Why Does George Bush Hate Captain America?

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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.

NEXT: Illegals Push Native-Born Little Old Ladies and Children Out of Their Hospital Beds

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  1. 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.

    That image never made sense, considering how much damage Doom has done to NYC just to get back at Reed Richards.

  2. “He is later mortally wounded as he climbs the courthouse steps.”

    I like granite as much as the next guy, but you’ve got to salt them in the winter!

  3. 60 years on the job and he can’t even make it to major? He deserves to be booted.

  4. Yeah, like they’re actually going to keep him dead. It’ll take three years, tops.

  5. This is where I lose my nerd bona fides. I got into Marvel in Jr. High But by the time I got a license to drive, I lost interest. My friends kept telling me how cool comics were but I guess if you don’t have five years of back issues and related spin-offs, you’re just out of it. Then back in the 80’s there were all these bound books printed on high-gloss that sold for like a bazillion dollars and you absolutely had to buy it new, read it once (with a sterilized page turner and light amplification night vision) and then have it hermetically sealed and placed in an underground gypsum mine.

    Fyah. The only comic I ever found “adult worthy” was Howard the Duck, and by the time they butchered H on the big screen, I was done for good.

    I still have all my D&D stuff. Can I keep my pocket protector?

  6. Can I keep my pocket protector?

    No.

  7. 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.

    BAH! Doom did indeed weep that day, but not out of sympathy for the score of wage serfs that died that day, but of ANGER! Doom was infuriated that a bunch of mindless religious fanatics, who are no more than one generation from nomadic tribesmen who use sand instead of toilet paper, could do what my evil colleagues could not!

    I mean, look, they used AIRLINERS; no death rays, or legions of power armored troops, no demonic summoning. FUCKING AIRPLANES! Doom fears that the once proud and noble profession of supervilliany is going to amateurs! Instead of hacking into the world communications network to broadcast their demands, as a profession villian would do, these simpletons are able to bloviate via a VHS camcorder! Doom says again, AMATEURS!

    CURSE YOU RICHARDS! SOMEHOW I KNOW THIS IS YOUR DOING!!!

  8. VAS IST DAS!

    But I vanted to kill zat no-good Kaptain Americaner! Me! Me! MEEEEE!

    I am go-ink to my room…TO CRY!

  9. Wouldn’t Dr. Doom have shot the WTC into space before blowing it up?

    I actually had a restaurant in the Baxter building, you dick.

  10. Meanwhile, the Mandarin buys a shitload of T-bills and waits…

  11. “The only comic I ever found “adult worthy” was Howard the Duck, and by the time they butchered H on the big screen, I was done for good.”

    Action Philosophers is good. It’s funny-but-accurate bios of philosophers and their ideas.

    The latest one include “You’re a Good Man, John Stuart Mill!”, with Mill depicted as Charlie Brown with mutton chops.

  12. I was the only kid who read Cap when all the normal comic book dorks were getting into the X-Men.

    Patriotism excited me more than mutants, what can I say?

  13. Does this mean I get to be Captain America now?

  14. For those who are following the Civil Wars story line: I bet the grieving mother who guilt-tripped Tony Stark into devising the registration act in the first place is the one who pulled the trigger.

    It’s an apt simile that reflects our current political situation: America, and all the freedoms and rights it represented, killed by a hysterical soccer mom demanding that government “do something” in the name of her dead kid.

  15. Like you have to tell me that Tony Stark is bad news.

  16. So comics mirror their era? Brilliant.

  17. I’ve been reading comics for ages, until I realized that I couldn’t carry the full boxes of comic books every time I moved anymore, without hurting my back. Fortunately, there were much more fun comic books than endlessly resurrecting superheroes, such as Transmetropolitan, Preacher, The Filth and others. Transmetropolitan in particular was a better allegory to our politics than Civil War could ever be, even though one of the presidents in that book resembled Nixon (in a very memorable scene he got shot with a “bowel disruptor”, set on inducing explosive diarrhea) and the other looked like John Edwards and acted like Clinton. The faux serious and “heroic” characters of the regular Marvel universe could all die of testicular cancer for what I care.

