So I actually read the comic (tldr? just read the bolded)
My sister found a free pdf file online so I read just now and here are my thoughts as a HUGE Steve Rogers/Captain America fan and someone who keeps up with politics and loves history:
It wasn’t that bad. It’s nothing to get so angry over just as I was doing before I actually read it. It does not completely ruin Steve’s character and everything he is meant to stand for over the past 75 years. That being said, it’s not a good story, and there are other reasons to be angry.
Had this same plot line been used with a different character and a different organization it wouldn’t be that bad, but because it was Captain America and Hydra it made the story extremely insensitive to those affected by WWII and the impact felt on American society from the war. We all know Captain America was created by two Jewish men during WWII to raise the spirits of the American people and the world in general and to stand against the oppressive acts of the Nazis by being the embodiment of freedom and justice and equality. By using Captain America and Hydra in the way that they did not only gave the story antisemitic undertones by completely ignoring Jewish struggle, but it also diluted the character of all WWII veterans by implying the importance and knowledge of what they went through is no longer relevant in contemporary times. Generally, given the time and reason that Captain America and Hydra were created, they are basically fictional stand-ins for the U.S. and the Nazi Party respectively. We all understand that and the importance of that comparison. The comic, however, portrays the Red Skull not with a Hitler-like fashion but that of Donald Trump. The Red Skull is so unabashedly written to be Donald Trump that it’s actually horrible writing. That’s how obvious it is. Suddenly Captain America is no longer meant to show the importance of WWII but of contemporary times. That being said, the entire comic is trying to be political satire. Steve is the 2016 U.S. and now Hydra is Trump and his supporters.
I understand that Trump is scary. I understand that he is not a nice person. I understand that America is not the country that it once was. HOWEVER, Trump is not Hitler, or in this case, the Red Skull. I call the comic out on having antisemitic undertones because it is trying to use the same fictional figurehead of Jewish liberation and human equality to talk about the U.S.’s current political and social situation. America is not in a good place right now, but no matter what rhetoric presidential candidates are using, and how many hate crimes are committed and how many people get deported, the U.S. is not at Holocaust level yet and it’s insensitive to compare the struggle America is currently going through to the struggle that the Jews and other minorities went through during WWII. What America is going through right now is bad and issues need to be addressed but it is not okay to take a fictional character written for such an enormous human rights purpose and turn him into a pawn for 2016 American political satire that does not even touch on the human rights of freedom and justice. The only point of this issue was to show how corrupted rhetoric can make a person and how dangerous Trump is with no indication that human rights issues will be addressed later. Steve is not political. The meaning behind the character should not be muddied by using him for such a purpose. Captain America was made to bring people hope. He is not what America is. He is what America should have been. He is not the hatred fueled by rhetoric nor the blind following of orders because of propaganda’s brainwashing. He is a deeply moral man. He’s a soldier who will not blindly follow corrupt orders but is willing to do what he needs to do to keep people safe understanding the consequences and trying his best to minimize damage. He does the best that he can in order to bring justice and freedom to the people of the world. Captain America fights against corruption. He fights against everything the Nazi’s stood for not because he thought America was stronger than them and could win by brute force, but because he knew America is weak and can easily fall victim to such corruption. In the comic, Steve fell victim to corruption. The problem is not that a human fell victim to political rhetoric or social movements. The problem is that Steve Rogers, the man who was created to be an example of how to not fall victim to such things, to give people hope for the future, fell victim to the exact thing he was made to fight against. I am not mad that Marvel sullied Steve’s character. I am mad that they destroyed the last beacon of pure hope and freedom that this world had to offer.
Steve Rogers is not what America is. He is what America should be and should be written as such.