An essay that was originally set to appear in Marvel Comics No. 1000, that referred to America as “deeply flawed” as well as calling for people to take to the streets has been removed, even after appearing in early preview copies, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

What’s Happening:

  • The essay, which was written by Mark Waid, was about the imperfections of the current American political system and was accompanied by a full page image of Captain America.
  • The essay appeared in an early version of the release that was sent to comic store retailers by Marvel to help raise orders for the issue. In the final version of Marvel Comics #1000, the essay has been replaced by a less critical piece, though it should be noted that the new one is credited to the same author.
  • The new essay is more directly tied to Captain America, and far less critical of the U.S., referencing the way in which Captain America’s mask is worn as a representative of an ideal, not a person.
  • Marvel officially declined to comment, though according to the Hollywood Reporter, a Marvel insider noted that the version sent to retailers was not final and pages are always subject to change, commenting that the essay was tweaked to better fit the tone of the book.
  • THR also notes that Marvel Entertainment CEO and chairman Ike Perlmutter is a longtime friend and supporter of Trump, who recently donated $360,000 to the president’s re-election effort.
  • It would make sense that Perlmutter is wary about comments regarding the U.S. system being flawed or calling for people to take to the streets to voice their anger.
  • Marvel Comics No. 1000 is a special issue in which each page was created by a different team of writers and artists and representative of a single year in Marvel’s output.
  • The issue was edited by Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort.

The Original Essay, by Mark Waid:

I’m asked how it’s possible to love a country that’s deeply flawed.

It’s hard sometimes. The system isn’t just. We’ve treated some of our own abominably.

Worse, we’ve perpetuated the myth that any American can become anything, can achieve anything, through sheer force of will. And that’s not always true. This isn’t the land of opportunity for everyone. The American ideals aren’t always shared fairly.

Yet without them, we have nothing.

With nothing, cynicism becomes reality. With nothing, for the privileged and the disenfranchised both, our way of life ceases to exist. We must always remember that America, as imperfect as it is, has something. It has ideals that give it structure.

When the structure works, we get schools. We get roads and hospitals. We get a social safety net. More importantly, when we have structure, we have a foundation upon which to rebuild the American Dream — that equal opportunity can be available to absolutely everyone.

America’s systems are flawed, but they’re our only mechanism with which to remedy inequality on a meaningful scale. Yes, it’s hard and bloody work. But history has shown us that we can, bit by bit, right that system when enough of us get angry. When enough of us take to the streets and force those in power to listen. When enough of us call for revolution and say, “Injustice will not stand.”

That’s what you can love about America.