My biggest problem with this lazy “plot twist” is that in all of these years of Captain America sacrificing so much and putting his life on the line for his beliefs… only to come out now that he’s secretly working for Hydra? That doesn’t make any sense to retcon the character in such a way. It just doesn’t work and it definitely violates the core of what makes Captain America so relatable and compelling.
I read an interview with one of the writers who basically said that they thought about revealing a bunch of people as Hydra agents, but then thought maybe it would be better to have one well-placed agent that would be more effective than multiple agents in multiple places. Then they thought of who would be the most effective and have the biggest shock factor. And then Captain America became the obvious choice for that plotline.
This is inevitably the course of comics that run too long. You will live to see your heroes turned to villains, have the soul of their origin stories ripped out and eaten in front of you, watch them die, get reborn, rebooted, and then returned to their original state, though they’re now different in your mind because of all that you’ve witnessed.
Do people actually, genuinely believe that Captain America is now a Nazi bad guy?
“Nope, there’s absolutely no way this isn’t just a complex comicbook story arc where he infiltrates the bad guys, or he’s mind controlled, or a clone, or from an alternate dimension, or one of the other myriad silly-drama plot twists that comic writers love. He’s definitely evil, they’re definitely destroying this character forever, life will never be the same again.”
Right, this is the kind of plot twist that only would work if we didn’t have decades of backstory that directly, unambiguously contradicts it. It would be like revealing that Bruce Wayne secretly murdered his own parents.
First of all: the hand-wringing about this story needs to stop ASAP. Spencer is getting death threats on twitter for the first part of a larger story in a media that is built around dropping shocking cliff-hangers on the last page of issues. This is Big Two comics distilled in one issue: ret-cons and new revelations and media hype and the perception of change without real change.
And that last point is why Paolucci’s rant makes no sense. In the 75 years that Cap has existed, stories of every variety have been told about him. He’s been a nomadic hippy, disillusioned by the U.S. He’s been a yes-sir soldier following orders. He’s been a fighter of personal liberties AND the hand of fascists. He’s been a symbol of every facet of American life, and now he’s a pseudo-Nazi. All of those stories are corporately owned and corporately approved. Captain America isn’t a static symbol of one thing, controlled by one person, and rigidly relegated to one thing. I dislike the extended copyright control of these characters as much as anyone, but using a comic book character- who has tens of thousands of appearances written by hundreds of different people- as an example is really, really off-mark. Probably more so than any characters of their ages, corporate comic book characters are required to be experimented on, even if those experiments are short-lived. Like this one will likely be.
And it’s further bothersome that the interpretation here is that Cap-as-Hydra-Agent is some sort of decree by Marvel editorial or even higher up. That’s rarely how Marvel has traditionally worked (DC has known to be a little more edict-driven in the last decade), and the conclusion otherwise takes away from the work that Spencer- or anyone in his situation- is doing. This is his story about this character. Whether it’s a good one or not is yet to be seen. But it’s his; not theirs. Or simply put: this is Spencer’s fan fiction about Captain America. He just gets approval and a paycheck for it.
Finally, it’s especially ironic that THIS is the story that is getting dissected as being proof of corporate control of characters when DC’s Rebirth- released the same day as this book!- has done something of far greater consequence in that regards.
Seriously folks: let’s not read too much into a comic book plot twist. The perception of change has been the MO of this industry for its entire existence.
Plus it turns out that Iron Man is mostly plastic! And Plasticman is rubber! And Rubberman is making your mother uncomfortable! And Uncomfortable Man isn’t a futon!
The link is broken and the article itself seems to have disappeared from the face of Google, which is unfortunate, because it looked to be really good.
This reminds me of the Jon Snow plot in Game of Thrones recently.
::spoilers!!!:: (don’t tell me you don’t already know!?)
The GoT people kept saying, “no, really, Jon Snow is actually dead and he’s not coming back!”
Did anyone actually believe it? The only people I spoke to who thought it was true were people who weren’t paying a lot of attention and people who didn’t know/remember Lena Headey’s twitter teases of the Stoneheart reference that never came true.
I do believe that has been written once before. Don’t remember if it was a fan piece, or an elseworld tale but basically it had time travelling Bruce Wayne stopping Joe Chill early and then realizing he still needed to become the Bat so he pulled the trigger.
You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
- Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight
Is Thor still a lady? Are people still upset about that?
There’s no hand wringing or scowling here, i just don’t see how the hydra twist makes sense for the character and it comes across as a lazy ploy for notoriety from Marvel.
Dumber and weirder things have been done to other characters, even Captain America, so this latest one really doesn’t mean much to me. But damn, this is still a pretty dumb thing to write.
Elseworlds are my favorite DC stories because they break the mold and consider alternative possibilities. They realized that we’ve hit peak Batman and there’s likely not a lot of new stories to tell of the same old bat.
I like Superman Speeding Bullets the best -Superman as Bruce Wayne and Batman.
I always wanted to see a real life scenario where Bruce Wayne becomes a police detective instead of a costumed vigilante. Maybe a private investigator. This is probably been done somewhere for all I know.
“May the things you love die before they disappoint you.” – old geek blessing or at least I hope it becomes one; it’s helped me get over most of Marvel’s terrible decisions in the past 25 years.
Indeed. Elseworlds were always some of my favorite books.
The scenario you want has been written! Check out: Batman: Detective No. 27 elseworld tale.
I was never upset about a female God (or Goddess? who cares) of Thunder. Taking Thor’s name just never made sense though. That wasn’t just his superhero name or a formal title, it was his given name. It predates his career, it predates his powers, it’s the name his parents gave him thousands of years ago when he was a little Asgardian baby.
If a new character inherited the strength and powers of the Big Green Guy they could be the new “Hulk,” but they wouldn’t be the new “Bruce Banner.”
I’ve been a comic book reader for about 38 years, in that time I’ve seen pretty much every kind of character alteration/retconn and some have been good and some have been bad so the change itself isn’t bothering me (and I’m not really reading a lot of Cap these days anyhow) but there is one problem:
For like 70 years we have been reading Cap’s thought bubbles (for those not in to comics it’s just like dialogue bubbles but they are the private thoughts of the character) and he has consistently been anti-Hydra and anti-Nazi unless there is some plot-specific circumstance.
I probably won’t read the comics to see how or if they address this, but if they don’t then it’s a real continuity issue.
Lazy ploys for notoriety… Again, comic books.
And I don’t mean that as a negative comment towards the media. I love comics with all my heart, even the corporate ones when they’re good. But this is no different- nor is the reaction- to Cap telling the president to fuck off in the late 80’s. That supposedly went against the character, too…
Which is my point: stories like this- hell, ALL stories- need to held to a standard of quality, not whether it is within a given character construct. If this story sucks, that’s one thing. But don’t freak out over specific plot points that will change in time.