The controversy over the shocking reveal at the end of Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 continues to rage on, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. For those who have somehow managed to miss the news, the first issue of the new book ends with the discovery that Steve Rogers has actually been a Hydra agent all along, and in the spirit of outrage culture, the internet lost its collective mind.
While I certainly understand where some of these complaints are coming from, I’ve still counseled patience in this regard – after all, this is the first issue of a storyline that will probably play out over the next few months, and as more details come to light in subsequent issues we’ll most likely learn that things aren’t exactly what they seem. But patience isn’t exactly a virtue that the hive-mind of the internet shares, and people have gotten so up-in-arms about the events of a comic book that death threats have been levied not only against its creators, but other members of the Marvel camp as well.
Yesterday, Alex brought you some comments from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who said that allowing comic books to “ruin your childhood” might be an indication that your childhood wasn’t all that awesome in the first place. To the surprise of absolutely no one, someone got offended and left some pretty hateful remarks on Gunn’s Facebook page, but he’s taking it all in stride this morning, posting a screenshot and adding some additional commentary of his own:
“Yesterday I was called an anti-Semite, a Nazi supporter, blamed for Johnny Depp beating his wife (really), and wished chopped-meatness upon my cat Emily. All of this because I said that blaming a ruined childhood on a plot twist in a comic book was unreasonable.
Sometimes the pop culture figures we love are going to do different things than what we want them to do. Sometimes it will be because of bad storytelling and sometimes it will be because the creators simply have different ideas than we do. We can complain about it, but being hyperbolic about it isn’t healthy and attacking folks for it isn’t kind. And if you’re doing those things, I suggest you have bigger issues in your life that need examining.”
But Gunn wasn’t the only person who had some thoughts on Captain America this week. During an appearance at MegaCon (as reported by CBR), the legendary Stan Lee was asked to weigh in on the dispute, and he replied in his typical good-natured fashion:
“It’s a helluva clever idea. I don’t know that I would ever have thought of it, for him to be a double agent. But it’s going to make you curious, it’s going to make you want to read the books … they’ll probably do a movie based on it, so I can’t fault it. It’s a good idea. I think it’s crazy, but it’s a good idea.”
One of the most influential runs on the Captain America comic books – including the Winter Soldier storyline – came from prolific writer Ed Brubaker, and even though it’s been years since he worked for Marvel, it seems like he’s been inundated with vitriolic messages over the past few days. His response certainly doesn’t pull any punches:
It’s nice I’m now getting abuse from lunatics about Captain America, a comic I haven’t worked on for over five years.
— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) May 26, 2016
In other words, leave me the fuck out of this nonsense. I have nothing to do with Captain America anymore, dipshits who think I do.
— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) May 26, 2016
It’s only been a few days, and this is already getting ridiculously out of hand. Hopefully, the second issue of Steve Rogers: Captain America will clear a few things up, and all of this will just quietly fade away as the internet moves on to its next perceived insult.
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