Nick Spencer’s Captain America books are some of the best that Marvel has put out for the last couple of years, but (as I have complained before), they often unfairly depict people who hold certain political views. For the most part, the bad guys, nut-jobs, and generally unlikeable people in Spencer’s books have been conservatives and right-wingers.
That’s why Captain America: Sam Wilson #17 came as a big surprise to me this week. That issue focuses mainly on the all-new Falcon and Rage as the two of them confront Ariella Connor, a conservative author speaking at Empire State University about immigration. The new Falcon, a Latino named Javier Torres, objects to Connor’s attitude toward illegal immigration, so he plans to interrupt her speech and give her a piece of his mind. What he finds, though, is that the students at Empire State are already booing her. And to make matters worse, a trio of people who call themselves the “Bombshells” show up and begin protesting more violently, even throwing grenades and threatening to kill Connor.
Setting aside that we readers are clearly supposed to disapprove of Connor’s views (and you can tell because of how sinister and mean she often looks), the book starts to feel surreal when the Bombshells show up. It’s almost as if I’ve entered an alternate dimension in which Spencer treats left-wingers in the way that he usually treats right-wingers. The Bombshells take the term “Social Justice Warrior” and give it a whole new meaning as they spout lines about “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces.”
Though the depiction of these left-wing . . . activists? . . . is about as ham-fisted as the way Spencer has written groups like the Sons of the Serpent (anti-immigrant right-wing nationalist terrorists), the Bombshells are in some ways a welcome addition to the book. They at least show that Spencer realizes that there is a segment of left-wingers whose views are just as extreme, intolerant, and dangerous as the right-wingers he so often goes after. (I was interested to see that David Pepose of Newsarama was not very happy with the book’s depiction of the Bombshells.)