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Wednesday, April 09, 2014 

Wired recommends those who see Captain America sequel read bad comics

Wired listed several Captain America stories they think make for perfect reading for anyone who's seen the movie sequel. But pretty predictably, almost all the recommended reads are bad ones penned by overrated writers. For example, Ed Brubaker's story where he "killed" Captain America:
More commonly known as “The Death of Captain America,” this 18-issue storyline by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Butch Guice followed the original comic book introduction of the Winter Soldier and gave the character new purpose in the wake of the apparent death of Steve Rogers.
What does anyone need to read about the supposed death of Steve for? Or, why must Steve be kicked to the curb just to give their take on Bucky some time in the spotlight?

And then, there's Secret Warriors:
The movie’s big revelation about S.H.I.E.L.D. is not a development that’s original to the movies. It actually originated in this series by Jonathan Hickman, Brian Michael Bendis and Stefano Caselli (amongst other artists), which took political paranoia to new levels by revealing that S.H.I.E.L.D. had always been under the control of Hydra—and letting Nick Fury loose with a group of brand new recruits to close down both organizations.
"Always"? Coming in their context, it's embarrassing. Stories like those are only written for the sake of tearing down years of better writers' hard work. And then, on Secret Avengers, they say:
For those who found themselves loving The Winter Soldier just because they never quite trusted the idea of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place, good news—there was an entire series based on the idea that, just maybe, S.H.I.E.L.D. was up to no good even with the best of intentions. Featuring Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Agent Phil Coulson, this series by Nick Spencer, Luke Ross and others centered around one simple idea: What if S.H.I.E.L.D. mind-wiped agents after missions so they didn’t necessarily know what they’d done? As you might expect, things don’t exactly turn out too well.
Oh great. This is yet another story with similarities to Identity Crisis doing nothing more than tarnishing the image of a movement that's supposed to be noble. Will they be attacking Doctor Strange next, because he used his magics to make people forget he was a trained wizard, and not care a bit that he didn't want crooks to find out his night job and use it against him more easily? If not trusting a government is so important, that's why they could've created brand new fictional agencies whose purpose is to be the diametric opposite of SHIELD and cause more harm than good. They could've come up with a variant on AIM that's a government agency, and made that the adversary of the good guys, but this being the age of cheapjack, they won't do it.

The above stories are simply not what should be recommended to people who've seen the movie. I'd recommend they read stories like "Madbomb" from 1975, from a time when Jack Kirby briefly returned to script the hero he'd created in the Golden Age, and the Falcon, who was a co-star at the time. At least Wired didn't recommend that horrible Marvel Knights rendition from 2002, which was repellent.

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Ok, I understand you disliked Ed Brubaker's Captain America. That's fine. In my humble opinion, this was truly great storeytelling that kept you riveted with intelligent dialogue, scripts and plots, and made you come back month after month for more. In addition Mr Brubaker was allowed to tell his story relatively uninterupted by editorial. Yes, there was the House of M tie-in but it was only one issue. The death apparently was already planned before Civil War and it's tie-in was incidental, not a mandate. This run together with DnA's cosmic universe stuff are among the best books put out by Marvel in over a decade.

"The revelation about SHIELD is not original to the movies," but it "actually originated" long before Secret Warriors. It was the basis of the Nick Fury vs. SHIELD mini-series in 1988, and it was hinted at as far back as 1975-76 (in the Huntress story in the B&W magazine Marvel Super Action #1).

The 2008 retcon may have introduced the plot twist that SHIELD had always been under the control of Hydra, but the idea that the agency "was up to no good even with the best of intentions" had appeared before then.

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