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The Sam Wilson Dilemma #SJWCramSpam

I do not HATE Sam Wilson! I don’t even dislike him. I think the character is pretty cool and has a lot of potential. Then why do I think the series is in trouble? I have created a group who name ourselves after the Watchmen who decided to take on the comics that do not succeed in topics like diversity or social justice in this May’s initiative called #SJWCramSpam. We believe these comics need work and if you disagree that’s fine. In no way shape or form will this be a rant. Rants usually consist of complaints with little reasons or evidence to back up their claims often meant to be comedic. Why don’t I like the current Captain America series, then?

I have criticised the series before in my previous posts, but today I wanna take a look at the new set of material Nick Spencer keeps on providing for me to hate the series even more. Specifically issue 18. There won’t be “Why is Sam in a superhero costume during a courtroom scene” type of problems. These are as objective as possible. At least I hope. Here are the 6 major reasons.

One, it’s based upon not precise numbers.

I know this is a big claim so let me explain. Rage (friend of Sam’s) gets framed into a crime he didn’t commit then gets attacked by Americops. Are you seeing the “1 in 3 African-American males are gonna see the inside of a jail”? Well, Bureau of Justice Statistics said that this study was conducted 16 years ago in 2001 and,

“Given that imprisonment rates are now on the decline, clearly the model used in the prevalence report isn’t valid any longer…”

That’s right. The “1 in 3” stat the writer used was indeed incorrect as it tried estimating the numbers for 2013 if (key word “if”) the incarceration rates remained unchanged since 2001. The thing is they did change. Since 2001 (to 2015) BJC said the number dropped to 20%. Still a big number, but definitely not the one Spencer is projecting. Now, I don’t wanna blame the dude for stating this. Why? He probably read an article by a popular news outlet and assumed it was correct (even though he should have known to do more research for a C. America comic).

I won’t blame him, but I won’t stand or praise it. I will call out Spencer to do his homework better because a random comic book fan reads this and rightfully assumes this is the truth when in reality it’s not. It’ll probably also get a word of praise by the reader for “tackling real life issues” and go on to share the comic with someone else, by word of mouth.

The comic also makes it seem as if a ton of people who are in prison/jail didn’t break any law to end there which is unbelievable. It’s important to note the highest number of crimes happens in inner cities which are vastly occupied by non-whites. This further explains why the African-American community occupies big proportional numbers in prison (because they happen to live in dangerous neighborhoods and not because of their skin). Yes, American history basically placed many black folks into this position, but that still doesn’t make the ones responsible any less responsible, because they’re still a danger not only to themselves, but for other black folks. Most of these people have committed crimes, and yes some did get there for no right reason, but it’s not what Spencer seems to suggest here.

He won’t even finish his points, because he knows they are rightfully controversial.

Sometimes I feel like I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because he comes up with panels like these. Here’s a plot twist for ya.

Two, N. Spencer is a bias writer.

A picture of Sam flying

Okay, so I know people may say say all writers can be bias, but Spencer just goes all the way in without providing any settle feeling. Bias writing is unacceptable when it is preachy, pretentious or hitting you over the head. He often puts his personal views into a comic to a capacity where it hurts the story. He’s reluctant to feature it so much that the story looses its grip. Like I said at many times the comic tries to be comedic and it comes off as pretentious. How do I put it? The comedy is as good as the one in DCEU.

Now, comedy is subjective, but the overall plot is more objective. N. Spencer is so desperate to make some important message that he forgets to put quality writing. I will get to more reasons later. Also, make sure to read these from time to time. It’s Spencer’s MONTHLY jab at how self-centered/heartless the Republicans are. He also does it in a thing he does within every issue. I like to call it word spam, which he’s famous for doing because exposition isn’t his talent.

Three, poor writing.

This amount of birds should not be able to pick up a human!!!!

Characters in the story make dumb decisions for little reason and this goes back to previous issues when the brand NEW Falcon goes to team-up with another hero just to go debate with a lady who spoke negatively about him on TV (issue #17). Or when Sam Wilson accidentally missed a shield throw during a big confrontation (issue #14) for the mistake to later be some kind of evil scheme by Steve Rogers who deliberately positioned Sam into a spot where he would fail to shoot his target. I am not making this up. In issue #18 Sam apparently had surgery to connect and record whatever every bird sees with no explanation as to where he got the money and resources to do so.

