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USAgentfan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,535


I recently commented online the reasons I disliked Spencers work on the book.

Mark Waid replied and said that I was going to HATE his upcoming run then.

Make of that what you will.


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,183




    Quote:
    I recently commented online the reasons I disliked Spencers work on the book.

    Mark Waid replied and said that I was going to HATE his upcoming run then.

    Make of that what you will.


Maybe he just meant you personally.





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Schatzie


Member Since: Sun Aug 20, 2017
Posts: 8


Bummer. I kind of figured this would be the case considering how unhinged Waid has become in the last year. I regret ever having looked at his Twitter account. Waid used to be one of my favorite modern writers and I considered him to be one of the great Cap writers, but if he can't separate his work from his politics then no thank you. I read comics to escape reality, not to be reminded of it.


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USAgentfan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,535


It was a comment directed to me personally, however the issues I had expressed were those commonly expressed towards Spencers work with the character.


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Vincent


Member Since: Mon Jul 06, 2015
Posts: 100


Just before legendary comic writer Peter David started on the Hulk books in the late 80s, some comic book fan commented that he hated to buy Hulk books to read David's work. Well, David took that as a challenge to make the Hulk books SUPER GREAT and worth that comic book fan's money and time. And those Peter David's Hulk comics back then, ...Wow!!!

Here's hoping that Mark Waid would take your comments as a challenge and turn Captain America into a SUPER GREAT read and adventure.

I more of a fan of Peter David's run on Captain Marvel, the first 2 years (Genis, the son of Mar-Vell, the Kree soldier/sentry from the 60s and 70s). I loved those books.


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USAgentfan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,535


See, I'm already a huge fan of Waids work already - especially his work on Captain America - so an admission by the man himself that I'm going to hate it, apparantly for the same reasons I hate Spencers work, is a worry.

I'll be buying it anyway, because I have faith that Waid can entertain me ever if he doesnt.


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little kon-el


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 506


I mean that run of his in the 1990s really brought Captain America on my radar, both before and after Heroes Reborn. Waid does "man out of time" really well.

He's also the only guy who can recite the Grunwald speech where Captain America gives up his shield by memory.

- l.k.


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little kon-el


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 506


I mean that A on his head doesn't stand for France
\:\-\)


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USAgentfan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,535


There is a difference between exploring a political topic as previous writers have done, and creating a political mandate as Spencer did.


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Chris1962


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 366


Just do not have Cap lose the shield again! Cap 444 to 448 and 450 to 454 are among my favorites. Cap 449 and the Avengers crossover were so-so.


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little kon-el


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 506


....it hasn't been the best political season out there.

But I'm curious, what is the difference between Spenser's "Captain America is really a Hydra-Nazi" run vs. the Gruenwald's "Cap gives up the Shield and Title and John Walker Comes in" in as far as exploring politics of the day.

- l.k.


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Schatzie


Member Since: Sun Aug 20, 2017
Posts: 8



    Quote:
    ....it hasn't been the best political season out there.



    Quote:
    But I'm curious, what is the difference between Spenser's "Captain America is really a Hydra-Nazi" run vs. the Gruenwald's "Cap gives up the Shield and Title and John Walker Comes in" in as far as exploring politics of the day.



    Quote:
    - l.k.



Gru addressed in a vague way what some consider political things (but in reality they were objective wrongs played against what American ideals stand for), but never at the expense of Captain America and he did not make the reader feel like there was a bias except for one time. Even when Gru let his one bias show during his run it wasn't blatant and it had nothing to do with Cap himself. He didn't even portray Walker as a stereotypical southerner either. Walker didn't get portrayed as such until Roger Stern, of all people, did it 20+ YEARS LATER, which shows either at best, Stern didn't do his homework or at worst, he let a bias show through.


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USAgentfan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,535


I'm glad you asked, so heres my take on it.

First of all Gruenwald was exploring the abstract concept of 'patriotism' - how there are different types of patriotism, and how being 'patriotic' is not necessarilly an automatically good thing.

In doing this, Gruenwald was not referencing a real life person or persons, real life events, nor was he even really criticising any particular side of the political spectrum.

He used two characters - Rogers and Walker - to represent two different perspectives - two Americas - but he was careful to ensure that they werent portrayed as 'right' and 'wrong', just *different*, and Gruenwald stops short (aside from Reagan as a snake perhaps)of choosing a side himself when he writes the story. He plays it for the most part right down the middle.

Rogers was senior, old fashioned, idealistic and traditional; where as Walker was young, ambitious, realistic, and pragmatic. Despite their differences both were clearly 'good guys'.

The two defeat the true enemy (the Red Skull) by working together - perhaps hinting at what can be achieved if both the left and the right can forget their small differences long enough to concentrate on common goals - and both end the tale as heroes.

Now lets look at Spencers run on the book.

First of all its no secret that this story was influenced by the 2016 Presidential election and its subsequent fallout, so the story is a representation of real events and some of the people who participated in them.

Does Spencer choose a side? Yeah.

