Bleeding Cool recently ran a story, emanating from a recent Marvel creative summit, that Marvel was putting the overtly expressed politics back in the box after the upcoming Secret Empire series. But until then, pretty much anything goes.
And today's Captain America: Sam Wilson #19 is one of those in the best possible way.
It's a story about a street-level superhero Rage who foiled a super-robbery, only to be beaten and arrested by supercops, who saw a large black man at a crime scene.
And despite video footage that exonerated him, and the support of his community, this is a story about this man, demonised by the media…
…note how "In God We Trust" repeats…
…and also how the repudiation of "alternative facts" fsimply fail to have the impact of the original statements.
What this comic does, in twenty-two pages by Nick Spencer and Angel Unzueta, is walk an audience through what seems like a difficult situation, presenting problem upon problem, throwing in a superhero trying to do his best and failing, with each logical, realistic but preventable step following on from each other, leading to mass civil unrest. An audience who would have been uncomfortable with the comics' final scenes are led by the hand to they can find themselves empathising if not downright agreeing with the final scenes.
Basically, Nick Spencer is doing the equivalent of justifying punching a Nazi.
But what he also does is showing how there could have been many steps that could have avoided such a scenario, if the world, if government, if the authorities acted differently. If Rage is going through this to prove a point, he has succeeded.
Superhero stories are usually an exercise in wish fulfillment. This is a prime example of the opposite of that. Wish denial…
Captain America: Sam Wilson #19 is published by Marvel Comics today.