Brett White was fully biased in favor of changing Captain America into an ultra-leftist
[...] While there is no questioning the evil of Nazi Germany now, there were plenty of people questioning that evil in 1940. The personal politics of Captain America creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby placed that punch on the cover. Simon was even quoted as saying in the book "Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America" that "when the first issue came out we got a lot of ... threatening letters and hate mail. Some people really opposed what Cap stood for." Captain America's creation was a political statement. Captain America has been political ever since then, and Captain America is political today.I wonder if it occurred to him that there's a lot of leftists - surely including young master White - who're questioning the darkness in the Koran today, and even those questioning al Qaeda's guilt in attacking America, even trying to claim it was all just an "inside job". These particular creeps are known today as 9-11 Trutherists. Also, has he ever considered Joe Simon's Republican membership when he was alive?
Someone should tell that to the hosts of "Fox & Friends," because they were not happy about "Captain America: Sam Wilson" #1. In the issue from writer Nick Spencer and artist Daniel Acuna, the new Captain America (former Falcon Sam Wilson) stops the hate group the Sons of the Serpent from kidnapping and/or murdering a group of people crossing the Mexico border illegally. The hosts cited that very cover -- a cover that caused a stir 75 years ago for being too political -- as the kind of apolitical fare they want to see in comics. Co-host Heather Childers chimed in, "Keep politics out of comics, that's what I say." Since politics have been inextricably tied to superhero comics since day one (the first superhero is an illegal immigrant to Earth), it'd be kinda silly to start separating the two now.Naturally, Mr. White cannot bring himself to acknowledge just why any conservatives, whatever the talent level they bring to the table, took offense at the story: it turned the Serpents into right-wing stand-ins, serving as the writers' idea of what they think conservatives all are, when in the past, the Serpents had been a commie front. Whether it's heroes or villains, exploiting established characters to represent one's own narrow idea for how to attack real life figures they're meant to allude to is going too far. And once again, somebody's insulting the memory of Siegel and Shuster by indirectly calling their creation of Superman an "illegal immigrant" instead of a refugee from a destroyed sci-fi planet, which is hardly the same thing as deliberate interloping.
I know that those conservative pundits would rather have the new Captain America do something without political overtones, like punch the leader of a foreign country in the face, but besides that, how should this story have gone down? Should Captain America have let the Sons of the Serpent do what they wanted with the immigrants? Should Cap have diverted his attention from the shotgun-wielding hood-wearing mob to instead scold the unarmed Mexicans? What does their Captain America do in that situation?I wonder why he's so hell-bent on defending the story as though it happened in real life, but not willing to ask whether Marvel had a bad idea to concoct such monstrosities to start with? Or, how come he doesn't have the courage to ask whether Marvel's staff should allow stories that actually attack Islamofascism to be published? In fact, how come he's not asking whether the dialogue in the finished product is gratingly awful? Because I took a look at those word balloons and shook my head, particularly when the Serpent overlord says "yadda".
The only mistakes the Fox commentators are at fault for is not arguing properly whether it's better for mainstream comics to avoid political issues like these for a change, or to try doing more metaphorical approaches, something that was sometimes done in the past, but today has been overtaken by pure ridicule. Or, more to the point, that the publishers stop attacking conservatives so blatantly.
The thing is, I think Tucker Carlson did more damage to the conservative ideology with his comments on the issue than the issue itself. "So who is this Serpent?" asked Carlson on "Fox & Friends." "Is this Serpent an Islamic [extremist], an ISIS member bent on destroying Western civilization? No. The Serpent is an American who has misgivings about unlimited immigration and the costs associated with it. That, according to the comic book, is evil."And White should be ashamed of himself for glossing over some of the most disturbing problems with the story: the Serpents here were turned into right-wing stand-ins, possibly meant as allusions to the Minutemen. Put another way, they were transformed from KKK and communist metaphors into deliberate villifications of right-wing sources, simultaneously making the border interlopers out to look solely like victims who've done nothing illegal. I think White's done more damage to the reputation of comicdom than he thinks.
