Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cap's Dead

I know it's like a month late but something has been bothering me ever since Captain America died.

Everyone keeps saying Cap will be back(which I know) like he has before. As if Captain America (the Steve Rogers Cap) has died before. Which as far as I know, he hasn't. Ever.

So far when I ask people to verify this, they go to two examples. The first being when Red Skull died the first time, when he was an old man and fought Cap after exposing Cap to an aging gas that temporarily retarded his Super Soldier serum (which I'm know realizing could be called the SS serum and that makes me a little quesy). Anyway, Red Skull died then, not Cap, the gas wore off and he returned to normal. Anyone have definitive proof this was not the way it went down?

Secondly, they bring up the storyline where Captain America's Super Soldier serum became toxic or something, and Cap had to wear that hideous Cap Armor just to walk around. While I was aware of the storylines of that time, I couldn't bring myself to read Cap Wolf, or teen Cap or any of the other stupid transformations they put him through. So I don't know how that story ended, but I know the series went on with Captain America still around, and there weren't any crossovers or mentioning of Cap dying in any other books of that time. So did he? Does anyone have that storyline so we can see whether he really died and came back?

It bugs me a little, because while I know death is not a constant in comics, I can't stand when people kind of write off a story as though it's happened a hundred times to the character before.

Help me please.


davidm said...

A long time ago I was very excited and impressed by both the death of Professor X at the hands of Grotesk and his revival a couple of years later. I think I've been worn down by the apparent cynicism of these events. If I hear good things about how this story plays out I will read it later.
On the other hand the "death" of Hildy shocked me. I'm hoping that is a trick...

Jon Hex said...

Say wha?

Jon Hex said...

Oh, I found the story. Sad part is, I was aware of the circumstances of Changeling's death, but didn't remember who killed him. Marvel's problem with keeping their characters dead seems to be longer than I thought. Does DC have this problem? Everyone seems to get one at DC, but they last longer.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I have to type this.

Captain America first died in 1945, over the Atlantic, stopping Baron Zemo's drone plane.

Jon Hex said...

Dude, that story first saw print in Avengers when Captain America was discovered in ice. There's no Golden Age Captain America story where Cap and Bucky fought Zemo and exploded over the Atlantic.


rachelle said...

If I had a dime for every customer who comes into the shop and says "Is Captain America really dead?"

First of all, I have no idea. Marvel doesn't tell me these things. Secondly, think about how ridiculous that question is! Yes. He is really dead. I went to his funeral.

Jon Hex said...

I sent flowers but they came back with a note saying "Get a life, geek!"

rachelle said...

Oh, here's another awesome customer quote:

"Was that the real Captain America shield that they gave Stephen Colbert?"

I just don't know what to say to these people.

Jon Hex said...

Now I know why your profile pic looks like that. You should tell them it's only made of vibranium, not a adamantium/vibranium mix like the real one. Then see if they nod like those metals are real.

Chunky Style said...

One thing that was clarified in Gruenwald's run is that Cap has one peculiar super power: pour ice water in his lungs, and he goes into suspended animation. Suspended animation, not death. He even (briefly) went suspended in one issue during Gruenwald's run -- suspended, not dead.

I bring this up in order to discuss the "Fighting Chance" storyline, and how Cap "died" at the end -- long story short, he didn't die. He received a prophecy that his heart would finally give out at midnight, but come midnight, he was gone without a trace. Next issue, Mark Waid took over ... seems the Red Skull had whisked Cap away, performed life-saving surgery to give him healthy bone marrow (his prior weakness was caused by the SS serum being incorrectly produced in his bone marrow), and left him in a block of ice to heal. So Waid's first issue featured a splash page of Cap bursting out of a block of ice, as good as new.

So there you have it ... Cap's "death" there was mysterious and lame, and his "resurrection" was mysterious, lame, AND nonsensical.

If you're looking for actual Cap deaths, he died in "Secret Wars" and in "Infinity Gauntlet". Of course, those miniseries being what they were, those deaths don't really count.

And don't forget, Cap's one super power makes him an excellent candidate for a miracle cure: pour ice water into his lungs, sew up his innards, and then defrost him. It's been known to happen before.

As to the shield in Colbert's possession, I heard that it had previously been owned by Mark Gruenwald. To my way of thinking, that makes it as close to the "real" shield as we're going to get. For all the rough patches in Gruenwald's run, I think he gave us the definitive Cap.