I have been a fan of Marvel Comics since I was a kid. My personal favorites were the Silver Surfer and the X-Men of the early 1990's, with Psylocke and Gambit. I was thrilled with the idea of some of my favorites becoming major movies with great special effects and compelling stories, and I always look forward to new ones. I have been happy to see the resurgence of comic books and their blockbuster success.
But I have to say that I have been unhappy with some of the themes besieging our comicbook heroes and their movie incarnations. In issue #602 of Captain America, the new villain seems to be, of all things, the American people. More specifically, the crazy, extremist, right-wing, white-supremacist Tea Partiers (I highly recommend you read the whole article).
Predictably enough, Captain America is joined in this issue by The Falcon, his black superhero sidekick. After all, it isn't a Tea Party bashing without racist overtones, right?
Let's not forget the obnoxious pornographic slurs, too - check off another box on the how-to bash list. (Marvel will be removing it in future printings, but the damage is done)
This latest lefty foray into ruining much-loved characters is incredibly disturbing to me, especially since I myself have attended a Tea Party or two, and have never seen any dangerous white-supremacist lunatics. All I've seen is middle class people of all shapes, sizes, colors and political leanings peacefully coming together to protest a government gone wild. They were safe enough for me to bring my children, who had fun singing, dancing, and reading the clever signs. True, there are a few Obama=Hitler people, but those are the LaRuchies - democrats.
It never ceases to amaze me that the left are so terrified of the movement. I don't recall such fear and hysteria during the violent Bush era protests. So far, the only violence (shouting at elected officials doesn't count as violence, no matter how much the left insists it does) has been perpetrated by SEIU members against protesters.
And now our superheroes are turning against us. Captain America is afraid of common run-of-the-mill Americans. Their belief in low taxes, smaller government and liberty are apparently the things nightmares are made of for him and the people at Marvel.
But then, why not? They have been systematically destroying our heroes for decades. From the mortal death of the immortal Superman to the most recent Superman movie in which he is depicted as, basically, a deadbeat dad who ditches his babymama and has feet of clay.
All of our superheroes are flawed these days. Why?
Has the liberal victim mentality finally invaded the cartoon world? Or perhaps having such perfect, patriotic beings to look up to and attempt to emulate was perceived as too much of a challenge by our liberal nannies and so they had to be made more human. The patriotic theme definitely had to go - after all, patriotism keeps us from joining the liberal utopian socialist global commune, so it's bad, bad, bad!
Think about it. Batman should be in intense therapy. The man is a mess. It's hard to tell who's crazier and more tortured, him or his arch-villains. The Watchmen was a mess of angst and human failings. Even Spiderman explores and revels in his dark side for a while, and one of the most poignant scenes in the series is when he is in the subway car, unconscious and unmasked. He's just a kid, he's one of us....
Only Iron Man (the movie) seems to buck this trend, and to me he is the best current incarnation of American hero out there today. Tony Stark is a greedy capitalist pig/warmonger who only redeems himself with his superhero antics. I love that Stark's capitalist pig wealth and warmongering background in weaponry is what makes him so great. In true American spirit, Tony adapts and excels and creates something fantastic. He is an entrepeneur who has met the enemy and understands the game. He was not broken by his time in the cave, he was made stronger.
Sure, the main villain is another greedy capitalist-pig, but it is more about the man than the system, so that's okay. To be fair, the comic, over the years, has seen Stark battle alcoholism as well as villains and other personal demons, but so far, the movies have been free of such human flaws. Let's hope it stays that way.
I like my heroes to act like heroes. I live in reality, and it is filled with flawed people, myself included. I don't need or want to identify my superheroes as being just like me; I don't want them flawed. Their appeal is that they are better than me, a more perfect vision that I can look up to and try to emulate. Noble, honest protectors of all Americans, not just those who share their political views. I use them as an escape - a better world where there are brave people willing to fight for life, liberty and the American Way.
The creators of Captian America should be ashamed. One would think that a character with a fanclub called the "Sentinels of Liberty" would be more sympathetic to the Tea Party cause. Add in that his girlfriend was named Betsy Ross (aka Golden Girl) and he was created to fight nazis and communism, and you really have to wonder what the current creators were thinking.
Our brave, noble, anti-communist, pro-America superheroes have become sighing, fearful angst-ridden socialists in the making.
I want my Superheroes back!!!