As Secret Empire # 1 hit the comic shelves this week, Marvel released a statement asking fans to let the story play out before forming an opinion.

“At Marvel, we want to assure all of our fans that we hear your concerns about aligning Captain America with Hydra and we politely ask you to allow the story to unfold before coming to any conclusion.”

Four Reasons Why Fans Need to Unclench and Simply Enjoy 'Secret Empire'
Wear THIS and proclaim your HYDRA allegiance!

The story arc starting in Steve Rogers: Captain America has been highly scrutinized by some. Captain America is brainwashed and is now aligned with HYDRA. Some have claimed making Captain America an agent of HYDRA is “highly disrespectful” to the memories of creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby because they were Jewish.

Quite frankly, I, a gentile, think it is ridiculous Marvel would need to release a statement. This is a comic book story after all. Is that what we’ve come to as a society? Marvel needs to tell fans to let a comic story happen before jumping to conclusions? REALLY?

Things To Remember When Reading 'Secret Empire'
The most controversial storyline since “One More Day”. Photo Credit: Marvel

I have a few things to say about the public’s outcry.

1. First, I think a lot of the people out there who are “offended” (a word that’s lost all meaning these days) don’t read comic books.

You have people who aren’t reading the stories, but weighing in on them like they are some sort of authority. If the people hurt by Cap’s “betrayal” honestly read the comics, then they’d know about the Red Skull’s use of the Cosmic Cube, which brings me to my next point.

2. There’s been a lot of misinformation about Secret Empire‘s build-up and how Captain America came to align himself with HYDRA.

A lot of articles online leave out the fact The Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to rewrite history, so the history of the World was changed, effectively making Cap sleeper agent for HYDRA. I feel a lot of the people reading the articles online — who think Cap has been a HYDRA agent this whole time — don’t know anything about the Cosmic Cube’s role. Hence, their outrage.

I will admit I wasn’t too familiar with Secret Empire‘s build-up. I decided to fix that by buying back issues of Steve Rogers: Captain America to better understand the story and where it’s coming from. If I am going to comment on a story, I might as well get familiar with it. As the kids say these days, “I got woke.”

Even if Cap is part of HYDRA now, Brian Quinn brings up a great point on episode 334 of the podcast Tell’em Steve-Dave. Quinn points out that Cap is brainwashed, and therefore not a true villain. In fact, he’s the victim of this story. Would you hold someone’s actions against them if they’re hypnotized? No. If you do, you’re a jerk.

3. Also, I think a lot of people are injecting politics into Secret Empire when there aren’t any.

Do you believe Steve Rogers: Captain America and Secret Empire writer Nick Spencer would sit down in front of his computer and say, “Today, I want to piss off fans and write a story where it turns out Captain America has been part of HYDRA this whole time. I want everyone to hate me?” No. I think people are projecting their own insecurities about America today onto the comic story, causing their anxiety.

4. Finally, let’s remember this is a comic book story.

Unless this is happening in the real world, we shouldn’t be “upset” or “outraged” by Secret Empire. Comic fans can be passionate, but let’s not let that passion get out of hand. Keep in mind these are fictional characters we are talking about.

Why Fans Need to Unclench and Simply Enjoy 'Secret Empire'
Thanks, Holden!

You shouldn’t lose sleep at night over what happens in a comic book. Obviously, you can have an opinion on what goes on in the pages of your favorite book, but keep your emotions in check. Up until now, the barrier between fans and creators was big. Back then, if something happened in a comic we didn’t like, we fans talked about it to each other but kept it civil.

Even if we don’t like what happens, we can’t attack the writer or artist online, which happened last year when Cap exclaimed “Hail HYDRA!” Nobody should be threatened because of what they write in a comic book story. As in, ever.

When talking to a friend of mine named Evan about the whole hub-bub surrounding Secret Empire, he said “If Marvel turning Captain America into the leader of HYDRA for a story is enough to break you, I recommend not watching the real news.”

So, with all that said, if you’re going to have an opinion, have an informed opinion. Don’t just go by what others say. Read Secret Empire or the Captain America books leading up to it for yourself, then decide what you think. You may find all the anger you’re feeling might be for nothing.

3 COMMENTS

  1. First of all, Keith, your reason 2 is just repeating what you said in reason 1; so, they shouldn’t be taken separately. Having said that, let me reply to your points:

    Points 1 & 2:

    I have been reading comics since the 1970s (yes, I’m that old). I have also bought all the relevant comics leading up to Secret Empire (including Civil War 2… which I regret because it’s trash); and, I’ve already purchased issues #0 to #2 of Secret Empire. Yes, I am allowing it to unfold.

    Having said all that, IMHO, I wouldn’t have reacted negatively to Caps “Hail Hydra” if Marvel had not been pandering to the SJW community in many of their other comics. I feel that the reaction of the fans would have been much more tempered if there was no precedent… but, I can only speak for myself. Many of those whom I know personally that have reacted negatively to this were actually Marvel die-hard fans. I, on the other hand love comics in general. But, we all loved Marvel and we couldn’t understand why they would push their agenda in such a blatant manner. So, when Cap said those infamous words, we lost it.

