Captain America is dead, and the post-9/11 national security state (or at least its Marvel Universe simulacrum) holds the bloody dagger.
After close to 60 years in print, Marvel Comics has killed off Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, one of its most famous and beloved superheroes amid an already controversial story line, "Civil War," which is pitting the heroes of Marvel's universe against one another.
In the comic series, Rogers was to stand trial for defying a superhero registration law passed after a hero's tragic mistake causes a 9/11-like event.
Steve Rogers eventually surrenders to police. He is later mortally wounded as he climbs the courthouse steps.
Marvel says the comic story line was intentionally written as an allegory to current real-life issues like the Patriot Act, the War on Terror and the September 11 attacks.
My, what has changed in six short years. After 9/11, Marvel released a bunch of gung-ho war on terror comix which included an insane Stan Lee story that R. Fiore recaps here:
He considers his story "an undiscovered Aesop's fable," apparently under the impression that Aesop was a deranged bigot. Once upon a time there was this happy land ruled by this perfectly benevolent elephant who let all the other animals live there in peace and plenty even though it was really an elephants' kingdom. He even let in some dirty, rotten ingrate mice who made common cause with dirtier and rottener turban-wearing mice from overseas and attacked the elephant's realm while the elephant was sleeping. But the attack wakes the elephant, and just as the mice were breaking out the good cheese to celebrate, here he comes to stomp every dirty stinking rotten towel-headed mother's son of them into mouse paste.
This was a weird time for comix. I faintly recall a special issue of Spider-Man wherein Doctor Doom looks at the ruins of the World Trade Center and rusts up his face mask with big baby tears.