(Update: Are Hydra Members Nazis?)
(Update 2: Turns out it was mind control and they flipped only a month later. The point in the article still stands, but that’s one of the fastest reversals I’ve seen in years.)
One of the things I’ve long known as a member of the geek community is that generally things happening within it aren’t that important. The ongoings of any given comic book, fantasy series, or sci-fi show is going to be overlooked by the rest of world more often than not. Even today, as superheroes and genre shows have hit mainstream success, other corners of the same culture will get overlooked. Few people knew who Miles Morales was, but he’s going to have an animated movie soon. Most people reading this likely won’t know that in the comics Superman just died… again. But once in a while something happens that’s big enough to change that: like a character speaking two words.
I’m not going to spend this post complaining about why this is a bad idea, plenty of people have addressed that since it happened. There have been so many posts out there talking about why this is not only a betrayal of the character’s history but of his creators. People have made eloquent arguments for why this would have run completely counter from what Cap’s creators would have wanted when they created him generations ago. Hell, there was even a solid argument that you should never have your hero do something considered too far for the Joker.
So there’s little I can add to that conversation, it’s been handled. We, as a community, know this was a really bad idea. Those of us who have been in the community for a long time know it’s temporary and that it’s going to be excused down the line. We also know that this is just the kind of gimmick that happens from time to time. But even if we’re curious where it’s going to go, we know it was a bad idea and we know that it’s going to leave a bad impression on those watching from the mainstream. They won’t read the comics and catch up on Steve eventually returning to normal after a while, and you can be sure that it won’t be as newsworthy when it does. So what you have is a gimmick that will leave a lot of people outside of the standard comic reader thinking that Marvel turned Steve Rogers into a Nazi.
So, one has to ask, why would Marvel do that?