravo.”

      I saw that. I don’t think Slott sees the irony there. Too busy defending his colleague’s disgusting storyline for the irony to even register, I think.

  16. It’s crap like this that keeps me away from comic books. (Marvel, you might want to keep that in mind. You’re costing yourself paying customers, specifically from those who don’t buy comics on a regular basis, but love your characters from other media and might be tempted to find other sources to experience stories about them; the market you really need to tap for your long-term financial well-being.)

    Who’s the comic for, anyways? I can think of very few people who’d enjoy this twist (esp. when applied to the main source material of the character in existence). I know I don’t. I don’t even follow “Captain America “comics, but I like the character a lot from the movies. If I was going to read about the character, I’m not going to want to read about a guy who was lying from day one. I’m going to want to read about the character represented in the movies, the character who always tried to do what he thought was the right thing, regardless of the consequences.

    For what it’s worth, I seriously doubt that this change is going to stick; Captain America has been around for the better part of the century. People know who he is. He’s not a liar who was saying “Hail, HYDRA” in private, while stabbing them in the back in public. He’s this guy right here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW8_usG_B0E). Between pop culture tradition and the fact that comics no longer define superhero characters (they’ve grown too big for that), I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

    At the end of the day, there are worse problems in the world than bad writing decisions in comics (and I pray that we don’t have to find out), but, IMHO, there’s only one thing to be said to Marvel’s comic branch (and I’m saying this for both the 616 Captain America and Spider-Man), something that was said by Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers before her: “No, you move.”

  17. I get the feeling that they hate all white male leads and want to extinguish as many of them as they can.

    1. “I get the feeling that they hate all white male leads and want to extinguish as many of them as they can.”

      There is certainly a lot of weird racial ideas at Marvel these days. Axel Alonso says white guys who write comics do it as a “hobby.” I’m pretty sure that guys who made a career in the medium would not be so amused at that remark. I suppose he only thinks of the medium as a “hobby.” It would explain a lot.

    2. “I’m pretty sure that guys who made a career in the medium would not be so amused at that remark. I suppose he only thinks of the medium as a ‘hobby.’ It would explain a lot.”

      SocJus really likes to project, it seems.

  18. This doesn’t even feel like politics anymore; All I see is envy in its purest form.
    Call me a tinfoil crazy person, but i believe that this is nothing more that the screaming tantrum of a small child.

    Allow me to tell you a small story:
    Once upon a time there was a child playing in the backyard.
    For years it have been allowed to play with its toys how he wanted and damned anybody saying otherwise.
    And for a time it was good.
    But after a while people started loosing interest, because the stories grew stale.
    The parents even had to sell some of the toys to their neigbours to make ends meet.
    And then the parents made a decision. They had seen how other people had done interesting things with some characters they used to own like the vampire hunter or the mutant-men.
    So they took one toy: the armoured knight and gave it to their older son.
    The older son took the toy, cleaned it up, removes that hitler-moustache the knight got from the last play and uses it to set up an entire new stage.
    People from the entire neighbourhood heard of this wonderous tale and were entralled by this new play. It even ended with the older son taking out the one-eyed cyclops-toy (that for some strange reason had fallen into a bucket of black paint) and asked the people to get back next week for even more plays.

    People were ecstatic. they were seeing plays and characters they have never heared of before. The armoured knight, The righteous soldier, the big green beast-man, the space-opera, the russian superspy, the story of the rodent and his happy tree friends.

    But the first son grew with envy, he now had to share his toys and he didn’t like that one single bit. And how dare people be happy with the tales his brother told, these outdated stories, no longer worthy of the modern age.

    So when the older son hired two brothers to tell the tale of the soldier and the silver-armed bandit versus the armoured knight the younger son threw a fit of rage.
    The play was a massive succes. The older brother even settled a long standing feud the parents had with their neighbours and got one of the lost toys( the spiderling) in the new play.

    The younger brother took the soldier toy, (one of the oldest and most cherised toy), and in a fit of rage set it on fire. “If i can’t play with it as I want then nobody can.”, he thought.

    This is were we are now, a temper trantrum.
    And if people believe that this won’t effect the MCU, then they are only kidding themselves.
    The MCU works because of three reasons:
    1) Kevin Feige (nuff said)
    2) good people, be it directors, actors who get their characters and many other people.
    3) good source material

    I can’t stress number 3 enough. Extremis (warren ellis), The winter soldier, death of captain America(Brubaker). These are all considered extremely good arcs in marvel comics.
    Guardians of the Galaxy worked not only because of their perfect cast and director but also because the source material was one of the best things Abnett and Lanning ever wrote.

