The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, And People Are Pissed

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

When Sam Wilson became Captain America last summer, lots of heated discussions sparked off over Marvel Comics' decision to have someone else wear the colours of their patriotic superhero. Well, even more big changes hit in the first issue of Sam Wilson: Captain America and people in the real and fictional worlds are already mad.

Sam Wilson's been Captain America for less than a year. He's been shown learning to throw the iconic shield and learning what it means to embody the role of Captain America. The newest Sentinel of Liberty's waged war against Hydra and help uproot the secretive terrorist organisation's foothold in various parts of American society. Up until this point, his adventures haven't been all that different from his predecessor's battles for justice.

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

But in the first issue of his new comic, Sam Wilson decides to aim for a different kind of justice. That choice causes him to lose major support from the government and much of the populace.

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

This Captain America no longer has SHIELD backing him up. In fact, when he takes down uber-henchman Crossbones and delivers him to the super-spy agency's higher-ups, Sam gets a chilly reception and a rude revocation of his security clearance.

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

The reason for the rift is a statement Wilson reads to the press that sketches out a plan of action that leans towards the liberal/progressive end of the political spectrum. The thought process that led to that moment shows Wilson considering the state of the American union in the present-day:

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.
The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

Sam's interior monologue talks about Steve Rogers above the fray as far as politics were concerned. The character did that because his writers did that. The new Captain America comic is being written by Nick Spencer, who's penned a bunch of other titles for Marvel and DC along with creator-owned work like MOrning Glories and Forgetless. On Twitter, Spencer is an outspoken liberal and his writing of Sam Wilson clearly evinces his own political viewpoints. It's not hard to imagine that the shift that Sam makes with regard to embodying the symbol of Captain America is one mirrored by Spencer, as well. After all, Captain America's been around for more than seventy years with a publishing history that's seen all manner of upheaval on the American political landscape. It's been rare to have comic book superheroes comment on the real world but some of the genre's biggest characters have their roots in a desire for sociopolitical change, as in the early Superman excerpt below.

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

There's been precedent in the Captain America comics, too, with a 1970s run that ended with a super-conspiracy that led all the way to the White House. In that Steve Englehart-penned storyline — incited by the disillusionment created by the Vietnam War and Watergate — the head of the evil Secret Empire was then-president Richard Nixon, who killed himself rather than be captured.

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

Sam Wilson: Captain America #1 doesn't have moments quite as pointed as that. But it does have its lead character facing down costumed Sons of the Serpent thugs — a Ku Klux Klan analogue seen in recent Daredevil comics — as they try to stop Mexican workers from migrating across the border. Right-wing press outlets like The Washington Times have singled out this moment for criticism, saying that Captain America is now fighting conservatives.

The New Captain America Comic Is All About America's Real World Problems, and People Are Pissed.

The issue ends with a page that teases a reckoning with Sam's estranged former partner Steve Rogers. Their rift has been teased in at least one of the glimpses that we've had of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe and it will be interesting to see if Sam's more activist bent of superheroing is the reason for their antipathy towards each other. You could say that this retooling of the Captain America title is a cynical grab for publicity by Marvel. But I don't think it is. Sam Wilson is a character who's been a social worker and run for Congress. He's always been a superhero who tries to serve and protect his community from the ground up. And now that he's gotten a higher profile, he's doing the same on a larger scale. It's a ballsy move by Spencer and Marvel but one that makes sense considering the character's history.


    I really dislike this new Captain America. I read the first 3 comics and dropped it. He hasn't got the traits of Captain America that I like. For example, the wings... god damn it. Screw those. XD

    Will they introduce Captain Republican as his nemesis? I suppose they could just model him after The Comedian.

      They did in the late 80's. Captain America No More. "Captain Republican" was John Walker.

      I don't see the fuss. Steve's always been centre left (and that's being generous) - since the 70's at least. Most of his "key" stories for 30 odd years - from Evans mentions Secret Empire, to Cap For President - to Cap No More/The Captain through decades to Civil War - and beyond - Stevealways questions absolute authority if it's at the expense of FREEDOM (yar!) of the COMMON MAN (yar!) whether it means questioning his government, his friends - whomever

      Let's face it - when he's not heading up some big throwdown across multiple Avengers books - being a "bleeding heart lefty" in his own books, at least half the major story arcs - is kind of Steve Rogers' thing. I don't see why it's a big deal when Sam Wilson has a similar "I question what my country represents" arc.

    Sam Wilson's "promotion" to Captain America has been nothing short of Marvel's ultimate attempt to placate to America's loud political left PC obsessed lunatics. I'm slightly amused that they are acknowledging it openly in the books, but it makes it more obvious how insane their changes are.

    Even though Steve Rogers has had his "Anti-America" moments (Civil War anyone?) over the years, but eventually things got back to the status quo and readership picked up again when it does. It'll happen again.

    The thing is that a lot of comic book fans hate change at first, except when it's a natural change that happens over time. Forced change, as it is in this instance, will always be met with harsh backlash. Now it remains to be seen who'll crack first: readers or Marvel.

      But that's the thing isn't it? It's ALWAYS "forced change". Beyond an announcement 6 months earlier or 3 months advance solicitation blurb - not even that in some cases (Cap#25/Steve's death springs to mind) - but "bang" Bruce/Steve/Clark/Hal etc. - Dies/gets amnesia/goes mad/is incapacitated/aged etc (all the BIG guys have had multiple if not all the aforementioned!) - then someone has to take up/find/have the torch foisted upon them (for a while).