This is the spot where Sam later uses this as evidence to try bail out his friend, Rage, who was innocent to go to prison. Spencer being lazy, doesn’t care how he gets to his destination as long as he gets there. Also what technology did Sam use for that surgery? Here’s another thing. Since this is a comic book Spencer thinks it’s okay to introduce certain random plot points to move the story forward. He also did it in the Steve Rogers series when Maria Hill was talking about the force field that is supposed to be used to protect Earth.

Another word spam by Spencer

How did you get all these resources and how did you manage to use them? This is why comics don’t get treated with respect! A good movie for example usually has a throw away line to explain something quickly. I was playing Fallout 4 one day so I explored the nuclear world and I ran into 2 skeletons in bed hugging which was so sad, yet it was a fine detail. The game, although flawed in some areas, is full of these moments. My point, DETAILS MATTER. Especially if they’re crucial to the plot.

Pointless reasoning continues as Sam could have revealed the crimes of the Americops with pictures couple issues before hand, but he didn’t wanna do it because, “We need a video” and when he actually gets a video the comic spends a ton of time on if he should use it or not. Again, Spencer being lazy. He won’t get called out for these things by many because most people reading the comic are more distracted with the “risky move of tackling serious subject matter”. Anyone remember the Bombshells from previous issues?

They were serving as the comedic element to parody modern college campuses when a popular right-wing speaker would come to speak, and I used to protect this decision because at least it served a purpose, but after a talk with my friends it’s a really poorly executed scene with no purpose. Can anyone tell me why Bombshells were there to begin with? Other than to somehow move the story forward or just to be a filler so that the comic would be worth $3.99 instead of $2.99? It was another shoved commentary that many readers did not appreciate. It yet again focuses on making a point than to properly introduce certain aspects.

So let’s come back to the actual trail of Rage! Sam is rightfully very unhappy with how everything is playing out so he wants to find the men who did it. He leaves the court, goes around to different people like Punisher, locates them, fights the goons, gains info from them to later find the villain. What’s the problem? This ALL happens within a few hours! A story plot that should have focused on such a thing for much longer (maybe even an entire issue which would have been so cool to see because Cap. would team up with Punisher) gets glossed over within one page! A better question is why didn’t Sam even use his ability to see through every bird’s eye in the city? Would have been a much faster and more believable choice. Would also make the convenient plot device serve another purpose, but again Nick Spencer is not too keen on doing so.

Four, Spencer also can’t build a realistic world.

So much police brutality yet no one reports against it? That’s impossible. If Spencer wanted to tell a story reflecting our world, which I believe he wants to do based on what he’s tried to write, he should showcase both sides. In the Western-world the media cover police brutality in a negative light yet in this one they A) only gloss over it or B) showcase another Republican talking about how it was probably for the best. It goes further to prove how bias Spencer is.

As you can see on ton of occasions N. Spencer has called out every Republican EVIL in nature. This blindsided statement alone shouldn’t surprise me whenever he makes such forced and blind points within his comic. I am no Republican, I can tell you that, but if you believe EVERY last one of them is evil then that’s a problem. Instead of uniting you try to blame and point fingers at people and call them names. That’s a quality of a human that’s hard to take seriously, but since this is more about comics and he’s a wirter, you’d think he’d try to be more objective within his writing. WRONG! His *breathes in* obvious, shoved-up, forced, bias, crammed, spammed, low-headed, filler, poor writing also makes it impossible to take Spencer seriously as a writer. I have provided clear evidence to all my accusations.

Five, no redemption factor.

Truth be told issue 20 looked to be an interesting issue, one, where I thought Spencer could finally take up a more objective stance since issue 19 ended nicely. And the issue at first really surprised me. Obviously the writing was somewhat poor, but was really becoming better. Although he did make a reference to a certain and recent American moment in history he was able to show the whole picture of it.

In reaction to all this Sam Wilson had a speech or a message to the American people. It was really great if you read it, I am not lying! Spencer actually did surprise me like I thought he would. Until the end.

