Superhero empire Marvel Comics is installing a massive bronze statue of Captain America in Prospect Park next month to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Brooklyn-born character — but some fans say the timing couldn’t be worse.
The comic is currently in the midst of a controversial story arc in which the super soldier has joined the evil Hydra organization — a criminal network with origins in the Nazi party — and aficionados say it isn’t exactly a period many would like to see memorialized.
“For much of Hydra’s past, they were explicitly a fictionalized Nazi group,” said Tea Fougner, a former Prospect Heights resident who dresses up as the character. “While Steve Rogers is definitely a symbol for an open, accepting, and loving America over 99 percent of the time, the fact that the statue is being announced during that less-than-1-percent when he isn’t necessarily, that is dampening excitement over the statue for a lot of people.”
The one-ton, 13-foot-tall likeness of Steve Rogers’s super-powered alter ego, arriving in Brooklyn’s Backyard on Aug. 10, will be inscribed with “I’m just a kid from Brooklyn” — a quote from the 2011 film “Captain America: The First Avenger” — according to Marvel.
But even that could cause some controversy, according to local geeks — in the comics, Rogers grew up in Manhattan, and his Brooklyn heritage only dates back to the recent films.
“I’m sure there will be some backlash,” said Hank Kwon, owner of Bulletproof Comics in Flatbush. “People do know that when it goes to the big screen they will take some liberties and tweak the characters’ origins, or tell the same origin with a little twist, but I’m sure there will be that one guy.”
Marvel is staying tight lipped about where exactly and for how long the statue will be in the park, but a source close to the project said it is tentatively planned to appear near the carousel by Flatbush Avenue, where it will stand for two weeks as a beacon to fans borough wide.
After that, the statue will embark on a yearlong tour of “several key locations,” according to a company spokeswoman, although our source claimed that the city is in talks with the comic juggernaut to make the statue a permanent fixture in Brooklyn.
Borough President Eric Adams, who worked with Marvel to bring the statue to Kings County, did not respond to questions about Cap’s Nazi or outer-borough affiliations by press time, but said in a statement that he is thrilled to have the justice seeker back in his sort-of native borough.
“Captain America was always more than just a kid from Brooklyn,” said the statement. “The epic story of this paragon of patriotism, told over decades of crime-fighting, has inspired millions of comic lovers across our nation. I am thrilled to be working with Marvel to bring Captain America home on his 75th anniversary.”
And even Fougner says she is still stoked to see a Captain America statue — a common fixture of fan’s stories and artworks — in the real world.
“Statues of Steve Rogers are such an ubiquitous part of the fictional landscape for every Marvel fan,” she said. “They exist within Marvel canon, and in so many fan fictions, fan arts, and fan-comics, and the idea of having a real one is such great ignition of the imagination!”