Friday, March 09, 2007

The Good Captain.

So, they killed Captain America the other day.

It's made the news - Hell, they talked about it on the Colbert Report.



We could discuss the thematic implications, the narrative construction - the whole shmear.

We could.

And it would be all over the map.

I'd rather discuss the necessity of killing Captain America.

I'm an old Cap fan. I have almost the entire Mark Gruenwald run, which spanned 1985-1995. I'm talking from the time I was in grade school through my high school years, I was a Captain America fiend. See, Gruenwald didn't run away from the fact that Captain America was a 'man out of time' - or as Paul Jenkins portrayed him in Frontline #11, a dinosaur who no longer represented the people. Gruenwald played into it. He used Cap as an icon, letting his understanding of the evolving American context reflect in Cap's 'stranger in a strange land'. And when Cap had doubts about that context, he took sabbaticals - some forced, some voluntary. See, the question of working for the government came up before - in the 90s it was all about The Commission and Henry Gyrich. And Cap made clear he fought for the people and, ultimately, the American ideal. And when he had doubts, he'd leave his 'office', so to speak, and get his head together.





And once he hashed shit together, and figured out his place in the modern American narrative, he returned, reinvigored, and fought on. So okay, Civil War. Cap's out of step with public opinion, it seems. He surrenders, walks off in cuffs, because he believes at heart he has failed the American people, yadda yadda. He can be in prison, removed, with the possibility of return. It takes him off the stage, gives time to recycle the character, try new stories - which the Marvel people keep saying is the at the heart of this dramatic move...

But giving him the Jack Ruby?

It smacks of a bad marketing ploy.

And I can't decide if that's necessary for the story.

Discuss.

8 comments:

invisiblist said...

I can't say I ride with this decision or against it, especially considering that this is the first issue of a larger story arc. I think we should see how it plays out first.

Also, I said before that I didn't think Marvel would kill Cap because they simply didn't have the balls to do it, knowing what the symbolism would be.

But they apparently do have balls. I'm not mad at that.

JRennoldz said...

Didn't Speedball get Jack Ruby'd too? Lame.

Cap, really went undergound and is getting his shit together with, Fury. They are eventually going to come back and destroy Tony and SHIELD

Brother Afron said...

I can't say whether its a good or a bad move yet. I was never a Cap fan. Can't even remember one instance of rooting for him until CW #1 dropped.

But damn, going out like that...it sucks but also seems fitting.

Too early to call it about the way the story will shape up. They got a capable writer headlining it, so I figure it can't be that bad, right? Right?

Kenny said...

I'm with the majority here. We need to give it time. And it's not even a question of "Is he really dead," because of course he isn't "really" dead. It's a matter of how long it sticks and what Marvel plans on doing with it.

It was an interesting twist, and it's nice to see Marvel keep that "Oh shit!" momentum going in the wake of Civil War.

And if Cap is still out of the picture when The Hulk returns, well that just makes everyone else even MORE screwed.

Melanism said...

I don't care if he's dead.

I'm with the line of thought that the America that Cap fought for in 1941 is dead as was proven in Civil War.

So what is he around for except as an inspiration for the other heroes?

And he can do that as a corpse.

buckshot said...

But Mel-- What about when his corpse starts to smell funny? That won't be very inspiring, will it?

neo said...

I just think its played out to kill him off and then "resurrect" him either as someone donning the costume or whatever...

I do agree though it smells like a bad marketing ploy. Cap wasn't THE most popular hero in the marvel universe to begin with and I read somewhere on msnbc one of the dudes up there saying they hope it'll bring interest back to the character..plus the sales of cap comics and memorabilia have increased since..go figure.

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