It’s very rare that I have to avoid the Internet for spoilers on a comic book. The comic book community tend to steer clear of spoilers for the first couple of days after a release, but something changed last week. I went on my usual comic book run into my local comic book store in Manchester and on my way back my phone couldn’t stop buzzing for messages. ‘Can you believe what they have done with Captain America’ seemed to be the general gist of the messages but what surprised me was that these texts weren’t from my comic book reading mates. I didn’t think much of it at the time but I read Steve Rodgers: Captain America as quick as I could all the same. By the end of the book I was thrilled by a stunning conclusion, Captain America is now a member of Hydra.
Revenge Of The Nerds
By the time I got to my desk, the Internet was ablaze. For the first time since Civil War or the Death Of Captain America, comic books have slipped into general interest. Over the following days we got memes based around that final scene and even a quote from Chris Evans on his feels about the character. Nick Spencer has been hounded across social media and even older writers on Captain America, such as Ed Brubaker, are under fire. Then I realised, as I saw people getting genuinely angry about this story, the Internet at large doesn’t really get comics.
Comic Books Aren’t Quite The Same As Other Mediums
The comic book industry have been trying to drive sales for years with shock and awe tactics like this, moments at the end of an issue which beg the reader to buy the next issue. Just this week we saw Wolverine bond with Venom and Batman discover a new background for the Joker for about the same reason. It’s these moments, and the speculation brought on by them, that attracts some people to the medium. My guess is this with be resolved within the next few issues, Red Skull can mind control now so that’s a solid bet or it could be as simple as Captain America is undercover. However, there have been instances in the past where these changes have stuck around a little longer, such as when Spider-Man joined the Avengers or when Wolverine started working for the Hand as a villain. But even then, this change doesn’t really matter.
A Legacy Ruined?
Captain America has been around for seventy five years. Do you know how many stories can be told in seventy five years by a rolling cast of artists and writers? A hell of a lot! Almost every story that could be told involving the character has been told, in some cases twice. If you look over at Dan Slott’s Twitter you can see that Steve Rodgers has worked for the Nazis and Hydra before. Nothing is original. So when you’re sitting there complaining that the character has been ruined forever just remember that the character has already survived this once. A few weeks, months or years from now this will’ve been a ‘funny five minutes’ for Steve Rodgers. To put it bluntly, everybody jam your hype!
…That was this week’s BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!! Check back on Wednesday for a new Comic History 101!!!