Monday, March 12, 2007

Captain, My Captain

Non-comic book readers, I'm not surprised. In a chaotic and contentious political climate, the "death" of a pop culture icon embodying American ideals is perfect fodder for vapid debate.

But Geeks. I'm surprised at you. No, not surprised.


Must you take part in the feeding frenzy? Must you so easily be suckered in to the morbid spectacle of today's comic book blood lust? Surely you understand the mechanics of how comic books work. Over-hyped events and "shocking" twists to drive up sales and generate vigorous message board discussions...

As these events cater more and more to a rapidly shrinking fan base, I have to wonder: you must remember the last time Captain America was "killed" ... only to triumphantly return.

Or the time before that.

Or the time Steve Rogers resigned as Captain America...only to triumphantly return issues later.

Or the time before that, when Captain America fought the Red Skull to the "death." They both "died" that time...

Or that time in the 70s when Steve Rogers quit...

Or that one time, when the entire world knew that Steve Rogers was Captain America, so he very publicly faked his death to protect his secret identity. Even Nick Fury cried.

Hm. That last one there...

Anyway. Point is, these are funny books. And funny books are melodramatic, bombastic, over-the-top, hyper-fictionalized world of "kick/'splode!" If you will.

The New York Times wants to run a front page story on the death of Captain America...hey, they're the suckers, not me. But we, as Geeks, shouldn't buy into that. We've already traveled these well-worn roads before and we all know where they lead.

I guess in today's culture, it's more important to mourn the fake death of a fictional icon...rather than muster up the moral outrage over true life tragedy or real world deaths.

You can't kill Captain America.

Captain America is an idea.

And, to quote V for Vendetta, "...ideas are bulletproof."