Captain America Weighs In On Wikileaks

Given that he used to be frozen in ice for a few decades, we should not be surprised that Captain America has been a little slow in addressing the Wikileaks scandal. That silence was cracked in this week's Secret Avengers issue no. 12.1.

Spoiler: Captain America is not down with Wikileaks, not if they're going to leave the names of confidential informants un-redacted.

In the comic, America's most patriotic super-hero doesn't call out Wikileaks mastermind Julian Assange by name. That's because New Avengers writer Nick Spencer has wrapped the gauze of fiction around the whole affair. There's no Assange in the comic and technically no Wikileaks. Instead, there's a man who dresses in a version of the Captain America uniform that was popular in the late '80s. This guy plays the Assange role, collecting a trove of information about the U.S. government's secret dealings with members of super-villain terrorist organisations. He plans to release the information, complete with un-redacted references to confidential informants, in order to expose the arrogance of governments, to show them that they are not above the law. (Sound familiar?) His outlets of choice for the disclosure are The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Daily Bugle, the last of which wasn't leaked anything by the real Assange.

Captain America, not wearing his trademark uniform for complicated Marvel Comics reasons, leads a striketream to shut down this Marvel Assange. Cap isn't outright against fake-Assange. In fact, it seems like he could have been swayed, but for the problem that those informants' names weren't blacked out. "We'd never let people die just to prove our damn point," he said.

Somehow, this works. Nick Spencer's Secret Avengers no. 12.1 is on sale now from Marvel Comics for $US3.


Comments

    I'm surprised at how Marvel dealt with the topic in a nuanced fashion.

    We know from Civil War that Captain America isn't a government-worshipping stooge. He'll rebel against the State when it violates the ideals of the Declaration of Independence etc. etc. That's good, and as such I think it lends credence to the idea of Cap being pro-Wikileaks to an extent.

    However, we also know Cap is very idealistic and will go to monumental lengths to avoid letting innocent people die, even in the name of allegedly higher causes.

    So I think the stance that the comics gave him in dealing with this pseudo-Wikileaks matter makes complete sense on a character basis and doesn't launch into polemic

    That said, I'm personally pro-Wikileaks (and OpenLeaks and similar efforts), although I think Julian Assange himself is a fame-seeking self-promoting douche. Whatever one thinks about the personality of Assange, transparency in government is a noble cause that I think should be supported.

    Still, I'm glad Marvel handled the issue in a manner which didn't buy in to simplistic, jingoistic analysis.

      I don't think fame seekers avoid America incase of being detained and making news headlines everywhere.

      An organisation like WikiLeaks needs a voice - the problem is the media attribute Assange as being WikiLeaks but he isn't. He is portrayed as that. And when an organisation that is embarrassing the US Government (cause they don't do a good job of that themselves) they want to put down that voice. Why else would they be pressuring the Swedes & the UK for this extradition.

      They'll never close WikiLeaks, they've tried, along with multi-billion dollar companies but have failed miserably. The next thing to do is to shut down the closest thing attributed to it which is Assange. Julian may have created the idea of WikiLeaks but the only thing he is promoting is the message it stands for. Point your finger at irrelevant, talentless & sorrow beings like Lindsay Lohan for being fame-seeking before you do at someone like Assange doing something good within the media and the world.

      Well said.

    People should be careful with such comparions; Wikileak guys are not that dumb as to go arround dressed as superheros, or for the matter, release all the information unedited. They indeed edited out relevant names that could be endangered, they also released the information through a third party (the news services) that acted as a second filter. And they even requested help for the government itself to help identify any other name that could be endangered, help that was denied by the government.

    These kinds of real-to-fiction stages can deceive people into thinking the case is actually the same, and reach wrong conclusions over the real case, based only on the fiction case (which, I suspect, it's the whole purpose of this comic: propaganda)

    Assange is not even the founder of Wikileeks, although he clams to be. The site was going LONG before he was part of it. I wish people would do a bit of digging in to it rather than go from what he has said...

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