Wednesday, March 07, 2007

COMICS: The Death of Captain America

How do you kill an American Icon? DC killed the Man of Steel while protecting Metropolis and the world one final time against Doomsday. It was bloody but it was magnificent. He went out the way an American hero should. They brought him back of course, but that is another story. So how do you kill Marvel's equivalent of Superman, Captain America? Does he die fighting for freedom against tyranny, fighting valiantly to the end? No, Marvel on the other hand has another kind of death in store for Captain America aka. Steve Rogers, the living legend who fought against Nazi oppression and was a hero for many years with the Avengers. A Sniper shoots him while a supposed ally shoots him point blank range Lee Harvey Oswald style. The editor in chief of Marvel has mentioned that you can take the meaning of this death in multiple ways. Unfortunately the only one that speaks most eloquently to me is that patriotism and statesmanship is dead, that we do not have respect for our icons any longer and we would rather go for the controversial impact rather than the emotional tragedy that allows these characters to die as the legend intends. Look, if this were real life, of course, Captain America would get shot in the head and be dead instantly while handcuffed on the courthouse steps, but that is not what is supposed to happen in the fictional world of comic books. I'm sorry, you can do that to Wonderman or Hank Pym but you cannot do that to Captain Friggin America.I'm not saying that he can't die--I'm not even saying that he is my favorite character or anything, but there has to be an importance to his death. Now bear in mind they just killed him so the impact has not been felt throughout the Marvel Universe--but still when I think back to legendary characters good or bad when someone asks you about Captain America and how the legendary hero met his end--yeah, well he was shot by a sniper while handcuffed and then shot at point blank range by a supposed friend. What kind of end to a legend is that supposed to be. I know Marvel wants to be known for their realistic interpretations of events, but I think this maybe taking it a bit too far. If I want this much reality I'll watch the news. I don't think I'm asking for much, just an honorable death for an honorable hero. Anyway my thinking here is that if Tony Stark who has, in my view, become a villain somehow comes out of this thing completely clean I will say unequivocally that Marvel has failed at achieving the goal of their Civil War. By killing Cap in the way they have and by legitimizing Tony aka Iron Man they have sold out by telling an aggrandized story with no real meat just a shitload of controversy and a death with no meaning. So tread lightly Marvel--you are on notice with me.

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