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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Default Spencer's Captain America

    After hearing about the "controversies" of Secret Empire I decided to read Spencer's Captain America run, both Sam and Steve, and I am absolutely loving it.

    I don't understand why people were so mad about it, I am not that active on the boards but this story was being talked about on my local news station at the time. So, now reading it after some time has passed, I'm scratching my head as to why it was so controversial?

    Both Sam's and Steve's titles were riveting with the former looking at institutionalized injustices and the latter belonging to said institution, epic stuff.

    I personally loved the ripped outta the headlines storylines because it pushed character into the modern era. Don't get me wrong I love the spy vs spy, cold war, espionage stuff that the Captain America book was best known for, but no one can touch that kind of story once Brubaker was done with it.

    I thought Spencer's writing of Maria Hill was great too, albeit a bit too snarky at times.

    Being removed from the immediacy of the storylines, is there still a visceral hate for Spencer's take?

  2. #2
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Did someone say Spencer Cap and Sam Cap and and and Stevil and and and Zemo and Standoff and Elisa and D-Man and Misty and Joaquin and Rage and KOBIK UWU and Secret Empire and and and





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  3. #3
    Invincible Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    After hearing about the "controversies" of Secret Empire I decided to read Spencer's Captain America run, both Sam and Steve, and I am absolutely loving it.

    I don't understand why people were so mad about it, I am not that active on the boards but this story was being talked about on my local news station at the time. So, now reading it after some time has passed, I'm scratching my head as to why it was so controversial?

    Both Sam's and Steve's titles were riveting with the former looking at institutionalized injustices and the latter belonging to said institution, epic stuff.

    I personally loved the ripped outta the headlines storylines because it pushed character into the modern era. Don't get me wrong I love the spy vs spy, cold war, espionage stuff that the Captain America book was best known for, but no one can touch that kind of story once Brubaker was done with it.

    I thought Spencer's writing of Maria Hill was great too, albeit a bit too snarky at times.

    Being removed from the immediacy of the storylines, is there still a visceral hate for Spencer's take?
    I can understand the controversy when the story FIRST started. Out of the gate they established that Steve was a hydra spy all along. The explain the cosmic cube stuff a month later, but in that first month I think it got the reaction that they should have expected.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Inversed's Avatar
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    It feels like most of the hate came from the gut reaction of "OMG Captain America is Hydra!?" that none of those people paid attention that the second issue literally tells you that "This isn't the real Steve" and "This isn't right".

    What I love about Spencer's work in both books is that they both tell very different types of stories, that fit together into one big narrative. Sam's book is essentially an underdog story, trying to stand up to the legacy of a symbol and still being true to yourself, while society and everyone around you tries to tell you why you're wrong. And Steve's story works as an excellent villain origin story, as we see how someone like Steve Rogers could've been shaped into Hydra Cap, and how he works as a master manipulator in the present, controlling both the heroes and villains.
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  5. #5
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    He also covered entirely different political fields with Sam tackling relevant issues in domestic America while Steve played in a much more global field with foreign politics and looking at issues there, particularly in regards to security and the whole world police concept. And then Secret Empire does both simultaneously.
    "Only god is judge, never plea the case
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  6. #6
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    Spencer happened to do this story at a time when clickbait media was at its clickbait-iest, and when a lot of commentary accused works of art of literally hurting people. It's toned down a bit since then, but it was quite common to see people accusing this story of being pro-Nazi and actively harmful.

    And one of the themes of the story was that fascist ideas can sound tempting and seductive coming from the right messenger. But that also provoked accusations that the story was pro-fascist or that it's wrong to ask readers to empathize (not sympathize, just empathize) with fascists. In other words, there were people who understood the point of the story and were mad at it for that reason.

    Spencer and Marvel obviously wanted this story to be clickbait, but I think they thought it was mostly going to get right-wing outrage and weren't completely prepared for how toxic things had gotten on all sides.

  7. #7
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    Frankly, I disliked it because Spencer just sucked as a writer and was using Mark G characters poorly. I mean, what happened to Free Spirit?

    With Stevil, Spencer tried to be clever and wrapped him in Nazi symbolism, all while claiming 'not a Nazi, honest!'. It was trolling at it's worse.