      I fail to recall the "I'm slowly preparing you for my surprise replacement" story arc ever. Beyond the "new version faces mad old version" or "old mentor/teachings/spirit train new hero" and such "after the blast!" variations.

    hilarious how Marvel's lost the plot and fanboys thinking all the latest multiverse merging shit is staying.

    I really love Captain America as a character, and a large part of that is based on the nobility of Steve Rogers. I mean he is essentially a boy scout and tries to do the RIGHT thing(even if it's against the government... which actually kind of links back to the 2nd amendment with citizens able to keep guns to ward off a tyrannical government... only it ironically seems more relevant in a comic book). Sam Wilson or Bucky Barnes taking up the mantle gives a different take on him... but they're not really Captain America. They don't have his super-soldier powers, and the writers have given them a skewed moral compass. Like apparently Sam Wilson as Captain America supports illegal immigrants to the USA(from the media, I haven't read his comics yet). Maybe it's supposed to be on purpose, but it's reflecting badly on the character as well as to the general public in America and the media I think.

      And you ABSOLUTELY know that if these "illegal immigrants" were fleeing war/slavery/roboticisation (Cassaday's The New Deal) -Steve would be doing the "right" thing too.

      And not one fig would be given. But the right is so crazy far right in these post GWB/neocon days - that Sam Wilson is OUTRAGEOUS. I hear he was really born in Nigeria anyway.

      I dunno man - I reckon you might dig it. Or not. I've read plenty of your comments and you seem pretty legit, and open minded in relation to longer "switch" arcs (Bucky/Reilly). Or maybe not. Either way you'd respect that in the "Mighty Marvel Manner" - they're trying something different over a 1-3 year arc - as they've been doing since day one - and giving long term readers memories of "that era when..." rather than the Animated Series perpetual status. So they can then slap that cool era/idea from the comics into the Animated Series/movie/whatever they're distilling for the mainstream in 5-10 years time.

      Change has been the lifeblood of the Marvel Universe since day one. It doesn't always work and it sometimes ends up permanently replacing the status quo - but they keep it fresh, and try to commit/see the arc through rather than ditching the creative halfway through ( but hey, that does happen too!) - and gives the writers freedom to try different stuff.

      Steve's back young and with the shield in 12-18 months time regardless. Sooner if it goes tips up. What can be done with Sam - how "far" off script can he go? Pretty damn far - because it's that Azrael*cough* character turn extended arc/era that builds Steve's return - and years later - that's what you remember. Hell Brubaker's 6 year Cap run is the crown jewel of Cap runs and Steve's dead for %35 of it - and he's Captain America for less than %50 of the whole arc tops. Sam Cap hasn't topped those years for me (and it may be a few years til that particular era ifCap is bettered - in my eyes - as happens when something is "that" good) - but like Remender's initial Steve run preceding this Spencer series - it's not about redoing the "quintessential" Cap - it's gone from "What is Steve Rogers" to effectively, as Sam took over "what is Captain America?". And like Steve did/has (over and over and over) it turns out Captain America isn't just some guy who smashed Hydra, AIM or whoever to a whistle. HE HAS FEELS. AND DEEP THOUGHTS ABOUT FREEDOM.

        Immigration is a bit of a touchy subject. The standard comic book recipe would be that if a family is fleeing persecution, then Captain America would go in and sock that old dictator to the jaw and the family would be happy with their home country and not need to emigrate anymore... or maybe that ONE family would be developed and actually would be given haven in America. But what is CA's stance on economic/illegal immigrants rather than refugees... which I presume is the issue for the bulk of the people entering the USA from South America? Like most Americans, he probably thinks do it legally or get slapped down... but that wouldn't look so good on paper.

        Experimenting is good... if you overlook shoehorning a character into a role, some pretty interesting things can come out of it. I just think that most people are still going to see the new CA comics as Falcon comics... and when Steve does pick up the shield again, how will people remember this arc? As the time Falcon was Captain America. I still need to read the new comics... but I also don't think it's in SW's character to take that unpopular stance. I guess I don't want people to look back and hate the Falcon.

    It's interesting that the Sons of the Serpent have been around since 1966

    I love that it still has that "Superior foes of spiderman" Nick Spencer humour with that redwing panel

    I find this refreshing. We are in the times where Donald Trump is rallying redneck masses with hate speeches to get himself a presidency, so I don't see the trouble with a superhero that for one decides to make a political stand.

    Stop complaining. It's some art commenting on the real world. It has always done this, comics have always done this - people are just too uneducated to understand it and appropriate their own beliefs on top of it. It's communicating a message, not sure why or how any individual in the world could both stupid and arrogant enough to think their stupid generalisations born transparently out of toddler-like angst and insecurity over "threatening" politics can even come remotely close to being accurate. It's just comic, it's not there to reinforce whatever garbage you believe, it's telling you a story.

    Seriously, why is the lack of education held by those talking not a consistent concern in the ignorant discussion brought about by over-emotional, reactionary morons? It's pretty obvious that people who generalise and literally pretend legitimate concepts do not exist because it's more convenient for their reactionary rage are woefully uneducated and aren't contributing anything of worth. Why not highlight this so maybe they won't be useless background noise... at some point.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now