Marvel Removes a ‘Tea Bag’ Reference From Captain America #602 Due to Complaints


In the stupidest piece of comics news in perhaps the last decade, are reporting that Marvel have had to remove a reference to the ‘Tea Party Movement’ from Captain America #602.

The Tea Party Coalition complained about a scene where Captain America and The Falcon happen upon a protest rally in Boise, Idaho. In the crowd, protesters can be seen carrying signs bearing slogans like “Stop the Socialists!” and “Tea Bag The Libs Before They Tea Bag YOU!”. Captain America says the protest appears to be an “anti-tax thing,” and The Falcon jokes that he likely would not be welcomed into the crowd of “angry white folks.”

Ed Brubaker told he did not write the “Tea Bag The Libs Before They Tea Bag YOU!” sign shown in the issue, and said that the words were added by someone in “lettering or production”, and continued on to say that “I don’t know who did it, probably someone who thought it was funny, I didn’t think so, personally. That’s the sign being changed to something more generic for the trade reprint, because I and my editor were both shocked to see it.”

Marvel have promised to remove the offending signs from all reprints of the issue. However, Michael Johns, a board member of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, said he felt the “juvenile” dig will ultimately do more damage to Marvel’s brand than to the Tea Party movement. He also disputed the insinuation that the growing movement lacks diversity. The Tea Party movement has been very reflective of broad concerns of all Americans,” Johns said. “Membership is across ethnic, religious and even political lines.”

Johns accused Brubaker of “blame-shifting” and questioned why an apology or retraction hadn’t been issued as soon as the writer or Marvel executives noticed the politically charged signs.

The article goes on to try and imply that Brubaker included the comments on purpose, going as far as to post comments from his Twitter stream that indicate his political leanings. Seriously, Fox? Really? Why don’t you go cover some real news, and stop trying to drag the poor man’s name through the mud!

In latest edition of Comic Book Resources’ “Cup o’ Joe,” Joe Quesada, Marvel’s E-i-C, has said that “There was zero discussion to include a group that looked like a Tea Party demonstration. Ed simply wrote in an anti-tax protest into his story to show one of the moods that currently exists in America. There was no thought that it represented a particular group.”

Quesada also said that:

“The book was getting ready to go to the printer, it was on fire already from a deadline standpoint, but the editor on the book noticed that there was a small art correct that needed to get done. On the first page featuring the protestors, the artist on the book drew slogans into the protest signs to give them a sense of reality and to set up the scene. On the following page featuring the protestors again, there were signs, but nothing written in them. From a continuity standpoint, this omission stood out like a sore thumb, but was easily fixable. So, just before the book went to the printer, the editor asked the letterer on the book to just fudge in some quick signs. The letterer in his rush to get the book out of the door but wanting to keep the signs believable, looked on the net and started pulling slogans from actual signs. That’s when he came upon this one.”

He goes on to say:

And used it in the scene and off it went to the printer. Unfortunately, to make the deadline, the work wasn’t double-checked thoroughly, and it was printed as is, which is where we as an editorial group screwed up. We spoke to the letterer, and he was mortified at his mistake and was truly sorry as he had no political agenda. He was just trying to do his job, but ultimately the onus falls on me as E-i-C. All that said, we caught the mistake two weeks ago, after it was printed and removed the sign from the art files so that it no longer appears in future reprints of the title or collections. So, while the crowd protesting has nothing to do with the villains in the story, we in no way meant to say they were associated with the Tea Party movement, it was a simple perfect storm of screw-ups. It happens, we’re human.

Well, there you go, the story in a nut shell. A lot of controversy over nothing really. Especially when you consider that only a few thousand people bought the issue, and even less people probably read the slogan on the placards!

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  1. [...] Captain America #603 is going to fly off the shelves this weekend. If you haven’t been paying attention, the last issue’s depiction of a tea bag protest (along with the Falcon observing all the [...]

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