    With Sam, Spencer turned him into a failure. I can't think of a replacement Cap who deserves to succeed more than Sam, and yet under Spencer, he face planted. I know some want to say that Spencer was drawing parallels between Sam's tenure as Cap and Obama's presidency, in how both were subject tu unrelenting criticism, which is fine, in theory.

    The problem is that Spencer seemed to ignore, or not care, that Obama never gave up. He kept on doing his duty until the end. Sam, not so much. Sam deserved a better tenure as Cap

  8. #8
    Scarlet and Proud! Star_Jammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    Spencer happened to do this story at a time when clickbait media was at its clickbait-iest, and when a lot of commentary accused works of art of literally hurting people. It's toned down a bit since then, but it was quite common to see people accusing this story of being pro-Nazi and actively harmful.

    And one of the themes of the story was that fascist ideas can sound tempting and seductive coming from the right messenger. But that also provoked accusations that the story was pro-fascist or that it's wrong to ask readers to empathize (not sympathize, just empathize) with fascists. In other words, there were people who understood the point of the story and were mad at it for that reason.

    Spencer and Marvel obviously wanted this story to be clickbait, but I think they thought it was mostly going to get right-wing outrage and weren't completely prepared for how toxic things had gotten on all sides.
    Yeah, some of the language thrown Spencer's way over Secret Empire #1 was quite...tasteful. And from people who totally did not understand the story because, well, they thought it was pro-Nazi. LOL
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    Spencer happened to do this story at a time when clickbait media was at its clickbait-iest, and when a lot of commentary accused works of art of literally hurting people. It's toned down a bit since then, but it was quite common to see people accusing this story of being pro-Nazi and actively harmful.

    And one of the themes of the story was that fascist ideas can sound tempting and seductive coming from the right messenger. But that also provoked accusations that the story was pro-fascist or that it's wrong to ask readers to empathize (not sympathize, just empathize) with fascists. In other words, there were people who understood the point of the story and were mad at it for that reason.


    Spencer and Marvel obviously wanted this story to be clickbait, but I think they thought it was mostly going to get right-wing outrage and weren't completely prepared for how toxic things had gotten on all sides.
    Yeah, and it was poorly done. The whole idea that people follow Cap blindly was undermined by how everyone in the series turned on him immediately (and naturally, given how mind control is a think that exists in comics), and the few that did were either blackmailed (Thor), evil (Doc Ock, Tasky) or possessed (Wanda, sigh, and Vision).

    The entire story, the only one who was 'seduced by the messenger', besides the sheeple in the MU, was Deadpool. A guy who's moral compass sucks 90% of the time anyways.

  10. #10
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    I'll also add that even though Spencer claimed he pitched this as an event in the first place, Secret Empire was an unsatisfying ending and the story should have ended in the Cap books instead (I feel this way about almost all events that cannibalize the ending of an ongoing run). That event lost most of what Spencer had been trying to do in the Cap books. HYDRA-Cap seemed like a rather pathetic character, the ending was undermined by the cuts to the "real" Steve, and the only really good part was the scene with Pym/Ultron, which had almost nothing to do with the plot.

    That whole event felt like they went for clickbait moments instead of satisfying story moments. We'll have evil Cap lift Thor's hammer and explain it later, we'll skip over how HYDRA took over the country even though that's the most interesting part.
    Last edited by gurkle; 02-09-2019 at 07:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Fantastic Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    Spencer happened to do this story at a time when clickbait media was at its clickbait-iest, and when a lot of commentary accused works of art of literally hurting people. It's toned down a bit since then, but it was quite common to see people accusing this story of being pro-Nazi and actively harmful.

    And one of the themes of the story was that fascist ideas can sound tempting and seductive coming from the right messenger. But that also provoked accusations that the story was pro-fascist or that it's wrong to ask readers to empathize (not sympathize, just empathize) with fascists. In other words, there were people who understood the point of the story and were mad at it for that reason.

    Spencer and Marvel obviously wanted this story to be clickbait, but I think they thought it was mostly going to get right-wing outrage and weren't completely prepared for how toxic things had gotten on all sides.
    Pro-Nazi!? How did readers take that message from the story, that's nuts.

    I can imagine click-bait had a lot to do with it, I wonder if Marvel could have handled the messaging around it or not have reacted so quickly to undo it.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Frankly, I disliked it because Spencer just sucked as a writer and was using Mark G characters poorly. I mean, what happened to Free Spirit?

