Marvel Comics tried to do what nearly every major brand did on Monday: honor Memorial Day with a timely social media post. But Marvel’s decision to use Captain America to honor our fallen heroes didn’t sit particularly well with its fans.
Obviously, Captain America—the World War II super-solider turned modern-day Avenger—should be the perfect choice for a patriotic tribute. Except, this year, Marvel introduced a new arc for the Captain America character called “Secret Empire.” Steve Rogers, the ultimate American soldier, is revealed to be a super-secret sleeper agent, undermining SHIELD and its affiliates from the inside, in order to help the Nazi-affiliated baddies, Hydra.
That’s right, Captain America is a Nazi now, and Marvel’s fans—including some American military veterans—thought that severely compromised Marvel’s intentions.
Other users suggested that perhaps for the time being, Marvel swap out Captain America for another patriotic hero, like Sam Wilson, the former soldier who became Cap’s Avenger colleague Falcon.
Colonel Nick Fury is also a veteran. Captain Marvel’s Carol Danvers served in the United States Air Force. Heck, given that Captain America’s Steve Rogers is now actively a Nazi, some of Marvel’s anti-heroes and villains with military experience—like Deadpool (Wade Wilson), Punisher (Frank Castle), Wolverine (James “Logan” Howlett), or even Rogers’ brother-in-arms Bucky Barnes—would be a better choice.
Barnes, at least, turned back. Captain America, the Avengers symbol of the pure morality, is, at this point, irreparably tarnished. But if Marvel were cognizant of how its fans felt about its new and improved storylines, of course, they probably wouldn’t be suffering from a marked decline in comic sales.