It's a tumultuous time to be a Captain America fan right now. Although Captain America: Civil War broke the box office, some fans were disappointed at the apparent lack of resolution for Bucky and Cap's relationship. The hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend started trending, sparking debate in all corners of the Twittersphere.
But Marvel wasn't to be outdone by a mere discussion of queer representation. Hot on the heels of this small controversy came a much, much greater twist: Captain America was Hydra all along, as revealed in the first issue of his new solo comic.
The comic reveals that from childhood, Steve Rogers was exposed to Hydra's propaganda. In present day, Cap kills his ally Jack Flag and takes control of a hostage from Zemo. Then comes the fateful panel, which seems to prove Cap's allegiance to Hydra.
Outrage Among Fans
Naturally, this drove the internet nuts, and the debate rages on as to whether this is a fresh new take on the character, or a needlessly offensive retcon. Of course we don't actually know the whole story yet — Cap could be brainwashed, or a triple agent, or this could all be a misunderstanding. After all, comics are known to shake things up every now and then with outlandish twists, and even Cap hasn't been safe from this in the past.
That hasn't stopped people from writing long essays on how insulting this twist is to both the memory of his Jewish creators and the fans whose family members were affected by the Holocaust. Not to mention pointing out all the other plot twists Marvel could have used to freshen up the character. But it's not all long treatises and endless arguments — some fans have banded together to protest this plot twist in a far more constructive, and philanthropic fashion.
Donating The Price Of The Comic
Tumblr user rockscanfly started off the movement, suggesting that instead of buying the new Captain America comic, people donate the price to the US Holocaust Museum instead. This idea soon caught on, as fans were determined to show Marvel Entertainment exactly what they thought of the twist.
There's no way of knowing how many donations the Holocaust Museum has received, but this is a nicely ironic way to protest Cap's new allegiance to Hydra. The plot twist was almost definitely motivated by a desire to boost Captain America's diminishing comic book sales, and there's no doubt that plenty of people will be running out to buy this new series to see what all the fuss is about. Donating to the museum is an interesting way to use that money to support victims of the Holocaust, instead of buying into Marvel's shock value.
Ultimately though, we just don't know what the twist itself means. Personally, I'm betting on some subsequent twist defying our expectations, and restoring Cap's identity as the Hitler-punching, freedom-fighting hero we know and love.
We'll just have to wait and see to find out, but it's good to know that the Holocaust Museum is benefiting from all these new donations!