• Sigrid Ellis

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    Sigrid Ellis is co-editor of the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords and Chicks Dig Comics anthologies. She edits the best-selling Pretty Deadly from Image Comics. She is the flash-fiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction, from Lightspeed Press. She edited the Hugo-nominated Apex Magazine for 2014. She lives with her partner, their two homeschooled children, her partner’s boyfriend, and a host of vertebrate and invertebrate pets in Saint Paul, MN.
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    May 2016
    S M T W T F S
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If you’re not outraged, just come sit over here for a minute

So, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America for a bajillion years in comics, is now secretly a HYDRA agent.

This makes Steve secretly a Nazi sympathizer, if not a Nazi.

Many people I know are very upset.

I am not reading the comics.

I read the Time Magazine article and I thought, “Huh, that sounds really interesting! I bet they will get some great stories out of that!”

I know that nothing in comics is permanent change. I look forward to how they will dig out of this hole.

AT THE SAME TIME I am upset.

I recognize that Steve, a character designed to be the best of us, to be the noble agent of good in the face of evil, has been much-beloved specifically for his anti-Nazi stance.

I recognize that this character trope puts a stinking worm of betrayal into every anti-Nazi action he has taken.

I understand that loving the character is now tainted, as we all discover that our hero is vile — what does that make us? How were we so duped, so stupid, so gullible?

YES, everyone who is upset by this also knows that the story is not permanent.

YES, we know it’s fiction.

But culture matters. Stories MATTER, gods above and below, they MATTER, that’s why we MAKE them, because they touch people heart soul. If the story didn’t matter, no one would care. We are hurt because the creators DID THEIR JOB.

Taking a character who tens of thousands of people have admired, looked up too, stood with for his anti-Nazi stance because it was needed and necessary to remember that Captain America would fight for me, too and telling those folks that Steve secretly hated them all along —

— oh, come on. You have to see how that could hurt.

And knowing that this wound is temporary, that it’s for the sake of sales and money and a story beat, that just makes it hurt more, not less. How little we must matter, the people who needed Steve to be the defender of the underdog and the weak, how little we must matter if betraying us for a story beat is so easy.

If you honestly can’t see how that would hurt, I envy you the life that has allowed you to be never harmed by our culture. But if that is you, then please, I beg of you, please sit this conversation out.

I was going to sit this one out, myself. But speaking as one bystander to another, I invite you to join me here.

C’mon. Grab a mug of coffee or tea, find a nice book, and sit this one out with me. There are other fights we can get in, later.



15 Responses

  1. So, I’ll kick this off. I really loved The Library at Mount Char, and The Fireman.


    What are you reading at the moment?

  2. I’m trying not to be upset about Captain America, because I know comic companies do stupid things all the time I know they’ll undo it sooner or later, but the fact that Captain America’s creators were both Jewish makes this particular bit of stupidity hard to overlook.

    Right now I’m finally reading Ancillary Justice, as well as rereading The Secret History of Wonder Woman in preparation for my Wiscon panel.

  3. Ooooh, the Ancillary books! Which I have :hangs head in shame: not gotten to, yet ….

  4. Really want the internet to just go back to discussing whether or not Cap should have a boyfriend.

    Right now, I’m reading Rebels by Brian Wood. Having my America comics revolutionary war style. 🙂

  5. Yay history! 😀

  6. I got a friend of mine to read War For The Oaks, and now I’m being bombarded by a constant stream of Phouka love.

    I myself have been giggling nonstop over All-New All-Different Avengers, with Den Mother Tony and his Ducklings of Mass Destruction.

  7. I have been nervous as heck about this release this week, because I really DO admire and look up to Steve Rogers/Captain America. The shield and his face are literally all over my house as posters, decorations, fanart, coffee mugs, clocks…. (So now i’m just seeing these everywhere going, ‘????? how did they do this??’) Your words really ring true for why I’m feeling crappy and lost about this announcement. :/

    I have really been enjoying A-Force, East of West, Monstress, The Vision, The Ultimates, and about 10 others too, lots of really great stories recently (which i think is why this Cap thing is especially unnerving).

  8. WAR FOR THE OAKS is yay. 😀

    Monstress is great!

  9. […] I’ve been trying to think of how to finish this post, but I don’t think I can say it better than my friend and fellow Panelteer Sigrid Ellis did here: […]

  10. […] Sigrid Ellis points out the utter pain of having the character so betrayed temporarily just for sales. […]

  11. […] have written, better than I ever could, about the unconscionable and specifically anti-Semitic use of Nazism as […]

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  13. […] I’ve been trying to think of how to finish this post, but I don’t think I can say it better than my friend and fellow Panelteer Sigrid Ellis did here: […]

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