Saturday, July 7, 2007

Captain America

This post uses the names of a whole bunch of copyrighted characters. Such characters are property of the copyright holders, and I in no way wish to present the notion that I am such.

It's time to write about the late, great Steve Rogers, alias Captain America! I have meant to do so for some time now. For those who don't know the story, it's at Wikipedia. You'd think an Irish-American who grew up in New York in time to come of age during World War II would be strongly Catholic, but for fairly obvious commercial reasons, Marvel never particularly portrayed him that way.

I didn't properly appreciate Cap back when I read comics. Spider-Man was my kind of hero; brainy, smart-mouthed, unconventional, and mighty. Cap was staid, convetional, and (so I thought) utterly stolid. But Captain America was always THE most stand-up hero in the Marvel Universe, bar none. And Steve Rogers was the best man ever to carry the shield. No other was ever so worthy.

Part of the reason I think Cap is so worthy is that, according to his origin stories, he is not particularly superhuman -- his strength, agility, endurance, and toughness are very closely matched by Batman and the Punisher, for example. Thus, he goes forth against insanely powerful enemies with essentially human abilities and an indomitable spirit, and wins. Thus, he has less of the Neitzchean Ubermensch overtones than others in the genre.

Steve Rogers was a man whom I would be glad to see emulated, by ANYONE. He stood for the American Way of truth, justice, service, and liberty. Never mind our failure to live up to our way, that's what he stood for, in costume or not, and he always did his best to live up to it -- doing so better than any other hero in the entire superhero comics genre. Not once can I think of any action he took, which he did not see as being the best way to live up to the ideals of the American Way, and almost always rightly so.

And it is for depriving us of this paragon of adherence to the virtues of truth, justice, service, and liberty, by having him shot to death by a sniper, that I am so very disappointed with the writers over at Mighty Marvel. The more disturbed and distorted the American Way becomes, the more we need a man like Captain America to show us how to truly live up to it.

1 comment:

Banshee said...

Rogers is a Welsh or Anglo-Welsh name, so he ain't all that Irish, or his family became Irish at some point after being Welsh. (And there were Irish Protestants, although only the Church of Ireland, a branch of the Anglicans, was actually legal until sometime in the 1800's. I think the Scots-Irish planted up by Belfast got some kind of break if they were Church of Scotland, though.)