    With Stevil, Spencer tried to be clever and wrapped him in Nazi symbolism, all while claiming 'not a Nazi, honest!'. It was trolling at it's worse.

    With Sam, Spencer turned him into a failure. I can't think of a replacement Cap who deserves to succeed more than Sam, and yet under Spencer, he face planted. I know some want to say that Spencer was drawing parallels between Sam's tenure as Cap and Obama's presidency, in how both were subject tu unrelenting criticism, which is fine, in theory.

    The problem is that Spencer seemed to ignore, or not care, that Obama never gave up. He kept on doing his duty until the end. Sam, not so much. Sam deserved a better tenure as Cap
    Sure, but independent of what Spencer was saying and the externalities and just judging the story itself would you still have the same criticisms?

    I thought the whole point of Sam being a "failure" is that people judged him unfairly because he was being compared to the mythic character of Steve Rogers and that Sam is ultimately still a human being dealing with this thrust upon infamy.

  12. #12
    Fantastic Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop Dogg View Post
    Did someone say Spencer Cap and Sam Cap and and and Stevil and and and Zemo and Standoff and Elisa and D-Man and Misty and Joaquin and Rage and KOBIK UWU and Secret Empire and and and





    What is happening... I kinda like it....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliehustle415 View Post
    Sure, but independent of what Spencer was saying and the externalities and just judging the story itself would you still have the same criticisms?

    I thought the whole point of Sam being a "failure" is that people judged him unfairly because he was being compared to the mythic character of Steve Rogers and that Sam is ultimately still a human being dealing with this thrust upon infamy.
    Yup, pretty much.

    The story sucked. The excution was poor, the build up sucks and Spencer wrote himself into a corner. A better 'question authority' message miht have been if Cap had led the Avengers to into one defeat after another, advantaging Hydra at every turn.

    As for Sam, the constant critism was clearly meant to reflect Obama's treatment, IMO. Especially with the other poor, hamfisted stories that came with it ("You can't arrest me for murder! I'm too big to fail!"). But, again Obama never gave up. Sam did. Obama had many accomplishments to his presidency, Sam...what good character moment did he have the entire time?

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    I thought Spencer's run was really good and not worth the controversy at all. I get why people felt that way, but I also think they, for the most part, pre-judged it and misinterpreted quite a bit. I think I created a myths thread a while back.

    One of the big myths is that the story was trying to deNazify Hydra. I think that's very far from the mark. What it showed was the willingness of totalitarians, racial supremacists, and extremists to try and appear moderate. The KuKluxKlan went from ex-Confederates to patriotic loyal Americans who wanted to restore a better America of the past. In his comics, Hydra was full of analogues to Nazis, the Klan, "law and order" politicians, and even ISIS all together depending on the context. When they had the opportunity to rewrite history, they erased their connections to Nazi Germany by suggesting they were reluctant or unwilling partners. There's absolutely no reason anyone should take Hydra's Cosmic Cube rewritten history as actual history but should recognize it for the Hydra propaganda that it is.

    The other big myth I would argue (and this one might be a bit more controversial) is that Captain America was not a Nazi in the story. He wasn't even Hydra. In fact, Sam Wilson wasn't even close to either of those things and he was Captain America. Yes, Steve Rogers was brainwashed to be both Hydra and a totalitarian (with racial superiority aspects at least in the sense of the Marvel analogues), but Secret Empire was fundamentally a story about Sam Wilson as Captain America. At a minimum, his work deserves to be judged as a whole in the context of a Sam Wilson story.
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  15. #15
    Fantastic Member charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Yup, pretty much.

    The story sucked. The excution was poor, the build up sucks and Spencer wrote himself into a corner. A better 'question authority' message miht have been if Cap had led the Avengers to into one defeat after another, advantaging Hydra at every turn.

    As for Sam, the constant critism was clearly meant to reflect Obama's treatment, IMO. Especially with the other poor, hamfisted stories that came with it ("You can't arrest me for murder! I'm too big to fail!"). But, again Obama never gave up. Sam did. Obama had many accomplishments to his presidency, Sam...what good character moment did he have the entire time?
    I get it, but judging Sam independent of the intertextual connection to Obama would you still judge Sam as such? Meaning take Sam Wilson: Captain America simply as the story within the pages without bringing real world politics would it still be considered bad in your eyes?

    I'm just curious because I wonder if that is what people were criticizing Spencer for i.e. the real world politics within the pages of the book

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