Not really… I actually consider characters to be their heroes.
What I mean is when the entire fandom sees how a character acts once and makes that their entire personality.
I see this mostly in fanfiction.
Let’s look at Steve Rogers — one of my all-time favorite comic characters.
In the Avengers, Chris Evans portrays Steve extremely well. Cap had just been pulled off the ice and was struggling to get adjusted to 21st century life.
Chris Evans shows that. He really captures the confusion and emotions of a ‘man out of time’.
But in fanfiction, people characterize Steve as someone who is confused all the time.
They show him unable to adapt to technology, unable to take snark, unable to dole out sass, and unable to break the rules.
A lot of fanfic writers make Steve unable to do anything other than be America’s Poster Child.
But that isn’t Steve Rogers.
Let’s start out by saying that Steve Rogers is a sassy ass mother fucker.
If you have read any comic (including the originals written way back in 1941) with Captain America in it, you will see that he has the witty banter that a lot of people only credit to Tony Stark.
616!Steve aside, MCU!Steve still has this snark. A quick rewatch of either (or both) CA:TFA or the Avengers would prove my point.
But personality aside, let’s get down to the nitty gritty details.
In the Avengers, Steve goes against SHIELD protocol. He knew that Phase 2 was on a need to know basis, but Tony was able to convince Steve that something was fishy about the project.
Instead of ignoring that little itch, Steve scratched it.
Steve broke into the SHIELD warehouse (of sorts) on the Helicarrier to find the Phase 2 weapon.
He deliberately went against what he ‘should have done’ in order to uncover what was hidden from him and his (at the time not very cooperative) team.
Steve doesn’t blindly follow orders and that’s actually one of the problems that SHIELD runs into in the comics (and I am assuming that they will address this in CA:TWS).
Steve is intelligent. He is actually really fucking intelligent.
Yes, he’s not a ‘doctor’ like Bruce, Tony, or Reed, but he’s a brilliant tactician and, if you remember from CA: TFA, has an almost completely photographic memory.
Hell, I’d even argue that 616!Steve has a partially eidetic memory.
Because he is so intelligent, Steve doesn’t roll over for everything, if anything at all.
Yes, he has strong beliefs, and yes, he does do things for the good of others, but that does not mean that he blindly follows what he is told is ‘good’ or that he is a stickler for rules like jaywalking or parking tickets.
Steve Rogers is Captain America, not a Rent-A-Cop on a power trip.
In the clips that we’ve seen of CA:TWS, Steve is obviously uncomfortable with the way that SHIELD is handling issues.
Alexander Pierce tells him "Captain, building a better world, sometimes means turning the old one down… And that makes enemies."
In the trailer, Steve’s response is “This isn’t freedom. This is fear.” and he even goes on to say "The price of freedom is high… and it’s a price I’m willing to pay!”
Sure, Steve is a stickler for what is right, but he is not the person who is just going to go easily.
Steve Rogers fights for what he believes in. Steve Rogers does what he thinks is right. And that, my friends, is clearly spelled out in Millar and McNiven’s Civil War.
Though I disagree with how they had Steve act at the end, throughout the whole comic, Steve battles with his opinions on what is right for the Super Human community and what is right for America and the rest of the world.
In Brubaker’s Winter Soldier, as an isolated example (because god knows there are many more), Steve navigates through modern technology as if he was born in the current generation. One of Steve Rogers’ defining characteristics is his adaptability.
Unfortunately, a lot of the fandom portrays him as someone who does not have the mind or desire to evolve or accept the changes that society has gone through.
Steve Rogers isn’t a damsel in distress or a bumbling buffoon. Steve Rogers is not stupid. Steve Rogers does not use the internet like your grandfather.
Steve Rogers knows what needs to be done. Steve Rogers flagrantly, and canonically, disobeys orders when they go against his beliefs.
Steve Rogers is a BAMF who is completely and totally in control of himself and at ease in the new world that he was dropped into.
That, my friend, is one example of what I mean by “I hate it when the entire fandom characterizes a character wrong”.