Movie Review: The Circle

Tom Hanks. New movie. That was all I needed. Is The Circle Bridge of Spies or Mazes and Monsters?

While desperate to find a more fulfilling job Mae, played by Emma Watson, is hired by the Circle, a social media conglomerate. As she moves further up the chain, Mae realizes that the Circle is far more sinister than she anticipated.

With any satire it is best to not put too much thought into it. Held up to enough scrutinity most satirical works would utterly fall apart. What makes those works compelling is how they embody their respective themes. You are meant to take them at face value and acknowledge the blatancy of their message. Do you know how much sense RoboCop would make if you really thought about it? Suddenly a story about the dangers of corporatization with fascist undertones makes a whole lot less sense.

That is the case with Circle because it is dumber than hell. To think about the logistics required and level of behavioral conditioning to make any of what is going on possible would render the film even dumber. Such is the nature of satire because you cannot understand its themes without suspension of disbelief. I watched a “Midnight Screenings” review of the movie and Brad Jones could not separate logic from a story that was not supposed to be logical.

Satire is designed to make you think and Circle gives you a lot to consider. The conceit of the movie is social media is a self-creating surveillance platform. By posting information, videos, and pictures, we unintentionally create a digital profile for companies to exploit at will. It also centralizes our online activities where various processes are funneled through a single service that manages everything on top of social media. Imagine Zola’s algorithm from Winter Soldier, but with Facebook, Google, and Amazon as one company.

With a centralized Internet, you have everyone knowing everything about each other. It is not just the company running the show, but your friends, family, and coworkers. Information is out in the open and available to anyone that bothers to look. This creates a hive mind mentality where you know people before they know you and vice versa. Suddenly you do not live your life according to life, but through the filter of social media. There is no sense of discovery or the joy of meeting new people because you looked them up beforehand. And as social media grows beyond a trend, it becomes an essential part of life that everyone must adopt.

Circle presents these ideas in a way that leaves you to make up your own mind. On the one hand, being fully transparent keeps everyone honest. No one has anymore secrets because you are constantly out in the open. However, by making transparency a part of daily life, privacy dies. With a centralized Internet that becomes vital to existence, being transparent and subject to a hive mind forgoes any notion of personal solitude. You cannot do or say anything online without everyone knowing what is going on. Is being honest with the world really important enough to sacrifice your privacy?

The questions Circle asks are provocative. The actual film is pretty stupid. Why anyone would go along with full transparency is moronic. It makes sense given the Mae character is an idiot that thinks streaming her every waking second to the world is a good idea. The lunacy reaches its pique when a mob-sourced Orwellian tracking program unintentionally kills her friend. She seems totally fine with people invading each other’s privacy until people start invading each other’s privacy.

Watson was not that great in her performance. I understand mastering another accent is difficult, but she could have at least tried to sound enthusiastically inconsistent. Most of the time she was edging into Natalie Portman terriotiry. Granted, she was not as bad as the Boyhood kid as Mercer, the one who dies. Hanks was obviously the better, even though he had maybe 25 minutes of screen time. John Boyega showed up as Ty and did an adequate job. Seeing him made me want to watch Force Awakens again. Karen Gillan stood out because she had the most to do. She does a great job of showing how crazy you can get when you realize you work in a hive mind.

If you want to watch The Circle, be sure to leave logic at the door. There is not a single frame of footage that would standup to conventional rationality or common sense. See it as a satire because it was made to be a satire. Otherwise, it sucks and you lose what makes it mostly okay.

Scripts – 4

For a long time I have had this Punisher script sitting around on here.  I wrote it before Daredevil season two because up until then, the only other (and best) incarnation of the character was Ray Stevenson in War Zone.  I did not think we would see him appear in the MCU, so I set out to write a Punisher movie in the context of that continuity.

After Jon Bernthal’s version came and went, I could not help but imagine what a sequel to my script would look like.   I did not just come up with one follow-up; I came up with three.  Not matter how futile the effort, I saw a whole series that could be made in parallel to the mainstream MCU.  I saw the direction a quartet of Punisher films could go and the potential for other characters that have been mistreated thanks to a certain studio and a certain director being embarrassed about liking comics (you know the one).

However, the available draft of the first movie needed a little punch up.  For about a week I added some names, a scene or two, and sowed the seeds for a series that will never happen.  Regardless, I still wanted to do it and since finishing my “secret black project,” I will be devoting more time to writing these scripts.

Enjoy, I hope.

