Secret Empire Unfairly Judged?

by Batmanaruto on April 21, 2017

This opinion piece is about the latest Marvel controversy, in which Marvel requested for comic book store owners, wear a Hydra T-shirt and change their logo to a Hydra logo. This has caused a lot of controversy as of late, which is expected. Some saying it’s just harmless fun, whilst others are saying it’s a terrible and tone-deaf move from Marvel.
As a black guy, I feel like I’m supposed to confirm the opinions of those that hate this idea. If you cannot already tell I’m not going to do that. However, I will say this Nazis are bad and Hitler is bad. I really shouldn’t have to say this, but then again, I shouldn’t really have to say a lot of what I’m going to say in this article.
I personally find this idea to be fine, since in all honesty it does sound like fun. It’s a pretty cool way for Marvel to promote their latest event. Many other companies have done things like this in the past to promote their latest products, so why is this different. It’s different because it concerns Hydra, and Hydra are Nazis.
Let me dispel one major Marvel myth, and that is, Hydra are not Nazis. Hydra has always pre-dated the Nazis in Marvel comics. This has been established several times, and was even re-established this year in the current Captain America: Steve Rogers series. In this series, it was shown that Red Skull who was a Nazi, actually gained control of Hydra and effectively folded them into the Nazi regime. Captain America even kills the Red Skull as he believes that he has perverted Hydra and its goals. This brings up a latter point.
Even if you tried to make the case that Hydra has an affiliation with Nazis, well there are various things that have affiliations with the Nazis. Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers and GI Joe’s Cobra are actually based on Nazis. I personally believe especially in the case of Star Wars if Marvel Comics asked stores to dress up as Stormtroopers or Darth Vader, many stores would actually be more than willing to do that. So why isn’t it the same for Hydra? Well I’ve heard the case that these franchises are based on Nazis but didn’t work with them, which I don’t personally think that it is a fair argument. However, if you were to go with that, there are still many real-world companies which have worked with Nazis in the past, namely Hugo Boss and Volkswagen, yet the majority of people have no problem buying or selling their products and rightly so.
I did make a point earlier about how it was established in the current series that Hydra and the Nazis were not the same thing, and this definitely highlights a fundamental problem. This is probably one of the best runs on Captain America, if not the best, and definitely one of the best series currently being published at Marvel. Unfortunately, a lot of people won’t even read the book or give it a chance since they believe it goes against the character of Captain America and is an insult to the character. Well guess what, it is all fictional. None of these characters are real. If you have been reading comics for more than a year, you already should know that these changes are not permanent. After Secret Empire Captain America will die, go back to his original character or whatever Nick Spencer has planned for him.
Most people who claim this is the worst thing ever, when you ask them if they are reading the book then they say no. Well how can you assess this is the worst thing ever by never reading it or reading the first few issues, especially since so many people are enjoying it. Even if you were to talk about the historical significance, firstly it’s fictional and secondly in the book, Nick Spencer doesn’t ever make a case that Hydra is the way and very clearly defines that even with Captain America at the helm, they are still bad guys. If he did try to make the case that maybe Captain America as an agent of Hydra is a good thing then you may actually have a point.
I also wanted to side-tract to the Magneto controversy as well. I do understand the problem of Magneto joining Hydra, especially with the character’s history, but I don’t think I saw outrage when Magneto was effectively working under the Red Skull in Old Man Logan. The character of Magneto has always had a superiority complex to normal human beings, which is not too dissimilar to that of Hitler with the Aryan race, however that seems fine to people. I also want to re-iterate my previous point that it’s all fictional, many of these changes will not be permanent. In the current comics Magneto is a hero, it’s a change, but he may eventually turn back to a villain (barring Secret Empire).
Comics are just meant to be really fun and enjoyable, just like what this promotion was meant to be. Please try and read comics yourself and form your own opinions first, as opposed to seeing an opinion on some news article and taking that as gospel. I do understand the historical significance to most people, but if you do not have a problem with the examples I brought up, are you really offended because of the historical significance or just don’t like your character changed. If it is the latter, lastly, I remind you it’s all fictional.