Captain America co-creator son disgusted by misuse of superhero icon by Filipino ‘Walis Tambo’ rioter

January 15, 2021 - 6:16 PM
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National Guards at US Capitol
Members of the National Guard visit the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, ahead of the upcoming presidential inauguration, U.S. January 14, 2021. (Reuters/Brandon Bell)

The son of the co-creator of comic book hero Captain America said that he was “disgusted” after seeing US Capitol rioters wearing costumes referencing the superhero character.

Neal Kirby, the son of the late Jack Kirby who created the character with Joe Simon in the early 1940s for Timely Comics, criticized the “misrepresentation” of the superhero imagery in a lengthy statement obtained by CNN.

“While watching one of the horrific videos of the storming of the Capitol, I thought I noticed someone in a Trump/Capt. America t-shirt! I was appalled and mortified. I believe I even caught a quick glance of someone with a Captain America shield,” Kirby said.

“These images are disgusting and disgraceful. Captain America is the absolute antithesis of Donald Trump. Where Captain America is selfless, Trump is self-serving. Where Captain America fights for our country and democracy, Trump fights for personal power and autocracy,” he added.

Kirby said that his father and Simon would be “absolutely sickened” by the images of the rioters referencing the superhero in their siege against the US House of Representatives in a bid to overturn US President Donald Trump‘s election defeat to Joe Biden.

“If Donald Trump had the qualities and character of Captain America, the White House would be a shining symbol of truth and integrity, not a festering cesspool of lies and hypocrisy. Several of our presidents held the same values as Captain America. Donald Trump is not one of them,” he added.

Captain America tells the fictional story of patriotic soldier Steve Rogers who became a “living symbol of freedom” after taking the “Super Soldier Serum.” The comic book was a huge hit during the Second World War, particularly in the United States.

Kirby said that the hero “stood up for the underdog” and “always stood for what was righteous and never backed down.”

Last week, supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol a little more than an hour after US Congress started its formal session certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory.

The rioters expressed their defiance on the lawmakers’ affirmation of the president-elect and insisted for the House of Representatives to overturn Trump’s defeat in the 2020 elections.

One of the supporters was seen waving a soft broom or a “walis tambo” with an improvised Captain America shield featuring some terms associated with Trump such as “pandemic hoax, false media, extremist groups and mail-in fraud.”

Based on a report by digital news site Coconuts Manila, the individual with the “walis tambo” appeared to be someone from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur with a now-deactivated Facebook account called “Fam Council.”

“He even posted a selfie of himself inside Capitol Hill, as well as the home-made shield he brought with him, which has the words ‘Coup Flu Fighter’ written on top of it. In addition, he posted several videos of the mob as they take over Capitol Hill,” the report read.

Prior to this, Philstar.com news editor Jonathan de Santos tweeted that the Trump supporter appeared to be someone from Ilocos Sur, based on the latter’s Facebook.

In the news again

Several international news outlets used the “Walis Tambo” man’s photos in their stories. These include The Guardian, Vox, Hollywood Reporter and the New York Daily.

Some Filipinos were ashamed that the Filipino rioter landed on international headlines.

“Infamous Walis Tambo man makes it to the news again!” a Twitter user said in response to the reports.

“Kalat ng Pinoy,” commented another online user with a grimacing emoji.

“That one carrying walis tambo is Captain Philippines Idiot Edition,” a different Twitter user commented.

The “Walis Tambo” man previously disappointed some Filipinos, when pictures of him wielding a broom commonly found in Pinoy households went viral amid the storming of the US Capitol.

“You are a shame to us, you drop that prideful instrument of PH (Philippines) identity down,” a Twitter user wrote before.

RELATED: Spotted: ‘Walis tambo’ hogs spotlight in pro-Trump rally at US Capitol

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said that a number of Filipino Trump supporters from different states went to the Capitol to force lawmakers to undo Trump’s loss to Biden.

The US Congress is supposed to review the states’ Electoral College votes which would validate Biden’s win against Trump and recognize him as the 46th president of the United States.