Marvel Comics: Captain America Says Tea Parties Are Dangerous and Racist
-By Warner Todd Huston
** UPDATE ** BELOW Marvel Apologizes
Marvel Comic’s Captain America is the mightiest soldier with the super powerful secret soldier formula that makes him a super man. Sadly, this muscle bound hero that took on the whole Nazi army during WWII seems to be afraid of those American people who’ve joined the Tea Party movement. Not only is Cappy quaking in his little red booties, but he’s sure that the Tea Party folks are dangerous racists, too.
Isn’t it wonderful that a decades old American comic book hero is now being used to turn readers against our very political system, being used to slander folks that are standing up for real American principles in real life — and one called “Captain America” at that?
In issue number 602 of Captain America, a new story line has begun called “Two Americas.” In it the current Captain (there have been a few of them, apparently) is on the trail of a faux Captain America that is mentally deranged and getting chummy with some white supremacist, anti-government, survivalists types going by the name of “the Watchdogs.” While investigating this subversive group, Captain America and his partner The Falcon — a black super hero — have decided to try and infiltrate the secretive organization.
In preparation for the infiltration, Marvel Comics depicts the two super heroes out of costume and observing from a rooftop a street filled with what can only be described as a Tea Party protest. The scene shows crowds of people in city streets carrying signs that say, “stop the socialists,” “tea bag libs before they tea bag you,” and “no to new taxes.” Naturally, the people in these crowds are depicted as being filled with nothing but white folks.
The black character asks the out of costume Captain, “What the hell is this?” And follows that with, “looks like some kind of anti-tax protest.” The Falcon character then snidely tells his partner the Captain, “So I guess this whole ‘hate the government’ vibe around here isn’t limited to the Watchdogs.”
The two then discuss their plan to infiltrate the subversive group that Marvel comics seems to be linking to the Tea Party movement. This discussion culminates in The Falcon wondering how a black man would do such a thing. “I don’t exactly see a black man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks,” he tells the incognito Captain America.
The Captain tells him, “no it’s perfect… this all fits right into my plan.” After this we find that the Captain’s plan is to send the black man into a redneck bar to pretend to be a black man working for the IRS and to get everyone all mad… because… well, you know that every white person is a racist that hates black civil servants, right?
So, there you have it, America. Tea Party protesters just “hate the government,” they are racists, they are all white folks, they are angry, and they associate with secretive white supremacist groups that want to over throw the U.S. government.
Bet you didn’t know that when you were indulging your right as a citizen to protest your government that you were a dangerous white supremacist that wants to destroy the country, did you? Bet you didn’t realize that your reverence for the U.S. Constitution was a subversive thing to do, did you? And I’ll also bet that you never imagined that you’d scare the little blue panties off of Captain America!
Nice going Marvel Comics. Thanks for making patriotic Americans into your newest super villains.
** UPDATE ** Marvel Apologizes
Well, it looks like Marvel has admitted that it was a bit of a mistake to specify that they were talking about Tea Party groups in Captain America issue #602 published this month.
As I reported on Sunday, it seemed that Marvel Comics was saying in the story line of its latest Captain America title that Tea Party groups are nothing but white supremacists that are dangerous, and anti-American. Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada discussed my article today and agreed that they made a bit of a mistake and promised to remove the Tea Party references in reprints of the issue. Quesada spoke to Comic Book Resources website offering some further clarification from his perspective.
Quesada said that the comic’s writer, Ed Brubaker, did not intend to pinpoint the “anti-tax protests” in his comic as Tea Partiers.
There was zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration. Ed simply wrote in an anti-tax protest into his story to show one of the moods that currently exists in America. There was no thought that it represented a particular group.
And yes, what Ed said is absolutely true, he does shy away from labeling things and did exactly that in this instance. In Ed’s story, there was no connection to the Tea Party movement, that’s a screw up that happened after the fact and exactly what some people are getting upset about.
Where Mr. Houston [sic] is correct is in our accidently identifying in one of the held up signs, the group as being a part of the Tea Party instead of a generic protest group. That’s something that we need to apologize for and own up to, because it’s just one of those stupid mistakes that happened through a series of stupid incidents.
Naturally, Mr. Quesada claimed I was being “irresponsible” with my intimation that Marvel was painting Tea Partiers as racists. Of course, that is a bit hard to accept since the drawing of the protest clearly identified it as associated with the Tea Party movement and The Falcon character said he could not mix with those “angry white folks.”
I think Quesada doth protest too much.
FoxNews also reported that Marvel has decided to remove the reference and reported that Quesada spoke further about the issue.
Ed Brubaker, who wrote the story, told FoxNews.com he did not write the “Tea Bag The Libs Before They Tea Bag YOU!” sign shown in the edition, insisting that the words were added by someone in “lettering or production” just before being shipped to the printer. It will be changed in subsequent editions, he said.
“I don’t know who did it, probably someone who thought it was funny,” Brubaker wrote in an e-mail. “I didn’t think so, personally. That’s the sign being changed to something more generic for the trade reprint, because I and my editor were both shocked to see it.”
Even as writer Ed Brubaker admitted to Fox that he harbored anti-Tea Party movement sentiments, Marvel promised to remove the Tea Party reference in reprints and will avoid it in the rest of this story line.
I want to point out, though, that I never called for any retractions or apologies, myself. I merely reported the incident. If Marvel Comics wants to apologize that is up to them. And they have, at least for “accidentally” identifying the Tea Party movement in their anti-protest screed.