  18. “Civil War could ever be, even though one of the presidents in that book resembled Nixon (in a very memorable scene he got shot with a “bowel disruptor”, set on inducing explosive diarrhea)”

    The game ‘Destroy All Humans” lets you play an alien invader, and one of your weapons is an “Anal Probe” gun that does the same. If you shoot a human with it, they grab their butt and run away. If you keep hitting them, they blow up.

    This led to an unfortunate situation for me at Outback when, walking back from the bathroom with my 7 year old nephew (who loves the game), he asked me “Why do they call it an anal probe?”.

    Luckily, nobody heard…

  19. A commenter at Newsarama’s forum had the best prediction for what’s next for Captain America:

    Ed Brubaker has confirmed issue #26 features The Batman rushing in with a bucket of liquid from the Lazarus Pit, dumping it on Cap, and yelling “Don’t pass the f*cking mantle!!!”. This in turn leads into the next DC/Marvel crossover event: Batman/Captain America: We Said Don’t Pass The F*cking Mantle

    I’d buy it.

  20. jf wins for most obscure comment that I understand on this thread.

  21. I was deeply disappointed in the resolution of the storyline. (I haven’t gotten to the Capt. American shooting yet, so thanks for spoiling it for me.) When Cap surrendered, I wanted to shoot the writers. Apparently the message is some freedoms aren’t worth fighting for, if it inconveniences the majority of Americans who aren’t affected by the lack of those freedoms.

  22. Comics always seem to mirror their era, in some way. WWII era comics were obvious. Comics like the X-Men, I wouldn’t say they are allegories, but the treatment of mutants used to parallel blacks and now it parallels gays. I don’t think the authors are always making a clear allegory, rather, they are looking at what kind of persecution a society engages in at any given time.

  23. FinFangFoom | March 7, 2007, 2:12pm | #

    Like you have to tell me that Tony Stark is bad news.

    Been waiting for a while to use this joke?

  24. Bucky,

    “Does this mean I get to be Captain America now?”

    Just in case you were serious – A recent storyline retconned “Bucky” into a brainwashed soviet super-assasin. So I doubt he’s the next Cap.

  25. The only “superhero” comics worth reading are the Founding Father Funnies inside each issue of Peter Bagge’s Apocalypse Nerd series.

  26. Will the poser who lived a life as Captain America over at DC once again don the tri-colored tights?

    Or perhaps it was the imposter who was killed.

  27. By the way, Reb Brown, pictured above, also stars in the most overlooked movie of 1988, Space Mutiny.

    Sadly, I actually watched that Captain America series. I liked how his shield turned into the windscreen for his motorcycle.

  28. Haven’t you guys heard of spoiler warnings? Good thing I’m a DC fan, and don’t care about Captain Marvel.

    btw, one really good superhero comic is Peter David’s Fallen Angel, formerly from DC and now published by IDW. Check it out.

  29. Dang, I meant Captain America!

  30. Bucky broke free of his “Winter Soldier” programming, so he could take over as the Cap’n.

  31. AC, joke? I am Fin Fang Foom and I am YOUR (AC’s ) DOOM! I will CRUSH you. I will HUNT YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.

    Just as soon as I find my boxers.

  32. Sandy | March 7, 2007, 2:43pm | #
    By the way, Reb Brown, pictured above, also stars in the most overlooked movie of 1988, Space Mutiny.

    Don’t forget “Yor, the Hunter from the Future.”

  33. Weigel, remember how I called you an unjustly underrated blogger at the last reason happy hour?

    *SPOILER WARNINGS* MOTHER FUCKER!!!!

    Calming down now.

  34. He’s a good man… let me make a few calls to someone who knows a little about bringing back someone from the dead. If it worked for Jayson Todd, it can work for Steve Rogers.

