Captain African American?
Are we in a post racial America? No and tragedies like the slayings of Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin are reminders of that fact. However, America is leaps and bounds past
the Civil Rights era and president Barack Obama is proof that we live in a time where skin color isn’t the biggest factor when it comes to who the country’s comfortable calling to leadership positions.
Given our real life social climate, the Marvel universe is proving to be progressive too. Old characters like Black Panther will be revisited in coming movies and it was recently announced that Captain America, one of Marvels more recently reprised characters, will now be portrayed in a new series by an African-American character.
Is America ready for a Black Captain America? We spoke to lead writer, Rick Remender about the new Captain America, why this was the time for the change and more in the following interview.
VIBE: Rick, thanks for talking to us man. First, can you explain to our readers the inspiration behind making the new Captain America African American and the new characters origins?
RICK Remender: There’s been a lot of Steve Rogers stories and he’s a great character. I got into Sam Wilson’s character, who readers should know from the character Anthony Mackie played in the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the first African-American super hero from Marvel and he’s a great character. There are lots of little gems about him that most don’t know.
As for inspiration, there’s an instance in the storyline where Sam has to rescue a photographer who has a camera with lots of classified info on it. He has to choose between giving it back to her or not and she asks him ‘do you really believe in freedom of the press or only when it’s convenient?’ In that moment, he realizes he can be patriotic but doesn’t have to be such a soldier [than Steve is].
VIBE: What went into the decision to make the new Captain America a black character?
It’s too convenient to say we live in a post racial society and everything is OK. But I think things are getting better in this country. When we announced it, some teachers sent me pictures of classes with predominately black students and a lot of the kids were Captain America. One big problem in the media for a long time, was that it only reflected White people. This is representation and it’s pretty amazing beyond just telling a cool story.