Captain America 4: Why a Black Marvel in Post-Trump America Can Change Everything


The racism in Captain America 4 was anticipated in the Marvel comics, and the movie has every reason to use it.

Thor: Love and Thunder is still fresh in theaters, but that doesn't stop us from talking about the countless other projects in the works from Marvel Studios. Recently, Julius Onah (the director behind the bad The Cloverfield Paradox) was announced to direct Captain America 4. This new film will not have Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as the main hero, but a Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) who has become the new Captain America after Avengers: Endgame and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This direction taken by the MCU has created a controversy that does not calm down , something that Marvel had precisely imagined in one of its series of comics.

In the hands of screenwriter Nick Spencer and illustrator Daniel Acuna, Sam Wilson receives the shield of an aging Steve Rogers in Captain America: Sam Wilson. Falcon thus becomes the new Cap' in a series of twenty-four issues between 2015 and 2017. But this replacement for the legendary soldier of the Second World War is not to everyone's taste,many choosing to reject the hero for his skin color. Sadly enough, reality has imitated fiction, yet the film has an interest in exploiting this climate of tension in an America still marked by the presidency of Donald Trump.

Not My Cap

At the end of Avengers: Endgame, a Steve Rogers on the way to the EHPAD transmits the vibranium symbol of Captain America , as well as his role as a defender of freedom, to his partner Sam Wilson. This passing of the torch continued in thevery passable series Falcon and the Winter Soldierat the end of which the new winged Captain America took flight. And for too many people, putting an African American as heir to the original Avengers justifies a wave of hatred against the character. The comments sections of articles relaying information about the film Captain America 4 are filled with examples of this violence.

This racism, Spencer and Acuna's comics recognized this and incorporated it into their plot, adding a topical and powerful political focus to their superhero narrative. So, in multiple pages, demonstrators hold up signs reading “Not My Captain America”, insulting Sam Wilson and ordering him to return the shield. Each issue also has on the front page a summary of the previous one in the form of a Twitter news feed where anonymous people give their opinions on the adventure of the flying hero. A sad anticipation of what is currently happening on social media.

captain on the left

The plot of Captain America: Sam Wilson is fortunately not only based on this and deals in depth with this social problem. Because Captain America asserts itself as the defender of the oppressed, the inhabitants of working-class neighborhoods and immigrants. In a strong gesture, Wilson will even refuse to wear the costume for a few numbers, arguing that he no longer recognizes his country and therefore no longer wants to wear the colors. A protest movement inspired by Steve Rogers, who had done the same thing for similar reasons during the 60s, when he discovered that the Secret Empire criminal group was corrupting the American government.

And Spencer has more than once been very fair in his totalitarian version of the USA since Captain America will face an extremist and faceless police, the Americops, attacking African-American populations. The yellow line will be crossed when law enforcement will beat a vigilante of color unconscious before arresting him, all under the lens of a surveillance camera. A dramatic event that the comics recounts in full Black Lives Matters movement as Trump is about to enter the White House.

The ex-Falcon will not even be able to count on his friend Rogers. Indeed, two visions of superheroism will oppose each other, Wilson choosing to make his status a political figure to take a clear position in social debates. The former Captain will be more and more reluctant in the fight led by his friend,until he turns outright a Nazi– in reality he is a Hydra version of Steve Rogers who came from another Earth with the 2017 Secret Empire event written by Nick Spencer as well.

serious sam

By putting Sam Wilson in the costume of Captain America, Marvel Studios must therefore assume a character who does not hesitate to affirm his political convictions, even if it is not unanimous. Because that's the whole point of this new figure wielding the starry shield: to make him carry a message that the previous Captain America did not have. In the comics, Sam Wilson reappropriates the symbol for a struggle that seems essential to him, allowing him to break away from Rogers' legendary aura. The film therefore has what it takes to be more than popcorn entertainment (we're optimistic).

Without that, it would be missing out on the potential of this Captain America 4 which has everything to mirror the racist issues of our society, and especially of the United States in the midst of the post-Trump era. A Marvel production that one would imagine much more mature and seriousthan the previous films, if the studio assumes this tone. The only risk being to ignite the internet. This discourse is no stranger to the superhero genre, The Boys having done so in its last season with its Homelander become SuperTrump. Marvel has also fearfully dabbled in Killmonger's motivations for revolution in Black Panther, and more recently with Islamophobia in Miss Marvel.

Unfortunately, Disney+ had already missed out on this adaptation of the comics, Spencer and Acuna's run was already a big source of inspiration for the series Falcon and the Winter Soldier, for a more than very disappointing result.

For the moment, in addition to doing following the worst series of the MCU, Captain America 4 does not shine for its director with a lackluster career nor for its main actor who has not yet had enough opportunities to show a talent other what to growl on a green screen – with a few rare exceptions like Kathryn Bigelow's Minesweepers and Detroit . Marvel should therefore bet everything on the political discourse of the film, leaving the jokes to Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy, to offer us a quality at least at the level of the previous films Captain America< /strong>.


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