CT_McMillan_MartyrdomD2

Movie Review: Free Fire

This week I was faced with a bit of a conundrum. The Promise and Free Fire were coming out at the same time and I was interested in seeing both. Obviously, if you want to maintain a budget, seeing two movies in a single week is a terrible idea. I was forced to choose between the two based on limited information. Free Fire is Ben Wheatley’s follow up to High Rise about a shootout in a warehouse. Promise is about the Armenian Genocide, a subject that gets very little attention in film.

Both stand on their own merits, but there can be only one. The subject matter of Promise is important when it comes to understanding history. Genocide is bad and the more we acknowledge and study atrocities of the past the less likely we will commit them in the future. The movie is banking on its subject, while the premise falls to the wayside. Not unlike Titanic and Pearl Harbor, Promise is a romance set against a tragedy. On the trailer alone I knew what was going to happen.

Look, the Armenian Genocide was terrible, but I do not need a film about it to know it was terrible. The fact it involved the Armenians and Turks is inconsequential because no matter which way you look at it, mass murder and/or ethnic cleansing is awful by default and must be prevented. The played-out premise did not help the movie’s chances either. The only people who should see Promise are those interested in learning about a historical event and Cenk Uygur, founder of The Young Turks. And since I am already familiar with the Armenian Genocide, that title has more offensive subtext than Cenk’s fat buffalo ass. For those reasons, I chose to see Free Fire instead.

When a group of IRA terrorists attempt to buy rifles from a Rhodesian gunrunner, the two sides start shooting at each other over a misunderstanding. Trapped in a warehouse, they try to kill each other through the night until there is only one left standing.

Free Fire was fantastic. The acting was exceptional, writing tight and funny, and the action set pieces inventive. It is not the Second Coming, but in a world of remakes and reboots, I will take anything that is original and pretty good over total garbage. Ben Wheatley returns to his small-scale roots with the bulk of the story taking place in one location. The cinematography is more personal with hand-held shots that stay close to the characters crawling through dirt and debris. It was also a breath of fresh air seeing real blanks used in real gun and squibs that are not digital.

And that is all I am going to say.

I do not want to tell you anything except to buy a ticket as soon as possible. I always try to promote original works and it is not often that they are actually good. Though not entirely without flaw, Free Fire was great and it is not based on anything. The more we see films that are wholly original, the more they will become relevant in the future. If you want a good laugh and contribute to the cause of originality, look no further.

Punisher Comics Review 5

Season two of Daredevil heralded the coming of a new incarnation of Frank Castle, the Punisher, played by Jon Bernthal. Soon, the character will get his own series on Netflix and it remains to be seen if Bernthal can keep up the momentum. Since my blog’s inception I have used it to examine the character and express my fandom, but I never talked about the comics that inspired me. And so, I will dedicate a new series to covering my favorite Punisher books.

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Up is Down and Black is White (2005)
Garth Ennis
Leandro Fernandez

Trying to emotionally shake Frank Castle is like beating on a brick wall with a whiffle bat. The man is best described as a void, a walking abyss whose singular purpose is to bring death to those that have done wrong. If he did not have his own villains, the Marvel Pantheon of Heroes would have no one left to fight. The closest anyone has ever gotten to penetrate Frank’s black exterior was Nicky Cavella in the worst way possible.

After recovering from his wounds suffered the last time he tried to kill Castle, Nicky returns home to a council of gangsters trying to salvage what is left of their business. Soldiers promoted to Capo have no clue what they are doing and call upon Cavella for advice. His solution: kill the Punisher. Having lost everything to the infamous vigilante the council is more than reluctant to devote their diminished resources to such a fruitless endeavor.

Nevertheless, they vote on the proposal while Nicky awaits their answer. Sending his partner Teresa, the sister of Pittsy to dispose of any dissenting voices, Cavella gets the gangsters to play along. In the same night Nicky and Teresa travel to the graveyard where Frank’s family is buried, exhume their skeletons, and urinate on the bones. The act is caught on camera and the footage sent to the media. At a diner the desecration is shown on television where Castle eats dinner.

Rather than bury the bodies, the NYPD confiscates the corpses as evidence in an ongoing investigation. Frank reacts to this development by travelling around town with a light machine gun and mopping up three criminal establishments in a single night. While inflicting near maximum casualties, he leaves one alive to tell the first responders to bury his family. If they do not, then he will keep going.

