Robot 6

Keith Olbermann spotlights dispute over Captain America #602

Last night on MSNBC’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann returned to the Captain America-Tea Party controversy, airing the full six-minute-plus segment cut short Thursday by breaking news. For the piece, Olbermann chatted with Washington Independent reporter and comics fan David Weigel, who took the photo on which the “tea bag” sign from Captain America #602 was based.

Plus, this time around Olbermann properly credited Comic Book Resources as the origin of the quote from Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada.



The “Tea Baggers” seem mentally challenged, not to mention hateful, bigoted folks, to me. But there’s still great humor in their name… The other, more risque, meaning to the term “Tea Bagger” seems to fit those folks perfectly.

I am getting pretty sick of marvel and thier liberal agenda! I wish they would just write entertaining stories and stop all the real world political bashing of conservatives.I thought marvel was supposed to be the “house of ideas” i guess not they just love to push their liberal crap,and pander to all the little mindless liberals out there.I might have to rethink my pull list and maybe stop buying Marvels books.Oh and Captain America at least Steve Rodgers always struck me as a conservative,maybe Bucky got more brainedwash than was thought oh well he fits with most liberals brainwashed.

Pelfo, it’s a fictional take on real world events. You need to calm down, I’m sure if there was a “kill Barry Hussein” sign you wouldn’t take issue. For all the hateful rhetoric that oozes from Rush, Hannity, Beck and Palin yet attacks on them are attacks on free speech. Yeah right.

And Steve Rogers is supposed to be conservative? Since when, have you ever met war heroes that are liberal?Or moderate? Because they exist as well. So go watch your Fox News and do exactly what that tell you to do.

I denounce the disp… the despick… the dispeckib… the RUDDY communist agenda of Marvel, Marvel Comics, Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Publishing, Donald Duck and all of the other Warner Brothers.

Thanks for sharing that video, as I missed the segment when it aired. It is a shame that it took such a stupid incident to get the book some mainstream coverage. I’m amazed that the guy who took that pictured happened to also be a comics fan. It’s not often that Bill Gaines gets name-dropped on national TV.

Pelfo, you really ought to proofread your posts if you’re going to use them to insult the intelligence or rationality of others. You’ll be taken more seriously.

Love that comics are playing such a gonzo role in politics.

Wonder Woman for Prez in 2012!

People are actually still whining about this? Seriously? Was it that slow of a news week?

It was a real sign from a real rally. How is that insulting to them? This is the Marvel Universe, where Barack Obama handed over complete control of national security to an insane murderous supervillain. How’s that working out for him?

And didn’t Captain America lead half the superhero community in a war against a thinly veiled allegory for Bush’s Patriot Act? I’ve been reading Captain America for like 15 years and pretty much every time I can recall the character wading into real-world politics it was on the liberal side. Just because he represented patriotism, that doesn’t mean he represented conservatism.

Then again, maybe I’m just another mindless “brainedwash” liberal.

Yeah, see Kieth olberman is a jerk too. He’s one of the worst of the worst on tv today. this is why he has very low ratings.

I’m sick of him, I’m sick of Weenie Todd and I’m really sick of people saying the tea party folk are hateful and bigoted. There is nothing that supports that claim. Unless you’re coming from the rather stupid position that it’s racist to criticize this jerk in the white house.
Bottom line here is the Tea Party people, who I do support and nothing more than average Americans who are sick of all the government spending of OUR money. This has nothing to do with Obama personally, this has been building for a long time.

This issue with Cap that Weenie Tod Huston started just shows what happens when you give a lame potato headed jerk a blog and he talks about something he knows nothing about.
Olberman is only covering this because he’s hoping it will improve his ratings. The sooner THAT jerk loses his disgusting show the better.


I’m not sure what people are freaking out over here.

What is inaccurate or “brainedwash” about what the Cap creative team did here? They used a sign from a Tea Party rally for photo reference, a slogan that actually was used on an actual poster by an actual Tea Partier. The depicted this slogan being used at an anti-tax rally. I’m pretty sure one of the (many, many) things the Tea Party activists are so angry about is having to pay taxes. So … what’s the disconnect?

