The first issue of Captain America: Steve Rogers has debuted and to say it’s caused a stir is an understatement. Without spoiling the issue, Steve Rogers ends the issue revealing an allegiance to someone that you never thought you would see.
The writer of the issue, Nick Spencer, has received quite the backlash on Twitter. Others, like Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker, are also feeling the backlash despite having nothing to do with that particular comic. It was enough of a reaction that Facebook went and spoiled the surprise on their trending topics page.
The reaction to the story, while nice to see since it shows that people have feelings for the character, is a little puzzling. Would I want to see a character I cared about written in a way that was contrary to how he’d been portrayed? Of course. But I wouldn’t judge the whole story line based on what is essentially the first chapter.
Let’s review a few things. First off, this is just a story. No matter how mangled this story becomes, the world will not fall off its axis, the sun will still rise in the east, and Donald Trump will still have the hair of a lemur. If the story falls off the rails, Marvel would make sure that one, the writer in question won’t go near their intellectual properties again and two, they’d have another creative team put the character back on track. These stories are planned out far enough in advance that if Marvel saw something wrong with this, it would not have hit stores.
Next, the comments that this story is somehow demeaning to Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and Jewish people everywhere makes no sense, especially since Joe and Jack had Captain America align with Nazis if it fit story purposes. Why? The story is not finished. We don’t know what the creative team behind this comic has planned so making such a broad statement about a story after only reading the first chapter is just silly. Let the story play out before you make a loaded comment like that. Could it turn out to be true? Anything is possible. Yet I don’t see a company that has a CEO that used to be a member of the Israeli military creating a story that would disrespect Jewish people. Heck, I don’t see any company that wants to stay in business looking to piss off such a large portion of the public off. It doesn’t make financial sense to do so.
When all is said and done, your opinion of a comic book story is just that, your opinion. You are entitled to that opinion. No one, even the creative team behind Captain America: Steve Rogers at Marvel, would disagree. If after the whole story is out you find yourself just as angry at the outcome as you are now, that’s art. It’s subjective. That’s the beauty of art because even something like Plan 9 From Outer Space, a film universally panned, has an audience that finds it a work of beauty. The only problem I have with what I’ve seen is the obscene level of rage directed toward Nick Spencer. He doesn’t deserve death threats. Marvel would not have allowed him to do something as shocking as that reveal unless there was something big planned for Steve Rogers so all we can do is stay tuned. And once it’s done, if you don’t like it, you don’t like it.