Captain America Stands Up for Undocumented Immigrants [SPOILERS]
By Michael Conti
Since 1941, Captain America has been a comic book stand-in for the American psyche, a personification of patriotism with immense popular appeal since he punched Hitler in the face. But now, the character is embroiled in a controversy for embracing immigrants, and fighting villains whose words resemble those of anti-immigrant ideologues.
Understandably, some of our current political voices are wary of this characterization, this “copy and pasting” of their message into the word bubbles of super villains. Nobody wants to be depicted as a snake man, punched in the face like Hitler was generations ago.
Moreover, one has to question whether this scenario is really that implausible, when real people have acted violently after embracing the anti-immigrant rhetoric some politicians espouse.
Clearly, Marvel Comics has made strides to diversify its heroes, and offer realistic scenarios for them to act in with strong, moralistic themes. And as the last panel of this comic suggests, this is not a closed story. It depicts the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. calling off Sam Wilson’s attack, telling him to stand down. This alludes to America’s split personality toward immigrants: simultaneously enjoying the benefits of cheap labor and contributions to social security, while angrily demanding that they be punished for their actions.