|Captain America (Chris Evans) swinging after HYDRA; |
Captain America: The First Avenger
1. It's 2013, not 1944 - When Captain America was created and fought Nazis, he was responding to the very real threat people faced every day. There was a sense of catharsis to reading about Nazis rampaging across the world in the newspaper, and reading good old Cap beating them in the comics. While the real Nazis conquered nations and won, they always lost in the comics. When the War ended, the Nazis officially became the losers, and that took away the need to have him fighting Nazi strawmen.
2. Nazis Work in The Comics - The Nazis continued to be a useful villain in the comics because EVIL, but the comics are a different world. In the comics, drug dealers, child molesters, and rapists can be supervillains, but mainstream audiences would consider them in poor taste. Same thing with the Nazis. HYDRA is a neutral supervillain group with no preconceived notions.
3. Captain America is a Kid's Movie - As much as we grown ups love Captain America, the reality is that Captain America: The First Avengers was meant for kids. Including the Nazis would open up a can of worms that make it less kid friendly. HYDRA is a much better organization that feels more like stereotypical supervillains than a political group dedicated to genocide.
4. The Nazis Are Real - The biggest problem is that Nazis are a real world villain instead of a fictional villain. Having Nazis in movies would make it harder to market the movie in some parts of Europe. It's easy for Americans to demonize the Nazis as some sort of cartoonish villains, because the Nazis never landed on our shores. Other countries feel differently. They had firsthand experience with the Nazis, and the effects of WWII resonate in their lives even today. Particularly in Germany, it would be hard to portray Nazis in a lighthearted movie intended for children. There are even neo-Nazis who continue the reign of terror into our day. Having a fictional villain like HYDRA gets rid of the baggage.
5. Wal-Mart Doesn't Want Nazis - It's hard to sell toys with swastikas on them. Some parents' groups might balk at having their kids playing with Nazis, even if they were the bad guys. Someone would inevitably claim the toy company was secretly trying to promote the Nazi agenda...that's just the way things are these days. In a world where people claim Starbucks' logo is promoting pagan worship, having a Nazi soldier on toy shelves at Wal-Mart is a lawsuit waiting to happen. On a global scale, it's illegal to sell children's toys with a swastika logo in Germany, Russia, and some other countries. By taking out Nazis, you're able to sell more toys to more people.
6. The Nazis Are Gone (Mostly) - While the Nazis made for a very real and powerful danger in the forties, they're no longer a real threat. Their terror ended in the forties. We knew Captain America had to be carried to modern day (if only so he can appear in The Avengers), so that would have left Cap without his greatest enemy to fight. But the good thing about HYDRA is that they're still alive and well in our time, according to the comics. By changing the villain to HYDRA, that sets up Captain America fighting HYDRA in modern day for future movies. And that means mo' money.
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Do you think they did the right thing? Should Captain America fight HYDRA or Hitler?
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