If your discomfort with the whole Captain America #22 issue is simply the fact that sex had happened between two consenting adults in the presence of alcohol, this isn’t for you. You’re free and completely entitled to hate that and view it with great disdain but my attitude and problem with the fandom is not because of people finding issue with that overused plot device to get two people to finally be comfortable enough to do it but because of people making claims that Jet Black is 14 years old (when she’s not) and thus stating that despite her even saying she’s beyond those years to dare accuse Remender writing a statutory rape scene and faulting Sam Wilson as a rapist. If you had any of these thoughts, this is for you. Before you continue your crusade, please at least let me provide you with some facts.
Let me first introduce you to Jet Black as she was first introduced in the series (Captain America v.7 #1):
That girl right there with that mischievous look is not a baby as many have claimed. She is clearly in her prepubescent years enjoying the treatment her father, Arnim (corrected the spelling because I didn’t realize I put Armin) Zola, is providing the capitalist captain.
Clearly the two siblings are not the same age, right? So why are there false rumors being spread around that Jet is 14? I honestly don’t know unless people believe Ian and Jet are the same person, which is silly, right? Apparently, not.
Putting the rest beneath a cut because it gets lengthy because of timeline explanation thus is image heavy.
Here is Steve mentioning to Sharon (the first time he’d done so to a non-Dimension Z resident) that he’s survived years in this strange dimension (Captain America v.7 #9 p.4 — cw: blood):
Wait what’s this panel got to do with anything? Well, back in issue #1, when Steve saw baby, good guy Steve couldn’t let the child fall into the hands of geneticist Arnim Zola… so he kidnapped him as can be seen in this three page sequence set just after page 14 from #1 above (pgs. 15-17 — cw: blood, torture, syringe/drill).
Zola (and thus his group) have come to the conclusion that Steve had murdered the boy, as seen below:
But in actuality Ian had been taken by Steve as found out at the end of the issue (page 21):
Why am I spending so much time talking about Ian? Because Ian is crucial to build a timeline. He’s the one who’s the easiest to figure out age/time based on how he grows up (even if later on you’ll see that kids and teenagers are drawn almost the same way by the artist).
Issue #2 begins with the following:
So you’re going to assume that you’ll see a barely walking Ian, right? Wrong. The artist has a hard time distinguishing children from adults and you’ll see as Ian hits his teen years as this post goes on but until then, here’s Ian one year later (CA v.7 #2 p.3):
You see how much older Ian is? That’s more because the artist can’t really draw kids in various stages. That’s implied to being a toddler Ian even if it’s been merely a year he’s still very adolescent.
Anyways, Steve had been keeping track of time regardless. He had to, to give his son birthdays and to keep track of the years he’s losing with Sharon and others.
The next issue (#3) begins with a creepy Zola flashback in which he pets his daughter’s face the same way he’d petted one of his first experiments back in 1926. Here’s Jet having aged beyond the original encounter in #1.
Look at how she’s grown since we’ve first seen her. She’s still so cute.
Seeing how the remainder of the issue is not of importance to this post, let’s begin #4.
Eleven years later, so it’s been twelve years since Steve had first been abducted by Zola and took Ian. Let’s take a look at how Ian looks now (CA v7 #4 p.3):
Or look at this from page 5 (issue 4):
Do you see how Ian is starting too look more like Jet from eleven years ago? Well, let’s take a look at her now (as in current issue p. 19):
As you can see, the two are at completely different age ranges. As shown at the beginning of the post. The two siblings, although they share the traits of being genetically modified to being perfect by their father, Jet and Ian are from different decades (or at the opposite ends of their shared decade).
Here’s the cover of issue #5:
Just visually compare the two siblings. Ian, who’s merely still a child at around twelve years old is designed to look like a kid because he still is a kid. While you have Jet who looks like an adult because she’s no longer a child and hasn’t been for quite some time.
Let’s move onto issue #6 where you see the siblings side by side again with a slightly better art this time (#6 p.7 & p.14):
The age difference is evident and don’t forget so far in Dimension Z twelve years have passed. So how can you tell me that child above plus this young woman is merely 14 years old?
Issue #7 has nothing to do with timeline nor does it give us anything new to use either child as an indicator so I’m skipping that. While issue #8 brings you nothing but heartbreak due to father/son fight and the “death” of said son. So skipping that one as well.
Now let’s take a look back at what Steve told Sharon in issue #9 again:
And you’ve witnessed changes in the children and growth. Even Cap had changed during that decade plus time period. Below is Cap post Dimension Z after having been put through various testing to confirm the timeline of his questionable story (#11 p. 6 — cw: scar/wound):
So it’s been confirmed thanks to carbon dating (which I honestly didn’t know could be done on non-organic materials but it’s comics and comics logic) tests that had been run due to the story/allegations Steve had made when he and Jet arrived to 616.
Yet here in issue #23 page 10, she mentions an age range for the first time by bringing up a past birthday and finally gives us an age range to work with:
Yet fandom claims otherwise. That she’s merely 14 years old when we’ve just seen her grow up and so when she says that on her 23rd birthday she’d had cabernet sauvignon on her birthday, I would believe that.
This wasn’t a 2-second age jump from 14 years of age to about 24. No, she was growing as a person since the moment we caught that glimpse of her enjoyment from Steve’s torture/capture. Neither is she lying because time did work different in the dimension. Earlier on (I think issue #2) Steve mentioned that there were two suns, so it’s harder to calculate time more accurately when you’re merely going by sun placement.
For those interested in the alleged rape scene, continue.
The questionable and potentially problematic scene can be found here, where you can read what exactly happened and see it having happened and make judgement. But it’s clearly not statutory rape and however you wish to depict it is your choice entirely because I know that some find the idea of sex and alcohol bothersome. And hey, that’s ok! But, please don’t claim/call someone underage without even checking the facts. She’s told us and for once we have an age, Jet is at least 23 years old. This is fact, we’ve seen a voyage through her life and seen her grow up.
But, with the way her powers work (and the way her brother’s works) I’m pretty sure she wasn’t drunk or intoxicated. She’s got impeccable senses due to her omni senses and she unlike Sam didn’t wake up from a hangover, that much is fact. The rest is up to interpretation.
AMENDMENT: I thought that to give you a better perspective of how the artist only really has three distinguishable age groups, I thought I should provide you with an image of Ian as an adult (but Cap believes he’d died). From issue #10 page 23:
Ian has remained in Dimension Z due to the fact that Cap has been lead to believe that Sharon’s shot killed him if not the firey liquid he’d fallen into. And as the perfect experiment (and having retrieved some of Cap’s blood for the Super Soldier Serum) thus it’s safe to assume he’s got healing abilities and why he’s not dead in this scene. Ian having remained in Dimension Z had allowed him to grow at the faster rate and why he’s finally at his sister’s age who’s slowed down to the rate of time in 616.
But as all the examples above have shown the artist has only three real age groups (infant, child/teen—which have been depicted as one, and adult) and so claiming that Jet is 14 strictly by a recap and not by context is a cheap move by fandom.
Danilo, Administrator of Comics Forever take on this:
I got wind of this thing just now and I needed to reblog this just to point out that It bothers me the overly sensitive people that hangs around social networks waiting to get offended by every single fucking thing they see, read or simply don’t get. I stand with Rick Remender on this one and I rather see the people who started this controversy lose their fucking eyeballs than to see him fired from the book. Get a hold of yourself people. Sometime a comic is just a comic. Not your motivation for a fucking senseless agenda.