    Point 3:

    A big yes! I do think Nick Spencer would indeed sit in front of his computer and think of ways to inject his ‘politics’ into his writing. Have you followed the guy on Twitter? I suggest that you do. It might show you a few things about this guy that you probably didn’t know. And, If you’re already following him on Twitter, I don’t see how you’re not seeing what I’m seeing. It’s pretty in-your-face.

    Point 4:

    I agree with you completely when you say that we should keep our emotions in check. Indeed, we shouldn’t send death threats and burn comic books because we don’t agree with the writer or the artist. I’m glad I’m not one of those people. We are also in agreement that it’s okay for us to have and air our own opinions… in the proper way, of course.

    However, when you say: “…if you’re going to have an opinion, have an informed opinion”, I find it a little condescending and (maybe) a little naive. How do you know that those with a negative opinion of this story-line aren’t informed?

    My thoughts on Secret Empire so far…

    I actually like the writing. In fact, I want to see how that ‘familiar old face in fatigues’ will figure out in the narrative. However, because I’ve seen so many blatantly SJW-pandering Marvel comics and I’ve seen how Nick Spencer has treated Marvel fans on Twitter, I can’t help but find so many ‘hidden political messages’ in the narrative. I know I could be wrong; but, I can’t help it.

    Also, I can’t help but think that this ‘familiar old face’ is a rip-off and an amalgam of pre-New52 Clark Kent and Wally West. If he eventually ends bringing back the ‘heart’ of Marvel in a lead-in to Marvel Legacy, then I’ll cry Rebirth rip-off! But, for now, I’ll let it unfold.

  2. Wow, just… Wow. Right out of the Gate you are extremely confrontational and demeaning, and right out of the gate you are accuse us of not even reading the books in question despite the fact for these past few years we’ve been complaining about the radical fundamentalist SJW direction of Marvel Comics. To boil down the entirety of your little attack is nothing more than, “Just Shut the Fuck-Up You Idiots, You Forget that you have no rights to think anything that we don’t tell you to think.” If you don’t like this crap, is only because you’ve never read it! Just like those people whom say, “if you don’t like , is because you’ve never experienced it!” it’s like those idiots that tell gay people, “Oh you just need someone of the opposite sex to rock your world.” or when gays say pretty much the same thing like that creepy Ice Cream Cone cartoon on the Bill Nye Saves the World…

    After all, these are the same people whom stress that it’s okay to punch a National Socialist in the face where ever you find them, and all that makes a person a National Socialist is to disagree with your ideology. All the while ignoring the fact that you are the ones whom are using the same kind of violence and rhetoric of the National Socialist German Workers Party had used to come to power. Very few remember that the “Night of Long Knives” (or in Germany as Röhm-Putsch) that was used by Hitler exploiting his power and authority over the government to wipe out Röhm and his SA Bully Boys whom acted just as antifia, BAMN and BLM is acting RIGHT NOW.

    Sorry, but we’re not going to just shut the fuck up anymore. That’s what happened in Weimar Germany and is what allowed Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers Party transform one of the most cosmopolitan, open & accepting and technoligcaly/scientitifically advanced nations on the planet at the time… yes it’s a tactic that has worked. least we forget that Hitler’s National Socialists, Mussolini’s Facists, and Franco’s Falangists (and a spectrum of other LEFT-wing political movements that introduced authoritarian and tolertarian dictatorships that led to massive amounts of both bloody and brutal body counts that goes into the millions if not right into the billions). Especially with all the damn “Leftist” governments whom are pushing draconian laws that are placing limits on Freedom of Speech.

    To many “Useful Idiots” whom have been indoctrinated by all the leftists in academia don’t know that their hated Fascism, Stalinism, Maoism, et al where all inspired by the American Progressive movement. Don’t believe me? Go look it up. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the American Political Left was enamored with fascism as the most perfect future form of government… in fact they called Mussolini a “Latin Roosevelt” in editorials and celebrated the fact that many of FDR’s policies where identical to those policies that were being enacted by Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Franco. Go READ the news and editorial articles in all that archived newspapers and magazines of that period.

    After you’ve done that, please remember whom it was that has lied to you for decades, and purposefully kept you in the dark and primed you up to hurt and kill those whom were trying to tell you the truth. And remember everything they’ve wanted to bring into this world. And then think about how the same methods are what was used by Hitler, Stalin and Mao to convince the ‘little people’ to kill millions of innocent men, women and CHILDREN.

    Sadly, I have a felling that many of those whom have bought the regressive messages will never read this far..

  3. A lot of people are interjecting politics because it attracts a certain crowd over on the youtubes. Some of the people interjecting politics don’t like the personal politics of the writer and are reading into the story because they think Nick Spencer is some a crazy SJW(not my words) and his Captain America is a thinly veiled Donald Trump. This is complete and utter bs, I would not give Donald Trump as much credit for competence or intelligence as Captain America has in this book. This is the best writing coming out of Marvel right now and in my opinion one of about 3 Marvel comics actually worth the paper its printed on. I freaking hate Marvel right now, for their stupid constant event comics, their overpricing, and still not fixing one more day. But I love this story, its so exciting and refreshing and I can’t wait until Cap is back to normal so all these crazies can STFU.

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