Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Marvel Comics to Fans: Didn't You Know that Captain America Is Totally Into Hydra??

So I was going to write last night about #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, a goofy Twitter campaign that urged Marvel Comics to hook Steve Rogers (AKA Captain America) with longtime chum, Bucky Barnes (AKA Winter Solider). After all, "you don't oppose 117 nations just for 'a childhood friend.'" Unless you're Captain America!

But then I got busy and the whole campaign seemed silly, so I got distracted and let it drop.

All silliness aside, that Twitter campaign -- which got the anti-gay trolls and traditionalists all in an uproar for a short time -- was nothing compared to what Marvel Comics appears to have done this morning in STEVE ROGERS: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1.

Marvel Comics had Steve Rogers kill off fellow hero, Jack Flag, and reveal that he is a Hydra agent:
In recent months, Steve Rogers' body had been drained of the Super-Soldier Serum, leaving him old and weak. Now, he's back in action, young, and fit... and on the last page of today's issue, it's revealed that he's working with Hydra.

Through flashbacks, it's implied that Cap has been working with Hydra since he was a child and they helped protect his mother.
Fans don't believe it. I don't believe it. Husband Mark didn't believe it when I told him about it earlier today. Red Skull is currently telepathic and could easily have messed with Cap's brain, but Marvel Comics says otherwise:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How long has this been in development? What inspired you to rethink such an iconic character in this way?...

WRITER NICK SPENCER: Rick Remender, who was the previous writer on Captain America, had been building towards this story of Hydra having infiltrated various institutions of government and various super teams. I thought that sounded like too big of a story. I drilled it down and thought, what if there’s just one very valuable Hydra plant? What if they’re looking for 100 people, but there’s just one? So I started asking, who’s the worst person it could possibly be? It was really obvious straight away that there’s nobody who could do more damage and nobody that could be a more valuable Hydra plant than Steve Rogers. That was really the genesis. It sprang pretty organically from story ideas that were already on the table.

Issue 1 lays the groundwork for the reveal with flashbacks to Steve’s childhood and his first contact with an operative of Hydra. Does this mean it’s been this way his whole life?... 

SPENCER: Issue 2 will lay a lot of our cards on the table in terms of what the new status quo is, but the one thing we can say unequivocally is: This is not a clone, not an imposter, not mind control, not someone else acting through Steve. This really is Steve Rogers, Captain America himself....

What kind of relationship will Cap have with this new generation of Hydra? 

SPENCER: It’s a big part of our story, what Steve’s beliefs are about what Hydra should be, where it should go, what it should focus on. To me, I always get really fascinated by this kind of thing. Any World War II history buff can talk your ear off about the internal power struggles of the Nazi Party. There were some fun parallels to play with here. There’s also a little bit of The Man in the High Castle here. It’s a difficult challenge to get people invested in Hydra characters because their ideology is so repugnant, but what The Man in the High Castle did so well was get you to pull for the lesser of the evils. You might be seeing some similar things here.
So there you go. Steve Rogers -- the man who fought Nazis since World War II as Captain America -- is now revealed after 75 years to be a Nazi and Hydra agent. I don't buy it at all.

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