I picked up the first issue of Steve Rogers Captain America today out of curiosity and I have to say it completely caught me off guard.

I generally have a pretty high tolerance for hype, gimmicks, and attempts to stir up controversey or get attention. I can understand it to a certain degree. The comic book marketplace has gone through some massive changes over the years and it's tough to create enough of a buzz to get readers to take notice. But despite all of that, I just thought this story was ridiculous.

SPOILER WARNING

The twist here is that Steve Rogers is, and always was, a Hydra agent going back to his childhood. It's apparently not a hoax, or a trick, or mind control or anything else. We even get flashbacks from Steve's childhood to further convince us. And Tom Brevoort has said that it's not a trick or imaginary story.  For some reason, I've finally reached my exhaustion point with this stuff. Not that I'm angry or upset or anything. I'm just having trouble finding a reason to stay invested. And I feel like, if this turns out to be true, it does irreparable harm to the character. Cap is maybe the one Marvel character that you just can't do this type of thing with because his one defining quality was his unassailable character. And additionally, even if it turns out to be a misdirect, the whole thing just reeks of desperation and shortsightedness.

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Thanks to a deeply entrenched case of crossover fatigue, more and more i find myself not reading the comics with the big guns, instead getting stuff featuring the second- and third-string heroes -- like Daredevil, Batgirl -- because they don't get pulled into the massive events, and because the characters are less likely to get bent into forms I don't recognize.

So, having learned about this development, all I can think is: It's a dream, a hoax, or an Imaginary Story. Or an Elseworlds.

Wake me when it's over. 

The challenge with a patriotic character has always been how to make him credible.

I can't help but feel that a fascist Cap would be believable, but not overt like that.  I'm actually wondering if this is meant to be a jab at Trump.

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

I can't help but feel that a fascist Cap would be believable, but not overt like that.

I don't see how a character who fought the fascist Axis powers could be considered fascist. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way.

Please convince me that I'm wrong about at least some of these things.

If the question is the health of the medium, as opposed to of superhero comics, one has to take into account the sales of mangas, digital comics and graphic novels, and the readership of internet comic strips.

The range of comics in print (periodicals and graphic novels) is enormously expanded over what it was. Marvel and DC each put out a ton of stuff, and then there are all the independents, reprints of newspaper strips, editions of European comics, etc. etc. Someone's reading comics. If unit sales are lower, it's partly because the audience is split between so many products.

On the other hand, back in the day enough kids read comics to sustain the newsstand industry. Comics reached a large part of the population. Do kids still read comics in large numbers? Perhaps mangas? Do graphic novels reach a wide audience, or only a subset of the periodicals-buying audience? I don't know.

With the internet any creator can reach the whole world. The problem is getting readers. Is the future of digital comics bright? I don't know. I hope so.

Marvel's and DC's universe approach relies on individual readers buying a lot of comics. I think digital distribution is better-suited to that approach than print distribution: the comics can be cheaper and as profitable, there's no storage problem, and there's no problem tracking down issues.

No, I did mean it that way.  Militarism breeds fascism.

Richard Willis said:

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

I can't help but feel that a fascist Cap would be believable, but not overt like that.

I don't see how a character who fought the fascist Axis powers could be considered fascist. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way.

  They've also grown up with multiple versions of the characters with reboots coming fast and quick relatively speaking.  And there is less of a tendency to try to write stories in a literary sense and more to write quick advertising/commercial copy that will get everyones attention for a moment.  Really that moment of notoriety, that flash seems to be what really matters.  Get the flash and then spin in interviews saying that people aren't interpreting it correctly and then move onto the next flash so the subject becomes old news.  There's no need to worry or think about long term because there is no long term in todays culture.  Nothing really lasts and nothing really seems to be made to last.  Storylines and characters have become as disposable as the last iPhone model when the new one comes out.  


Detective 445 said:

I was thinking a little bit about this today. Most, if not all comics writers are now much younger than I am. So they don't have that sense of an extended period of time in which a character has been defined in a certain way. As a result, maybe they have less hang ups about tinkering with a character's back story.

Please refresh my memory: Didn't Cap once fight the Red Skull over the Cosmic Cube and Cap end up with it? 

My assumption is that it has something to do with the Cosmic Cube. Considering that's how he became young again, I'd say it has something to do with a rewrite of his history which will be addressed by the end of this arc.

  As I recall the Red Skull had the cube and used it to switch bodies with Cap, assuming his identity and having everyone else hunt Cap down.  I think this is the first time we saw the Red Skull with out his mask on.  Can't remember the issue though.

Mike Parnell said:

Please refresh my memory: Didn't Cap once fight the Red Skull over the Cosmic Cube and Cap end up with it? 

Okay, I've read the issue now, and I am more convinced than ever that it's a Cosmic Cube trick. It was a great issue. It built up to it nicely. Nick Spencer is definitely a very wordy writer, but at least it flows smoothly, unlike (IMHO) Chris Claremont!.

Eh, it's a story. Let's sit back and enjoy the ride.

It is a pattern Cap.  I've seen it evolve for a while now.  Marvel does something controversial and usually negative with one of it's characters, people get angry and speak out on the net, a marvel writer or editor does an interview or a twitter message saying how they are surprised at the reaction, saying that they new it would be controversial but they didn't think it would be their would be that much of a reaction, the story goes on with the anger causing a lot of people not to read it (there are still people who won't read Thor, Spiderman and a few others) but more to be sucked in by the hype and controversy and then marvel comes up with another way to generate some controversy with another character just as the last one either becomes the status quo or is forgotten.

 It's become as predictable as a political scandal and I can't believe marvel doesn't know exactly what they are doing.  If anything I'm more upset with myself for letting marvel sucker me in again.

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