Marvel Comics’ new Captain America storyline hasn’t been well-received by progressive comic book fans, who object to the transformation of its main character into a Nazi-inspired member of Hydra. Following efforts to boycott the comic, some social justice warriors expressed their anger by burning copies of the Secret Empire’s free issue, which was given out at comic book stores during this weekend’s Free Comic Book Day.
Despite writer Nick Spencer’s portrayal of Captain America as a bad guy not worthy of celebration, the Antifa-supporting progressive left argue that the character’s newfound embrace of fascism normalizes fascism in the real world. These individuals, so detached from reality, first expressed their desire to burn the comic prior to its release.
Much like the actual fascists who set fire to books they found “problematic” in Nazi-era Germany, several so-called “anti-fascists” made good on their promise by setting fire to the comic. They proudly shared photographs of their acts on social media, to the celebration of thousands of other like-minded progressives.
Author Nick Spencer has since spoken up about those who burned his book to “fight fascism.” He wrote:
“When you burn books you’re not taking a stand against fascism, you’re taking a stand against irony.”
History shows that the destruction of art has traditionally been the domain of fascists and religious ideologues. In the late 15th century, religious extremists led by Girolamo Savanarola in Florence conducted the Bonfire of the Vanities to destroy countless works of art condemned as “occasions of sin.” More recently in Syria and Iraq, the terrorist organization ISIS burning libraries and museums that housed ancient books and artwork.
The widely disseminated Secret Empire is by no means a priceless work of art in comparison to Renaissance-era paintings or medieval manuscripts, but the motivations that drive the act of burning the book come from the same intolerant mindset.