Tin soldiers

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Title: tin soldiers
Author(s): idrilka
Date(s): July 6, 2016
Length: 19,743 words
Genre: Slash, Outsider POV, Social Media AU
Fandom: Captain America Movieverse, MCU
External Links: AO3
Poster art by softesteve (2016)

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tin soldiers by idrilka is a fic in MCU's Captain America focused on Steve Rogers and the pairing of Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers. The story is centered around Steve's return from dead at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, and what the reaction of the public would be to such an event. It is known for it's use of the outsider POV, and telling the story through book excerpts, academic analysis, and social media posts. As of August 2021, the fic has over 149,700 hits, 7300 kudos, 900 comments, and 2590 bookmarks on Archive of Our Own.



In his 2009 book on Captain America comic books, war photography, and American propaganda, Everett claims: “There is nothing to suggest that either the graphic novels issued during the war or the photographs taken during Rogers’ stay with the Howling Commandos can serve as a basis for a queer reading of Rogers and Barnes’ relationship. But even more importantly, there is nothing to suggest that such a relationship ever existed in the first place, and as such, those queer readings are not only misguided, but also libelous” (197).

[from: Lynn E. Anderson, Captain America: Behind the Mask. Steve Rogers and the Contemporary Hero Narrative (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 242.]

In the aftermath of Steve's return to the world of the living and the battle of New York, the academia and the Internet react.


The story was translated into Chinese by icebreakerftw, and Russian by isamai.

Reactions and Reviews

What I most love about this fic is that it kind of reads as meta. It basically follows fans and academics responses, thoughts, and feelings from when Captain America is found - so post CA:TFA. It’s an utterly amazing and compelling read. If you are in this fandom then it’s totally worth trying imo. It’s a really interesting and compelling read, and I love the whole concept and think it is done really well - I would love to read more of some of the articles. Don’t let the meta/academia feel put you off, I thought it was really readable and flowed really well - it’s also quite fun in parts.[1]
The entire work rings very true to me (OF COURSE THIS WOULD BE FANDOM’S RESPONSE), and as an RPF fangirl, a few of the meta aspects were interesting to consider side by side with my actual RPF fandom. *g* Anyway, academia-speak makes my eyes glaze over nowadays, so I kind of skimmed those bits (apologies to the fictional Lynn Anderson), but the rest of it? Awesomeness.[2]
Teen, meta!fic. This is like no other fic, ever – we get to see Steve (and eventually Bucky) through the eyes of the in-universe public, including academic papers, LJ posts, news, tweets, photos… Just mind-blowing, especially for a fan with a background in academia like me. *hugs it forever*[3]
This is literally one of the most fascinating fics I’ve ever read. It basically examines the character of Steve Rogers and the events surrounding him in the MCU from the perspective of fans and academics within that world. The story is told through book excerpts, tumblr posts, instagram photos, and livejournal entries. There are just so many wonderful things going on in the fic: examinations of fan culture and community; deconstruction of how fandom operates, as well as how fandom is viewed by both the academy and the general public; critical looks at heteronormativity and the implications of what a figure like “Captain America” would mean as a propaganda character. The fic also gets to explore how utterly terrifying the events from The Winter Soldier (and the other movies in the MCU) would look from the perspective of a civilian. The fic also deconstructions how we talk about the sexuality of public/celebrated/historical figures: both in terms of what boundaries should be respected, and how people are quick to assume/virulently assert the supposed heterosexuality of a person they don’t know, as though the suggestion or possibility of queerness was not only out of the question, but morally abhorrent [4]
This is seriously awesome, and I am constantly in awe of the original things this fandom comes up with tbh. The relationship of Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers, as seen through the eyes of academia, historians, and their fans, basically.[5]

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