Thanks to longtime commenter "Brutus" for alerting me to this gem about what's currently going on in the pages of Captain America. As anyone who's heard my talk on this subject knows, Cap has long been my favorite superhero--mainly because I find him far more interesting than the run-of-the-mill crimefighters. In the late 1960s he ceased to be a New Frontier-style Cold Warrior and became a defender of American ideals such as liberty and justice, even (or perhaps especially) when these ideals came under attack from the U.S. government. I stopped reading Captain America sometime in the 1980s, but my understanding was that the character had remained about the same. From what I'd heard about the "Civil War" arc, he stood up in opposition to a post-9/11 effort by the Federal Government to force all individuals with superpowers to register with the state. Not exactly the old Nazi-fighting Cap (let alone his 1950s incarnation as Captain America: Commie Smasher), but still a character worth admiring.
So now my hero turns his attention not to Nazis, or communists, or terrorists, or the Red Skull, but to...tea partiers, who in Marvel's hands are portrayed as angry racists bent on overthrowing the government. I'm glad I don't read comics any longer; if I had paid money for that issue I would've been livid.
A few weeks ago I gave my Captain America talk at a high school in Florida (and, in case anyone is interested, I'll be giving the talk yet again early next month at OSU-Mansfield), and I prefaced it by asking the students if they'd ever heard of the character. I was surprised, and a bit disappointed, at how few hands went up. Now I'm glad. It's now fairly common knowledge that Marvel killed off the character in 2007, but like most such deaths this one was temporary--they brought him back last year. I wish they hadn't.