Issue 17 of Sam Wilson Captain America, which is out this week, isn’t a particularly subtle political story. Especially not when a Tomi Lahren-type political commentator named Ariella Conner gets attacked by a group of, what can only really be described as, literal social justice warriors.
Nick Spencer’s run on Sam Wilson Captain America and Steve Rogers Captain America have both been met with controversy. Fox News criticized Spencer for replacing Steve Rogers with African-American superhero Sam Wilson in the former, while anti-fascists have come out against Spencer’s choice to brainwash Rogers as a HYDRA agent in the latter.
Now both sides come into play in Sam Wilson Captain America #17 when Sam Wilson’s newest sidekick, Joaquin Torres, a Mexican-American superhero who’s become the new Falcon in Wilson’s place, comes under fire from Conner for his “legal status” in the country, and other not-so-veiled implications about illegal immigrants ruining America.
Throughout Spencer’s run of Sam Wilson Captain America are stories influenced by the politically charged backlash against Marvel’s decision to make Sam Wilson the new Captain America. In-universe facsimiles of Fox News and white supremacist movements litter the new series, and tackle stories like immigration, and the rise of American extremism.
Then Spencer also goes ahead and includes a group of villains who try to assassinate Conner with a grenade, all-the-while yelling, “Consider this your trigger warning.”
It’s not so much his decision to lampoon the Tumblr-contingent that’s upsetting. But the characterization of these criminals as would-be murderers who also espouse a pretty basic level of social consciousness is incredibly cringe-worthy, and reads like an ill-thought out cheap shot that’s punching down on certain readers.
Really, it’s kind of just embarrassing.
Sam Wilson Captain America #17 is out now in comic book stores and digital retailers.