terra: (kate)
Alex ([personal profile] terra) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2011-10-31 11:21 am

Captain America & Bucky #623

A few days ago I posted from issue #622, which was an Invaders-heavy issue. Today I will post from the latest issue, which is much darker.

It starts out that Bucky and Toro have been left alone at camp while the more senior Invaders have been called away on a mission. Bucky is bored, and so he eavesdrops on a secret meeting to learn about an American spy who was captured and is being held in a nearby prison camp. Obviously, Bucky and Toro have to save him!

There are quite a few pages of Bucky and Toro's humorous bickering, interspersed with grim foreshadowing. Bucky infiltrates the camp alone, leaving Toro on the outside in case he needs a quick escape. He gets to the prisoner with a bit of cunning and without much fuss, but then—

Bucky flips out.

He basically blows up half the camp, he's so angry. But when he's done, it hasn't really helped anything.

There's no way to evacuate the prisoners, they only came prepared for the one American spy. So Tom drags Bucky away, while Bucky promises they'll come back.

But they don't.

When Bucky gets back to camp he gets chewed out for running off on his own. He wants to go back and free the prisoners, but it all gets swallowed up in the chain of command, in mission after mission, until he gets himself blown up over the North Atlantic and a CCCP sub swoops in and takes up his corpse.

Superhero WW2 tales are kind of a curiosity, because they muck around in the established continuity that is, well, history. This is kind of the weighty anti-thesis to stories like "Jim Hammond kills Hitler, what a badass" because Bucky is ultimately powerless in the face of this atrocity. And it really gnaws at him, too. There's a story in the old Invaders series where Bucky visits a Japanese internment camp. (Where everyone is dressed in a kimono and sits on tatami mats to eat rice...) In the end, similarly, Bucky leaves without having changed much, but there was still the sense of a happy ending, because in discovering and displaying the racism of these camps the comic was, by its own logic, dismantling them. Not so much here, but I think the historical threads here are less about the Holocaust and more about the priorities of the military at war, and learning to live with the guilt about people you couldn't save.

I don't know. It's always a tricky business to balance history and superheroics, but, you know, Captain America was created by two Jewish kids in 1941 for the specific purpose of Hitler-punching, and that's a big part of what makes him interesting.

From Captain America & Bucky #623, written by Ed Brubaker and Marc Andreyko, pencils by Chris Samnee, colors by Bettie Breitweiser.

[personal profile] whitesycamore 2011-10-31 08:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Ugh please leave the holocaust alone, superhero comics.

Concentration camp imagery should really not be allowed to become hackneyed.
salinea: Magneto going *?* (wtf)

[personal profile] salinea 2011-10-31 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Magneto gets away with it because he's an actual protagonist (in that context) with agency and stuff. And not a victim who is there to provide pathos and flavour to the hero's story.

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icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2011-10-31 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)

Cap/Bucky/Invaders/etc in WWII flashback stories are particularly tricky, since WE know the scale of it, and I believe that knowledge of the extermination camps was known at high Governmental levels by at least 1941, so them NOT dealing with it rarely comes across well (Are we to believe that Cap just accepted an order not to intervene when it's clearly had such a horrific impact on Bucky and Toro? Or even Namor, who would be even less likely to accept chain of command orders)

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proteus_lives: (Default)

[personal profile] proteus_lives 2011-11-02 06:54 am (UTC)(link)
Never read Magneto: Testament?

[personal profile] whitesycamore 2011-11-02 05:14 pm (UTC)(link)
No, I haven't.

Why, does it use holocaust victims as nameless, faceless, inert props for a hero's tragedy? If not then it's probably ok!

See, when I said that comics should stop using concentration camp imagery, that was exactly what I meant. The imprisoned people in this are just *images,* just background art. They have no dialogue that I can see, and it seems as though the full extent of their writing was "here is a concentration camp. There are some people in it. Draw them looking hopeless against a backdrop of atrocities."

If they were actual actors in the plot I'd feel a lot better about it.

[personal profile] runespoor 2011-11-02 10:50 am (UTC)(link)
So much this.

