Captain America 1941-2007

Captain America

I haven’t actually really talked about this event.

In July the Civil War ended.

Captain America was led off in chains.

Iron Man and his Initiative are in full swing.

So what does Marvel do…

They kill off the one really sane and just Hero.

Making me loathe the already hated Iron Man.

And to shine it all off…and not in a very heroic way either…he goes down to dirty pool.

So now Captain America is dead…

If your anything like me, you grew up loving comic books, then you already know the name of Captain America. Even if you didn’t, the image of the red, white, and blue clad hero wielding his iconic round shield should be a familiar one. Captain America symbolized patriotism, virtue, and everything that was supposed to be good about America. His character was both a reminder and a reassurance to an America struggling with its own place in a world that was spinning out of control, and into war.

But it was the theme of patriotism that was most central to this character. From his red, white, and blue costume and matching shield to the enemies he faced down in issue after issue, they included everyone from the evil Red Skull to Adolf Hitler himself, who was sometimes under a hooded mask as the villainous Hate Monger. Captain America was the original go-to guy.

Whether battling for the causes of truth and justice as a solo act, or with the group of superheroes he sometimes led called The Avengers, Captain America was a guy who had the entire country’s back. And he certainly never questioned the actions of his president or his government.

But that was then, and this is now.

In “Civil War,” Captain America had taken up arms against both the government and even his best friend Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, over the issue of something called the Superhero Registration Act. The issue becomes problematic for Captain America because it would require all masked Heroes to reveal their secret identities, but more importantly, because he strongly believes the Act to be a violation of civil rights. Cap recruits other like minded heroes to stand against this

So what goes wrong? Captain America gives up the fight…the man who never backed down. Not even when faced with his own death, the man who always stood defiant in the face of real evil, he just gave up. While I am a huge fan of Brain Michael Bendis I think he dropped the ball on the one yard line with this story. Iron Man takes a very “Orwellian” approach and become “Big Brother”, Cap and his “Secret” Avengers fight the good fight, they take a stand against injustice and tyranny. Cap makes it a point to not kill or really harm any of the misguided heroes they are fighting against. Iron Man enlists the aid of know murderers and other super villains, heck Mr. Fantastic is even directly responsible for the death of another hero. So what happens? Cap surrenders, and what did he get for his troubles? Assassinated by his friend and lover Sharon Carter, in a long involved conspiracy involving the Red Skull and Dr. Arnim Zola. Then at his funeral Tony Stark has the audacity to even attend let alone be a pallbearer.

Marvel pretty much screwed the pooch with Civil War and the fall out of said Civil War. The only hope on the Horizon is that “World War Hulk” will end with Iron Man on a pig pole. However I know that’s not going to happen. In fact in the end the world will be an even dark place with no real sense of right and wrong…and Captain America will still be dead. Except the the displaced in time version that will pop up in a new “Invaders” comic cause Marvel would rather keep the Icon down feeding worms then bring him back. If Jean Grey can be brought back 17 times…then they can bring Cap back once.

Marvel Comics and even America needs Captain America. In a age when comics embrace the “anti-hero”, and we in the real world continue to face multiple dire conflicts, we need that pillar of virtue and good. The symbol that is Captain America…has transcended American propaganda, it is our modern day Hercules…He is our great mythic hero, and we really need a hero.

I for one will keep my hopes up for his return.

Until then I salute all the real “Captain Americas” that are fighting the good fight in other parts of the world.

Rest In Peace Captain America…the world weeps at your gravestone.


~ by lyoncage on August 21, 2007.

3 Responses to “Captain America 1941-2007”

  1. Hi there!

    Nice Post.

    I have written about Civil War and it’s social commentary in a post of my own several months ago, and did a small post on Cap and my feelings on his death also. I agree with you about Jean Grey being resserected about a billion times, and if Superman could be brought back, I think the same can be said for Cap, and I don’t think the fat lady has sung her final song as to Cap’s death just yet.


  2. Wow, I knew you had a way with words, but this is pretty outstanding.

    In my opinion, the only recent super-hero reading about was Spiderman when it was being written J. Michael Straczynski. Then again, I’ve not read what Joss Whedon is doing with Astonishing X-Men. But yeah, the whole Civil War thing is just … yeah.

    Have you checked out Busiek’s Astro City series, or the various Tales of the Slayers/Fray/Buffy Season 8 comics? They’re pretty good.

  3. I’m not a huge comic book fan and I’m pissed they kill him!

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