    (one a side note : Dan Abnett, for the love of the emperor, by Jervis Johnson’s holy sideburns i plead with thee, when are we going to get Warmaster, )

    When i see the images from Thor Ragnarok, I see Carl Urban as skurge standing alone at Gjallerbru. And that answer is enough.
    All these things are basis stories that work on the cinema-screen because that are good stories at their soul and center.

    But this and everything else coming out of marvel comics has been trash. We saw how much cleaning the MCU-people had to do with the Civil War stuff to make it useful.
    I wanted to like Angela, I wanted to like female Thor but then i remembered “unsolicited opinion on israel,” and Asgardians talking about gentrification while in hell.
    My marvel orderlist has one series left on it. Make of that what you will.

  19. I read somewhere that a Spider-Man parallel would be Brevoort green-lighting a retcon of Peter’s origin, in which it is revealed that Peter was the one who actually murdered Uncle Ben.

    The people running Marvel Comics right now are hate-filled idiots.

    1. “I read somewhere that a Spider-Man parallel would be Brevoort green-lighting a retcon of Peter’s origin, in which it is revealed that Peter was the one who actually murdered Uncle Ben. The people running Marvel Comics right now are hate-filled idiots.”

      There is no idea too stupid or twisted at this point that I wouldn’t suspect Marvel of considering. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

  20. What’s even more of a downer is my certainty that Brevoort, even now, after the almost universal torrent of disgust, is either (A) clenching his fists together with satisfaction, or (B) offended.

    1. “What’s even more of a downer is my certainty that Brevoort, even now, after the almost universal torrent of disgust, is either (A) clenching his fists together with satisfaction, or (B) offended.”

      He said he knew it would be like slapping fans in the face to USA Today:

      “In the aftermath of a battle with Baron Zemo in the issue, written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Jesus Saiz, Steve Rogers betrays a fellow hero and says two jarring words: ‘Hail Hydra.’ ‘We knew it would be like slapping people in the face,’ says Brevoort.

      And this new status quo might mean turning on others considered friends. ‘His mission is to further the goals and beliefs of Hydra,’ Brevoort says. ‘If that involves taking down the Marvel universe, sure. (But) it may not be as simple as that. It’s not like he’s exchanged his white hat for a black hat — it’s a green hat.'”

      He says he did this with full knowledge that it would be like slapping fans in the face, but then told TIME it wasn’t a gimmick because it wasn’t done far shock value. What?! If I walked up to Tom Brevoort on the street and slapped him out of the blue (I wouldn’t do that, but let’s just say I did for the sake of argument), then he would be understandably “shocked.” He’s talking out both sides of his mouth.

      It’s so unfortunate that Marvel has editors and writers who seek to increase sales by fueling anger than uniting fans around a genuinely good book.

  21. I’m saddened and disgusted. I love America, I am grateful that I was born here. I am not ashamed to think this is the greatest country there ever was. I will instill that in children.

    This is an attack on America and all of us who love this country.

    I don’t like supporting companies that allow and defend this crap. I am seriously thinking of dropping the 3 Marvel books I still buy.

    1. “I don’t like supporting companies that allow and defend this crap. I am seriously thinking of dropping the 3 Marvel books I still buy.”

      I hear you, agp. I would not blame you if you called it quits with Marvel until its editors/writers start behaving professionally.

      I’m in this weird position because people say things like, “You’re perpetuating bad stories if you give Marvel a dime from here on out,” — but does that apply to writers? I feel as though it’s important to chronicle this stuff. The last three Captain America posts I’ve written have been seen by many eyes, and if I didn’t read the first issue then it would have been hard to articulate exactly what is going on.

      As I’ve said before, I sort of view my role in all this as a historian. I’ll give Marvel kudos when it does a good job (e.g., Charles Soule’s Daredevil), but I will take them to the cleaners when they pull stunts like turning Captain America into a Hydra agent. Yes, I bought the issue — but I’m sure that my blog posts prevented multiple people from spending their hard-earned cash on the product. That is a win in my book.

    2. Doug I think you do very important work on this blog. You have saved me from spending money on this garbage.

      I don’t know how many other blogs and websites there are like yours that are concerned with HONEST assessments of whats going on. We need you and everyone like you trudging through the crap so that we fans have a place to congregate and have our voice heard. Up until the point I found your blog I felt alone in this fandom.

