Much like Superman, Captain America is one of those idealist heroes who has his fair share of detractors. Many see him as a white bread goody goody, but throw on top of that what many perceive to be jingoistic overtones and you have a character ripe for hatedom.
Isn’t it funny how when people from other countries wave their flags high and proud, it’s cited as “embracing their cultural heritage”; but when Americans do it, it’s “fanatic jingoism”. Feel free to chew on that double standard for a while, I’ve got a point to make.
Many of Captain America’s fans say that he’s not this ultra pro-America character despite his appearance and name. This has come under fire with the upcoming movie where the director said that Captain America would be more generic and world friendly. Though, there are plenty of times in the comics themselves where Cap calls his own beloved country out.
By sheer coincidence, I’m sure, many of the times Cap has opposed U.S policy is when a Republican or Conservative was in power. You could argue that since Cap is a product of FDR era America, he would be more liberally inclined, but it’s vexing to see an icon turned into a talking head.
That’s not to say that heroes can’t have political ideologies. Green Arrow, for example, is very vocal about his liberal leanings. It’s part of who he is, and it works for him.
Cap, I would argue, is a different case. He’s supposed to be a character the embodies all the ideals that make America great, the problem is that writers will use that fact to have him spout off their own beliefs to try and justify it by proxy. It’s pretty lazy and egocentric to have the voice of reason agree happen to agree with the writer on every occasion, but that’s an argument for another day.
Considering Cap is such an icon who represents American ideals, he should, ideally, be either apolitical or a moderate. Think about it, wouldn’t someone who was supposed to embody the American Dream take ideas from all ends of the political spectrum to become the perfect amalgam? More importantly, shouldn’t a hero like Cap be above petty partisan poppycock?
I guess it’s to his credit that he goes beyond vague platitudes about freedom and what not. Being a DC guy myself, I would hardly call myself an expert on Cap lore, though I have been meaning to pick up the Brubaker trades for some time as I hear he’s been doing brilliant work on the book. I just happen to think that turning characters into mouthpieces gets old quick and it’s better to let them speak for themselves, especially when it’s a character who stands for so much and who’s words carry so much weight.