Since the current volume’s debut, Captain America’s sales figures have been in a bit of a downward spiral only selling a little over 30,000 copies with issue #20’s May release. Fans and critics alike appear to be broadly rejecting the book along with writer Rick Remender’s take on the character. They’re speaking with their wallets and their words on this.
After weathering controversy with previous issues, a whole new wave of fan complaints have sprouted up with this most recent July 2nd release of Captain America #22. Let’s take a look at all the things that have happened in this run up to now that have driven fans so stark raving mad.
1. A SPLASHPAGE OF THE HERO’S SON BEING SHOT IN THE THROAT (AND SEEMINGLY KILLED)
This is just disgusting. A full splashpage of a 12 year old kid being shot in his throat probably isn’t something readers want to see in such detail. And having it done to Cap’s recently introduced adopted son makes the act a very clear act of gross emotional manipulation.
2. KILLING A FEMALE CHARACTER TO PRODUCE MAN-PAIN
Here Sharon Carter, one of Captain America’s most persistent love interests and core supporting characters, dies for what appears to be no other reason than to make Cap feel sad and conflicted.
3. A PERSISTENTLY OVER-SEXUALIZED TEENAGER
This is Jet Black Zola, a character described as an infant in her first appearance before being aged twelve years during the Dimension Z arc. Her outfits are… skimpy would be putting it kindly for a teenage girl wearing a couple bandages.
4. CAP KEEPS NAZI MEMORABILIA
Going against previous characterization, Captain America is shown as keeping a large collection of his own memorabilia which includes a Nazi banner hanging from the ceiling. Calling this uncomfortable or problematic is putting it mildly.
5. THE “YELLOW PERIL” VILLAIN
Having a Chinese villain, a former SHIELD agent supposedly seduced by the allure of Communism, appear in this form is just in bad taste. Think, writers have made sure to move former racist caricature the Mandarin as far away from this direction as possible.
6. THE FALCON BECOMES A STATUTORY RAPIST
Here we have Sam Wilson waking up from a drunken one-night stand with Jet Black, a character who math would suggest is no older than fifteen. Her claims to be twenty-three in this issue don’t really line up with the previous math but nevermind that. Equally troublesome is the fact that she pressured Sam Wilson into drinking which directly led to them sleeping together.
At this point, there are fans asking for Rick Remender to be taken off of Captain America. There are plenty of good articles you can read that go into greater detail. This one by the Daily Dot takes a very measured approach. I find all of this quite unfortunate given that I’ve been a huge fan of Rick Remender’s work (his Venom is phenomenal) but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t troubled by his Captain America run.
*The statements above are that of writer Mark Stack and do not reflect the opinions and observations of Eat.Geek.Play as a whole. It’s okay to have differing opinions.
I’m Mark Stack, the guy who wrote last week’s Everything Wrong with Rick Remender’s Captain America. This isn’t me waffling on everything I said. This is me trying to take some responsibility for a poor choice I made that may have added a little more kerosene on top of a fire. I’m talking about the “firerickremender” hashtag that has gone around since the release of issue #22 last week.
Like a lot of people, I had misread the age of one of the characters that appeared in the now infamous sex scene. Up until the statement of her age to be twenty-three in the issue, I and a lot of readers had interpreted Jet Black’s age to be somewhere near fifteen. We called the sex scene a statutory rape. We are wrong. I was wrong.
This explanation was put together by a fan to clear up the aging issues that a few of us had. While I stand behind most everything else I wrote, I can not stand by claiming the writing of statutory rape. It was irresponsible of me not to do more research before making that claim and for wording it that way even after I acknowledged the stated age of twenty-three just because something was not clear to me. Just like that, any credibility I might have had has been shot to hell and rightfully so. I am sorry for and ashamed of my failures.
I can’t support the movement to fire Rick Remender. It’s completely asinine. Readers should know that the only way they can vote is with their wallets and calling for a writer you don’t like to get fired isn’t the way adults should behave. The man is a professional, he is under contract for a certain number of issues, and he is not responsible for writing that heinous act that we have foolishly accused him of. It should be telling that creators like Mark Waid have shown their support to Remender as he weathers this faux controversy.
Everyone responsible for accusing Rick Remender of something he didn’t write should apologize. I’ll start: I’m Mark Stack and I am sorry for being one of the irresponsible people that spread this misinformation.