Tuesday, March 13, 2007

R.I.P. Captain America

I started to write this post last week, but a busy workweek and insane weekend prevented me from actually finishing. So...here it is. A little less timely that I had hoped.

Captain America is dead. He was felled by a sniper's bullet. And it's a good thing.

I haven't really followed comics--especially super hero comics--in years. Apparently some sort of civil war between the superpowered beings has sprung up over whether or not they need to "register" themselves with the government. Cap believed that it infringed on his civil rights and refused. His death raises the stakes in the overarching storyline that is going on across all the Marvel Comics.

The cynic in me says that he had a high enough profile that his "death" would make the evening news. That sort of publicity is good for comics. Unless things have changed radically since I managed a comic book store (DON'T JUDGE ME!), sales on his comic book were never all that great. So killing him doesn't have the same ramifications as killing Spider-Man or Wolverine would. So it's a solid business decision. I do admire Marvel's choice not to publicize his demise before the book was released. That means stores did not over-buy to meet inflated demand (see: the Death of Superman). That's good for comic collectors.

I was never much of a Captain America fan...he wasn't conflicted enough to make the character interesting, and after more than 50 years, most of the stories were a bit of a retread. But it was nice to know that he was there...a figure to step in every so often and provide a moral center--a voice of reason to the other super heroes. Cap was an idealist who believed and lived out what were supposedly "American" ideals. Life. Liberty. Pursuit of Justice. Equality. Apple Pie. I know that if feels like that isn't really representative of America at the moment. At a time when liberty is increasingly at risk, perhaps it is appropriate to kill Captain America. But maybe it isn't such a good thing.


Chris said...

Captain America may be gone, but really, do super heroes ever stay dead for long? In the mean time there is still Captain Canuck!

basest said...

I think the last time Captain America "died" he was frozen in a block of ice for about 20 years. So...yeah..i suppose he could come back. I just hope he comes back in time to preserve our rapidly dwindiling civil liberties.

and yes...there IS still Captain Canuck. So there is some hope.