"Misgivings" is a gross oversimplification of the text, my fellow bowtie-enthusiast. The Sons of the Serpent have been around for 50 years and are basically the Marvel Universe's Ku Klux Klan. Captain America wasn't fighting a conservative politician from Arizona, nor was he fighting a group of concerned citizens or other Fox News correspondents who have actual misgivings about immigration. He was fighting blatant racists, Marvel's hooded stand-ins for the most well-known hate group in America. Fox's target demo should be ashamed of the comparison -- specifically when Carlson looked at the camera and said that people with those same ideologies were probably watching.
This level of political involvement isn't new for Captain America, as Steve Rogers spent his decades carrying the shield becoming involved in political stories. He punched Hitler before America was ready to fight Nazis, he gave up the mantle of Captain America in the wake of a Watergate-level scandal, he considered a run for president, resisted the Patriot Act-esque Superhero Registration Act during "Civil War" and later fought his 1950s stand-in who had become a puppet for a group analogous to the Tea Party. Writers have been making politically relevant Captain America stories since day one, and that's why this current run, now two issues in, feels so resonant and right today -- and that's why I love it.Except those commentaries are selective and left-leaning. There's no commentary on how destructive and savage Islamofascism happens to be, no criticism of any world governments for failing to combat jihadism effectively, no questions whether Islam incorporates racism/misogyny, and press sources like White fully side with that vehement refusal through their own utter refusal to question whether they're turning their backs on serious issues while making western conservatives out to be the sole root of all evil. Indeed, why can't he ask whether mainstream publishers are being unfair to rightists?
If "Captain America" isn't commenting on the politics of today, is it really "Captain America"?
"Captain America: Sam Wilson" is directly inspired by the world we live in right now; this book could not exist a year ago and, honestly, I hope that our politics progress enough that these issues look wildly dated by fall 2016. In addition to being in touch with today's strictly partisan political world, the book also has Sam Wilson in the red, white and blue -- not Steve Rogers. This is important, and it's a key factor to Spencer's take on the title, although it's yet to be specifically addressed.This is such laughter. It's only "inspired" by left-wing ideology, and with the way things have been going for several years now, it most certainly could've existed over a year ago. It's not in touch with the wider world at all.
Steve Rogers is unimpeachably great. He's both pulled from the ranks of The Greatest Generation and carries with him the social progressivism of today; the Steve in both the comics and the films does not flinch at seeing women or people of color in positions of power. This guy respects and believes in the goodness of everybody. He's the embodiment of the idealized past that we all really wish actually existed. He believes in America, he believes in Americans, he believes in doing the right thing.Wow, check out all the obvious biases White's got, believing Brown, if anybody, was just an innocent victim of white racism and never assaulted patrolman Darren Wilson. And he just doesn't get how today's approach values the costume more than the character wearing it. It's not even necessarily about diversity; just putting so many different characters in them, with virtually no talented writing guaranteed to accompany them. Also, how come Sam Wilson's not Captain America for those who've read the stories about anti-white racism?
Sam Wilson is also unimpeachably great, but he's not a White guy that grew up during the Great Depression; he's a Black man that grew up in modern times (maybe the '80s because, you know, Marvel's kooky sliding timescale?) in Harlem. He's assumed the mantle of Captain America for a readership that has heard the stories of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and countless others. He's Captain America during a longer-than-ever presidential election cycle wherein a billionaire has made keeping out undocumented immigrants -- and potentially deporting 11 million people -- his whole thing. I heard more about a "big, beautiful wall" in the last Republican Debate than I have in every episode of "Property Brothers" I've ever watched.
The country is so divided right now that there is absolutely no way for Sam Wilson -- a Black Captain America -- to be the great unifier that Steve Rogers was. His skin color is seen as a political act by some people, and I'm speaking about real people that cover up racism with claims of being anti-"political correctness." Every single mantle change Marvel has made over the past year has been met with a lot of hatred from real world human beings. Spencer could have chosen to write an aspirational story about a Black man being a unifying, mad scientist-punching Captain America in today's not-at-all-post-racial America, but that wouldn't be right with "Captain America's" political history. Instead, Spencer is wisely using Sam Wilson and his point of view to explore today's real world politics.Sam's POV? Not Spencer's? And was Steve Rogers always a unifier? I wouldn't be too sure of that. Those he could unify best were the Avengers. But it's not like every civilian he met in the past stories was ever seen agreeing with him on everything. Nor does White consider that leftists like himself have been going out of their way to make the USA divided with alienating positions. He doesn't even consider that Sam was written as an anti-hero in the Bronze Age, with a condescending viewpoint of whites, technically holding even the innocents who helped blacks responsible, or not always considering the merits of those who helped the black community to win the civil rights campaign.
