Their obsession with denigration knows no bounds
Two words no one ever expected Captain America to say? "Hail Hydra."I think that's Brevoort's way of saying what he thinks of the country he lives in. Well in that case, maybe it's time he moved right out.
The new "Captain America: Steve Rogers #1" comic book hits stands Wednesday featuring the return of the original Captain America, Steve Rogers, but with a shocking twist: in the final pages Rogers throws a fellow hero out of a plane to his death and says "Hail Hydra," the salute of the longtime Marvel Comics terrorist group Hydra.
The patriotic hero's apparent heel turn, following months of sitting on the sidelines, is the highlight of the new No. 1 issue written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Jesus Saiz, and the book's editor, Tom Brevoort, wants people to know they aren't falling back on any of the old comic-book switcheroos — a clone, a life model decoy or a Steve Rogers from another dimension — for this reveal.
"That's the real dude, and you'll find out the whys and wherefores in the second issue," Brevoort said.
Captain America has always reflected the era he's lived in, and adding this level of complexity to Steve Rogers' character just reflects where we are as a country, Brevoort said.
"In the zeitgeist of the moment that we're in, in the middle of sort of a very volatile election cycle where there's a lot of strange things going on in the world of politics, and the world and the country, it feels kind of appropriate, kind of right timing-wise, that you could get a revelation like this and it not feel out of step with where the nation happens to be in the moment," he said.
Even if this does turn out to be a clone or a brainwashed man, what's making their stunt so additionally repulsive is that they deliberately want to upset Cap fans. Otherwise, assuming they don't intend to make this a permanent retcon, they'd say that wasn't their intention and assure people it'll have a relieving ending. Their attitude here is particularly reprehensible. What are the odds even Ed Brubaker won't have any misgivings to raise?
"Twenty-four hours ago people were asking the question of 'Steve is back. Why do you need Sam Wilson? When is he going to go back to being the Falcon?'" Brevoort laughed. "And suddenly today, 24 hours later, people kind of go, 'Oh, now I see something that I didn't see before.' And now suddenly there is an interesting friction between these two titles."And in this case, I think it's gotten to the point where they want Steve representing right-wingers in a very bad way. Their steps are offensive to the memories of Kirby/Simon, and all the hard work guys like them did to create a famous icon. Brevoort also told USA Today:
Any change in Captain America always brings controversy, and Internet leaks meant hate email from irate fans has already started, he said. "It speaks both to the strong connection that people have for Steve Rogers as an individual or even Captain America as an idea," he said.
Captain America is "not just another superhero. He wears the colours of the nation and he's meant to represent and reflect what the national dialogue is at any given point," Brevoort said.
In the aftermath of a battle with Baron Zemo in the issue, written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Jesus Saiz, Steve Rogers betrays a fellow hero and says two jarring words: “Hail Hydra.” “We knew it would be like slapping people in the face,” says Brevoort.Brevoort's becoming clearer and clearer in his intentions all the time. No matter where they're going with this, he actually wanted to make everyone feel sick...except the mainstream press outlets already serving as apologists. Which just goes to show what they really think of Jack Kirby/Joe Simon's creation.
And this new status quo might mean turning on others considered friends. “His mission is to further the goals and beliefs of Hydra,” Brevoort says. “If that involves taking down the Marvel universe, sure. (But) it may not be as simple as that. It’s not like he’s exchanged his white hat for a black hat — it’s a green hat.”
Hydra is shown in the new issue as a nefarious group led by the Red Skull that is attracting the disaffected and disenfranchised, especially youth — both in the current day and in the 1920s, when Steve and his mother are recruited.
Time did an interview with Brevoort where he vehemently upholds this latest desecration of Simon/Kirby's memories:
TIME: How did Marvel decide to make Steve Rogers a secret Hydra operative?Indeed. One formed by Chomskyites. Basically, it's their way of letting even readers who like Sam Wilson know they don't want to give them a Steve Rogers they can appreciate, and believe that whites are expendable. But it's just the same idea as The Truth: Red White and Black - to tarnish a famous creation for the sake of political correctness.
