Captain America Lies A-Mouldering in the Grave

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So Captain America is dead. I know this not because I’ve read the comic, but because I’ve read the news reports about the comic.

Oddly enough I’m a fan of Captain America. I say ‘oddly’ because when I was a kid old flaghead wasn’t considered one of the ‘cool’ comics — he wasn’t dark and edgy like the X-Men. He wasn’t secretly a nerd. He was a big ol’ jock with jingoistic iconography all over him. He was The Man. Nobody loves The Man.

But the weird thing was, I like CA more the older I’ve gotten. He’s just so deeply unpretentious — there’s no power cosmic about him, no moaning and groaning about good and evil. He got his shots, and now he punches people (and whacks them with his shield) like I punch a clock. He doesn’t sing a damn opera about it. There’s a particular run of his, it must have been in the late eighties, when he was fighting the Red Skull and his Skeleton Crew, who at the time included the busty and rather tragic Mother Night, and the deeply awesome Taskmaster (I always wanted his powers), as well as headless Arnim Zola and his weirdly gelatinous Doughboy — you read those issues, which were so rich and violent and sharply written, and so perfectly worked-out, and so unfussy, and you just said, yeah, screw those emo whiners, this is what I want. This is what it would really be like.

That said, I just can’t get that worked up about his death. When an icon like Captain America eats a bullet, you know it’s just a publicity stunt. An effective one, given the coverage it’s gotten, but come on. There’s going to be a clone, or some time traveling, or some alien medicine, or something. (There’s already theories about this out there.) Guys like Captain America just don’t stay dead. Why mourn them? Right? Name one instance where one of the big guys went down and stayed down…

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