As for covering up racism, does that include those who conceal racism and sexual abuse in Muslim regimes? Say, has White himself ever commented on issues like that? Because if not, then he is what he talks about.
That's the premise of the book: this is a Captain America fighting for a country wherein the government spies on its civilians, black people are disproportionally targeted by law enforcement and politicians seek to revert laws that have been on the books for decades. This is a Cap that has to take a side in order to do his job -- and Spencer knew exactly how that would play out. All the real world fallout -- the headlines and partisan hatred -- that happened on TV and online because of issue #1 play out in issue #1. That's how predictable our political climate is right now; Spencer called his shot months ago.So here we have a clue this is all about laws meant to allow protection of innocent citizens like the Patriot Act. And if the book's view is really against illegal immigration, how come they've introduced a new sidekick who comes from such a background? Besides, it makes little difference whether Spencer actually admits undocumented entrance is negative. What matters is how he paints a severe picture of right-wing stand-ins that makes it look like they're all inherently extreme in their standings, replete with badly written dialogue. Then, in an attempt to use any moral equivalence in the story to "disprove" complaints, he says:
But the thing that I think detractors missed is that Sam Wilson is not always right, nor is he presented as such, nor are all the other characters presented as being wrong. Good guys -- Maria Hill and Steve Rogers -- disagree with him on a number of occasions and they're not reduced to one-dimensional adversaries. The fact that crossing the border undocumented is illegal is mentioned a number of times. This is a book that knows what it's doing.
In "Captain America: Sam Wilson" #2, the book features a leak of government (S.H.I.E.L.D.) information in a plotline involving an Edward Snowden stand-in called the Whisperer. (Sidenote: Spencer continues his prescience streak by featuring a timely scene wherein Maria Hill stares down a government hearing with some Hillary Clinton swagger) Spoilers ahead. Sam and Steve both act on the leaked S.H.I.E.L.D. intel and condemn the proposal for the heroic government agency to use Cosmic Cube tech to alter reality. Nuance. But they disagree when Maria Hill tracks down the Whisperer's whereabouts; Sam views this as a grudge-match witch-hunt and believes the Whisperer will never get a fair trial while Steve sees it as bringing someone who broke the law to justice. Neither is portrayed as being absolutely right; the book might seem like it's coming down on Sam's side, but that's because he's the book's protagonist. Steve Rogers makes valid points, so does Maria Hill; superheroes can disagree without coming across as villainous.Umm, how does that prove he's not a stand-in for conservative figures? Given the story's slant, all it does is make him yet another of the sort. Did White realize his propaganda does little to alleviate the perception this was an anti-conservative screed? I'd say he only revealed enough data to make it look worse: as right-wing stick figures, it makes them look like they're racist enough to conduct experiments on racial groups. Kind of reminiscent of The Truth: Red, White and Black's own premise, designed as a slight to Kirby/Simon's writing. And look how White's revealed he's a Clinton supporter, despite all the wrongs she and her husband are guilty of. Not sure why we should care about the blabbering of a guy who's not worried about liberals who commit serious wrongs.
The issue also shows another side of the immigrant skirmish in issue #1, with Steve pointing out that Sam went into battle against the Sons without having any real proof of the hate group kidnapping or murdering anyone; that's a point Sam's partner Misty Knight made in the first issue, too. So while Sam Wilson's actions as Captain America at the Arizona border were heroic (he saved lives!) he also charged in without any evidence. And the guy guiding all those immigrants illegally? He's not some liberal folk hero or a stand-up citizen; nope, he's in cahoots with the Serpents and is helping them traffic people to a mad scientist.
And so, there we have another example of White's disrespect for past contributors like Simon and Kirby, and his lending of a hand to those who make it a career to belittle the hard work they did in their time to entertain the audience without being overly anti-right-wing (and lest we forget, Simon was a Republican). If he doesn't respect their creations, then I don't see why he has to bother defending such terrible directions.