I realize the early freak-out on this was led by someone that apparently hadn’t read the whole issue— in that the “Tea Party” stand-ins weren’t actually the bad guys, the Watchdogs militia was. But if you’ve read the issue, regardless of your personal politics— what exactly is the inaccuracy or the slander or what have you that leads to all this agita?


Sorry, the third sentence in the second graf should read “They depicted…”

(That’s what I get for taking a poke at “brainedwash”, huh?)

Joe Quesada’s policy against using Marvel Comics as a soapbox is in contradiction to Marvel traditions established by Stan Lee. Stan went on record repeatedly saying that Marvel Comics should deal with the issues of the day and be unafraid to speak out on social injustices. This was a topic he discussed frequently in interviews and in, appropriately, enough Stan Lee’s Soapbox (I wonder if Joe even caught the irony in saying “Marvel Comics Are No One’s Soapbox” — he couldn’t have possible chosen worse words to discredit his own point).

Oh, and Jack Kirby used Fantastic Four as a soapbox to bash Randian objectivism on at least one occasion.

“what exactly is the inaccuracy or the slander or what have you that leads to all this agita?”

Honestly, I think what it really comes down to is that the people who started the outrage about this, and more importantly the writers who posted the article about it that exposed it to millions of readers, didn’t know it was a real sign held by a real “tea bagger” at a real rally, and now they’re too embarassed to admit their complaints were, in fact, completely baseless when it’s so much easier to just keep yelling about it.

Quesada is just a horrible spokesperson. Whenever he opens his mouth about an alleged “controversy,” he digs the hole deeper for himself and for Marvel. It happened with the Rawhide Kid “controversy” that was manufactured by a few gay Internet activists and it’s happening here with the Captain America “controversy” manufactured by the Tea-Baggers.

Considering two Liberal Democrat New Yorkers created Captain America why does anyone think he would be a conservative?

Hey, Pelfo. Since you know “so much” about it, could you please inform me about what the “liberal agenda” is? I must have missed that memo. In actuality, it sounds like you’ve been adopting buzz-words without any understanding of what they mean.

And Skott, SOME of the tea-party folk ARE hateful. There IS documented proof of photos of President Obama in a Witchdoctor outfit, there are ridiculous calls for him to prove his citizenship, that he’s a communist AND a socialist at the same time (which is a contradiction), and last time I looked, one of the guest speakers at the recent convention maliciously emphasized Barack’s middle name to the GREAT satisfaction of the audience.

I don’t favor the recent spending either, but I CERTAINLY haven’t seen anything that makes the TEA Party even REMOTELY palatable to this avowed liberal.

Bravo to Adam Weissman & Mikhail!

I’m quite disappointed that Quesada didn’t better defend Ed Brubaker and this story. To see the company that once defied the comics code to publish an anti-drug storyline, and proudly addressed many current events/social issues throughout it’s history back down over this manufactured nonsense is truly disheartening to this Old-School Marvel Zombie.

Alas, if only Steve Gerber were still around. This looks like a job for Howard the Duck.

Oh, man. THAT would be a sight to see. This is most definitely a job for Howard.

Cap has always been a lefty–good ol New Deal Boy.

Wonder Woman for president, Johnny Zito? Check this out — from Winter 1943:

Pelfo, there already exists a “conservative Captain America” in the Marvel Universe (and he’s not Steve Rogers) and that would be John Walker/Jack Daniels, the USAgent. Of course, he was originally created as “The Super-Patriot” as a critique of Reagan era jingoism and used by the conservative administration as a replacement for Steve Rogers when he wouldn’t toe their party line. While Rogers reclaimed the mantle, Walker became the USAgent – and, although created as a foil, developed his own fanbase in the nineties.

Since Rogers’ resurrection, he has been written as classical liberal, grappling with the social issues of the day -often in an entertaining (and rarely didactic) manner, and it makes sense for someone born in 1922 to have been a New Deal Democrat in 1940, even if he was a “premature ant-fascist” before America’s entry into the war.

Of course, many the conservative activists who are latching onto CAPTAIN AMERICA #602 as part of their latest outrage-du-jour don’t have much experience of the comic and the ins and outs of its narrative and/or political history. They think that if Cap should espouse any political values, it should be their particular political values, even if those values are a 180 shift from the way the character has been written for forty years. He’s CAPTAIN AMERICA… of course he’s conservative. Except, that isn’t the way the character has been written for decades.