  35. Just tell me who did it.

  36. norbiz, I laughed out loud…

  37. I think Captain America will only be dead until gay marriage is legal and then he and Bucky can have a crossover ceremony with Batman and Robin.

  38. Okay, I want to draw on the wisdom of the group a little bit:

    So, the only graphic novel/comic book thing I’ve ever read was The Watchmen, and it was awesome. I loved it. What do I read next?

  39. V for Vendetta.

    The only other comic I have ever read as an adult is “American Splendor,” which I like.

    I don’t really know the state of regular superhero stuff. I used to read X-Men. Dark Horse (a publisher) used to print more adult adventure-y kind of stories, but I don’t know about that now. They printed “Aliens vs. Predator,” Jesus, 17 years ago now, which was way better than the movie and not at all related plot wise except for the Aliens and Predators. Oh yeah, there’s Ghost in the Shell, which I found entertaining, and is a bit more mature, I guess. I never read the really indie stuff back in the day.

    But clearly the answer is you should read something by PETER BAGGE.

  40. I’m not into comics, so the spoiler doesn’t bother me. But when the CNN story you linked to has this:

    Editor’s Note: The following story reveals information about the Marvel Comics’ “Civil War” storyline and a key character. If you’d rather not know, stop reading now.

    and you don’t include a spoiler warning it’s in poor taste.

  41. non-super-hero comic for adults:

    Sin City, on which the movie was based, but there are several stories not in the movie

  42. There will be a Sin City 2.

  43. So, the only graphic novel/comic book thing I’ve ever read was The Watchmen, and it was awesome. I loved it. What do I read next?

    Well you read the best first so don’t expect anything to live up to it. Several entertaining reads are:

    The Dark Knight Returns
    Kingdom Come
    Preacher
    V for Vendetta
    Animal Man
    300

  44. How vile a violent act, perpetrated by the most villainous of vermin upon one of the most vocal symbols of virtue in these sad and vexing times. It causes one to wonder, therefore, if the true villain in this vile affair is someone whose name does not include the letter V, but rather someone whose venom for freedom and liberty includes as part of his name the letter W. Verily, I sadly admit that the sudden and violent passing of this fine soldier is merely a symptom of a much larger virus that infests our great system that will not stop until we decide to put it to an end, for the great solution rests alone with vox populi.

  45. Who wants to bet that he’s not really dead, or won’t be for long? How many times has Superman died? It’s embarrassing. Hell, even Jesus was resurrected only once.

  46. Only one death?

    Amatuer.

  47. The Aesop fable story with the elephant killing Muslim mice by Stan Lee was not published by Marvel, it was published by DC in a charity book, that included a few other gun ho bigot stories. But most of the stories were not like that. If anything, the book didn’t censor any opinion, even crazy extremist ones from right or left.

    My favorite story though, was Alan Moore’s ?This is Information, but that one was in the companion book, which was published by Dark Horse and other publishers.

  48. Check out this photo of Rumsfeld with Captain America:
    http://wonkette.com/images/thumbs/dfad65f7495f9639f38831b6b8e0c788.jpg

  49. Warren: you only keep the pocket protector if you are over 30 and still play RPGs……Guilty as Charged. Although I never wore the pocket protector, as nerd is my secret identity.

    While I went through my Frank Miller stage, and loved the reprints of vintage C.A. I ran accross, I’ve never been a great collector. That said, I can recommend two original Graphic Novels (comics for adults) being serialized online before printing at:

    Big Head Press Look for “La Muse” and “Roswell, Texas”, the later written by Prometheus Award winner L. Neil Smith. The site is devoted to producing independent, liberty (and libertarian) themed fiction.

  50. Y’all should check out Revere.

  51. Peter Milligan’s run on X-Force/X-Statix was a wonder to behold.

    I would also assert that The Sandman is even better than The Watchmen, or at least, they’re both masterpieces.

    Also, NextWave is love.