Stop using the Shoah as ~source of pathos~, fiction.
mrosa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrosa 2011-10-31 08:55 pm (UTC)(link)
So there IS something worse than using rape to get a big emotional reaction out a superhero! I'm so relieved to know that :-)

This is so unintentionally hilarious.

[personal profile] whitesycamore 2011-10-31 09:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Good analogy, because this is exactly the same kind of uncomfortable I usually get over sexual violence in comics.

It devalues the horrific experiences of others if you're just using them to show how noble your hero is in his outrage. Doubly so if you're using real life events, and the victims' only role is to stand in the background looking abject.

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filthysize: (Default)

[personal profile] filthysize 2011-10-31 08:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Personally, I find that not acknowledging historical incidents to be much more offensive.

[personal profile] whitesycamore 2011-10-31 09:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I like to think there's a nice middle ground between "not acknowledging historical incidents," and *this.*
filthysize: (Default)

[personal profile] filthysize 2011-10-31 09:32 pm (UTC)(link)
So the issue is the quality of the writing? Because I think if we've agreed that it can be appropriate to portray things like the Holocaust in fiction (which a middle ground implies), then we're just negotiating the level of tact. That's perfectly fine, of course, but I meant to address the idea that the subject matter is somehow inappropriate to explore in this genre, which I wholeheartedly disagree with. Especially when it's a WWII story about a character who's roots are closely tied to this historical event. It seems awfully weird to make a conscious decision to avoid the more atrocious aspects of the event. That's what I was suggesting as being offensive.

"Yay punching Nazis!"
"So why are we punching the Nazis?"
"Hey, come on, let's not talk about that."

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blue_bolt: (Default)

I get that Reed RIchards can't fix everything but there are somethings that would be nice

[personal profile] blue_bolt 2011-10-31 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Here's the thing. You don't have to save 6 million Holocaust victims. Just save 500 or so and deal with the psychological ramificiations of how you couldn't save them all. I'd actually like to have a WWII talk to a therapist about how they felt guilt over not being able to save so many of the 60 million who died in WWII (does that include the Holocaust or is that just battle casualties?).
blue_bolt: (Default)

Re: I get that Reed RIchards can't fix everything but there are somethings that would be nice

[personal profile] blue_bolt 2011-10-31 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
WWII "superhero"
Sorry I left that out, I'm pretty tired
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)

Re: I get that Reed RIchards can't fix everything but there are somethings that would be nice

[personal profile] biod 2011-10-31 09:42 pm (UTC)(link)
New idea for a story: personifications of wars. I have no idea how it will work, how the inherent conflict in wars (which should make them severe schizophrenics at best) would factor in, or how not to turn something which is inherently violent and brutal into a persons you don't want to throttle immediately, but now I can't stop thinking about it!
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)

[personal profile] biod 2011-10-31 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, there are unfortunate sacrifices for the war effort and then there's this. One ends with Captain America walking away grim faced, this should have ended with "Free those people or Captain America will make you". Steve walking away from something this horrid is such a denial of character, I wonder if the Allies just knocked him on the head till he forgot.

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nyadnar17: (Default)

[personal profile] nyadnar17 2011-10-31 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't see it as hackneyed. I thought it was powerful, showed the limitation of heroes when they are agents of the government as oppose to free agents, used the timeline and priorities of the war and Bucky and Cap's death to explain why they didn't put a stop to it, AND showed Bucky being a badass.

Don't really know what more you could want.
kusonaga: (Default)

[personal profile] kusonaga 2011-11-01 06:34 am (UTC)(link)
Besides the 'should they' or 'shouldn't they' discussion, I'd just like to point out that I love the art.
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)

[personal profile] biod 2011-11-01 12:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Samnee is always brilliant.
citygod: (Default)

[personal profile] citygod 2011-11-02 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
I usually love Samnee's art but that first scan looks really rough - the close-up in the last panel (Toro?) is horrible. Good to see he's back to form on the other scans.
tzipwich: (Default)

[personal profile] tzipwich 2011-11-01 06:58 am (UTC)(link)
I think this story, theoretically, could be done well. But, at least from the scans shown, the prisoners just look like background art. None of them say anything, and the main characters don't interact with them at all--they just talk to each other about them... in front of them. Nice.