I understand that gimmicks and plot twists are the lifeblood of comic books. Good gimmicks like Marvel Zombies, Darkseid War, DC Villains’ Month, The Killing Joke, Marvel Civil War and many more have kept me on the edge of my seat. I discussed last month, though, how I dislike the cheap ones, mostly those that concern race and gender pandering. This time though, I’ve had enough: Stop making Captain America a villain. Making the single greatest hero of freedom a supervillain is cheap, annoying and really grinds my gears.
For those not in the know, the new release of Captain America: Steve Rogers paints our beloved icon of peace turned Hydra agent as a genocidal maniac. After being attacked by a massive legion of Chitauri aliens that ready to destroy the Earth, SHIELD, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Captain America are overwhelmed, until the new Quasar (Avril Kincaid) kills the whole alien fighting force. All is good until Captain America throws a tantrum over protocol and about not letting the new Quasar be “another weapon” that can be used for another Civil War. Steve then proceeds to reveal his plans to his new confidante Doctor Selvig: he has planned to use the Chitauri all along to set a massive genocide event that will cull the population of the Earth, but now there is very minimal element of surprise since Quasar can just bleep them out of existence.
This whole gimmick of Captain America being Hydra and being a supervillain is wrong on a lot of levels. I understand that Marvel has made their “escape button” with the explanation that Cap’s really not a Hydra agent but was just brainwashed by the Cosmic Cube, but this is simply unacceptable. I have followed Steve Rogers as Captain America for almost the totality of my existence and to turn a favorite icon of justice into a potential mass murderer leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
The good thing about Steve is that he is a single-minded entity whose sole reason of existence is to make sure humanity is free, given justice and are protected from any harm. He has proven that time and again that he will fight back even cosmic level threats just to give the world a fighting chance. To make Captain America a terrorist, more so an idealistic world decimator cuts off every good fiber that Captain America has established over his years of service in the Marvel Universe. If Steve successfully becomes a supervillain, I would not know how Marvel can put together a story that will redeem him in the eyes of the world he has sworn to protect. Save for a global story reset maybe, Steve Rogers can never be a superhero if this gets to go successfully as he will isolate himself from the world in shame that he has become the very thing he is not: a villain.
Now you might dismiss this as the ramblings of a madman. You might say this is just a story, just an arc, just another gimmick. I know that, but the idea is to allow Steve Rogers’ story to go on as a superhero. Captain America has inspired me from childhood to always do the right thing, whatever’s in your way. He has set an example to many young people to always let justice, truth, and freedom prevail. The very notion of letting this silly, sanctimonious idea of Captain America becoming the big bad and risking making him obsolete denies the future readers, probably children like my old self 20 something years ago, the chance to see him as the striving force of peace. Steve Rogers inspires, not destroys.