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Captain America Finally Tackles Socialism


Marvel’s Captain America is a lot more right-wing than the company wants to admit – and his true thoughts on socialism proves it.


This article contains spoilers for Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #4

Marvel’s Captain America is often positioned as a fairly progressive man, even from his time – but his most recent adventure proves that Steve Rogers is considerably more right-wing than the company cares to admit. Rogers is the quintessential “man out of time” in that despite living longer in the present than he ever has during World War II, he still brings a 1940s sensibility to modern comics. But Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #4 suggests that this sensibility brings a political leaning that runs counter to how Marvel is positioning the character – and his stance against Socialism proves it.

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Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s decision to bring back Captain America in the 1960s was no accident. The character’s popularity had waned after the end of World War II, and an ill-fated “Captain America: Commie Smasher!” soft reboot in the 50s failed to garner popularity. But Rogers in the 60s presented writers with a perfect opportunity for Captain America to criticize his own country instead of the countries of others; he lived through the counter-culture revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, and even Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Writers at the time presented Captain America as a left-wing voice while also calling for peace between generations (and enemies). But Captain America, a product of the 40s, ought to have 40s sensibilities – or at least that’s what more modern-day writers believe.

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In Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #4, written by Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly with art by Carmen Carnero, Captain America – while on a mission to discover a conspiracy involving his shield – visits a union bar frequented by Arlo, a brash blue-collar worker. When Arlo insists America constantly exploits the ‘little guy’ while the rich reap the rewards, Steve responds with “But that’s the point of the law, isn’t it? To square up reality and our ideals? You want all these socialist reforms, why not wait and let the system do its job?” Arlo replies that socialism has always been a major part of America – and points out the military as a clear example. “Soldiers might be living in defense of capitalism, but they sure as hell ain’t practicing it!”

The fact that Captain America is seemingly against socialism betrays his right-wing beliefs. The character was never meant to be apolitical, but Marvel very rarely forces their characters to take a side (Democratic or Republican) in any American political debate and Captain America is no exception. Rogers is not loyal to any one man or even the President, but rather to the nebulous “American Dream.” Captain America’s voting record has never been officially published, but perhaps Steve Rogers is not quite as liberal as modern-day fans have been led to believe.

The 2022 run brings Captain America from the lairs of supervillians to the streets of New York, where he walks among the ordinary American citizens. These themes were explored in last year’s United States of Captain America, but were somewhat derailed by a resurrected Hitler serving as the villain. There are no outlandish cartoon enemies here (or at least none as absurd), so Captain America’s political leanings are free to be explored…however right-wing they may be.



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