Books | May 19, 2017 3:52 pm

Marvel’s Nazi-Leaning Captain America Storyline Alienating Fans

Petitions, hashtag campaigns launched to get publisher to cap off 'Secret Empire' plot.

Is the Nazi-Leaning Captain America Storyline Going Too Far?

It seems like nothing can go right for comic publisher Marvel these days.

Whether it’s execs stirring up controversy with comments about race/gender, the recent furor over anti-semitic X-Men art, or the cancellation of one of its only African-American–skewing titles, the publisher has been a bad press machine of late.

And it’s not getting any better with Marvel’s decision last July to start a storyline in the Steve Rogers: Captain America and Secret Empire titles, where it turns out the superhero is a member of Hydra, a group with Nazi ties. To be fair, that’s because the Red Skull used a cosmic-powered cube to rewrite reality, but the symbolism has still offended many.

To add some context, Captain America‘s creators, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, were Jewish and received hate mail and death threats for their 1941 cover, featuring the superhero slugging Adolph Hitler in the face.

That, and the superhero has long been a symbol of all-American pride, with his red, white, and blue costume and fascism-fighting creed.

As The Guardian notes, there are active petitions looking to put a stop to the storyline and a viral hashtag campaign is being waged on Twitter. And in March, Marvel sent “Hail Hydra” t-shirts to comic stores in an attempt to drum up business for the storyline, which didn’t sit well with vendors or fans.