Captain America and Conservatism

Captain America is a fan favorite of Marvel movie and comic enthusiasts. Since the release of Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011 to Captain America: Civil War in 2016, some politics have emerged concerning Cap’s allegiances, among other things. The future of Steve Rogers’ character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come into question as fans speculate as to where the character lies on the political spectrum. Fans have come to different conclusions concerning Rogers’ ideology and where it should take him in future films, which is normal in popular media. Having enjoyed both the movies and comics, this is my interpretation: 

Captain America: The First Avenger

The first Captain America movie from 2011 was important in establishing the character. Cap was painted as an extraordinarily patriotic figure, a trait that was maintained in the later films and the comics. Despite being frozen before the end of WWII, Steve Rogers was a part of the Greatest Generation, a generation that is majority conservative. His military background and overwhelming patriotism suggest, particularly in the first movie, that Cap leans more towards the right in ideology. 

1930s Captain America hails from a significantly less divided America. Americans were united against a common enemy: the Axis powers. The first Captain America was published in 1941, portraying Cap as a symbol of patriotism and unification in a time of crisis. 

Cap’s dedication to his country is highly evident in the first movie. Prior to becoming a super soldier, Rogers attempts to join the army despite a medley of physical maladies. Cap makes a series of sacrifices for his nation in the first film, landing him in an icy cavern until the twenty-first century. 

Though a love for America isn’t limited to conservatives, Captain America’s brand of patriotism is characteristic of conservatism, especially due to his history. Over the past few years, many have debated Cap’s political ideology, but it’s more likely Steve Rogers would lean towards the right as a result of his cultural background in the 1930s. 

Captain America: Civil War

The third Captain America film was a movie many conservatives and libertarians could identify with. Some elements of Civil War seemed to advocate for less government intervention. The plot of the film centered around a conflict between Iron Man and Captain America and their respective allies. Cap is concerned by the government desiring to consolidate more power over superheroes. Iron Man and his allies side in the interest of the government to attempt to keep heroes in line, particularly Bucky Barnes, AKA the Winter Soldier. 

To a conservative viewer, Captain America represents resistance against too much governmental control. This concept has even become a source of debate for Marvel fans and creators. Many online publications have disagreed over whether or not Civil War communicates a political statement. This has resulted in debate over where the Marvel Cinematic Universe should take Cap’s character. 

Cap’s Future

Last year Captain America fans were outraged when comic writer Nick Spencer turned Cap into a supervillain. In the new comic series Captain America: Steve Rogers, Cap has become a member of fascist Hydra. This is truly nonsensical, as Steve Rogers’ character was created by two Jewish men in response to Hitler’s actions during WWII. 

Because of Cap’s turn towards villainy in the comics, Marvel fans are concerned that Rogers may become a part of Hydra in the movies as well. Some have also questioned whether or not Cap will survive Infinity Wars, the third Avengers film. Captain America has died in several of the comics, and there is reason to believe this could occur int he movies as well. 

Cap’s death or conversion to evil would be devastating to Marvel fans. This begs the question, why would Marvel’s writers choose to do either of these things with Captain America’s character? On an entertainment level, many have theorized the writers wanting to use a plot twist to make the story more interesting. Politically, it seems to be a symbolic jab against patriotism, and perhaps even conservatism. Turning a conservative character into a supervillain is a message about how the left feels towards conservatives. This is particularly apparent in Civil War, in Cap’s battle against big government. Killing off a character who lives by that principle is also symbolic of the left’s agenda. 

As an avid Marvel fan, I hope the film franchise will take Captain America’s character in the right direction. Liberal and conservative fans enjoy the movies in equal measure, and Cap’s potential wrong turns could be a big mistake on the part of Marvel creators.