Secret Empire #1 hits news stands today, but the series has already been raising hackles for weeks due to it depicting Captain America as a secret agent of Hydra (as in “Hail Hydra“), which seems a little too much like making Steve Rogers a straight up Nazi. Chris Evans would definitely not be happy with that. And it is fair to equate Hydra with the Nazis. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. said it themselves: “And for the record, Hydra? They’re all Nazis.”
A lot of fans assume Secret Empire will eventually reveal Captain America was a double agent working against Hydra, but in the meantime plenty of us are peeved about a retcon that casts Steve Rogers as frikken Nazi amidst the recent rise in hate crimes and white supremacist f*ckery. After all, the first Captain America cover depicted him punching Hitler, which was so popular at news stands that the second cover featured a different angle of Captain America punching Hitler. Give the people what they want, and what they want is a multiple angle view of Nazis getting punched. It’s the simple things, really.
Now Marvel is in full spin mode assuring people it’s not as bad as it looks. They released in official statement to ABC News, an outlet which (like Marvel) is owned by Disney.
“At Marvel, we want to assure all of our fans that we hear your concerns about aligning Captain America with Hydra and we politely ask you to allow the story to unfold before coming to any conclusion. Captain America will always be a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe who will stand up for what is right, and ‘Secret Empire’ will be the biggest challenge Steve has ever faced. What you will see at the end of this journey is that his heart and soul — his core values, not his muscle or his shield — are what save the day against Hydra and will further prove that our heroes will always stand against oppression and show that good will always triumph over evil”
You can check out the full statement from Marvel and exclusive Defenders art over at ABC News, or you can do what some fans are doing and update all your Captain America gear with a disavowal of the current run’s writer: