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Marvel Confirms A Big Change To Captain America 4's Most Controversial Character

After embracing the mantle and the shield that comes with it on "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," the new Captain America, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), is on his way to the silver screen. "Captain America: Brave New World" marks the character's first time at the movies since shedding the Falcon alias, and he's prepared to take on all kinds of new and familiar threats. He won't do so alone, either, being joined by a rather controversial Marvel character, one who has undergone a big change for their MCU debut.

Ruth Bat-Seraph, better known as Sabra, joined the Marvel Comics canon in 1980 as an Israeli operative working for the Mossad. In the MCU, she will be portrayed by actor Shira Haas and her ties to Israeli government will not be at the forefront of her story. Rather, as mentioned by Entertainment Weekly, Sabra will work for the United States government in some capacity in "Brave New World." Marvel previously teased such plans for Sabra after her presence in the film sparked immense controversy.

Taking Sabra in a new direction for "Brave New World" is a wise choice, considering the backlash the idea of a more comic-accurate take on the character would certainly generate. Still, regardless of the details of her MCU adaptation, many fans aren't on board with her presence in the film at all.

Many MCU fans have no desire to see Sabra in the franchise

It didn't take long after news of Sabra's inclusion in "Captain America: Brave New World" broke for online discourse to arise. It's always great for new heroes, villains, and those in between to join the MCU. However, introducing a superhero known for often encountering characters who reinforce negative Arab stereotypes during the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a quick way to create pushback. Thus, many fans can't understand what makes the character so pivotal to the plot of the fourth "Captain America" movie that Marvel Studios has kept her in instead of removing her to avoid bad press. Others have simply made it clear that they could do without her in the MCU altogether.

"Why not just remove her and use a different character?" questioned Redditor u/WheelJack83 in a thread on Marvel Studios' call to keep Sabra in "Brave New World." One fan, u/TheDarkClaw, struggled to understand how she'd narratively fit into the film, seeing as the plot has been teased predominantly as a clash between Captain America and Thunderbolt Ross (Harrison Ford, who's a bit old to be Red Hulk, but just right for Ross). Meanwhile, u/a_phantom_limb predicted a boycott of the feature over Sabra's inclusion. "If this character remains in the film, the movie is absolutely going to get boycotted in a bunch of places." Sure enough, such boycotts have been called for.

Fans will get to see how the franchise handles Sabra, and, hopefully, what the subtitle in "Captain America: Brave New World" teases for the wider MCU, when the movie premieres on February 14, 2025.