All eyes were on were on Captain America following the successful release of “Civil War,” which has made almost $1 billion in the box office. 2016 also marks the 75 year anniversary of the “Captain America” franchise, which originally started publishing in March 1941, so, from a business standpoint, Marvel could not have picked a better time to release “Captain America: Steve Rogers #1,” the first in the new story arc for dear old Cap.
Despite the initial hype, the new arc was met with harsh criticism from fans around the globe based on writer Nick Spencer’s decision to make Steve Rogers the villain in his own comic (and not in the broody teenager kind of way. We’re talking straight up Nazi here).
This comic arc features Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon, and Steve Rogers sharing the mantle of Captain America. However, in the last panel of the comic reveals Rogers kicks a dude out of a plane in true action style and whispers, “Hail Hydra,” revealing that he is actually a sleeper agent for Hydra, the old Nazi faction started in World War II by The Red Skull.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Spencer laughed off his decision to make one of the most iconic – and patriotic – comic book heroes a literal Nazi: “I’m the most hated man in America today [a]nd Donald Trump is running for president!”
Though there are many different incarnations of Captain America, the one most people are familiar with is the version in the “Captain America” films. Steve Rogers, a sickly kid from Brooklyn, was turned into a super soldier by Abraham Erskine and spent his life fighting Hydra in World War II. He was created as a symbol of hope for the little guys of the world.
More importantly, Rogers was originally created as a symbol of hope for Jewish authors Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. Rogers was the superhuman soldier who knocked out Hitler where Kirby and Simon couldn’t.
The new villainous Rogers stands in the face of everything Kirby and Simon wanted for the character, defying 70 years of canon around Captain America.
Spencer defends his choice to make Cap a Hydra agent, telling the Daily Beast that the story arc was “designed to upset people and shock people.”
The Daily Beast also asked Spencer how he felt about Steve Roger’s new Nazi ties given that the original writers were Jewish, but Spencer took a page out of Trump’s book and dodged the question without actually answering: “[W]hat I can say with confidence is that with this story, our intention and our hope is that in its own unique way, it reinforces what everybody already knows about Captain America.”
It seems Spencer grew up with a different Captain America, because fans have been pouring out their protest to the new story line through the hashtag #sayNoToHYDRACap on Twitter.
Despite the fans dislike of the new storyline, Marvel has no plans to change it anytime soon.
Spencer ominously warns fans, “This is something that is gonna have a profound effect on the Marvel universe. I’ve seen a lot of people say things like, ‘Oh, it’ll be wrapped up in the arc,’ or ‘Give it six months.’ And I can tell you, that’s not the case.”
Whatever lies ahead for Steve Rogers and Captain America, the Marvel comics universe will never be the same.