Ta-Nehisi Coates will write the new 'Captain America' comic. The renowned author announced his role on the iconic Marvel title in a piece for The Atlantic entitled "Why I'm Writing Captain America.
- Coates' on the parallel between Captain America's origin and American "rags to riches" values: "Dubbed Captain America, Rogers becomes the personification of his country’s egalitarian ideals -- an anatomical Horatio Alger who through sheer grit and the wonders of science rises to become a national hero."
- His interpretation of the symbolism of Captain America being frozen in ice during World War II and then awakening in our time: "He is 'a man out of time,' a walking emblem of greatest-generation propaganda brought to life in this splintered postmodern time. Thus, Captain America is not so much tied to America as it is, but to an America of the imagined past."
- The most striking confession made by Coates: "I’m not convinced I can tell a great 'Captain America' story—which is precisely why I want so bad to try."
If Captain America isn't exactly a symbol of rah-rah American hyper-nationalism, what does he stand for? Coates described an iconic scene from the comic that encapsulates the hero's values: He clutches
Maybe social media reactions can lend some answers.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer who has written at length about the racist side to the American Dream, is going to be writing Captain America, a hero who fights for that very Dream. I can't wait to see what comes out of it! https://t.co/5pdYgYjTdo— Christian Holub (@cmholub) February 28, 2018
They were like genuinely happy about it.
i just thought about ta-nehisi coates writing captain america and got a giant grin on my face. what a gift.— heath (@heathdwilliams) February 28, 2018
Some gleefully predicted that a certain segment of the population would be infuriated.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing Captain America...anti-SJW c*micsg*te Youtube is going to be going into overdrive now. https://t.co/q9cwNOA57u— Chillmonger (@RickyRawls) March 1, 2018
Who is this mysterious demographic? Some dubbed it the "Anti-SJW crowd."
Oh man... #THEY are gonna be FURIOUS!! -> Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing 'Captain America.' "I’m not convinced I can tell a great 'Captain America' story—which is precisely why I want so bad to try," he writes https://t.co/rkvZGvPbpk— Jeff J. (@JeffJSays) February 28, 2018
Were #they right to predict a backlash? In fact, a
A few felt the need to distance themselves from "alt-right" or "racist" motivations behind boycotting the comic.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is, by his own admission, is ideologically opposed to the ideals that Captain America represents. He does not believe in the American Dream. Hell, he's outright cynical of America in general. Why does this make him appropriate for the title?— The Hatman (@TheHat2) February 28, 2018
What do these widely divergent reactions tell us? One thing is for sure: The American dream is complicated. It
Critics of Coates' selection as author of the new "Captain America" series are probably right that his understanding of the American dream is a departure from the one traditionally at the heart of the comic. Advocates of Coates' Captain America seem to be saying that's not necessarily a bad thing.