I’ve seen a lot about Captain America over the last few days. Especially because Comic-book Captain has just been outed as a Hydra agent. The plot twist doesn’t surprise me. And he’s only a Hydra agent in the first issue. Let’s give it some time to shake out.
I love fantasy, super heroes, magic and mythical ass-kicking. My relationship with fantasy has always been escapist. As a kid, life was too loud and confusing for me to cope with it. I love fantasy because I get to experience problems from the perspective of characters who are smart enough and strong enough to succeed. That’s always been the appeal to me. Even if they don’t have it all figured out, they can take care of business when they need to.
Comic book characters have become gigantically popular in recent years. I can’t help but feel this is a result of more people starting to feel the way that I do–the world it out of our control, it’s scary as hell, and we need to escape it for a bit.
Historically, drama has been more popular in times of peace, and fantasy more popular in times of unrest (I can’t find a source for this on short notice. Does my mum count as a valid source?). From what I’ve seen, people like to escape. It seems like the people of planet earth are sticking to that pattern. In 2015 we spent a record breaking amount of money just to escape for a few hours (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/global-2015-box-office-revenue-851749). The world is growing scarier and scarier with the rise of religious terrorism and the resultant refugee crisis. On top of that it feels like we have huge viral outbreaks every six months. Things are scary.
People have taken advantage of the climate of anxiety. Governments have used the fear of terrorism to justify global mass-survelnce (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_surveillance_disclosures_%282013%E2%80%93present%29). We are feeling just as betrayed by our governments as we are afraid of the terrorists. Then we learn that torture–something that used to be strictly the pervue of bad people–is embraced by our governments. All the while we thought we were the good guys.
The governments we once wanted to trust have seriously let us down.
Super heroes aren’t just entertainment, they’re a reflection of the world we live in. So i’m not surprised that Captain America is a Hydra agent at all. We really thought he was a good guy. But perhaps we were mistaken.
I can only hope that he sees the error of his ways and becomes the hero we know he can