Thursday, July 05, 2007

Theories On The
New Captain America

Okay, so Cap is really dead -- we've been shown his autopsy, his funeral, etc.

Comic book logic says that Steve Rogers will return -- but, just like not explaining away Tony Stark's actions by saying he was really a Skrull, it's important for Marvel not to invalidate the investment fans made into "Civil War" by backtracking.So my money is on a completely new character taking on the Captain America mantle --perhaps "permanently."

This will not only be a decision frought with symbolic meaning and drama -- but one carefully thought out for branding and marketing reasons.

Maybe Steve Rogers was considered too white-bread, too irrelevant to connect to new readers? I'm not saying he is, so put the pitchforks away. But think of Barry Allen with his crew cut and bow tie, and how Wally replaced him. Maybe this is the case here. And if so, perhaps Marvel will go with Bucky Barnes.
Or how about The Falcon? Why not? He's earned it. I see no reason why Cap *has* to be white. It would be the inspired choice.

Or how about Cap as a woman? Sharon Carter immediately pops to mind...if it only wasn't for that whole "killing Cap" thing...

Or a team of Caps? Alternate Caps? "Captain America" force?

Personally, my money is on Bucky, though I would most like to see The Falcon in the role.

We'll see.

Or maybe they could just bus in Jason Todd.


  1. I have occasionally been accused of taking fiction too seriously, so bear with me. I don't think Captain America, within the context of his fictional world, is a character who would be well-served by the "Flash" approach of having a different person take up the costume for each generation.

    For me, what makes Cap interesting to me is that Steve Rogers is a character of two distinct time periods; WWII and the present (whatever that is right now). It's the juxtaposition of two different worlds, and the sense that whatever it is Steve Rogers had to offer in WWII is needed just as badly if not moreso in the modern world. It's the *idea*, I suppose, that Steve Rogers lived in the savage, racist, unjust, horrific, violent world of WWII America (by our standards) and yet was still a man of such decency and goodness that even by our harsh scrutiny of those past times, he still emerges shining brightly. And I think that is unique to Steve Rogers specifically. What was it Mark Waid said? "A man out of time. But never out of courage." Whatever Cap's ideals are, and they've varied from writer to writer, what's special is that they transcend any social and political barriers of any time period and are humanistic, galvanizing forces that inspire.

    And I'm not even American. Or Caucasian. And Cap's my favourite superhero.

    ... Was.

    Anyway, I don't think Steve is dead, as Paul O'Brien put it, his death issue has not so much a "back door" but instead "a clearly posted fire exit." And in terms of the market, yeah, you could make Little Orphan Annie the new Captain America and it'd be fine; the general public has no idea who Steve Rogers is. I was delighted to see Clint Barton in the costume, although I agreed that it was too soon.

    I really miss Steve Rogers. He was an inspiration to me. I don't think anyone else would mean as much to me. But. I'm just one fan.

  2. I suppose it depends on whether Brubaker's long-term plans have changed due to media attention and such. On the one hand, he had apparently planned this storyline prior to "Civil War", which probably explains the multiple "outs" he left himself in the issue where Cap gets shot - we don't actually see Steve die, Nick Fury's in the mix, etc. Odds are he was planning on bringing Steve back at a later date, the way he did with Foggy Nelson in "Daredevil".

    On the other hand, this "death" has garnered so much media attention that a twist like that might not be possible anymore. In which case, yep, we're gonna need another Timmy.

  3. I think Sharon Carter or Bucky would be best, simply because the Falcon already has a well developed Super Hero identity. Plus, there's no logical reason for him to give up the wings, and I really wouldn't like to see 'Flying Captain America' I think I'd break in favour of Sharon, just because "Winter Soldier" is too cool a code name to lose.

  4. I think there are some great stories to be told about the new, "permanent" Captain America -- but eventually Steve Rogers will return to the job. Because that will be a terrific story, too. And frankly, this death doesn't read well as the end of Steve Roger's story, while it's an excellent beginning to the story of his abscence and eventual rebirth. (Does that make any sense?)

  5. Steve Rogers IS Captain America. No one else could be Cap, and no one else should be. Even if this storyline results in a "new" Captain America, it won't last. Steve Rogers will be back one day.

  6. Ellis in Thunderbolts has me suddenly wishing that American Eagle, of all people, would take on the mantle.

  7. American Eagle is an interesting suggestion, not least because J.M. DeMatteis intended to replace Steve Rogers way back in Cap 300 with Black Crow, another take on making an indigenous Captain America.