terra: (kate)
[personal profile] terra posting in [community profile] scans_daily
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.

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

Concentration camp imagery should really not be allowed to become hackneyed.

Date: 2011-10-31 10:02 pm (UTC)
salinea: Magneto going *?* (wtf)
From: [personal profile] salinea
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.

Date: 2011-10-31 10:39 pm (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea

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

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)

Date: 2011-10-31 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
I don't think it's so much that people think it's not ok to show the actual bad stuff that went down, so much as they feel that hamfisted, cheesy-as-shit stuff like this is disrespectful.

Date: 2011-10-31 09:11 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
It's not so much that they accepted an order not to intervene, but that they had another mission they got sent on immediately, and another mission after that, other things that were vital to the war effort that demanded their special expertise. They always planned to go back, they just blew up a month or two later.

But given the scale of the horror they had witnessed being inflicted on innocent civilians, does it seem likely that Captain America would leave these, already near death, people there with some sort of thought of coming back at a later date? never mind

But I don't think it's meant to come across well. How could it ever?

Not quite what I meant, it's not that the Holocaust should ever be something that "comes across well" (God forbid), but the twisting of the storyline to ensure that the eponymous heroes do nothing about it does not come across well.

And for the record, showing Steve punching Hitler was shown during the war as a propaganda image as much as anything else, and no, I don't think it's something that should be shown now as an actual plot point.

Date: 2011-10-31 11:13 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Or just stop telling WWII set superhero stories which tonally jar with the history.

Date: 2011-11-01 10:27 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Whilst I appreciate that you meant that in a less than serious fashion, it IS a different consideration from the grounds of good taste.

Date: 2011-11-01 08:09 pm (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
Jim Hammond actually killed Hitler in Marvel continuity

And, as it turns out, Hitler isn't even really dead (he transfers his mind to a series of bodies created by Arnim Zola).

Date: 2011-11-02 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] runespoor
My own feeling is that it was only okay to show Cap punching Hitler because that was written as part of the war effort. It wasn't romanticizing the heroics of them good ole days.

If the same was written today, I would hate it beyond the telling.

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

Date: 2011-11-02 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
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.

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

Stop using the Shoah as ~source of pathos~, fiction.


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