Captain America, Secret Empire, and Nick Spencer’s Reaction (VEDA Day 21)

Captain America, Secret Empire, and Nick Spencer’s Reaction (VEDA Day 21)

Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.

So, I’ve been feeling the need to talk about something that’s been going on recently, and it’s kind of crappy. Not that that’s very remarkable these days.

It’s the whole deal going on with Marvel’s current run of Captain America as written by a guy named Nick Spencer, who we’ll go into more detail about in a little bit.

But first, for those who aren’t “up” on comics, Marvel has essentially pushed out a storyline in which it’s been revealed that Steve Rogers, Captain America, is an agent of Hydra.

Not only that, but he’s ALWAYS been an agent of Hydra, and the past several decades of comic book history were a FAKE timeline because reasons.

So I’m not even looking to discuss whether this is a GOOD storyline or not. I think alternate timelines are kind of meh, but that’s really not the big issue here.

The big issue is that Nick Spencer has decided to turn Captain America into a Nazi.

I mean, that’s just what this is. Hydra are Nazis in the comics.

There are … so many problems with this.

Captain America’s creators were Jewish, and Captain America was specifically anti-Nazi propaganda at a time when the Nazis were, you know, exterminating Jewish people.

When comic writers change characters for diversity’s sake, a certain portion of the community goes into a frothing rage about how the writers are “messing with the character’s original conception.”

Well, this is LITERALLY retconning Captain America’s entire history, yet there’s no frothing rage from the usual Marvel fanboys. Funny, that.

Also, we keep being told—mostly by Nick Spencer—that we should “wait and see” how the story plays out before we judge.

Mm, see, that advice doesn’t always hold water. Sorry. It just doesn’t.

There’s certain stories that are just kind of fucked up to tell, no matter what. Where you’re just being a dick for shock value, and you can’t wrap the story up in a way that undoes that.

Let’s say, for a second, that Marvel decided to run a storyline where America reinstituted slavery. Literally. All the black superheroes get rounded up and forced to work on plantations by the white superheroes.

It literally does not matter if all the white superheroes were mind-controlled into doing what they did. You’ve created whole storylines, lots of art, depicting these characters being oppressed and forced into a living hell.

You’ve created numerous works of art showing horrible crimes that hearken back to one of the darkest chapters in the history of this country. Those images don’t just “go away.”

Especially in today’s culture of rising white nationalism, there are going to be some people who will get those images on merchandise and wear it proudly for years to come.

And this isn’t like some alternate-universe thing where OUR Captain America goes into some other timeline and sees Nazi Captain America. You’ve turned OUR Captain America into a Nazi.

There will always be some people whose first exposure to Captain America was him as a Nazi. Always. Forever.

Again, this emboldens REAL Nazis who are REALLY operating in REAL America right now.

And this is bad enough, but aside from the action itself, Nick Spencer’s reaction to the controversy has been frankly just … eh.

His reactions to fan reactions have ranged from condescending to insensitive to just really, REALLY problematic.

I mean, our society has this trope of the angry black woman? But it’s WAY more common to see the self-righteous white man, and his Twitter feed is just a great example.

Anyway. All this stuff sucks! Because I love Marvel. They generally make great comics. And I really wish they’d take action on the very real distress they’re causing to their fanbase.

But even if they don’t want to take action against their own creators for the comic itself—which I completely understand—it just doesn’t make any sense to let them act like this on social media.

Anyway, needless to say, I’m not going to be reading Secret Empire, even though I’ve tried to be a good Marvel reader, at least where the big events are concerned.

And I’m gonna do really the only thing we can do as comic readers, which is remain a loyal reader of the series that are doing things right, like Wasp and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and so on.

Whether or not you’re discouraged by this direction Marvel’s taken, remember it’s not the whole company, and there are a lot of awesome creators doing awesome things as well.

Keep supporting them, and if you’re a creator, learn from mistakes like these and keep figuring out ways to do things better.

That’s it for today, Rebel. Check out yesterday’s VEDA video right up there, or check out my Patreon to get my secret weekend videos.

Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye!

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at

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