But by opposing the Iraq War—or rather, by claiming to have done so from the start—Trump staked out an unusual position for a right-wing candidate. This should have been a liability: how can a Republican run so far from the party’s last president, much less hold that position against a Democratic critique? Yet it was enough to give Trump a victory.
The only way I’ve been able to cut through it is by looking at John Rambo, and the complex critique of the Vietnam War in First Blood and its sequels, even as they lionized the consummate American soldier. Rambo offered a vision of America so contrary to Marvel’s Steve Rogers, that it’s easy to forget that the two protagonists tread very similar paths.
I know he’s a Nazi ghoul bent on world domination, but maybe there’s another side to this story?
The great joy of geek culture—whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, or superheroes—is the ability to tell grand stories. Where else can we seriously consider the end of the world, or the responsibilities of ultimate power? These are the stories that always offer an escape from mundane reality, letting complexity fall away in favor of a clear mission.
In the past decade, these stories have dominated pop culture, from the way everything from Avengers to Game of Thrones has become inescapable—perhaps the public has grown weary of the multipolar diplomacy that has characterized the post-9/11 era. But these stories are letting us down. The relief offered by the simplicity of defeating comic book villains is no longer enough; we need to ask for more.
On December 20, 1940, Captain America #1 went on sale, and the world learned the name Steve Rogers. The United States was nearly a year away from declaring war on Nazi Germany, but famously, Steve Rogers debuted with a right hook to Hitler’s jaw.
Despite the star-spangled costume and the hyper-patriotic code name, Steve never falls into the traps of American jingoism. He resiliently stands for the better angels of our nature, and for the highest ideals of the American experiment.
Last Friday night, a terrible crime was committed in Paris. As frightened citizens and visitors sought shelter, Parisians responded with the social media hashtag #PorteOuverte—open door—offering their homes to anyone who needed to get off the streets during that dark night. But an ocean away, twenty-six American governors gave in to the opposite urge, closing their doors to refugees fleeing the same evil.
In this world, in this America, Steve Rogers will return to theaters with Captain America: Civil War—standing tall as a frightened world demands registration and monitoring of super heroes. And as cowardice and bigotry threaten fundamental American values, it’s time again to turn to the Star-Spangled Man.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the day after a long and arduous election year. We are all tired and maybe upset about who won or maybe not (depending on your preference), but we are least glad it’s over.
So my geeky friends, no matter who won or lost, did you ever look back at the candidates and think “God, these guys suck—I wish this character from my comic book was real and running for President!”?
Well, we decided to have our own election! These are Lady Geek Girl and Friends‘ Top 10 Fictional Geek Presidents!
Happy Fourth of July! It’s time for all of us geek girls and fanboys to show our patriotic pride, so we have typed up a list of some of the most patriotic characters in all of Geekdom. Don’t agree with our list? Let us know who you would put on your list by commenting on this post.