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Old January 12 2014, 03:00 AM   #541
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

Since you raised the subject of Nick Fury Senior...his upbringing and political life before going to Europe might be some interesting reading in itself.
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Old January 12 2014, 03:23 AM   #542
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
Racism and sexism were pervasive in Steve Rogers's time, true, but there were definitely those standing against them even then. In fact, I recently read a compelling article pointing out that Cap was originally written as very much a New Deal Democrat and social progressive:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/...-just-any-hero
Steve Rogers grew up poor in the Great Depression, the son of a single mother who insisted he stayed in school despite the trend of the time (his father died when he was a child; in some versions, his father is a brave WWI veteran, in others an alcoholic, either or both of which would be appropriate given what happened to WWI veterans in the Great Depression) and then orphaned in his late teens when his mother died of TB.[2] And he came of age in New York City at a time when the New Deal was in full swing, Fiorello LaGuardia was mayor, the American Labor Party was a major force in city politics, labor unions were on the move, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was organizing to fight fascism in Spain in the name of the Popular Front, and a militant anti-racist movement was growing that equated segregation at home with Nazism abroad that will eventually feed into the “Double V” campaign.

Then he became a fine arts student. To be an artist in New York City in the 1930s was to be surrounded by the “Cultural Front.” We’re talking the WPA Arts and Theater Projects, Diego Rivera painting socialist murals in Rockefeller Center, Orson Welles turning Julius Caesar into an anti-fascist play and running an all-black Macbeth and “The Cradle Will Rock,” Paul Robeson was a major star, and so on. You couldn’t really be an artist and have escaped left-wing politics. And if a poor kid like Steve Rogers was going to college as a fine arts student, odds are very good that he was going to the City College of New York at a time when an 80% Jewish student body is organizing student trade unions, anti-fascist rallies, and the “New York Intellectuals” were busily debating Trotskyism vs. Stalinism vs. Norman Thomas Socialism vs. the New Deal in the dining halls and study carrels.
And politics aside, Steve Rogers (as the movie makes clear) is simply a scrupulously fair and good-natured man who doesn't like seeing anyone bullied or mistreated. Having been bullied and helpless himself, he sympathizes more with victims than with the powerful, which, in the movie, is why Dr. Erskine is willing to trust him with the power of the serum. So he wouldn't have been the type to go along with the institutionalized discrimination and injustice of his time.
My Cap was the one from the 70s as written by Steve Englehart. So seeing Cap as a social progressive, New Deal Democrat isn't hard for me. But I have to mention a lot of what's mentioned in that article are retcons. Living Brooklyn, being the child of of Irish immigrants, being an artist and being poor are later additions to Cap's history and not part of what was established in the 40s.
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Old January 12 2014, 03:48 AM   #543
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

I don't actually think the 40s version of the character is all the relevant. The character that we're talking about is the movie version, which is more or less based on the retconned version that involves him being frozen in time. I don't think it's fair to judge him based on the character that was created during WWII.
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Old January 12 2014, 04:03 AM   #544
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
But the bottom line I that Cap's old-fashioned ideals don't include racism.
Certainly not. Even in the '30s and '40s, there were white Americans who despised racism and treated people of other races with respect. Jack Benny, for instance. Most radio shows of that era portrayed black characters as demeaning caricatures, slow and lazy and cowardly, but Benny never let his writers make such jokes at the expense of the character of Rochester; indeed, while Rochester was a manservant, he was smart and canny and was routinely given the punch lines at Benny's expense. And in real life, Benny was outraged when Eddie Anderson, who played Rochester, was mistreated or denied service because of his race. I think I read that once while the cast was traveling in the south, Benny refused to stay at a hotel that wouldn't let Anderson stay as well.

So even then, there were people who knew better.


Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
My Cap was the one from the 70s as written by Steve Englehart. So seeing Cap as a social progressive, New Deal Democrat isn't hard for me. But I have to mention a lot of what's mentioned in that article are retcons. Living Brooklyn, being the child of of Irish immigrants, being an artist and being poor are later additions to Cap's history and not part of what was established in the 40s.
Technically, perhaps, but think about it. A poor, New York-born artist who's the child of immigrants belonging to a minority that was persecuted at the time? That perfectly describes Captain America's creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, as well as Stan Lee himself. The only difference is that they were Jewish rather than Irish. So while those aspects of Steve's backstory may have been added later, they accurately represented the background of his creators. And these were not people who would've created an American icon defined by elitism and exclusionism.
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Old January 12 2014, 04:31 AM   #545
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

Someone like Coulson, who sees a positive value in things past, would know this sort of detail about the likes of Jack Benny.
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Old January 12 2014, 04:36 AM   #546
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
My Cap was the one from the 70s as written by Steve Englehart. So seeing Cap as a social progressive, New Deal Democrat isn't hard for me. But I have to mention a lot of what's mentioned in that article are retcons. Living Brooklyn, being the child of of Irish immigrants, being an artist and being poor are later additions to Cap's history and not part of what was established in the 40s.
What was really established about Steve Rogers' family and background back in the 40s?
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Old January 12 2014, 04:43 AM   #547
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

Anwar wrote: View Post
What was really established about Steve Rogers' family and background back in the 40s?
Probably nothing at all. Comics at the time weren't all that deep.

