Saturday, May 28, 2016

About Captain America being Hydra and the fan reaction

I'm pretty sure this story-line is going to be stupid, like what they did to Cassandra Cain during One Year Later.  And will not at all be a serious thoughtful exploration of what I'm going to discus below.  And it's particularly insulting they did this the day after Marvel said it'd be inherently out of character for him to ever have a male lover.

The thing is the argument has always existed that what Captain America is unwittingly reinforces Fascist and Aryan ideology.  This was mentioned like a decade or more ago in the History Channel documentary Comic Book Superheros Unmasked.

And the argument I keep seeing even from liberals when this is acknowledged is "but that's the point, it's the Irony of Hitler's ideal Aryan punching him in the face".  And hearing it expressed that way only makes me more uncomfortable with it, defeating Fascism with Fascism is actually a victory for Fascism.  (And yes Fascists can be in conflict with each other, Mussolini actually hated Hitler, under slightly different conditions they'd have been on opposite sides.)

And it kind of is an unintentional SciFi analogy to my more cynical outlook on the real history of WWII.  The Allies did commit virtually all the same offenses the Axis did, especially in our treatment of Japanese Americans, and then one upped them with dropping the Bomb.  (And the concentration camp was actually invented in America under the Andrew Jackson administration to deal with the Cherokee.) but History is written by the winners.  Nazism lost, but Fascism merely changed it's face.

Oliver Stone's Secret History of the United States critiques the conventional view of WWII from a liberal perspective.  Pat Buchanan's The Unnecessary War does so from a Conservative perspective.  I as a truly Bi-Partison Libertarian-Communist see value in both their takes so I recommend both, though I ultimately agree with neither on everything.

Acknowledging this about Captain America has become less popular since his movies became big hits.  My fellow SJWs currently love MCU Steve Rogers, so the idea of condemning his basic archetype as inherently problematic the way the same websites do James Bond and Indian Jones is currently unthinkable to them.

I'm not saying the character should be rejected, the movies are a lot of fun, I personally took on Winter Soldier's harshest critic on this blog.

But an Elseworlds kind of story exploring the logical conclusion that perhaps the Aryan who punched Hitler in the face actually believes a similar Nationalism just for a different nation, I think is a very valid concept.   The founders of the CIA fought Nazism during WWII but then worked with Fascist groups to oppose the USSR during the Cold War, like the whole P2 scandal in Italy, Hydra could easily be used as an allegory for that inconvenient truth.  Again I don't think that's what this current twist is actually doing.

But I keep seeing the meme repeated that this is especially gross because Captain America's creators were Jewish.  As if Jewish writers couldn't possibly write something problematic.  A lot of American Jews are on the Trump bandwagon right now, so they are not inherently immune to the appeal of Fascism.  And many Palestinians Arabs feel for very valid reasons that the Israeli Government is no better then Nazi Germany.

But I'm not going to suggest Jack Kirby was a Fascist.  Just that it's valid to criticize him.  And that Death of the Author applies to all Authors not just privileged ones.

The Golden Age comics never addressed the Holocaust or other real War Crimes of the War.  They just depicted Germans as mustache twirling villains and the Japanese as demons.  Cap punching Hitler was always designed to appeal to American Tribal Patriotism, whatever deep down motivated the authors, on the page it was never about the real reason that war is now considered a just one.

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