Tom Brevoort: Nick Spencer, who is the writer of the series, pitched us the story as part and parcel of restoring Steve to his youth and vigor. In the comics, he’s been old for awhile. The super soldier serum that was keeping him young had been broken down, so for the 75th anniversary, Nick had this notion that we were going to restore him. But then we went into this other story about Hydra, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
If readers go back and look at older comics, will this hold up?He really wants people to read the series? But what kind of people? Proud Americans and respectable foreigners or Chomskyites and bad foreigners? Even if they recant what's being set up in the following issue, that's no defense for what they've done now. It merely suggests they're playing the roles of professional victims, and I have a feeling they're actually quite comfy with the angry reactions they've already received.
It will. Issue 2 kind of winds the clock back a little bit and lays out exactly how and why things are the way they are. And it lays out a roadmap for where things are headed in the future. At this point, I don’t want to say too much definitively because I want people to read the comic books. But people will be able to connect the dots and follow the trail of breadcrumbs.
In the comic the Red Skull of Hydra talks about “criminal trespassers” who “make a mockery” of America’s borders and calls the refugees in Germany an “invading army” bringing “fanatical beliefs and crime” to Europe. Obviously, this hate speech is nothing new for the organization, but it sounds like rhetoric we’ve been hearing this election. Is that purposeful?Forget it, they're as literal as they're metaphorical, and Spencer's made it no secret he hates Republicans. So this rendition apparently represents what he thinks of them.
We try to write comics in 2016 that are about the world and the zeitgeist of 2016, particularly in Captain America. Nick Spencer, the writer, is very politically active. He’s a Capitol Hill head and following this election very closely. So we can talk about political issues in a metaphoric way. That’s what gives our stories weight and meat to them. Any parallels you have seen to situations real or imagined, living or dead, is probably intentional but metaphorically not literally.
What are we supposed to think about the fact that someone literally named Captain America now supports these beliefs?We've already been aware of this for years. Brevoort's resorting to the position of pretending a fictional character is a real person, and refuses to accept that leisure seekers read the adventures of heroes like Cap because they can represent some of the things real people cannot. It's clear he can't tell the difference between fiction and reality.
Again, I don’t want to say anything too definitively because we’re laying out the story. But we want to push that button. There should be a feeling of horror or unsettledness at the idea that somebody like this can secretly be part of this organization. There are perfectly normal people in the world who you would interact with on a professional level or personal level, and they seem like the salt of the earth but then it turns out they have some horrible secret — whether it’s that they don’t like a certain group of people or have bodies buried in their basement.
You should feel uneasy about the fact that everything you know and love about Steve Rogers can be upended.
To ask the blunt question, is this a gimmick?Yawn. Nobody should be fooled any more by Brevoort's dishonesty. It is a gimmick, namely, one that's intended to say to superhero fans "we hate you". It sounds like Spencer's take on Steve is meant to say what he thinks of the Cap fans as much as right-wingers. In fact, it's practically an insult to anyone who's seen the movie adaptations. Anybody - speculator or otherwise - who puts money into this book after the way Brevoort and Spencer have been acting is only prolonging their ability to do repellent fanfiction with Kirby/Simon's creations.
Every single month whether it’s a run of the mill month for Captain America or an extraordinary month, our job is to put him in situations that place that character under some degree of pressure and see how he reacts to that. And hopefully our readers are surprised, shocked, elated, see something of themselves, learn something about themselves. To say it’s a gimmick implies that it’s done heedlessly just to shock. The proof is always going to be in the execution. So you’ll have to read the rest of the story to see.
But I certainly believe it’s not a gimmick. It’s a story that we spent a long time on, that’s compelling and captures the zeitgeist of the world. It will make readers wonder how the heck we’ll get out of this.