With that said, I really can't stand comics fandom sometimes. I've already written about this once, but the recent brouhaha over Captain America has prompted me to return to my blog and give my two cents. For those who don't know, the controversy is over a recent revelation in the new Steve Rogers: Captain America series. It turns out that Cap is a member of the evil Hydra organization, and this has been true ever since he was a child. (Flashbacks show his mother being recruited by a Hydra agent.) The reveal came at the end of the issue, and we don't know much else.
And fans are freaking out. Many of them are saying that this completely destroys the character. Some of them are saying that it's a slap in the face to his Jewish American creators, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, since Hydra had ties to the Nazis. (In the sense that any fictional organization can have ties to a real organization.) Even those who aren't letting it upset them are dismissing it all as a cheap gimmick - merely a stunt to bring in new readers.
Here's my response:
ONLY THE FIRST CHAPTER HAS COME OUT.
Is it possible that this story will be a slap in the face to the character? (Funny how fans don't seem to lob this comment at Frank Miller, who craps all over Superman's legacy in his various Batman stories.) Sure, it very well could be. But as of right now, all we know is that he's been a member of Hydra all along. At least, it seems like that's what it is. We do not know the circumstances. Maybe he's trying to destroy it from within and has some kind of master plan? Maybe they're mind-controlling him? Maybe he thinks that by being part of the organization, he can somehow contain it? The point is, we don't know. The explanation may turn out to be really horrible, and later those fans will feel justified. However, there's also the possibility that there's a really good story behind this that will make Cap stand out as an even greater hero than ever before?
Lastly, can we give the writer, Nick Spencer, a little bit of credit here? The man has shown that he understands Captain America's value as a symbol with the Sam Wilson: Captain America comic. I had said that I wouldn't be too interested in that series if they made Sam (The Falcon) the new Captain America and made it so all of America was fine with the idea of there being a black Captain America. Spencer went with that idea, with a whole lot of parallels to the national freak-out that happened when Obama became the Commander in Chief. He even managed to get the Fox News talking heads all discombobulated. In other words, he has earned the benefit of the doubt.
As for me, I dug the first issue, as there was a lot more going on than the "gotcha!" ending. And it should be noted that the art by Jesus Saiz is awesome. I'm looking forward to how this all plays out. If you are a comics reader and don't find it interesting, then that's fine. However, stop making sweeping judgments based solely on the first chapter of what will no doubt prove to be a lengthy saga. When it's all said and done, then let's evaluate it as to whether it's a highlight or a low point for the character. And even if it is a low point, the character will survive. If he could survive the cancellation of his series at the end of World War II, he'll get through this.
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who feels this way.