Saying Goodbye to Captain America

I thought a lot about how to start this essay about Captain America. There’s been a lot of starts and stops, a lot of deletions, procrastination, and revisions. For the life of me I just couldn’t into words my thoughts and opinions on Steve Rogers as a character. I kept trying to come up with a thesis, some intellectual argument that would validate why I liked the character. I found that the only thing I wanted to write about were my feelings on the character, but that didn’t feel valid enough to write about. Talking about how much I loved the character of Steve Rogers? How much I’ve enjoyed and appreciated his journey, what the character has grown to represent to me in fiction? I felt a strange sense of embarrassment at the thought of writing and sharing those feelings. In most of my work, I’ve tried to take a stance in sharing facts, research, something that could be quantified as having intelligent value.

Then I thought that’s fucking pretentious why the hell can’t I just share my feelings on Steve Rogers? I’m not getting paid to write this, I have nothing to prove to the world, and if I want to write an essay about how much I love Captain America, well I’m damn well going to do it. I’m going to go full Aries Latina and shout my feelings to anyone who wants to read them. With Avengers: Endgame happening I’ll never have a better opportunity to really reflect on Steve Rogers as a character before he’s gone from the big screen forever. I found that, in the end, I just wanted to write about the themes of compassion, empathy, and the struggles of compromise that exist in Steve Rogers and how much I appreciated those themes. 

So here it is, an essay that is completely self-indulgent, and maybe unnecessary, but something I felt compelled to write all the same. 

Following that little guy from Brooklyn…

Continue reading

Does the New Black Canary Fix All Arrows Problems?

Firstly, as an almost disclaimer of sorts, I’ve never been a fan of Arrow. Even in the shows hayday of seasons one and two when it was praised and lauded as a great show and comic book adaption. Though it bares moderate similarities to Green Arrow: Year One overall it just wasn’t for me.

However I can look back on the shows beginning seasons and see a clear pattern of storytelling including character arcs that were leading to a greater picture. A picture that would create an adapted vision of the classic Green Arrow comics mythology. Needless to say, that from season three onward, Arrow did not only continuously strive away from that proposed picture, but did so almost gleefully. It often felt at times that the show was more interested in using the brand names of Green Arrow and the original materials (or should I say Batman’s original materials) for the sake of hallowed out Easter eggs, than truly adapting them in interesting and creative ways. One of the best examples of this is the shows depiction and mishandling of the Black Canary aka Dinah Laurel Lance.

See I can handle change; when it comes to adaptions you have to be able to handle some level of change and flexibility towards the source material.

I could handle Oliver being moody, because he was suffering from PTSD. I could handle Mia Dearden being changed to Thea Queen because it was a play on the name and they operated in a similar manner as Oliver’s little sister whether foster or blood related. As much as I didn’t like Laurel’s origin as a lawyer (clearly more of an inspiration off Rachel in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight saga than Dinah Laurel Lance’s comic history) I did feel that Laurel embodied key aspects of her comic counterpart; namely her compassion and strong sense of justice.

So while not particularly a fan of the changes, or the show itself, I could ultimately see where it was all going.

Oliver would eventually learn to live with both his failures as a vigilante, friend, and romantic partner, cope – note not “fix” but cope – with his PTSD, and rise up as a people’s champion. Slowly coming to embody more of the fun and righteous characteristics of his comic counterpart. Thea would become Speedy, Roy would become Red Arrow, and Laurel would become the Black Canary. The writing was on the wall but the point was watching how everyone would get there.

I was ready for the long haul.

Continue reading

In Defense of Sharon Carter: Where Incest, Homophobia, and Misogyny Collide

The backlash against Sharon Carter and Emily Vancamp from both fans and even members of the MCU cast, since the first trailer of Civil War has been both frustrating and confusing to witness. It is a strange sort of argument that Sharon and Steve Roger’s romantic relationship is akin to incest within the narrative of the Captain America films. This is especially confusing when both Winter Soldier and Civil War don’t support the incest assertion. The overall backlash against Sharon Carter in the name of progressivism for queer characters, incest victims, and women appears more so to support misogynistic readings of female characters whilst erasing the existence of bisexual, pansexual men and women.

Is it strange for Steve to date his ex’s grand-niece? Out of context it is a bit strange, or at least questionable. More so because the question should arise, “what is Steve doing dating an ex’s family member?” instead of, “what on earth is Sharon doing dating her Aunt’s ex boyfriend, that’s incest, how dare she?”. Especially given comic canon history that positions Steve as the more aggressive party, activity pursuing Sharon because of his lost love of Peggy. Sharon – originally Peggy’s sister, then niece, now in the films grand-niece – was more a sexist trope of a man viewing women as interchangeable than a good romantic partner for Sharon herself. Of which is why she rejects him originally. Both Winter Soldier and Civil War update the origin of Sharon and Steve’s relationship by developing Sharon separate from both Steve and Peggy Carter.

Gif credit:

Stucky: Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan in Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger

Yet, a majority of the pushback against the “Staron” ship is directed at Sharon for seemingly standing in the way of popular male/male fandom ship Stucky (Steve/Bucky Barnes) or pursuing her Grand-Aunt’s former flame.  Something neither Captain America film supports in the least. Though the assertion that Sharon isn’t a “real” love interest of Steve’s is not helped when the directors of Civil War, the Russo brothers, are calling the two “soulmates” (which could mean platonicly that’s certainly not how fans will take it as the Russo brothers no doubt understood).

Continue reading