Perception is everything, and Captain America and Red Skull are trying to win hearts and minds in their latest conflict in Marvel Comics.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Captain America #27 from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leonard Kirk
In the latest issue of Marvel Comics’ Captain America, perception is everything when it comes to the USA and Red Skull. While Steve Rogers and his allies just scored a major win against Red Skull and the Power Elite by rescuing the Daughters of Liberty and Thunderbolt Ross, the villain’s plans are far from over. Now, Captain America #27 features both Captain America and the Red Skull using the media to reach out to the American people, and the very future for the nation’s soul is at stake in the midst of their latest conflict.
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In previous issues of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Captain America, Steve Rogers was framed for the murder of General Thunderbolt Ross by the Power Elite, a group of influential individuals seeking to steer the country in the directions they desire. This not only led to Rogers’ incarceration but also a dramatic loss of faith in him by the American people, which was already low from the events of the recent Secret Empire. However, Captain America #27 begins on a high note, seeing Rogers being officially exonerated and addressing the American people at a press conference. In his address, Captain America restates his commitment to the American people, imploring them to still believe in themselves, others, and the American Dream he’s always striven to fight for.
However, the Red Skull throws a devastating wrench in Captain America’s hope for the nation to believe in him again, as well as the dream. Not only does the Skull orchestrate an anti-Captain America riot (which of course doesn’t look good), but he does so specifically to draw Captain America out into the open. Sure enough, Rogers and Sharon Carter arrive to monitor the volatile members of the riot and the various organizations they belong to with ties to the Power Elite. Once the riot becomes an all-out brawl, Captain America and Sharon enter the fray to try and detain the more violent members. However, for all intents and purposes, it looks as though Captain America is beating up those who are against him, and the media covers it as such. Secondly, the Red Skull then detonates a bomb at the riot, causing severe collateral damage. The issue then ends with Red Skull delivering a message of his own for the American people.
Red Skull also presents himself as sending his condolences to the American people, all while laying the blame directly at Rogers’ feet. Not only does he accuse Captain America of beating those exercising their rights, but he also accuses Rogers as the one behind the bombing itself, which resulted in several wounded and murdered. Red Skull is effectively trying to turn the hearts and minds of the nation and its future generations against Captain America, and it could very well work if his campaign continues unopposed.
Again, perception is everything and Red Skull is using that fact to his advantage in a very big way against his longtime rival. As it stands, Rogers is going to have work extremely hard to win back his reputation and the trust of the American people, despite having done nothing wrong himself. The entire future and fate of the country’s soul is at stake, and it will be up to Captain America to make sure it doesn’t become corrupted by the Red Skull and the Power Elite in future issues from Marvel Comics.
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