“He’s got a new, odd enemy,” co-host Clayton Morris said. “Instead of going against Hydra and the typical Captain America villains, he’s going up against conservatives.That’s his new enemy.”
In the comic, which debuted last week, Captain America confronts the subversive racist group Sons of the Serpent on the United States-Mexico boarder, where the longtime Avengers adversary is serving as an armed militia dedicated to stopping illegal immigration.
"Attention all trespassers!" the Supreme Serpent tells a group crossing the border. "By invading this sovereign land, you defy the laws of God, nature, and the United States Constitution. Therefore, I hereby apprehend you by the power vested in me by the aforementioned God, nature, et cetera, et cetera."
Of course, Captain America -- or "Captain Socialism," as the Supreme Serpent says -- arrives to make quick work of the Sons of the Serpent. But we won't spoil the ending. The comic, written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Daniel Acuna, also depicts Wilson grappling both with a politically polarized nation and Captain America's place in it. In the issue, headlines blare "Captain America Goes Partisan," "Cap Versus the Constitution?" and "Sam Wilson: Captain Anti-America?"
The conservative think tank the MacIver Institute was quick to pick up on "Captain America: Sam Wilson" #1, releasing a video the day after its Wednesday debut titled "Captain America Beats Up Conservatives in New Issue." From there the story spread to The Daily Caller, Hot Air, The Washington Times and so on.
"So who is this Serpent?" asks Tucker Carlson of "Fox & Friends." "Is this Serpent an Islamic [extremist], an ISIS member bent on destroying Western civilization? No. The Serpent is an American who has misgivings about unlimited immigration and the costs associated with it. That, according to the comic book, is evil."
As the issue's writer, Spencer of course has been singled out in the coverage, with some outlets noting he's tweeted unfavorably about Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. There's also an online petition calling for his "resignation" from Marvel; it has 14 supporters.
Spencer, however, hasn't hidden from the spotlight. Instead, he's been addressing some of the criticism directly on Twitter.
"More than anything," he wrote last night, "I'm just amazed how certain media coverage of 'Sam Wilson: Captain America' #1 directly mirrors what we showed in the book."