Most Americans think that it doesn't matter what race Captain America is, and comic book fans aren't more likely than anyone else to say he should be white
Marvel has announced that they are rebooting the Captain America comic book series and that when the comics return in the fall, Captain America will be black. The shift comes as part of the 'Avengers NOW!' initiative which will see the reboot of several other Marvel comics. Thor, for example, will also reboot and Thor will now be a woman. Despite the change in the comic books, however, the Captain America movies are unlikely to have a black lead any time soon, as the movie universe is considered separate from the comic book universe.
The latest research from YouGov shows that 29% of Americans think that Captain America should be white, while 61% say that it doesn't matter what race he is. On the whole, attitudes are similar regardless of whether someone is a comic book fan, with 31% of people who are 'very' or 'somewhat' interested in reading comic books being marginally more likely to say he should be white than people who are 'not very' or 'not at all' (27%) interested in comic books. Among people who have never read a comic book, 30% say he should be white.
Apart from along racial lines - only 8% of African-Americans say that Captain America should be white - the widest divide is between Democrats and Republicans. Only 21% of Democrats think that Captain America should be white, while 31% of Independents and 38% of Republicans say he should be. Nevertheless, most Republicans (57%) and Independents (58%) say that it doesn't matter what race he is.
Marvel's comic book characters have been highly successful across a range of forms, from video games to movies, but sales of comic books have been flagging. These headline-grabbing reboots of the comic books are widely seen as a way of providing a boost in sales.
Full poll results can be found here.