March 09, 2007

Captain America

Spoilers ahead. This is mainly for Jamie, who may not have picked up or read his comics yet...

Captain America is dead! That's right, one of the most recognizable characters in comics was shot and killed in the recently released Captain America issue #25. For some background for those who might not have followed along, recently a super hero related disaster caused public sentiment to turn against super heroes in the Marvel Universe. The Government responded by passing the Super Hero Registration Act which required all persons possessing super powers to register their identities and the nature of their powers. Any such people wishing to use those powers in public would have to obtain a license after receiving training. These licensees would also be required to participate in missions for the government if the need arose, though the government also established and funded a full time super hero team in every state to deal with most such issues. Captain America and some others objected to the invasion of privacy and infringement on liberty the Act represented and refused to register. The pro and anti registration forces fought several battles which cause increasing amounts of collateral damage and casualties. In the final battle Cap realized the damage they were causing and that escalation had led to the groups losing focus of the argument. The Act was law and popular with Americans. Not willing to cause any more damage fighting for beliefs out-of-step with the American people, Cap surrendered and was arrested. On his way to trial an old enemy, forgotten in the fight between the heroes, arranged to have a sniper and an assassin on the ground fatally shoot Captain America three times.

This event has gotten all kinds of press, including some right wing nutjob ranting. It was last night's Word on The Colbert Report (which I can't seem to link to because it crashed my brower last time I tried, losing the previous version of this post).

The fan reaction has been mixed, as it always is. The cynical reaction is that this will be wiped away through some strained literary maneuver eventually. Superman died with much fanfare in the 90s only to be resurected a year later. Of course, this theory is totally correct. Steve Rogers will come back to life eventually. It's simply the nature of a medium where characters have had stories told about them for sometimes nearly seventy years, and that's fine. Writers keep thinking of stories to tell because the characters are compelling. A good story shouldn't be disregarded because of what some writer might do in the future, and by all accounts this is a *very* good story. I can't wait to pick up the trade paperback.

Update: Found this, which is awesome.

Update 2: Another media piece about Cap, and it's pretty good.

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