    3. “We need you and everyone like you trudging through the crap so that we fans have a place to congregate and have our voice heard. Up until the point I found your blog I felt alone in this fandom.”

      Thanks, man. I may have said it before, but it means a lot to me when people say that because one of the reasons I started blogging was so that guys like you would have a place to go and not worry about stupid moderators. I got so sick and tired of seeing them ban people for no reason, throw decent comments down the Memory Hole, etc.

      I’ll never forget the time a moderator at the old Marvel boards banned me while I was at work and then told others it was because I was swearing after he warned users not to do that. It was a total lie and I had no recourse. He just didn’t like the fact that I tactfully — but forcefully — criticized ASM.

  22. I don’t buy single issues anymore myself. I just buy collected editions of comics I like in either hardcover or trade paperback. Regardless, I have no intention whatsoever of buying Nick Spencer’s Captain America, or indeed anything written by him.

    Why can’t they hire someone who actually loves America to write Cap’s adventures? Someone like a Brad Thor, for instance. If Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn were both alive, I’d say they’d do a good job, too. Instead, they don’t look outside the box and hire someone who had already written for them in the past. People like Spencer and even Ed Brubaker to an extent (although I will grant that his run was better than Spencer’s) don’t seem to like the character or the patriotic values he represents.

  23. Both I and my bother learned to read with Marvel comics. We both started reading/ collecting over 40 years ago. Captain America has always been my brothers favorite character, and he has every single issue from the 60s onward. I am a veteran, and my brother, a Highway Patrol captain. I think we both have just always admired the strong values Cap has stood for. A few years ago, I took my young son to Universal to shake hands with Cap, and me, my wife and son took pictures with him. We’ve come back to the park every year since, and make it a point to take a picture with Cap. Yeah, I know it’s just an actor, but you get the point…

    Nick Spencer’s first issue of Captain America is probably the most disgusting comic I have ever read. Why they hired a venomous, hate-filled leftist with an obvious political bias to write this book is baffling. Spencer’s political beliefs are his own, and he of course has every right to them, even if I find them disgusting. But to use this book as his own forum is unforgivable. The book should not be promoting either left or right wing political beliefs. They could have at least hired someone who doesn’t seemingly hate the patriotic values that Captain America stands for to write the book. My brother, after 40 years of collecting, stopped out of disgust due to the political bias the book was presenting. After reading for decades, to see some Johnny-come-lately writer come in and totally F the character, especially when it is someone like Spencer….For me, I am boycotting all Marvel products as long as Spencer is writing Cap. Whether they reverse the Hydra decision or not (they should) I am done as long as Spencer is writing the book. And between comics, movies and theme park visits, man, you better believe we spent a lot. But that is in the past tense for now. Disney, please get rid of Spencer. Do you like backlash? Has this decision been a popular one? Who are you publishing the book for -Spencer or the fans? Seventy-five years of history, and then someone like Nick Spencer gets his hands on the character. So sad.

    1. “Both I and my bother learned to read with Marvel comics. We both started reading/ collecting over 40 years ago. Captain America has always been my brothers favorite character, and he has every single issue from the 60s onward. I am a veteran, and my brother, a Highway Patrol captain. I think we both have just always admired the strong values Cap has stood for. A few years ago, I took my young son to Universal to shake hands with Cap, and me, my wife and son took pictures with him. We’ve come back to the park every year since, and make it a point to take a picture with Cap. Yeah, I know it’s just an actor, but you get the point…”

      Thomas, it’s comments like this that need to be seen by the right people at Disney/Marvel. I have told others on this blog before, but I too learned to read on Marvel comics. My youngest memories are sitting on a really ugly chair in our family room with my older brother reading Iron Man and The Amazing Spider-Man. When guys like Nick Spencer mock us online, they are also mocking the very memories we have that forged a relationship with Marvel to begin with. It is jaw-dropping how tone deaf Tom Brevoort is when it comes to this stuff. He sees a reaction he doesn’t like and acts as if it came out of a vacuum. Wrong. Your passion comes from 40 years of collecting comics and caring about character.

      To Nick Spencer, the book offers an opportunity to metaphorically punch political opponents in the groin. To guys like you, the book is about American values. The fact that Mr. Spencer can’t write about principles without inserting his own petty politics into book is proof that he shouldn’t be on it.

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