Watching his work play out, Cavella is visited by an old acquaintance named Rawlins, the same Rawlins that organized the failed terror attack on Moscow back in Mother Russia. The generals that planned the operation sent him to take out Castle for fear he knows too much. Seeing Nicky’s scheme as an opportunity, Rawlins convinces him to join forces via blackmail and appealing to Cavella’s repressed homosexuality.

With the mounting body count, the NYPD gives in and agrees to bury Frank’s family. Castle decides to go after Nicky, but a part of him knows it is a trap. However, he does not care about doing the deed with the same skill that made him such a formidable vigilante. A part of him, a rage greater than he had ever felt, wants to kill Cavella regardless of the danger.

Perched on a rooftop overlooking Nicky sitting outside a café, Rawlins stares through the scope of a rifle as Frank pulls up with shotgun. Before the killing blow could be struck, Cavella is hit instead. Behind the trigger stands Kathryn O’Brien, one of the CIA operatives that worked for Bethell from In the Beginning. She lays covering fire, buying her enough time to capture Rawlins and escape with Castle.

Meeting at the home of William Roth, another of Bethell’s operatives that tried to capture Frank, O’Brien interrogates Rawlins. He was one of her husbands who left her to a dreadful fate on a mission in Kabul. Rawlins brings up the incident and O’Brien leaves him alone with Castle. Meanwhile, Nicky and Teresa come upon Roth’s residence after licking their wounds. Cavella wants to wait for back up, but Teresa has a bloodlust that is exacerbated when Nicky turns down her advances.

After removing one of Rawlins’ eyes, Frank takes a breather with O’Brien. It is not long before the two are in bed together. She confesses that despite her years of wet work, she sees him as a good man. Watching Castle approach Cavella out in the open inspired her to act, fearing he was going to get himself killed. They lay with each other one last time before Frank takes a knife in the chest from Teresa. A fight ensues that leaves both him and O’Brien bloody. Castle gains the upper hand and gives her space to empty a whole pistol clip into Teresa’s face.

Before going their separate ways, Frank and O’Brien get Rawlins to confess to the Moscow terror attack among other operations. With the footage Castle will use it as evidence to go after the generals while O’Brien will use it to clear her name. On the way out, however, they stumble upon Cavella all by his lonesome trying to make a move.

After taking a little boy hostage, Frank calls him a coward who gets other people to do the killing and dying. Nicky gives in and lets the boy go, realizing his psychopath persona is a facade. O’Brien rushes back inside to warn Roth of the oncoming police and finds Rawlins gone. The story ends with Castle walking Cavella into the woods and shooting him in the stomach, saying he will die slowly from blood poisoning.

Needless to say there is a lot going on in Up is Down and Black is White. There was a lot I had leave out of the summary because we would have been here all day. With the characters working in parallel, we get Nicky’s backstory where he killed his own family and became the victim of sex abuse by his aunt. O’Brien is also more involved where she is accused of murder while in prison and escapes to New York City. Then there is Rawlins, who is connected to O’Brien and Nicky.

On top of that there is Castle’s desire for suicide that comes out of nowhere. While on his rampage, he has a reoccurring dream of all the scum dead at his feet as the innocents watch from the sidelines. Among the corpses is Frank’s family. He looks to the innocents and says, “If my world ends, so does yours,” before turning his gun on them. And after everyone is dead, his wife Maria tells him “We are still dead” before the dream ends.

It is an interesting concept that furthers Castle’s complexity. Nicky was right to target his family’s grave because that is where it all started. That was the last time the world appeared normal and once they were gone, Frank became the void. But Cavella’s simple provocation made Castle realize that there was no point. His family is still dead and watching Nicky piss on their corpses showed a faint glimmer of reality that he had been denying. No matter how many people he killed, nothing was going to change that they were gone forever.

O’Brien is very similar in this case.  In the latter years of her life she became embroiled in a world not unlike Frank’s.  In the nihilistic underbelly of wet work she became used to the darkness and remains content.  Even after what happened to her in Kabul, she did not quit and brushed it off as another part of the job.  Her story, though not as prominent, runs in tandem with Castle’s whereas she sees him as a genuinely good person despite what they have in common.  The title Up is Down and Black is White is how they see the world and explains why they are the way they are.

Leonardo Fernandez returns with his pencils following Kitchen Irish. It goes to show that a having a competent colorist can make all the difference in the world because this is a decisive improvement. Every panel is rich in detail from the gruesome to the beautiful. The guns are accurate, the characters’ expressions full of life, and the scenes perfectly realized.

