kaydeefalls: steve and bucky in the bar (kids from brooklyn)
[personal profile] kaydeefalls
Okay, I am not writing this, because I don't think I could handle it properly, but I'd really like to read an MCU!Captain America AU set during the Vietnam War. Because so much of who Steve becomes is forged in WWII -- which, in the end, was a just war, where it was obvious who the bad guys were and what made them bad. I want to see Steve becoming Captain America during a war that permanently tarnishes America's image in the world, and struggling with what that means.

I want to see the story where Steve has just as much heart, just as much determination to make things right, but is thrust into a conflict where there are no good guys and there is no moral imperative and he's not sure we ever should have gotten involved in the first place. Maybe Steve and Bucky enlisted early on, before anyone understood what a mess they were getting into. Maybe Bucky got drafted and Steve only tried to enlist in order to go with him. Maybe that loyalty, that determination, is what Erskine spotted in him, why Steve was chosen -- because of course the military wanted to create an army of supersoldiers to crush the Commies, but Erskine wanted someone pure, someone truly good, someone morally strong enough to turn the tide of public opinion. Someone who would be able to make the right choices in impossible situations. But as the war goes on, Steve becomes increasingly horrified by what his country is doing and Bucky (always the realist) becomes dark and cynical and angry but loves Steve too much to walk away from him (not that the army would ever let him out anyway) and the problem with this whole concept is that I can't see anyone getting out of it alive.

(Also, super problematic when it comes to figuring out who the Red Skull and Zola would be in this AU -- Viet Cong? Um, god no. Soviets? Ugh.)

Still. Steve struggling with figuring out what the right thing is in an untenable conflict. Bucky's whole unit getting captured and sent to a POW camp, and of course no one's coming to rescue them. Peggy the intelligence agent who's completely disillusioned by the war and knows there's no winning but she stays because she's trying to keep her people alive. Steve fighting on only to defend those who can't fight for themselves, but the locals don't even want him here and hell, he can't blame 'em (ugh please no horrible White Savior trope, that is not where I want this to go). What it means to be Captain America when America is forcibly shoving itself in where it doesn't belong, when Steve feels like he's becoming exactly the sort of bully he'd always hated.

Um. So that's sort of bleak. But I think it would be fascinating?

(I also think it's just as possible that Steve would've been at the head of the antiwar protests back home, would've become known as "Captain America" in a countercultural sort of way, and that story would be interesting, too. I guess he never would've gotten the serum, though. Or maybe that's when Bucky got drafted and Steve followed him because what the hell else was he supposed to do?)

Date: 2014-07-18 12:34 am (UTC)
starlady: The Avengers regroup in Midtown (Natasha, Steve, Clint, Thor) (more legendary and more desperate)
From: [personal profile] starlady
Or he got the serum, fought, quit, and started protesting afterward. Which would have been interesting too....

Date: 2014-07-18 12:49 am (UTC)
starlady: The Avengers regroup in Midtown (Natasha, Steve, Clint, Thor) (more legendary and more desperate)
From: [personal profile] starlady
Yeeeeah there's that. But there's at least one sure way to have gotten a dishonorable discharge no matter who you were, methinks: queerness.

Date: 2014-07-18 01:07 am (UTC)
musesfool: Steve Rogers (we thought we'd lost you)
From: [personal profile] musesfool
Well, they could be for real Winter Soldiers in that case.

HYDRA could be war profiteers? Or criminal masterminds (drugs/arms/prostitution)?

I would just want a China Beach crossover, because Cap and McMurphy would be brilliant.

In the comics, Marvel mostly kept Steve out of Vietnam, iirc, but he does become more socially conscious and ends up resigning as Cap and becoming Nomad in the early 70s, and Richard Nixon is something of a supervillain (who commits suicide off panel after being exposed?). I think there's some interesting stuff about it in the book Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays (which also has a good chapter on Steve's PTSD).

Anyway! I would read your story if you wrote it! I meant, a long time ago, to write about Logan's experiences in Vietnam, but it ended up being too big for me to tackle.

Date: 2014-07-18 01:28 am (UTC)
dogstar: Fireflight! (Default)
From: [personal profile] dogstar
I would read the crap out of that.

*goes to check AO3 for Captain America/MASH crossovers....*

Date: 2014-07-18 02:15 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
You could still have the Red Skull as a former Nazi who founded HYDRA, just by now HYDRA is a creepy international organisation with fingers in everyone's pies, as in the original timeline. Zola could be from anywhere and so could Erksine.

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