A whopping nine months after the killing off Captain America, Marvel Comics is resurrecting the character, sort of, in issue #34.
It seems that Steve Rogers, the iconic character who still believed in America and mom’s apple pie is far too antiquated for these modern times (that are such a vast improvement, don’t you think?).
Not only will there be a new person wearing the (previously) red, white and blue costume, the costume will be new as well. Much of it will be black and the upper part appears to be some sort of metallic/chrome material. The new look was designed by artist Alex Ross, well known for bringing a sense of realism to superhero art.
I’m probably not the best person to be writing about this: I was never a huge Captain America fan as far as reading his own comic, but I did like the character a lot for the same reasons that many of us did. He represented a simpler time, when we knew what was right and what was wrong as opposed to the present-day inclination to paint everything in shades of grey. He was a strong man with an iron will and convictions to match. Although he wasn’t super-powered, his closest analogue in the DC universe was Superman in his belief of truth, justice and the American way. Those things seem quaint today (and “American way” was even excised from Superman Returns, yet another reason to dislike the movie).
The new, darker Captain America
There’s no denying that the world seems to be a darker place than it was 60 or 70 years ago, but even as a champion for the Allies during World War II, Captain America was an optimistic figure. But now darkness is in vogue, and Marvel Comics reflect it in their current nihilistic universe. They portray their universe as if the U.S. was Poland after Hitler took over. There’s certainly no joy in comic books any more and I’m hoping that one day the pendulum will swing back the other way (as it inevitably will) and comics will be “fun” again.
So to reflect this present state of mind, we’ll have a new Captain America. One that dresses half in black… as if in mourning for the country, as opposed to the bright, optimistic red, white and blue of the original costume. This new version will carry a gun and a knife instead of just depending on his physical strength, fighting skills and symbolic shield.
I don’t currently follow the comic book, but I have a feeling that whoever takes over the name will not be even a fraction as idealistic as Steve Rogers was. And knowing the current state of the Marvel Comics universe, will no doubt be used to highlight what’s wrong with the U.S. while ignoring what’s right with it. I’m getting the feeling that the new Cap will be more like U.S. Agent in appearance (pictured here) as much as attitude.
I may turn out to be wrong, but this is one time that I’d be happy to have folks tell me “I told you so.”