Though one of my favorite MAX books, Up is Down and Black is White is difficult to recommend if you have not read the last three books. It builds upon what was established beforehand while adding more details that have yet to come. If you are as big a fan as I, you will have no problem understanding what is going on. Otherwise, get caught up before you jump in.

Movie Review: Nothing: The Third One

No new review this week.  I am hard at work on a “secret black project” that is years in the making.  My priority is getting it done.

Also, nothing worth my time and money came out.  I do not get paid enough… or at all for that matter to see Smurfs: the Lost Village.  Need I say more?

The Case for Christ also came out, but judging by the premise it is the boring kind of Christian Propaganda.  If it were 90 minutes shorter and not based on a true story, I would have given it some consideration.

I will be back next week with Fast 8.

Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

PLEASE LEAVE FEEDBACK

I talked about this a while ago, but it bears repeating. It absolutely does not matter that Scarlett Johansson was cast in the role of a Japanese character. Putting aside that we are talking about fictional people that do not exist, looking at the context of the material in question, Major being any color serves no purpose. In all her incarnations (which are remakes of an adaptation of a manga from 1989), her look has remained consistently inconsistent. Sometimes she is an older woman or a lollicon nightmare with equally fluctuating hair colors and styles. Furthermore, in a universe where people change bodies at will, the pigmentation of the bodies’ skin is utterly meaningless. If anyone bothered to actually research the source material, they would know nationality and ideology are the only cultural determinates in Ghost in the Shell. This nonsense about whitewashing could not be more pointless. With that said, was the film worth the wait or another failed adaptation of a beloved anime?

While tracking down a terrorist hacker, Major has an existential crisis. She is a cyborg and struggles with the idea of what she really is. Her questions, however, bring her closer to an answer she may not like.

When confronted with something as difficult as an adaption, it is important to understand that not everything will translate to the new medium. Game of Thrones had to fill a 10-episode quota with one hour of content each. Obviously you are going to lose a lot of what made A Song of Ice and Fire great in the process. I had the same realization with Walking Dead, but it is still baffling how hard the show runners screwed up. Rather than remove bullshit from the comics, they added more. Seriously, does anyone really care about Morgan, the Priest, or What’s-Her-Face? They get more attention in the show because AMC wanted 16 episodes per-season at 44 minutes each. If they had to meet a quota, then the writers could have, you know, actually tried instead of add more padding than an adult diaper.

Going into Shell (2017) I knew it would not be the same animal as the anime(s). With cartoons, especially those from Japan, there is a lot you cannot do in live-action. You have 90 minutes to entertain an audience and make spending their time and money feel worth it. With the Shell live action movie, there was no way we would get the same glorious violence, long digressions on philosophy and politics, or the same complex crime-drama narrative with many layers and details. Anime itself is not your typical medium and especially difficult to translate into live-action. I cannot fathom what Gurren Lagann or Kill la Kill would look like with real people.

Ignoring the source material completely, Shell (2017) is just fine. It is not terrible or mediocre, but it is not good either. Honestly, the only reason to see it is if you are a fan or you want to see Johansson in a latex body condom. There are not enough good things to make it worth the full price of admission.

Let us start with the good.

The film looks great. Every scene is full of cool stuff that was also very well shot. Even the cheap CG was tolerable because there are plenty of real things that you can almost reach out and touch. Batou’s eyes, the anachronistic cars, and make-up on a lot of the actors were such a breath of fresh air. The sets were also exemplary where they seemed lived in and fit the world. You could believe such a place exists and the advanced technology was a part of it despite the overwhelming squalor. Thanks to the directing, the aesthetics are not just background details. You are meant to see everything and immerse yourself rather than overlook them as simple visuals. It is a shame the set pieces have more substance than the rest of the film.

Story moments, scenes, and the dialog just happen. There is no real feeling or life behind it. A character will say something and it does not mean anything beyond the obvious. Then a scene pops up that does not serve much of a purpose before the start of the next. The same can be said for certain plot points like Major coming to terms with who and what she is. Unlike Suicide Squad, there is at least more to the movie, but the idea that the protagonist having an existential crisis felt meaningless is not good. If you want to feel invested, you need substance and Shell (2017) has none.