Sam Wilson who is Captain America feels unfulfilled when saying we should be the better people. If that didn’t loose you, I don’t know what will. Then there is this whole church scene that is trying to clarify the stance and yes, I get there is justified anger, but justified irrational thinking? Irrational emotions over standing calm ground? Everything Sam said in the speech made perfect sense! Riots like these do end up hurting their cause and for him to say he didn’t feel like he meant it, signifies that inside he felt like it was justified. I get angry and break loose, I get it. I’m human. But to justify my actions of hurting the ones who aren’t even involved with the main conflict makes 0% sense. Shouldn’t Sam inspire others to be better than this? Shouldn’t a hero like this fight for what is right and rational? The action of these people remind me of villains who think they’re the good guy. They have the right intention, but the wrong approach making him/her/them the villain(s). Right here N. Spencer manages to get 3 strikes in 1 turn.

Even the “abusive justice system” which I agree with is presented a bit wrong. Rage is placed within a prison where they incarcerate the powers of super powered beings, all because he broke into a store? I get the justice system is very broken at times, but the ridiculous sentences at least do have a relation to the crime case. Not really a huge negative of the series, but just thought I would mention it. Comics are art and they definitely try to have some topics that reflect reality, but they aren’t so bad at doing it. The Matrix is all a commentary about our world, yet I don’t seem to notice it. Sure the film is sci-fi which helps to unsee that fact, but the Hunger Games which are pretty obvious with their political stances, about the world, are really done objectively. This brings me onto to my last (not least) point.

Six, the Americops

All the points I previously mentioned somehow managed to be evident here in this one. My biggest problem with the comic are these folks. Because I didn’t support the Civil War II tie-ins by not reading them (I think tie-ins are cash-grabs) I missed the main info about the Americops so, I assumed they were robots designed to go after people until my friend told me they were humans. To find out the Americops were presented in today’s age as an entire group of individuals created just to racially profile made me question the series to its fullest. I realize those groups exist, but a police force? To grab a thick brush and to paint all cops as racists, who only think about attacking people of color, is just wrong. Second reoccurring problem, where are the media finding issue with the Americops? Now a kind direct message to Nick Spencer if he’ll ever read:

You know what would have been much more interesting to see? If there was that one issue focusing on Americops where it also shows a perspective of a cop that doesn’t wanna take part within this whole racism. He wants to protect EVERY American! That would have been a much more interesting story. You know what else would have been much more interesting to see? If the comic tried to tell a story of Americops and the inner cities trying to come together with the help of Sam Wilson. A story of unity, something we all would love to see (like Love is Love). Maybe don’t have Americops at all, maybe just have Sam try to go help the people within the inner cities and help show them that drugs/violence/crime are not the way to go (I know most who live there don’t associate themselves with this)! Many you don’t know this, but Sam Wilson, before being Falcon, was part of a gang himself! He was the exact guy who Sam should be trying to help. That would have been a much more beautiful story. It writes itself! The reason why this also doesn’t work in modern day is because even the most racist of groups in America, Ku Klux Klan, is at it’s lowest from having 4 million members in 1920s to just 5K-8K, today. So yes, to paint America as this racist nation is concerning to me. Why couldn’t the writer make the KKK the main threat? There is more racist KKK members than racist/power abusive police officers. But instead you rather divide and paint mostly good people as evil. You’re making problems bigger than what they really are. Take a minute to read the article 5 FACTS You Need to Know About Police Brutality. It is an issue that is still important, but the way you have represented it is something completely false.

Nick Spencer probably won’t read this, I don’t expect him to, but you did read. Hopefully I was able to convince you to tell the writer respectfully how you are not enjoying or seeing big problems within a comic that should really be uniting instead of dividing. Now, even if Spencer fixed his approach to his views within the comic, the writing still has a long way to go. I have seen Spencer write better stories so hopefully he can change.

If you disagree with me, please be nice, respectful and have a great day folks. Hopefully, I wasn’t rambling too long and apologizes if there was any moment that felt like a rant. I tried providing as good evidence as possible. I want comics to finally he respected, but writing like this keeps making readers lower their bars of what a comic should be. I know this is personal to some so make sure to be specially respectful.

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Olaf Lesniak View All

I am a comic book geek! I love comic books! #1 fan right here.

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