Part of this is down to the bristling idea that superhero comics shouldn’t—and, bizarrely enough, can’t—feature commentary on current social issues. That, to some people, superhero comics are meant to be for young kids, and because they deal with people in spandex punching people in spandex, they should be sequestered off in a land of magic pixie dust, not rooted in our own world.
Is it political? Of course it is. It’s what Captain America as a character has been like since his creation. Like I mentioned, in his first appearance, he punched a goddamn fascist in the face.
But the other part of it is an alleged shock that a dude running around calling himself Captain America and fighting for the little guy might have some left-leaning ideals. The main furor that burst forth this weekend over Sam Wilson: Captain America #1 has been very much from sites that Spencer and Acuña lampoon in the issue itself: That somehow, by choosing to not be a mouthpiece of the Government or SHIELD and stand solely for the American people, Sam is now “Anti-American.”
"Fighting for the little guy?" What about the little guys who are miffed about the politicos who could care less about unabated immigration, especially those along the southern border who bear the brunt of it, with all that entails? Why doesn't Wilson stand up for them?
Whitbrook and innumerable commenters at the article scream about how Cap is "political" because his first cover had him punching Hitler in the face. As if a genocidal fascist and lawful immigration concerns of millions of Americans are on the same level?? Seriously? Is that where we're at now?
Conservatives aren't upset that Cap is "suddenly political" as Whitbrook and others would have you believe -- it's the continuation of the politics that superheroes champion ... as we've detailed here quite often.
The author mentions Cap's "Secret Empire" tale; as I wrote over two years ago, "I wonder if any comics writers out there would be brave enough to have Capt. America fight the Secret Empire again ... but this time with Barack Obama as Number One?" The crimes for which Richard Nixon would have been impeached arguably pale in comparison to some of the things we see today; however, because the media, in its myriad forms, likes and approves of Barack Obama -- while it hated Nixon -- don't hold your breath waiting to see Boss Obama as the new Number One.
Also as we've written here at Colossus, conservatives and the very concept of patriotism are routinely lampooned in comics' panels. In Captain America itself, the Cap of the 1950s was shown to be a mentally unstable loose cannon -- so much so that his virulent 1950s anti-Communism led to unveiled racism in the 1970s.
In the 1980s one of Cap's replacements was John Walker, formerly the Super Patriot. He too was portrayed as a psychotic, with even a panel in an issue of West Coast Avengers showing him mumbling to himself ... and the Avengers who are listening in are freaked out about it.
l love, also, how Whitbrook ponders conservatives being upset that Cap wouldn't represent the federal government. Why would conservatives be miffed that Cap doesn't want to be the "mouthpiece" for the feds ... or SHIELD? Are not conservatives inherently distrustful of government?
Perhaps the most laughable aspect of this whole thing is how "progressives" are pooh-poohing the very notion of why wouldn't Cap get political and go after people who are breaking the law (who, ironically, are trying to stop people from breaking the law) ... because these are the very same folks who were upset that Batman was going to go after Islamic terrorists! That's right -- as the LA Times reported, DC insiders were wary of the political concept behind what eventually would become Holy Terror ... sans the Caped Crusader.
Cap can punch Hitler in the nose, but Batman can't off radical Islamic killers. This is the politics of contemporary comics ... and this what pisses off conservatives.