- Having a bunch of good 'ol boys beating Mexicans up on the border and yelling about 'the wall' shortly after Trump mentioned his intention to build one (and youre an idiot if you buy spencers assertion that this was a coincidence!).

- Setting up Rick Jones as a clear proxy for Edward Snowden (and conversly setting SHIELD up as 'the man', just trying their hardest to infringe your civil liberties).

- Giving us a clear commentary on BLM and the way our police relate to our communities, but completely ignoring all of the nuances of that debate, instead choosingto give us a 100% white, 100% racist police force, enforcing 100% punitive laws on a 100% black, 100% innocent community.

- Having the people responsible for the Americops be a trio of walking, talking Republican stereotypes - rich, white, Texan, belonging to the traditional Republican pillars of the media, politics, and big business, racist purely for the sake of it, and with no objective bu to stop a black man (Sam Wilson) from holding an influential position in American society.

- Creating characters such as Ariella Connor - a clear parody of Anne Couture, who is so deeply racist that she is repulsed by the mere touch of an immigrant, even when that immigrant is saving her life.

- Steve Rogers #17 may as well have been titled 'Trumps fake news', as the whole thing is a sideswipe at the perceived media manipulation and use of 'alternative facts' by the right. Of course there is no hint of a suggestion that the left have ever done such a thing...

- Then theres Secret Empire itself - a story about an icon who wraps himself in the flag whilst simultaniously burning the constitution, dupes the population into supporting him by playing to their greatest fears and ignorances, creates a threat that didnt actually exist in order to convince them that he is the only one who can protect them from it, and pointing the finger of blame firmly at those who are 'different'.

Sound familiar?

Captain America fighting fascists isnt new, nor is it a bad thing -its what he's always done - but Spencer doesnt set his sights on fascists. He isnt attacking the 'alt-right', or the 'far right' - he attacks anyone who stands anywhere on the right and conservativism in general, drawing a line in the sand and making it quite apparant that if you stand on the opposite side of it to him then you are part of the problem.

Social media only helps reinforce this, and Spencers online comments closely mirror what he is perceived to be saying in his comic books, and he even announces open season on his own fans readers, routinely dismissing that there is any justifiable reason to have voted for the man who currently sits in the White House.

How many times did someone tell Sam Wilson "Youre not my Captain America"? Notice how the people saying it are always white guys who fit the worst possible stereotypes - from the handlebar moustached redneck with his trucker cap and aviators, to the weasly desk-bound cop?

Youre kidding yourself if you think that isnt a direct criticism from Spencer aimed at ANY person who didnt like Sam as Cap for ANY reason. If you dont like him then you are a racist, because there cant possibly any good reason for not liking Sam Wilson unless youve got a problem with black guys...

Of course if social media existed in 1986, maybe Mark Gruenwald would have showed his hand a bit more too. I'd like to believe that Gru wouldnt, but we'll never know either way, so we have to settle for the fact that whatever his inherent personal politics were, they were no way as obvious in his writing as Spencers are.

Now dont perceive any of this as a defence of, or support for any of the people who found themselves in Spencers sights. I have zero personal respect for the likes of Trump and his cronies, and I am happy to critise them. Theyre not the anti-christ though, theyre not Nazis no matter how much Spencer tries to allude to them being Nazis, theyre not the worst thing to happen to America, and as much as I personally wouldnt have voted for them thats different to saying that there is NO justifiable reason for voting for them.

Its impossible for any writer to completely eliminate bias from their work, but deliberate bias should be avoided. Gruenwald managed in avoiding it. Spencer meanwhile seemingly revelled in embracing it.




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little kon-el


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 506


...I think I loved Gruenwald's run precisely because it was so nuanced in its portrayal of both Caps. I think he went overboard in making John Walker nuts, and maybe tipping his hand right there. But overall I liked it. It fits rather nicely with the What If issue where we have Red Skull's ideas come to fruition with Super Patriot and Buckies vs. The Captain and the Partners. He even spells it out explicitly with a Reagan speech about Ideas of America changing and that the Buckies and Captain America represent those ideals of America changing.

Now that I reread that stuff, I'm curious how Gruenwald would've handled this storyline. Let's say this is the rough draft and Gruenwald had to come in and "fix" it. How would you revamp this storyline (still keeping the same beats that were set up and still with the conclusion of Captain America beating HydraCap) and keep it even keel, more nuanced?

- l.k.




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USAgentfan


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,535


Even when he made Walker 'nuts' though, it was because he was a victim rather than because he was a bad guy.

If Spencer wrote that story, Walker would have been a god-fearing, gay-hating whackadoodle who would never have had a black man for a best friend like Gru's Walker did, because a steroetype like that would have fit perfectly with Spencers political agenda.

If you want to know what Secret Empire written by Gruenwald would have looked like, well it probably would have looked a lot like 'The Captain'.

Gruenwald has already written this story. Secret Empire is pretty much 'The Captain' ruined by Spencers inherent personal bias. Spencers also such a Gru acolyte that I doubt Secret Empire wasnt influenced in some way by Gru's greatest story - afterall, everything else in Spencers run was influenced by Gru. Frankly all of Spencers best ideas belong to Mark Gruenwald.




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