  52. For the uninitiated: Famous old superhero character “killed”= character fake-killed to boost interest and sales in a title nobody reads anymore. I remember all the idiots buying up copies of “Death of Superman” for $70 the day it came out. “No, for real. He’s dead. DC comics killed off the most famous comic book character ever. No way are they bringing him back. Nope. “

  53. By the way, Reb Brown, pictured above, also stars in the most overlooked movie of 1988, Space Mutiny.

    I saw that on MST3K! They lifted space combat scences DIRECTLY from the original Battlestar Galactica, had rancid cardboard sets, had a scene with an actress who’s character had been killed only a few minutes earlier, and the stunt co-ordinator must have had a thing for having doubles fall over rails because it happened A LOT.

  54. This comes on the heels of the return of Bucky (who they said would never return) and Captain Mar-Vell (who died of cancer 20 years ago.)
    Marvel has just become sad. Between the Ultimate universe and the Zombie line of comics they print, they have left so many doors open for Cap to return, but why bother?

    Mike Carey’s Lucifer was the follow up to Sandman, and is a favorite of mine.

  55. Somebody killed Peter Fonda?

  56. Honestly, I don’t know where I got the whole superhero registration thing. I think I’m being mind controlled by Kang again.

  57. Re: the 9/11 issue of Spider-Man. Notice how Juggernaut is on the scene to help out? In a Marvel comic from about 10 years earlier Juggs totally knocked down one of the towers of the World Trade Center… and LAUGHED maniacally about it!

  58. I was not a huge comic fan growing up, yea I had a few but nothing to write home about. However, there are two series that I remember liking. Both are by Clive Barker. Hellrasier and Nightbreed. They even went to war against the other in a graphic novel (two parts) called, of all things, Jihad. How strange.

  59. CURSE YOU RICHARDS! SOMEHOW I KNOW THIS IS YOUR DOING!!!

    Jesus Doom, I’m straight. That one time when we were drunk in college was just experimenting. For the love of Galactus, seek help man. This just isn’t healthy.

  60. Doom writes: “I mean, look, they used AIRLINERS; no death rays, or legions of power armored troops, no demonic summoning. FUCKING AIRPLANES! Doom fears that the once proud and noble profession of supervilliany is going to amateurs! Instead of hacking into the world communications network to broadcast their demands, as a profession villian would do, these simpletons are able to bloviate via a VHS camcorder! Doom says again, AMATEURS!”

    Victor, face it. You’re just going to have to live with being the Steve Jobs of supervillainy, and these dimestore dirtbags are like Microsoft.

    It’s like the real Steve Jobs said: “You know what the problem with microsoft is? They have no class.”

    And you’re all class, baby. You’re money. But don’t worry, someday you’ll find your iPod of evil.

    Ciao, Victor. Drop by the future sometime, it’s groovy.

  61. So, the only graphic novel/comic book thing I’ve ever read was The Watchmen, and it was awesome. I loved it. What do I read next?

    Well, there’s further Alan Moore – V for Vendetta is also excellent, as is his run on Saga of the Swamp Thing.

    But, if I were to recommend just one comic whether to a comic-reader or non-reader, it would be Bill Willingham’s Fables.

  62. Don’t forget the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers or Dopin’ Dan.

  63. (Another comic suggestion)

    If you want to read a classic, well written, superhero-type narratives go with the Spectacular Spider-Man stories #178-184 “The Child Within”. It’s better than any of the movies imo. It’s actually kind of creepy. JM Dematteis can write any comic well, and I’m a big fan of Sal Buscema’s liney liney artwork.

  64. All this comix talk and no mention of Transmetropolitan? For shame.

  65. I almost forgot (and probably too late for anyone to see it now: Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is a good story

  66. Transmet is awesome.

  67. I’ve read Cap for over 30 years and I think it is fitting that he dies
    at a time in American history were self-sacrafice and patriotism is no
    longer looked up to by most of her citizens. Our heroes who wear flags
    are no longer loved but mocked and scoffed at as being labeled corney.
    If this truly is the end of Steve Rogers then may he rest knowing the
    nation he loved and stood for never failed under his watch. God Bless
    you Cap.

    Brian

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