Captain America >> View Post
Post By
Ed Love

In Reply To
David Medinnus

Subj: Re: The New Cap - my thoughts, such as they are...
Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 05:32:31 pm EDT
Reply Subj: The New Cap - my thoughts, such as they are...
Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 11:19:27 am EDT

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The big question which seems to being asked a lot is: "Should Captain America be armed?"

The new Captain America (insert "New Coke" joke here, I suppose) isn't what the readers want him to be, he's what the character is. If the character is accepted by the readers, then groovy, he might stick around for awhile. If he is highly disliked, he'll be a flash in the pan, and we'll perhaps get another incarnation.

Steve Rogers was himself widely conflicted on the subject of self-defense, but he made the choice to engage in constant life-threatening activites without resorting to deadly force because he could; because the Super-Soldier Formula gave him one heck of an edge, which, coupled with his training and sense of strategy and tactics, let that decision stand, for the most part, when he wasn't engaged in wartime activities. Did Cap kill? Gruenwald's statements aside, the question is ludicrous - of course he did, both in WWII and in the modern era (what, you think that HYDRA base he just blew up was totally evacuated? C'mon...). He didn't WANT to kill, he thought of it as a last resort for himself and other super-powered fellows like Iron Man or Thor. However, he never chastised Nick Fury for packing heat. If this Captain America carries a knife and gun, you can bet that its because they're combat tools, and as the man says, "Better you than me" in the case of lethal force; I doubt its a meta in the uniform.

Having said that... someone wrote:

> Now all he has to do is wave his gun around to accomplish his goals.

Right, because thats been SO successful for SHIELD and other law enforcement agencies.

The original concept of Captain America was that of a powered soldier; I view the commando equipment as getting back to that. Whether or not he uses a knife and gun is problematic; how he uses them is more important. The contention that somehow because he carries a knife and gun makes him a Bushie right-wing military thug is unwarranted, and you imply that New Cap, because he carries them, won't think strategically or do the Right Thing. Every day in the USA, law enforcement officers talk people way from violent confrontation without drawing or using a weapon; the point to having them is when you cannot avoid the confrontation, is to make sure the right person comes out on top. Granted, talking down a confrontation probably makes a lousy comic, but the abuses - and there are - are far, far outweighed by the hundreds of good cops who do the Right Thing every day.

I think that folks are being excessively harsh on a concept from a visual. Wait to see how they've crafted the character, and his actions, before dismissing him as some hyped-up brutal stooge.

> The big question which seems to being asked a lot is: "Should Captain America be armed?"
As far as Ross' costume re-design, I don't think it's bad art. Other than the mask, it could be work as a patriotic costume for almost anyone. As a Captain America costume, it's fine as an alternate costume for someone like USAgent. It's not as if it's the first time Cap has changed costumes or someone else has taken over the identity, even someone more violent. The few things that strike me though is 1) A principle design element, triangular torso area echoes that of the golden-age Shield and considering the reason Cap didn't use the triangular shield beyond his first issue was supposedly fear of a lawsuit of trade-mark infringement, borrowing a major design element from his costume seems wrong, 2) Just how long this story is taking to shake out. Even in the past if it wasn't Rogers in the suit, he was still in the story. Yet by the time this is out, it will be how long without either a Captain America or Steve Rogers? And it will be at least another year before we see Rogers back according to Bru's own words. Even if temporary, it's just too long for a story arc in the character's main book.

And, then there's the gun and knife. It's the same problem I've had with his changes to Bucky. Using a gun isn't the same as carrying one, it flies in the face of 60 years of either character's nature. Just because it was on symbolic covers shouldn't make one iota of difference (there are golden-age covers with both Captain America and the Sub-Mariner using weapons as well). Now we have a Bucky that everytime we see him, he's trying to kill somebody.

I'm not against superheroes using or carrying guns if it was part of their concept to begin with. I love reading the Shadow and Spider pulps. But a large conceit of superhero comics is that even the normal or close to normal heroes are often good enough not to. So, having the characters to suddenly carry offensive weapons is enough of a fundamental shift in what constitutes the characters' core concept to constitute it being a different character. Having Captain America CARRY offensive weapons is like giving one to Daredevil, Spiderman or Iron Fist. It's just wrong to the basic concept of what the character and title has always been. To require the characters to carry guns to be "realistic" or "true" is the creators or readers forcing their worldview on the characters, not approaching the characters on their terms. If we don't want Captain America and Bucky as a superhero comic and characters, as it seems to have been the case here from the start, then why are we here?

I don't doubt that fans of the series so far will continue to love the story. But, I don't think it's going to change any of the detractors' minds either, it's more of the same approach we've been seeing.

Golden-age hero and villain encyclopedia:

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