Yeah that’s how the new number one issue of Steve Rogers – Captain America shocked the comic book world this week. In an Earth-shattering twist that literally reset over 70 years of comic book history Steve Rogers was revealed to have been an undercover Hydra agent all along. And that has triggered some intense reactions on the internet. The dissent has been loud and strong extending even to former Cap writers like Ed Brubaker, who ended up firing off countless responses saying ‘hey, you know I don’t write that book anymore, right?’ For those in opposition this is an unforgivable sin, a rendering of one of the most straightforward beloved superheroes to villain status. If Cap has been Hydra all along, then in these people eyes his entire 70 year run of heroics in print are null and void.
Now I haven’t read the issue yet so I don’t have a personal critique of how it was executed, but I do have an opinion on how it’s being received. You know what guys, it’s a comic book. Twists, swerves, and gimmicks are par for the course. Writing the same story about the same people under the same circumstances in perpetuity is boring. And in my opinion Cap is exactly the kind of character who needs to be deconstructed from time to time to stay interesting. Which is why over the years we’ve gotten stories like The Winter Soldier, Civil War, and the last year or so where Rogers was rendered unable to act as Captain America and Sam Wilson had to take over.
This outrage to me is a symptom of the era we’re living in, where everyone has access to social media platforms and can cook up their own dopey blog without much trouble (pot met kettle, I know), and fire off hot takes with a complete lack of historical perspective or context. It’s like if you’re not given exactly what you want in a movie or comic storyline, instead of riding it out and being a little open minded about receiving something new too many people take to their keyboards to bang out their ‘this is terrible!’ takes. And this situation has reached next level awful levels. Tweeting at the writer of a book and his or her contemporaries that they are terrible people simply because they started a storyline you don’t like (and in many cases haven’t even read to judge for yourself) is beyond out of bounds. Get a grip, people.
Which brings me to my last point – the griping of non readers. A lot of the people who fire off hot takes about current comic or movie storylines haven’t actually read a comic featuring any of the characters in question in years. If you haven’t read a Cap comic since the Winter Soldier arc, just be quiet already. And if you want to act like what we got in this issue is going to be the final word, go jump in the lake. However long this story arc goes, do you really think it’s going to end the way it started? There are going to be twists and turns and if the story ends up being good, which it should because Nick Spencer is a god writer, then the final resolution will be one where the historical integrity of character is maintained.
So please just pipe down, ok? You sound like a bunch of morons.
OK, I read the actual story today. And you guys are crazy. Sorry, not sorry. It’s pretty clear that what little information we were given in the issue was to lead us to a false conclusion. It is highly unlikely that when this arc is all wrapped up the conclusion will be that Steve Rogers was an undercover Hydra agent who went around being a superhero as a cover for some covert, seven decades plus Hydra mission. If that ends up being the case I will eat my hat and put the video on YouTube. What Marvel succeeded in doing here was getting maximum publicity and boosting sales of a book that wasn’t all that anticipated before this week. I for one had no intention of getting this book before the story dropped. The Sam Wilson Captain America comic has been really good, much more interesting to me than Rogers has ever been. Whether I’ll continue with this one is up in the air. But if you hyped for Steve’s return then there’s no real reason for you to be so outraged over this plot twist that you drop it.