In the recent re-release of Captain America: #1, which featured the return of a rejuvenated Steve Rogers returning to the mantle, fans were shocked to see an earth-shattering twist on the final page.
Captain America was a sleeper agent for Hydra.
Almost immediately, as this twist spread around the internet, fans rose up in outrage about how the twist was not only not true to the history of the character, but was wrong morally. So strong were these notions that the writer and editor of the Captain America comics have gotten death threats due to this twist.
In a chat with ComicBookResources, Editor-In-Chief for Marvel Tom Brevoort responded to the fan outrage:
“I think we knew that there would be a reaction, I don’t know that anybody anticipated that there’d be this much of a reaction. It really is, to me, analogous to 10 years ago, when at the end of “Civil War,” we killed Captain America. I’m now getting the kind of mail — in some cases, almost verbatim the same letters — that I got 10 years ago, it’s just that people have effectively crossed out “killed” and written in “Hydra” over it. But it’s very much the same sort of thing. A lot of the mail that we’re getting is coming from people who are not reading our comics, but who are fans of the character from the films, or animation, or just seeing him on toy shelves and so forth. They’re tending to have a skewed vision of what’s happening in the book, based on either the reporting, or just the headline of the reporting, or just what they’ve been told about what the story is. It’s unfortunate that it’s made so many people so upset, but I think the actual story that we’re telling is something that we can stand behind.
I get this response. I totally understand it. I can’t say I was specifically ready for it — I don’t think it particularly crossed our minds that people would say that this issue of “Captain America” contains anti-Semitic undertones. But again, I can see how people get to that conclusion, and I can totally understand how people would be upset about it. That said, these charges are based on huge intuitive leaps concerning the material. Marvel would, under no circumstances, condone anti-Semitism. If people want to conclude that this is what we’re doing, that’s their prerogative, but there’s a story to be told that will challenge that assumption.”
As this is only the first issue, it’s unclear where this will go storywise.