It's been three days since Marvel dropped the biggest bomb of a plot twist. I wasn't able to get my hands on a copy of Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 until yesterday. The spoilers for what happened were impossible to avoid, and I watched in silence as the internet exploded with fans raising their voices about how wrong this is. I agree. It is wrong. Portraying Captain America as a Nazi, who has been working for Hydra this whole time, is wrong. I would like to stop here and say that we may have overreacted, and we should still give the story a chance to play out. It might turn out to be okay in the end. We won't know until the story line is elaborated on. In the mean time, however, here are my thoughts on the matter (even if I am three days late to the party).
Captain America was created during World War II. He was more than just a man in a red, white and blue suit. He stood for freedom, and hope in dark times. The shield and the costume represented the ideals that America stood for back then. I imagine World War II was a dark time when hope was hard to find. But then came this guy on a comic who punched Hitler in the face. I'll bet that gave people hope when they needed it most. Captain America was seen fighting and winning Nazis. Fast forward through time and he' seen facing new threats, but he always wins without comprising his beliefs. Throughout his history, he stands up for what he believes in, and usually he believes in doing the right thing no matter what the cost.
But that isn't the case today. He's been working for Hydra this whole time. I've seen differing opinions about this over the past few days. While I plan to give this a chance to see how it turns out, I still think it's wrong. For me, Captain America is my favorite superhero because he stands for fighting through dark times, for standing up in what you believe in, and even if it's impossible, and you're the only one fighting, you keep going anyway. Captain America has always been that one who presses on despite everything.
But now I wonder if I should be writing this in the past tense. I suppose Captain America can still be who he is, except instead of using his ideals for fighting the good fight, he can use them to fight for the people he used to take down. But that goes against everything he believes in. It goes against everything he ever stood for. If Captain America has been evil this whole time, then he's never been fighting the good fight, and maybe there never was a good fight to begin with. But look at when and why he was created, or at least what his creation brought to Americans--and you'll see that he was never using his beliefs for evil. He has been a good guy, but this is just a bad plot twist. Sure, people change, but change goes both ways. I hope he can change back to who he was before someone thought this would be a good idea.
I have one last thing I would like to say. Look at this interview posted on Time Magazine's blog. Look at the very end, where Marvel's executive editor Tom Brevoort said that this twist will "make readers wonder how the heck we'll get out of this." We shouldn't have to wonder. This isn't WWII, but these are dark times nonetheless. It's just a different kind of darkness. The world's a mess. We still need hope. We don't need the heroes we grew up with turning to the dark side. We don't need the heroes who gave us hope to keep on fighting to turn around and hail Hydra. We don't need our heroes running out of hope and throwing away everything they've fought for. What does that say for us, for the world? Maybe we should do the same? No. There's already enough bad stuff in the world. We don't need something good becoming something bad. There was always a line between good and evil, and Cap stood on the good side of it. But now the line was erased, and maybe he's in the middle, or maybe he's crossed over and forgotten everything he ever was. We'll find out eventually, I suppose. But, Marvel, you should know: Captain America has always been a beacon of hope in dark times, and now he isn't...lights should never be extinguished like that, even if you think it's a compelling idea or a money making schemes. Childhood heroes should never be ruined. A character who has given people hope should never be turned into the reason they ran out of hope. Because if Captain America is Hydra, despite being the guy who fought on despite everything, then maybe if he's encouraged people to do the same, it was all in vain. And that's what hailing Hydra says--maybe everything that Captain America stood for was in vain. But I guess we won't know until the upcoming issues.