The recent political climate in the US has got me a little down.
And to be clear, I mean Nazis and white supremacists that feel that Hitler had some good ideas when it came to race and creed.
He didn’t and if you believe he did, you’re an asshole.
White supremacists are a fun bunch of idiots. They like themselves. They don’t like anyone of color nor do they like homosexuals. Religion is okay as long as you aren’t Jewish of Muslim, so you better be a friend to Jesus I suppose. They don’t like people like me that happen to think that people of color are perfectly fine as are gay people, Jewish people, Muslim people.
Generally, I like people and think they have the capacity to do a lot of good.
Heather Heyer is a good example of that.
But when the world comes crashing in on me with so many horrible things going on, I tend to retreat into a world of fantasy. To my movies and video games. To my books and comics. Where douchebags that think their idea of race is more important than the life of a human being can’t get to me.
Which brings me to Captain America #367.
I’ve been turning to Cap a lot in the past few days (at least non-Hydra Cap, that is). It’s silly but there’s something about Captain America punching Nazis in the face, drawn by a Jewish New Yorker that kind of sets my world a little right. Red Skull is the biggest Nazi of them all after Hitler, outliving him and added mutants to his list of the types of people he wants wiped out.
Captain America #367 touches on all of this. In this issue of Cap, written by the late Mark Gruenwald (who’s run on Captain America should get more attention than it does) and drawn by Kieron Dwyer, the Red Skull gets whats coming to him at the hands of Magneto.
The story takes place during the Acts of Vengeance crossover, a great concept where the villains team up under the guidance of a mysterious leader and switch up the heroes they usually take on. Magneto face off against Spider-Man for example.
Something didn’t feel right about Magneto being on the same side as Red Skull. On a basic level, their ideologies clash. One wants mutants to be the ruling class, the other want’s white people to reign supreme. Going a bit deeper, Magneto’s Jewish. Red Skull thinks death camps were just a start.
Gruenwald not only thought this shouldn’t work, he came up with a story about it not working. Magneto shows up at Skull’s hideout and Red Skull makes a run for it. Eventually, Magneto catches up to him and leaves him in a dark hole with a few jugs of water and time to think about his past.
What makes this book shine is how many of angles Gruenwald has covered. Magneto doesn’t just jump to conclusions that this is the Red Skull from World War II. He asks him out right. This shows a little bit of humanity oN Magneto’s part. He has something horrible planned for the real Red Skull and if this guy is just some douche with a Hitler fetish, maybe he might get off a little easier. Secondly, Gruenwald had Skull bring up the fact, and honestly, a very legit point, that Magneto’s agenda isn’t incredibly different from Skull’s. (To be fair, Magneto’s agenda has flipped and flopped over the years. Skull has never changed his mind.) Lesser writers would have just ignored that little fact.
There’s a great sense of justice at the end of this issue. It’s magnificently paced with Magneto slowly leaving Skull to his fate in a dark room. Magneto has every opportunity to kill Skull both quickly and slowly and viciously with his bare hands and powers. But he doesn’t. Instead, he get’s what he thinks is some what suitable justice.
The story stands on it’s own as a great issue. I was surprised at how much you don’t have to know about Acts of Vengence in order to get it.
There is a slim possibility that someone out there is saying “Ah, it’s just the Jews trying yet again to get one over on white people.”
So I did a little research and sent out a quick message to a friend of Gruenwald’s and here’s the thing:
Gruenwald wasn’t religious. When I asked, I was told point blank, “Not at all.”
Which kind of informs the story a bit more. Gruenwald didn’t have a personal stake in it per say other than the one we should all have. He was just writing what should logically happen if those characters were to cross paths. When they do, justice is met out.
The Nazi gets what’s coming to him.
Kind of wish real life worked like that.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!
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