The first thing I noticed about this particular graphic novel (not that I really like calling a superhero comic a graphic novel, I would rather call them comics because, to be honest with you, I don't consider them to be graphic novels) is that this was Ed Brubaker's last Captain America comic. To be honest with you I have absolutely no idea who Ed Brubaker is and, to be honest with you, I really don't care. In fact there is only one comic book guy that I know and it is this guy:
Well, okay, there is also this guy:
but as far as I am concerned he is not some comic book guy, he is an artist.
Anyway, the main reason that I grabbed this comic from the Melbourne Lending Library is because I had just seen this movie:
and I wanted to comment on Booklikes (and the other sites that I post these commentaries) about what I discovered in this movie that I call the Hollywood dichotomy. The Hollywood dichotomy is that a group of the ruling elite release a movie to the mass market that actually criticises the actions that they are taking against the population. Okay, there are a lot of attacks against the Hollywood Elite that they are actually quite liberal, but you will find that these attacks come from the Christian Right, and if you look to the left wing commentators you will discover that they are more than ready to attack Hollywood for their capitalist ideologies.
Anyway, the surprising thing that I discovered when I watched The Winter Soldier was that Captain America was going up against the surveillance state. Captain America, the champion of the American way of life, the defender of Truth, Justice, and the (very ambiguous) American Way (most likely business interests) has turned on the shadow government and is seeking to destroy the government that created him. Further, there is also that idea that Hydra which, during World War II, was backing the Nazi regime had, when Germany had been defeated, jumped ship to the United States.
However I guess that it is not surprising that Captain America ends up taking sides against the military industrial complex. From what I gathered from the story of Captain America (or more specifically Steve Rogers) we have a whimpy kid who is full of idealistic fervour and joins the army and becomes the first super soldier, however is caught in a time warp (namely he is frozen, at least that is what happened in the movies, I am not sure what happened in the comics) and sent to the modern day. However, to suggest that the era of the 1940s and the modern era of the military industrial complex are different, is, as far as I am concerned, a fallacy.
Yet, as I glance across some of the commentaries on this particular comic I notice comments on the disconnect between the idealism of Captain America and the American Dream (or the failure thereof). We must remember that this comic was produced in the Modern (or Dark) era of the comic (there, as I have suddenly discovered, four eras of the American comic – the golden, silver, bronze, and modern eras) and as such it is probably not surprising that we have a different take on Captain America, especially how what he represents is the America that the propaganda machine desires to portray, not the reality, being the 1% enjoying luxury while the 99% existing as debt slaves.