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Sam Wilson has made some new enemies, this time in the real world.
The latest issue of Marvel’s Captain America, written by Nick Spencer, has drawn the ire of the United States’ leading cable news network, Fox News. The issue featured a story where Captain America squared off against the Sons of the Serpent as they kidnapped and murdered immigrants attempting to illegally cross the US/Mexico border. Clayton Morris, Fox’s resident “expert on the subject” took offense, claiming that the story painted residents of middle america as “ignorant, snake-handling bigot[s], [who] need to be held in place, or else they’ll turn this country in Nazi Germany.”
Editorial content aside, Morris makes a number of erroneous claims about the comic book industry, specifically that it has been struggling in recent years. This is an outright lie, as sales numbers for the industry across multiple channels have been rising year to year for the last five years. According to Comichron, which compiles data from Diamond Comic Distributors as well as digital channels, 2014 saw an increase of 7% from 2013, and sales for 2015 are on pace to be up 7.16% from the previous year. In fact, the comic book industry is one of the few areas of print publishing which is actually seeing increased success. What’s happening here is that Fox is attempting to minimize the messaging in the Captain America series by denigrating the industry as a whole and making it seem as though this is just an attempt to drag up failing sales.
If Fox News wants to draw parallels between American conservatives and the Sons of the Serpent, they do so at their own peril. In the meantime, they would be well-advised to get their facts straight when it comes to the most successful American publishing industry and the driving force behind the biggest box-office draws.