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Sunday, February 28, 2021 

Kotaku recommends pretentious Falcon and Winter Soldier stories

The entertainment site Kotaku listed several Marvel books since the mid-2000s featuring the Falcon, which they recommend reading before turning to a new TV show called Falcon and the Winter Soldier. And the following one is something that, no matter what you think of Christopher Priest as a writer, it was appalling for at least a few reasons:
Christopher Priest is a great writer – he’s responsible for most of the things people like about modern Black Panther. This series is worth a read, but it can be a bit uneven at times due to external events messing with Priests’ story and some art that hasn’t aged well.

However, if you can stomach those slight flaws, this is an underrated Captain America comic that does a particularly good job of exploring the friendship between Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson.

The series’ main threat is a twisted version of Cap known as the “Anti-Cap”. He works for the Office of Naval Intelligence, undertaking various black op missions “for the good of the country”, like retrieving a bioweapon that could kick off World War III.
If memory serves, the "anti-Cap" in this story was a villainous character depicted acting as a "patriot" in the wrong ways. According to this sugary Screen Rant article from last year:
Created by Christopher Priest and Bart Sears, the soldier later called Anti-Cap debuted in Captain America and the Falcon #1 (2004), with his limited origin story revealed in scattered flashbacks through the following four issues. Although readers never learned his true name, the man who would become Anti-Cap was once a scrawny Oklahoma boy in love. Unfortunately, his girlfriend and her father were killed in the infamous Oklahoma City bombings, setting the grieving youngster on a path toward fighting those who could commit such horrible acts. Years later he completes his BUD/S training to become a SEAL, but he is denied team assignment due to red flags in his psychological profile (a scene that brings to mind Steve Rogers' failed attempts to enlist). Back to being a citizen, the young man is approached by suit-and-tie government agents who have a... different idea of how he can serve his country.
One which leads to extreme mayhem and casualties, after the chemical experiments go awry. I'm also confused why they say psychological profiles bring Steve's initial failure to enlist to mind, when it was his lack of good strength that did. At the end, it says:
Although he wasn't the first, Anti-Cap remains one of the darkest examples of the quest to develop some of the Marvel universe's ultimate weapons (and the lives wasted in the pursuit). Despite his powers, Anti-Cap's mental issues and dependency on AVX make him nothing more than an unstable super-monster, who doesn't actually care about the rules broken, or the lives lost at his hands in his commitment to fighting a grand war.

Although he admits to admiring Steve Rogers, Anti-Cap considers himself to be the modern day Captain America: unafraid to do what's needed to win. His obsession with winning the war, plus the small yet tragic details of his backstory make him a dark and dangerous re-interpretation of patriotism, and how easily national pride can lead to fascism under the wrong circumstances. All that mattered to Anti-Cap was winning the war... if he had to kill Captain America or the Falcon to do that, he would. Not exactly the kind of legacy Steve Rogers had intended to leave behind, and certainly not the last imitation Captain America to misunderstand the Marvel icon.
All coming from people who don't understand real life issues any more than what Cap was built on. They're perpetuating the notion that anybody dedicated to defeating evil ideologies like Islamofascism is nothing more than a crackpot at worst, and certainly don't do much to make those who wish to rid the world of totalitarian ideologies proud of them. It's vital to note that the terrorist who'd set off the bomb in Oklahoma City had connections with al Qaeda, one more reason why this story is such a slap in the face to victims of terrorism. Let's not forget Priest later brewed up a Justice League story laced with moral equivalence. This is why Priest's whole resume is all over the place in terms of quality, or lack thereof. Add to that how the external events messing with the story happen to be Avengers: Disassembled by Brian Bendis, and the choice of Sears for an artist on its own was a very bad one. I remember some of his art samples from 2 decades ago; it looked like the characters' heads were all puffed up. And to think we wondered how it got to a point where Marvel's recent selection of artists was bad.

The Kotaku article also cites the Sam Wilson book from 6 years ago:
No prize for guessing what this run is about. Steve Rogers has been aged into an old man, so he hands the mantle of Captain America over to Sam Wilson, turning the Falcon into the “soaring Sentinel of Liberty”.

That new title comes with a fair bit of baggage, as Sam now has to throw hands with classic members of Cap’s rogues gallery, like the Sons of the Serpent, Batroc the Leaper, Hydra and Baron Zemo.

This collection is a bit unbalanced at times (there’s a lot of chefs in this kitchen in terms of writers and artists), but overall it does a good job of exploring what it means to be Captain America, a symbol that’s meant to represent an entire nation. Is Captain America a reflection of the United States, or is the United States a reflection of Captain America? Just how heavy is that shield to carry?
Quite amazing how the apologia for illegal immigration and villification of all opposition goes unmentioned here. Is that their definition of the meaning of Cap's role? When they can't clearly describe the plot and script of the book, you know something's wrong.

This is why it's better not to tune in to the TV show in preparation, since it looks like another example of a product based on newer material than older, providing more examples of what's wrong with modern screenwriting. Just like Cap, even the Falcon deserves far better.

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Speaking of pretentious stories, apparently there's a rumor going around that DC Comics, and JJ Abrams in particular, is going to make Superman black in the next Superman movie, in his usual infamous diversity-based writing (and will have Henry Cavill replaced, needless to say):

https://boundingintocomics.com/2021/02/26/rumor-j-j-abrams-new-superman-will-be-black-henry-cavill-out/?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation

Don't know who is worse with SJW diversity pandering, Greg Berlanti, or JJ Abrams.

I'm already writing about who Abrams hired as the screenwriter. Thanks.

...I'm guessing you need new eyeglasses or something?

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