Sunday, March 28, 2021

Review of "Marvel Triple Action: When the Commissar Commands," Marvel Comics

 Review of

Marvel Triple Action: When the Commissar Commands, Marvel Comics

Four out of five stars

An example of Cold War propaganda

 At this point in time the Avengers consist of Captain America, Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The story opens with the four members each engaged in a form of thoughtful reflection unique to their skills and temperament. Location then shifts to the dictator-ruled state of Sin-Cong, where the people are being taxed even more so that their rulers can protect them from the imperialists.

 Chief among the oppressors is a massive man that is called the Commissar. Radio free Sin-Cong then sends a message to the Avengers asking for help in overthrowing the forces of the Commissar. After the Avengers assemble, they debate whether it is in their charter to serve as agents of political change. Eventually, it is decided that they will travel to Sin-Cong and confront the Commissar. The common soldiers are easily dealt with, but that puts them in conflict with the powerful Commissar. After initial failure, Captain America learns the secret and after that it is easy for the Avengers to win.

 This comic was published in 1973, so it was written when the United States was in the process of disengaging from the Vietnam War. It is very much a thinly disguised item of Cold War propaganda, as the villains are of course the Asian communists. The Avengers serve as foreign liberators and once the Commissar is defeated, the villagers hail them as heroes. This is followed by a statement by Captain America that could have been written by an American political speechwriter.

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