This is likely a side effect of the adaptation process, which took the Walking Dead route. Rather than build up worthless crap, the movie takes from every version of Shell and mashes it together. Not only does it adapt the movie from ’95, it takes from all the other incarnations except Arise. Kuze from 2nd Gig was the villain, Coroner Haraway and the killer gynoids from Innocence show up, and the shut down of Section 9 from the first season for Stand Alone Complex happens at the climax. There are also scenes from the ’95 movie that are straight up live action reshoots.

I imagine the point was to adapt the Shell property as a whole instead of a fraction. For whatever reason I cannot discern and it negatively affects the film. Instead of making the iconic spider-tank feel like another part of the world, it is a prop that was set up in the beginning before it comes back in the end. About two minutes later it is gone after a lackluster action scene. The sniper helicopter from the original comes in shortly thereafter, followed by Saito, who never got an introduction. Both of these elements simply appear, but instead of feeling natural, they come in at the very end because it happened in the first movie.

By trying to appeal to fans that have been waiting a decade for a live action adaptation (I wasn’t), Shell (2017) tries too hard. Yes, we fans like all the cool stuff in the shows and films, but it had meaning and a point. It was done with finesse because the shows and movies were simply being themselves. That cool stuff we liked only became cool because we said it was afterward. Rather than become its own animal, Shell (2017) willingly tethers itself to the source material without regard for its own identity. It is exactly what happened to Rogue One.

I could go on about the flaws in the adaptation process, but as I said before, Ghost in the Shell (2017) was just fine for what it is. There is certainly a chuck of good to be had, but not enough that I would give a full recommendation. It is worth a watch for the price of a matinee or a rental when the time comes. However, if you want too see a better version of the film, the original ’95 one is perfect.

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Editorial 28: Sam Wilson

My schedule has been pretty hectic for a lot of March. I have been housesitting, looking after my dog, and I just quit my other job. At the moment I am technically employed, but that does not change the fact I need another job. For these reasons I have been absent on the blog and for that I apologize. I hope to review Trainspotting 2 if it comes out to a theater near me and I patiently await Ghost in the Shell. In the meantime and because I am skipping Power Rangers, (I’m sorry, but it just looks terrible) let us talk about Sam Wilson.

If you are an avid reader of my work (I hope), you probably notice I mention the name Nick Spencer in a negative light quite a lot. He is a comic book writer for Marvel and one of the many hacks responsible for the politicization of the medium. It is no surprise he was an up incoming “progressive” politician, the same people who see the Working Class as racist, misogynistic, homophobic and Islamophoic (yeah, that’s definitely a thing that’s real). And Spencer is in charge of not one, but two Captain America books.

Reading his work it is easy to spot the man’s backwards ideology. He made Red Skull a President Trump parallel with dialog plagiarized from MSNBC sound bites. The villainous Americops are paramilitary policemen that target people of color. Steve Rogers was turned into an Agent of Hydra (also Nazis, but not really according to pre-MCU comics), and the new Captain America, Sam Wilson, a diehard Liberal martyr. Most of this nonsense can be found in the long, droning speech bubbles and thought boxes that cover each panel. Spencer’s work is so notoriously idiotic you can find scans of choice pages around the Internet.

The man’s politics are good enough a reason to ignore his books, but for me it comes down to his gross misunderstanding of his assigned character. Rogers being a part of Hydra I can forgive being the result of some Cosmic Cube stuff. My concern is the mantel of Captain America and Sam Wilson as its bearer. And no, it is not because he is black.

My issue is Spencer has no idea what Cap is, what he has always been. I have no clue why the man was put in charge of the character given his utter ignorance. To Spencer, Cap is a tool of the US government, an apostle of the status quo whose sole allegiance is to the State. In one issue he was even referred to as “Captain Establishment.”

The first couple issues of the Wilson arc were spent setting up the titular new Cap as a man of the people, making him a free agent reliant on crowd funding. This was meant to distance the character from this idea that the original Cap was a pawn of the government. In Wilson’s dialog and thoughts he questions if Rogers actually represented America. He feels being one with the people makes him a better Cap, hence the Liberal rhetoric.

That is all well and good, but it does not change the irrefutable fact that never, in his nigh 80-year existence, was Cap ever a part of the establishment. To think he would adhere to the status quo proves Spencer has never read a Cap book in his life. He spits in the face of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon with such detritus. It is clear to me that the man had an agenda and did not care what he got wrong.

Where DC characters are mythological figures, Marvel’s Pantheon is symbolic. Punisher is death, Daredevil justice, and Iron Man is technology. Captain America is symbolic of liberty in its purest form. He is the US Constitution brought to life, the walking, talking manifestation of the Founding Fathers’ ideals. He does not exist for the American government, but what America means. Cap is truth, justice, and freedom rendered flesh and does not represent a minority or a majority group.

