Sam Wilson, the Avenger formerly known as Falcon, is the new Captain America. He is a black man and he's ostensibly pro-immigration reform. Fox News, unsurprisingly, isn't happy about this.
In a recent Fox & Friends segment Tucker Carlson, Clayton Morris, and Heather Childers bemoaned that politics had no place in comic books and expressed their desire for the good old days when Captain America spent his time fighting Nazis.
Ironically, the social commentary woven into Captain America's time fighting the Red Skull seemed to have been lost on the trio.
Social commentary in comics is nothing new. The X-Men have very clear ties to the Civil Rights movement and DC's most recent iteration of Superman has taken a very high-profile stance against police brutality. Wilson tackling the racist Right's issue with immigration shouldn't be in the least bit surprising.
Wilson has been a member of the Avengers for the better part of the last 40 years, but last year marked a significant change for his role in both Marvel's comics and for the publisher's focus on highlighting more superheroes of color.
In addition to being the new Cap, Wilson's also the leader of Marvel's All-New, All-Different Avengers line-up that includes a teenaged, Pakistani Ms. Marvel from New Jersey, an Afro-Latino Spiderman, and a female Thor.
Instead of focusing on Wilson's race (people seem to be perfectly cool with him being black), Captain America writer Nick Spender and artist Daniel Acuña turn their attention towards another controversial social issue: immigration.
Towards the end of the issue, Wilson encounters a racist group of vigilantes called the Sons of the Serpent that patrol the U.S.-Mexico border.
Imagine if the Klan and the real-world nutjobs who actually spend their free time trying to intimidate people trying to cross the border got together and dressed up as knockoff Cobra commanders. That's the Sons of the Serpent in a nutshell.
Ridiculous as the Sons of the Serpent read, their rhetoric closely echoes the same sort of bigoted nonsense commonly recited by those staunchly against immigration reform. As is his wont to do, Wilson summarily disposes of the villains with the help of Redwing, his weaponized hawk companion.
By the end of the issue, it's unclear whether the Sons of the Serpent will become recurring villains in the new series, but it seems doubtful.
"The whole theme is the same," Carlson said of the book. "which is that out there in the middle of the country between Malibu and Georgetown everyone is an ignorant, snake-handling bigot."
Sure. That's exactly what's going on here.
One wonders what worries the folks over at Fox more: the fact that Sam Wilson's not here for racists in silly costumes…or the fact that he's probably dating Thor, a white woman.