Thursday, March 8, 2007
Icons and Archetypes Never Die
Well, my blogging cohorts have both posted entries recently regarding the death of Captain America. I have been debating about whether or not to post something regarding the ramifications of the death of an American fictional icon. As the only person in our little blogging circle to actually be qualified to speak on the subject of comic books, I do feel somewhat obligated to post a little about the passing of Steve Rodgers. Bottom line: he'll be back. Iconic comic book characters never die, but its always refreshing to kill them off once in a while in order to boost sales and get Marvel or DC on CNN. He'll be back, obviously.
What do I think about Cap? I've never been so much of a collector of comics, as just a fan of great stories, writers and artists. The sad thing for Cap is, he never really has had any of these things. He has always been a pretty unrealistic character, even in the realm of make-believe. However, that doesn't dismiss the fact that I do own a few good back issues.
The result of Cap's death comes on the heels of "Civil War," an on going crossover in the Marvel universe. This "Civil War" revolved around the United States government cracking down on super hero's, by forcing them to register. Obviously, as Marvel has always been quick to do, modern political and cultural upheaval is injected into characters and stories. The X-Men are about civil rights, the Avengers are about diversity, Red Skull is a Nazi, Cap is Mr. America, Spidey's line is "with great power comes great responsibility." In the Marvel universe, everything and everyone is an archetype. Cap's death is no exception; Mr. America dies as a result of a terrorist act.
Now, before everyone goes off the handle and thinks of me as being just a little too cynical about this, I'm not. I'm just a critical person and as someone who has read comics for 20 years, I know what I'm talking about. Cap will be back, just like Wolverine eventually got his adamantium back, just like the Fantastic Four returned, just like Superman being reborn and just like any other great and profitable character being killed off and coming back.
I could keep writing about comics for a good while, but I think I have dug my nerd hole deep enough for the time being.