Newly minted Captain America writer Ta-Nehisi Coates was at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas this weekend when he compared the iconic Marvel comic book character, Captain America, to former president Barack Obama.
Coates was recently announced as the writer of Captain America alongside artist Leinil Yu. Marvel’s official description of the book follows:
For over seventy years, he has stood in stalwart defense of our country and its people.
But in the aftermath of Hydra’s takeover of the nation, Captain America is a figure of controversy, carrying a tarnished shield.
And a new enemy is rising!
Who are the Power Elite? And how do they intend to co-opt and corrupt the symbol that is Captain America?
Coates was already a controversial figure to write Captain America given his political worldview which Rich Lowry in Politico described as reducing “people to categories and actores in a pantomine of racial plunder…He must eras distinctions and reject complexity.” Coates has even been quoted saying, “White America is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exlusive power to dominate and control our bodies.” He would even denigrate 9/11 firefighters and police trying to save victims for the horrific terrorist attack, “They were not human to me. Black, white, or whatever, they were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could – with no justification – shatter my body.”
And now Coates seems to confirm he will be bringing his radical political beliefs to Captain America. According to The Hollywood Reporter Coates told a packed house at SXSW, “He’s like Barack Obama. I want to clarify that. I don’t mean that as praise or criticism. He’s somebody who believes in the ideal of America, really, really believes in it.”
Coates had previously suggested he would try and keep his own political worldview opinions out of this Captain America story, “What is exciting here is not some didactic act putting my words in Captain America’s head, but attempting to put Captain America’s words in my head. What is exciting is the possibility of exploration, of avoiding the repetition of a voice I’ve tired of.”
Based on his recent discussion at SXSW it does not appear Captain America’s words have been leaking into his head, but it appears he is putting his own views onto Captain America.
Interestingly enough Ta-Nehisi Coates would also suggest he couldn’t write a great Captain America story. “I’m not convinced I can tell a great Captain America story – which is precisely why I want so bad to try.”