You can find plenty of evidence in comics of his anti-establishment underpinnings. He gave up the shield when he discovered Nixon was the Hate Monger. He was the first to oppose the Superhero Registration Act in the first Civil War arc. He later turned himself in when he found all the fighting caused more harm than good. In Born Again, Cap defied the government by putting down Nuke, a psychotic super soldier created by the Pentagon to be a merciless killing machine.

You do not have to read too much into the guy to realize how little he cares for the establishment. Even as a product of the Military Industrial Complex he has never willingly given in to bureaucracy and petty partisan bullshit. With a shield, Cap makes a point that he is trying to fix the world, not destroy it. He also sat out of Vietnam, but I doubt it would have made a difference. Like Columbia, he is the personification of America and what it means to be free, to be in total control of your destiny.

Nick Spencer does not think so. The self-loathing Liberal pig is one of thousands of swine that see America as the ultimate oppressor, the enemy of the world that must be brought to heel for all the bad things it has done… a century-and-a-half ago. To Spencer and his ilk, Captain America represents the very worst of ideals: Patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism.

It was only right that he would make Sam Wilson the complete opposite, a man of the people devoted to the community. However, by giving Cap a “side” to fight for in opposition to another “side,” Spencer has made Cap into an establishment character. Like your average socialist system, Wilson is a paradox, a never-ending contradiction that supports a status quo while claiming to upend it. It is like Democrats and Republicans: no matter which one you pick, you are still a part of the government and beholden to the system you mean to change. Wilson just traded in arguably Centrist ideals for those of the Left, which argues for more establishment control, something the original Cap would have fought against.

It is bad enough that Spencer does not understand Captain America. That alone makes him unqualified, but I think he missed a huge opportunity with Wilson. Furthermore, using SJW logic (which is a titanic misnomer), he is also unqualified to write a character that is black because he is white. I have a feeling he shames himself and apologizes to no one for using his genetic privilege to take a job meant for a person of color. It is almost as if he has a double standard, falling perfectly in lock step with the common SJW practice of Doublethink.

Big Brother would be proud.

Obviously the history of black people in America is tumultuous. Slavery, Jim Crow, and the Klan are pretty bad to say the least. It is important for an outsider to understand the situation in as clear a light a possible without bias. I will never fully get what it is like to be black, but Spencer certainly thinks he does. He thinks because they are not white, black people are oppressed, and require liberation. Intersectionality is the name of the game where all non-white, non-male, non-hetero people are victims of the Patriarchy who must stick together and work as a community. Spencer sees black people through a Liberal ideological lens, a group that needs help, and is not in control of their own destiny.

Again, we are talking about a pasty white dude.

This brings to mind what could have been done with Wilson as Cap. Given our history with black people, what would it mean for Wilson to be the embodiment of America? Does he follow in Roger’s footsteps and continue his good work or supplement the symbolism with his own experiences? An American is an American, but every culture has a their own interpretation of being an American.

In the end, all any outsider can do is pretend to get it. I will never understand what it is like being Latino or Asian in America, but if I had to write about it, I would not pick one experience over another. Going the opposite route, you are basically perpetuating a stereotype based on a minority of experiences. You would be better off ignoring such a detail and writing the character as a character. Robert Heinlein wrote Johnny Rico as Johnny Rico and not as a Filipino named Johnny Rico. Then again, I doubt Spencer is enlightened enough to ignore skin color.

Wilson as Cap presented an opportunity to explore being black in America. He would have to question if he is a part of the image usually associated with whites or that of blacks. Is there even a difference or does he have the right to change the meaning behind Captain America? He could be the egalitarian Martin Luther King or the militant Malcolm X. At the end of the day, it should not matter because he is supposed to be a symbol, but for a story that requires conflict, Wilson trying to figure out what it means to be America and black is interesting. I would have read that book and stuck with it, unless the art sucked.

The politicization of Marvel Comics has meant the death of many a story I used to enjoy. Beloved characters have become bogged down in nonsense and the mouthpieces of writers that have no right to be writers. I was interested to see what would become of Sam Wilson as Captain America, but Nick Spencer could not keep his Liberal rhetoric to himself. Cap was my fist favorite superhero and I can only hope Punisher puts him out of his misery before it is too late.