The “Captain America: Commie Smasher” incarnation of the character from 1953 was established to have been driven crazily intolerant and racist by his reaction to the super-soldier formula in a story written way back in the Nixon administration. It is this version of Captain America, who has resurfaced and is the villain in CAPTAIN AMERICA #602.

If the conservative outrage merchants are so het up about politicization of comics, where were they for CAPTAIN AMERICA #153-155, the story-arc that introduced the 1950’s Cap as a madman? Where were they for the Secret Empire storyline and the aftermath where Steve Rogers had his crisis of conscience and gave up the Captain America for the identity of Nomad? Where were they when Mark Gruenwald had the Reagan administration strip Cap of the mantle and give it to the wrongheaded and unbalanced Super-Patriot/USAgent?

Hell, where was all the conservative outrage in 2003 in the Geoff Johns written “Red Zone”:story-arc over in THE AVENGERS, when George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, “Dell Rusk”, was revealed to be the Red Skull with the lines, “I love America. It’s the Red Skull’s kind of country.” Where were the conservative protests of Marvel’s politicization of comics when later in the storyline, the Red Skull opines thusly in front of the American flag: “I have a new dream. A new vision. Freedom must feel fear. And fear leads to control. I was wrong about this country. This wonderful ‘United’ States of America. It has all the resources already in place. It has all the right attitudes laced within. They just need to be exploited. To become the perfect nation…,” the Skull concludes, “America just needs a little push in the RIGHT direction.”?

In 2003, to the right, if they knew of this comics at all, Geoff Johns was just one of many probably liberal comic book writers who just plain didn’t like George W. Bush or Donald Rumsfeld or his policies. It wasn’t like Johns or his writings in “Red Zone” had any sway over the government. It wasn’t worth a coordinated attack from conservative blogs and the conservative talking points echo chamber/media outrage machine to bring Johns down.

In 2003, Marvel could make the secretary of defense a Nazi war criminal in a time of war, and make a comment on an apparent underlying ugliness in human nature, and not be a target of conservative ire while conservatives hold all the levers of power. But in 2010, if a portrayal of tea party activists smacks of being a negative one, then the torches and pitchforks come out, and Quesada apologizes and throws the issues letterer under a bus. Please, apologizing to those who gin up and traffic in (often faux) outrage only emboldens them to make more outrageous demands.

Art both reflects and comments upon the larger culture. Sometimes, that reflection isn’t pretty. People who are secure in themselves and their ideas don’t find themselves threatened by portrayals in a work of art (whether high-art or low-art) and then launch media jihads against the creators.

It’s a nontroversy.

Generalzod33, honestly it all pales in comparison to what was done during the Bush years. Burning him in effigy, making a movie about his assassination, I even remember a book about how to assassinate him being written…
All the direct comparisons to Hitler and Stalin the list goes on. Obama isn’t getting anything worse than what Bush got. I would think he’s actually getting a pass on most stuff.

But Michael is right, this whole thing is from a potato headed jerk called Warner Todd Hunter who saw ONE PAGE and took it all out of context. This guy, who I call Weenie Todd, is now attacking the fans of comics calling us emotionally stunted.

This really is a tempest in a teapot but, folks, if you find yourself agreeing with Keith Olberman, it’s time for you to do some serious soul searching.


HA! I knew I was on to something :)

Sorry Tea-Partiers I know you feel completely maligned and that people don’t get IT. Thing is most people do. Ten years ago this country had a surplus. Then the Bush tax cuts went in effect everyone including middle and lower class got a big whopping 300.00 check which you know was the most anyone making less than 250K saw of those tax cuts. Then we got attacked and went to war, which failures to get the mastermind led to a completely unnecessary war in Iraq which cost us a ton of money, a TON of money. The “big” spending dems asked how we were going to pay for this (as did someone with the last name McCain) as never in history of the US did we try to fight one let alone two wars with the cuts in revenue that were made. Yet when anyone questioned this their patriotism was attacked, this includes Max Cleland of Georgia who lost three limbs in Viet Nam when his draft dodging opponent said voting for him was like voting for Bin Laden. Now the country is beyond broke with money owed to China among other suiters, because why? Because no one wants to think things through, they like to be told how they should thing. Sound bite news makes it easier, and sure a sound bite sounds great but it’s just that a sound bite.

