Friday, July 9, 2021

A "politicized" Captain America? Sorry, rightwingers, this is nothing new.

Here's a recent Twitter thread that I'm archiving here.

So out of nowhere, FoxNews had a segment on the latest storyline in Captain America, which they apparently find too "woke."

They wheeled in some unknown rightwing "comedian," whose name I have already forgotten and is not worth looking up, as a guest to comment on this outrage. Like all rightwing comedians, he was completely unfunny, and launched into an extended rant about how the diabolical Libs at Marvel have changed HIS Capt. America into something unrecognizable with this "recent politicization." Gone is our patriotic ass-kicker and in his place is a lefty do-gooder.

“It’s so sad when Captain America is like Captain Woke or Captain Propaganda… I’m done with Captain America. He’s dead!" Then conservo-bore superdude actor Dean Cain jumped in, babbled something about "kissing the dirt" every time he returned to American soil, babbled some more about Cap, then admitted he hadn't read the new storyline and was only recounting what he heard on FoxNews. Needless to say, Twitter was not kind.

The big problem here is that Cap has ALWAYS been political.
This is a character who PUNCHED HITLER IN THE FACE on the cover of his debut issue in 1941... 80 FRIGGIN' YEARS AGO!!
In March 1941, when Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created this cover, America was not yet at war with Germany. Pearl Harbor was nine months away and the country was divided over whether to go to war or stay out. In fact, there was a sizable number of Nazi sympathizers here in the US who greatly admired Hitler and Nazism. The German American Bund held big rallies in New York City (you've no doubt seen the film footage). Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford were both great admirers, and, history has revealed, collaborators of Adolf (and were also both  raging antisemites and white supremacists).

So the stunning cover of Cap #1 was, in fact, a powerful political cartoon by a pair of Jewish kids from New York, maybe THE most influential political cartoon of WW2... and it was aimed at America's youth!

It's obvious neither of these FoxNews nitwits know shit about Cap's history. But I do.

Here's the first issue I read (above), when I was 10 in 1970. In it Cap goes on TV to preach tolerance, and is attacked by Nazi Baron Zemo's supergoons in an attempt to silence him. Note also the use of "Up Against the Wall!" as the title, the favorite battlecry of leftist protestors in 1970. Yeah, nothing political there, 51 years ago.

In reality, almost every issue of Cap from 1969 to 1975 dealt with some political issue. Stan was getting heat from the college audiences to which he often spoke (See Abraham Riesman's Stan Lee biography for details). Stan chose Cap as the title to make "relevant," a full year before DC did so to Green Lantern/ Green Arrow, to much greater acclaim. 

Need more proof? Here's (above) the 2nd Cap I bought (in a Whitman back-issue 3-pack!), where Cap wades into a campus protest. This issue is from 1969, when the nation teetered on mass insurrection and near civil war.

The 3rd issue of Cap I bought featured a giant robot who tried to demolish NYC's ghetto (Harlem or the South Bronx) to "free the oppressed." He is cheered on by African-American residents of the slum. Turns out was all a diabolical scheme by AIM to start a race war. Apparently, AIM later formed the Boogaloo Boys, who've been trying to do the same at BLM uprisings recently!

Horrors! Here's all kind of "woke" dialogue, FoxNews! From 50 years ago.
Shall I go on? Oh, why not...

A few issues later, Leila Taylor (above) is introduced. She's described as a "militant," and is obviously a Black Panther. Not exactly an uncontroversial storyline in 1972, at the height of the bloody FBI war on black nationalism.

Then in #143, Cap finds himself in the middle of a fullblown black uprising, with a club-wielding African-american throng facing off against NYPD. Turns out it's all a plot by the Red Skull, yet another Nazi. This story is a real head-shaker, but yeah, no politics here.

Then there's THIS storyline from 1972 (above)! The real Cap faces off against the commie-hating Cap of the 1950s (the real Cap was frozen in ice, remember? Even amateur Marvel fans who only watch the films know THAT). Fake Cap is revealed as a far-right, white-supremacist creep! Let's call him Capt. MAGA. 

What do y'all think of THIS one, FoxNews??

Let's jump back to 1954 (above) and the Cap that had to be retrofitted into the Seventies character history. In the Fifties, he apparently joined up with Joe McCarthy and Roy Coen and became a rightwing avenger. FoxNews WOULD approve of this era, but it was certainly a political one, further blowing holes in their current complaint.

Oh hey, let's not forget in 1974, Cap rejects nationalism and "America first" and throws away his Capt. America identity to become Nomad, the Man Without a Country.

Haha. Wonder what FoxNews would make of THIS dialogue?

And then there's Bicentennial Battles, a late Kirby masterpiece, where Jack ruminates on what it means to be an American, in ways FoxNews would NOT approve. You remember Jack Kirby, right, FoxNews? He's the guy who co-created the character back in 1941.

GASP! Cap is teaching Critical Race Theory to kid comics readers of 1976! Alert Sean Hannity! Dispatch the Oath-Keepers!
All this is just from MY years of superdude readership. So outside of 80 FUCKING YEARS of stories, yes, Capt. America has NEVER been politicized.
I hate people who don't know shit about comics.