In Captain America #1, we don't even meet Steve until he's introduced as the volunteer for the supersoldier experiment -- and he isn't even named on that page, because the reveal that Private Steve Rogers is Captain America is the surprise on the last page of the story. So Steve's past was a complete non-issue in his debut story, and I doubt that changed any over the rest of the '40s and '50s.
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Old January 12 2014, 06:06 AM   #548
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
Of course those "old fashioned" ideals actually came with an unfortunate degree of racism, gender discrimination and social inequality
Only if you choose to bring them into the mix...judging by the first film, Cap was never about that.

Cap is about the ideal, not the reality.
I wasn't commenting on Cap's politics; obviously he's neither racist nor a misogynist. Indeed he probably think the latter has something to do with melted cheese.

I was just pointing out that the "old fashioned ideas" that people always harp on about (on this side of the pond too) are often looked at through some very blurry rose tinted glasses. Like I said: a whole other discussion.

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I don't actually think the 40s version of the character is all the relevant. The character that we're talking about is the movie version, which is more or less based on the retconned version that involves him being frozen in time. I don't think it's fair to judge him based on the character that was created during WWII.
I don't know, I'd be interested to find out what (if any) back story the original version of the character had. That later authors went out of their way to paint him in as liberal a light as possible rather smack of revisionism and some of that misguided nostalgia I mention above.

Part of me would rather he wasn't so morally "perfect" by modern standards. After all we can't help the times we're born into and a good person can still have some (from our perspective) very backward views.

I'm not saying any person in those or earlier times must by definition hold "views" that we would find disagreeable by any means. I'm just curious how (if at all) different the original Cap's sense of morality is from the version we have today.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Anwar wrote: View Post
What was really established about Steve Rogers' family and background back in the 40s?
Probably nothing at all. Comics at the time weren't all that deep.

In Captain America #1, we don't even meet Steve until he's introduced as the volunteer for the supersoldier experiment -- and he isn't even named on that page, because the reveal that Private Steve Rogers is Captain America is the surprise on the last page of the story. So Steve's past was a complete non-issue in his debut story, and I doubt that changed any over the rest of the '40s and '50s.
Ah ah, so he's in favour of corporal punishment then? I knew he wasn't squeaky clean!
Also, is Bucky suppose to be a child soldier in this? I mean the outfit is creepy enough, but he actually takes him into a warzone?

Yes, yes, I know. Comic strip. Wartime propaganda aimed at children and borderline illiterate draftees and all that...but still...
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Old January 12 2014, 11:20 AM   #549
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

In the comics, Bucky was the camp mascot...and I think the camp was based in the U.S. (we weren't at war yet).
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Old January 12 2014, 02:30 PM   #550
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

Sometime during Roger Stern's run we learn that Cap's memories were altered so much of his history was invalid. And he was replaced by somebody else in the 50s. Still Steve Rogers' moralistic center remained just his past was changed over the years.
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Old January 12 2014, 02:36 PM   #551
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

Later versions show Bucky fighting alongside Rogers in WW2 while he still is a teenager (late teens of course) and being quite proficient in killing.

Modern Cap America comics often alluded to Bucky's actions as the one necessary which Cap couldn't do like stabbing a guard in the back to enter an area.
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Old January 12 2014, 02:40 PM   #552
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
Later versions show Bucky fighting alongside Rogers in WW2 while he still is a teenager (late teens of course) and being quite proficient in killing.

Modern Cap America comics often alluded to Bucky's actions as the one necessary which Cap couldn't do like stabbing a guard in the back to enter an area.
Yeah it was so much better to show a minor doing the killing than Cap.
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Old January 12 2014, 03:17 PM   #553
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

DWF wrote: View Post
Sometime during Roger Stern's run we learn that Cap's memories were altered so much of his history was invalid.
No that's not quite right, Stern's run reverted to the status quo after someone else (Gerber) tried to change the origin.

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Old January 12 2014, 03:22 PM   #554
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
In the comics, Bucky was the camp mascot...and I think the camp was based in the U.S. (we weren't at war yet).
Right. Despite the famous "punching Hitler" cover of his debut issue, the '40s Cap wasn't fighting the Nazis in Europe, he was fighting fifth columnists, saboteurs, and Nazi sympathizers in the US. It was upon his revival in the '60s that he was retconned as having participated actively in the war in Europe as a member of the superhero team called the Invaders, and occasionally in partnership with Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.

But that debut cover shows that Cap was never a mere enforcer of the status quo. At the time, in 1940, a lot of Americans opposed the idea of going to war and a lot were sympathetic to the Nazi government or doing business with them. Prior to December 1941, blatantly endorsing enmity toward the Nazis was a controversial stance and a strongly political statement.
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Old January 13 2014, 03:46 AM   #555
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Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier pre-release thread

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
DWF wrote: View Post
Sometime during Roger Stern's run we learn that Cap's memories were altered so much of his history was invalid.
No that's not quite right, Stern's run reverted to the status quo after someone else (Gerber) tried to change the origin.
My fault then, I remembered the panel in #247 and thought the memory altering was done during Stern's run.
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