This whole bru-ha-ha (no pun intended) is not even news, it’s something that happened in the confines of an overpriced comic book. The people we have elected have sold us out, on both sides of the aisle, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee or we’re all toast.

>This really is a tempest in a teapot but, folks, if you find yourself agreeing with Keith Olberman, it’s time for you to do some serious soul searching.

Aren’t you agreeing with Keith Olbermann? I mean, the main point to take away from this segment seems to be that the controversy is indeed a tempest in a teapot.

Skott, I gave DIRECT examples of things you wrote didn’t exist. I never wrote that people on the left couldn’t be douchey as well. Using the “left” as an excuse doesn’t make what some people at TEA Party rallies do acceptable. If you REALLY wanted to keep things on the up and up, you could say that BOTH sides need to do better at corralling the outer fringes of BOTH parties.

But to use the “he did it first” excuse didn’t cut it when we were in first grade, and it CERTAINLY doesn’t cut it when we’re supposed to be rational adults.

Does anyone even remember the Civil War where Captain America was against the Government? That seems pretty conservative/Anti-government to me. Cap is a symbol of America. Everyone has a different view of what is right for America. No two writers have the same ideas of who Cap is. Really he just cares about freedom and defending our country. That is the essence of Captain America.
Does anyone remember when Cap ran for president? On a ticket of a nonexistent third party, no less.

He’s not Republican nor Democrat. He’s American, Damn it!

Plus, it wasn’t even Steve Rogers, it was Bucky Barnes who doesn’t even really know what is going on in politics. He’s been brain washed for the last 20 years and killing people, remember? and the real point…IF THEY READ THE COMIC THEY WOULD KNOW THAT THE FAKE TAX PROTEST HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WATCHDOGS!
And at any rate, who really cares? Ed Brubaker is a FANTASTIC writer and he deserves recognition for keeping political agendas out of the comic and taking a cheesy out of date character and bringing new insight and depths to the series. He’s made an espionage thriller out of war propaganda from the 1940s. Bravo.
But will we really ever change a protester’s mind? They need something to protest anyway. lol.

What blows my mind about the Tea Party folks–is when did “taxes” become a dirty word? Probably the same time “liberal” did. Apparently the original framers of the Constitution were Conservatives and not Liberals, who were the product of their times–you know the whole Enlightenment thing. Under Eisenhower the wealthiest 10% shouldered the vast majority of the tax burden—I think it was in the neighbourhood of 80-90%–today the wealthiest 10% don’t even shoulder the 10-20% they didn’t under Eisenhower. It is the lower end of the middle class who shoulder the majority of the burden–as it was not them who benefited from tax cuts in the early 2000’s. Beware the military-industrial complex Gen/Pres Eisenhower said–too bad we didn’t heed his grandfatherly advice.

Richard Pace
February 13, 2010 at 10:22 am

[Considering two Liberal Democrat New Yorkers created Captain America why does anyone think he would be a conservative?]

Are you sure Joe Simon doesn’t support the Tea Party Movement?

People were shocked when Bill Willingham (Fables) “outed” himself as a conservative comic book writer so it’s a fair question.

Adam Weissman
February 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

[Oh, and Jack Kirby used Fantastic Four as a soapbox to bash Randian objectivism on at least one occasion.]

Since Steve Ditko is an Objectivist, I wonder what his take on that story would be.

As this Cap vs. Tea Party” debate intensifies, the following comic strip is quite timely:

Generalzod33 my point was Obama isn’t getting anything more than Bush did. Anything you see of Obama you can find that and then some of Bush.
Also, just because a few people bring such signs doesn’t make the whole movement hateful. If that were the case then we’d have to assume all Democrats support segregation and are racist based on their history of opposing the civil rights and voting rights acts and based on their support and oft times praise of Robert Byrd formerly a higher up in the KKK.
We don’t do that because the few aren’t representative of the whole.

that was my point. =)

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