Captain America Vol. 11 #1 cover cropped

JMS’ Captain America Comic Isn’t Afraid to Court Controversy

Legendary writer J. Michael Straczynski is pulling no punches with his new Captain America comic. Beyond Steve Rogers endorsing unionized labor, a flashback tale showcases a part of American history some deny occurred.

Captain America is pro-union and pro-rent control

Steve Rogers hires a contractor in Captain America Vol. 11 #1

While also dealing with various supervillains, Captain America #1 by JMS and Jesus Saiz is largely focused on a crisis at home. Steve Rogers returns to the apartment complex he grew up in to find the owners are evicting him and the other tenants. To save his neighborhood, Steve borrows the money to buy the building from Tony Stark, and becomes the new landlord.

While he could make more money raising the rent, Cap institutes a firm policy of rent control. He also immediately begins renovating the building, to make sure it adheres to all the local construction laws. To that end, he hires an immigrant contractor, Seung Kim, who Steve discovered was living out of his van with his family.

While this is partly to thank Kim for his help in a fight earlier in the issue, it also enables Steve to help him live the American Dream. Nevertheless, some have taken offense to Captain America offering rent-controlled apartments, and showing support for unionized labor by volunteering to pay union-rate wages.

Captain America vs. The German American Bund

The new Captain America comic also examines a controversial time in American history, though the eyes of a young Steve Rogers. Left homeless after his mother’s death, a 14-year-old Steve Rogers works odd jobs to raise money for an apartment. Starved and desperate, Steve is thankful to find people offering free food in a local park. Relief turns to revulsion, however, when Steve realizes the food is part of a German American Bund rally.

Young Steve Rogers at German American Bund Rally

Formed in 1936, the German American Bund was a Nazi organization that promoted Nazi policies under the guise of American exceptionalism. Their ultimate goal was for the United States to establish a new government allied with Nazi Germany.

Some historians have tried to minimize the influence of the German American Bund, suggesting America was always anti-Nazi. The fact that J. Michael Straczynski is examining this period through the eyes of Captain America seems likely to provoke these revisionists.

Captain America #1 is now available at comic shops everywhere.