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Tuesday, May 26, 2020 

Valdosta Daily Times sugarcoats Ta-Nehisi Coates' Captain America run

The Valdosta Daily Times paid lip service to one of the worst writers ever assigned to script the Star-Spangled Avenger:
The red, white and blue Avenger lends himself to big, bold, brash superheroics, throwing his mighty shield. But the character has also had a rich, more subtle history when he abandons the star-spangled costume and shield to fight for justice as Steve Rogers.

He represents his country but he stands against its government when he thinks it is wrong.
Maybe once, but today, it's only when the government happens to be led by right-wingers, and the 2006 Civil War crossover, where Cap played a prominent role, was written as an attack on the Patriot Act. Even Spider-Man didn't emerge unscathed.
Readers can obviously see which Cap they are getting with the recent comic story arc: "Captain America: The Legend of Steve."

And they are still getting a Cap from a writer whose talents are as diverse as the Captain America/Steve Rogers combination: Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Yes, the same Coates who is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books such as the novel "The Water Dancer" (an Oprah Winfrey pick) and award-winning essay collections, an acclaimed journalist and the writer who brought new life to the "Black Panther" comic books.
And the same Coates who wrote anti-American screeds and exploited Black Panther's own title as another excuse to spew rhetoric in a similar vein. No wonder he's won so many leftist-dominated prizes. Some "diverse" talent alright.
Coates has been penning "Captain America" for nearly two years now.

"The Legend of Steve" collects a recent story arc where Rogers is a fugitive after escaping prison. He's still mistrusted after an alternative version of himself rose to world domination as the head of Hydra.

Here, Rogers looks for his soul and America must decide if Captain America is still a beacon of hope or a symbol of betrayal.

Coates' Cap is subtle but profound, with a storyline as complex and as conflicted as the nation Captain America represents.
This is the very kind of story I've argued cannot be considered canon, as the story preceding it (Secret Empire) was one of the worst examples of denigrating a classic creation for the sake of political correctness run amok. It was another example of the contempt for Kirby/Simon that's been going on ever since the turn of the century. At the very least, it should not have even been acknowledged or addressed in current storytelling, because it was just so gross, seeing Steve Rogers reduced to a pawn in a publicity stunt, calling out "hail Hydra", all because the writers and editors like Nick Spencer and Axel Alonso knew it was bound to draw the ire of Cap fans who'd take offense at how they were trying to make it look like Cap's timeline was negatively retconned to the max.

None of this carries any comment, objective or otherwise, from the newspaper writer, of course, who just passes out this superficial take on a trade collection of a propagandist's work without even considering why it could be viewed as such a tasteless tale. When a story is as bad as Secret Empire was, a followup isn't going to wash away the harm so easily, and only makes it worse. That's why what Secret Empire set up should be jettisoned entirely.

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"And the same Coates who wrote anti-American screeds and exploited Black Panther's own title as another excuse to spew rhetoric in a similar vein."

Coates' Black Panther stories have all been set either in Africa or in outer space. Not in America. There is not much about America in them, so no anti-American screeds. His Wakanda has a lot in common with Israel, and the stories seem pro-Zionist on a metaphorical level. With his Captain America the political themes have been muted, and Captain America is portrayed as a lot less liberal than, say, he was under Stan Lee or Steve Englehart. They started off with a star artist, but the interior art lately has looked sloppy and amateurish.

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