Captain America has been an important Marvel character since the 40s—one that people have looked up to and revered. It's been recently revealed by the current writer of the comics, Nick Spencer, that good 'ol Cap has been a Hydra agent all along. And what is Hydra? Well, they're a (fictional) Nazi organization. He's a patriotic super soldier, for goodness' sake. Unsurprisingly, it's caused a bit of an uproar, but here are 8 reasons why it is just plain wrong.
1. The good 'ol Cap was created by two Jewish men.
Hopefully you can see where I'm going with this. Captain America was created during a time of great upheaval, during WWII. To the Jewish American creators, Captain America was a symbol of hope against the Nazi party—Hydra is against everything Captain America stands for. This hero was so fundamentally important during one of the most horrific times in history, and has remained a beacon of hope. For all of that to be undermined and taken away is not only a slap in the face but a cheap trick. Using antisemitism is unacceptable. Marvel is taking 75 years worth of work and throwing it all away, completely invalidating the legacy that Joe Simon and Jack Kirby intended.
2. Captain America is a symbol of justice, peace, equality and freedom.
I've said this already, but it's true. How can a man who has spent his whole life fighting for what is right, who was literally created for this purpose, be an agent for evil? It goes against all the principles that make us love him. In the updated Marvel Cinematic Universe, even new fans get a glimpse of Steve Rogers' true character. He is a guy who just wanted to make the world better, but spent much of his life as the underdog. We're expected to believe that the defender of the oppressed is now the oppressor... and that he has been all along. How can you expect fans to buy into this?
3. The Nazi Party was *real* and should not be treated lightly.
This was a real organization, responsible for unspeakable crimes. They are responsible for a genocide, for the death of millions. This is too close to reality to turn into some gimmick in order to pull readers in. For some, this was a reality—at the least, it was a reality for family members. It goes beyond disrespect for the writers. It is horrifying to turn an incredibly well known and loved hero into what was a very real threat to many. Millions died, and now their hero is tainted.
4. Because it went against his character to make him bisexual...
Recently there has been a twitter campaign to #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, sparked by the relationship between Steve Rogers and longtime friend Bucky Barnes. Essentially, we've been told that making his character bi would be too far from reality. And yet? Here we are stuck with Nazi Cap. Honestly, anything would have been more believable or true to his character than working for Hydra.
5. The Cap is damn good at fighting Nazis.
If he were really working for Hydra all this time, don't you think they would have won by now? I mean, really—Captain America has had numerous opportunities to allow Hydra to succeed. And yet he fights them. In fact, he fights them all the time. If you want to have a mole, you don't pick a mole who could actually destroy you. You don't pick a mole whose job is to fight you. Or, if you do, you have them take the organization down pretty quickly. You don't just leave someone like that as a plant for 75 years. And you're telling me that after 75 years, no one in SHIELD figured it out? Right.
And as for the super soldier serum that Hydra has been after for so long? Apparently they've got Cap right there to run tests on. It's a shame they never figured that one out.
That's right—the boyfriend candidate. Even if we put that notion away for a moment, Bucky is still Steve's best friend. In the movies we see what Steve would do for him: he would literally go against his fellow Avengers, his friends, to save this man. And the people responsible for Bucky's pain? Oh, that's right, Hydra. They tortured him and brainwashed him into doing unspeakable things. They caused him to become a killing machine, and when Bucky snaps out of it you can see the absolute pain that it causes him. Steve sees that too, and he is willing to risk everything to bring justice to the situation. It just doesn't make logical sense for Captain America to be associated with them after all of this, and if he really is, this is certainly cause for him to leave.
7. Shock value does not equal good story-telling.
It just doesn't. Even if the comics were allegedly building toward this, it was too sudden. Good writing requires a certain suspension of disbelief. Plot twists aren't bad, but they have to be grounded in the realm of remote possibility. For 75 years, readers have been told exactly what Captain America stands for. We've never been made to question his loyalty like this. To plant such a ludicrous idea takes the reader out of the story. It is too unrealistic to believe. If Marvel was really sold on the idea that even good characters can have bad traits, they would have to provide the reader with something easier to swallow. If you want him to have a dark secret, you need to start out with something bite-sized. Don't tell your readers that his whole character has been a lie. At the very least give us some reason to believe it (except in this case, please don't.) There is no art or craft in this reveal, and Nick Spencer is kidding himself if he doesn't believe that this is a gimmick.
8. Captain America himself is in disbelief.
Happy 75th birthday, Cap :'(