Friday, March 09, 2007

Captain America... No More...

I read this today...

Captain America will continue to be published despite the very real death of Steve Rogers. In May, Captain America #26 will reveal the aftermath of his death, beginning with the autopsy of his body. This is no hoax - Captain America, Steve Rogers, is dead.

I'm tired of being, just sad. Here's my farewell to Captain America.
When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home. - Tecumseh

I was a kid. Maybe 8 or 9. I think that's when I first saw this round shield with a star. Red, white, and blue. Didn't have a clue what it was. But, it was iconic.

It wasn't until I was about 12 years old, that I was first introduced to Captain America. At the time, mutants had my attention. I really didn't bother with Captain America. He had a shield and super strength, but Wolverine had claws. As I went to comic book stores off and on in my teens. There was one incident that stood out as my reintroduction to Cap.

I see an issue.

I asked the guy at the counter. "He quit?"

To which he replied, "Yeah, yeah he did."

It was strange for me that Super Heroes could quit being Super Heroes. It boggled my mind. I had to ask.

"Why the hell would he quit? Isn't he supposed to be all about the U.S.?" I get a scowl look from him.

"No dude. He's not about the U.S. He's about what the U.S. should stand for. He's about freedom, and liberty. They tried to take that away from Captain America. He wouldn't stand for it."

At the time, I couldn't separate the ideals of this country and the country. I thought they went hand-in-hand. Well, it is better to be ignorant than mistaken.

There began my quest to learn about the man with little wings on his cowl.

A scrawny teenager, sickened by what he saw on newsreel footage in the 40's about the Nazis. Tries to join the Army. Because of his frailty, they rejected him. But he didn't take no for an answer. He wanted to be a soldier. Let me say that again. He WANTED to be a Soldier. Because of the death and atrocities he saw, he wanted to fight for what was right.

In comes Operation: Rebirth. Where he was supposed to be one, in an Army of many super soldiers. Fate made him an Army of One. A shining beacon of all that is right in humanity. Fate again, freezes him, sacrificing himself yet again for us.
Nature abhors a hero. For one thing, he violates the law of conservation of energy. For another, how can it be the survival of the fittest when the fittest keeps putting himself in situations where he is most likely to be creamed? - Solomon Short

Decades later. The Avengers, thanks to Namor, unfreeze Captain America and Cap rejoins the fight for the good fight.

What made Steve Rogers different? His power was no accident. He's not an alien crashed to Earth, he's not a man born with powers, he's not chosen to be whatever.

No Sirs and Ma'ams. Steve wanted to fight. And if not for the grace of Dr. Abraham Erskine. I can guarantee you, Steve Rogers would have fought nail and tooth. And would have been a Hero. A Super one at that.

I continued on my path of following those who I held near and dear. The X-Men, Superman, Batman. Always an aspect of the outcast making good.

Captain America, I can say, I didn't follow closely. Why? Because, he was absolutely perfect. He was the rock that the waters broke their waves on. He never blunted. Captain America was my beacon. Spidey, you having issues? Cap has lost all he has held dear, and fights still. Mutants, your civil rights being violated? I can guarantee you Cap will have your back. Avengers, Assemble! And if Cap's in, there's nothing to fear.

Civil War...

Cap. I was with you. The whole time. I never once questioned the freedom you fought for. The hand they forced you to take. Suffering the betrayal of your closest friends. Iron Man should have left you frozen, if all he was going to do years later was betray what he knew you would never stand for. Some futurist.

And at the bitter end. Something strange happened Cap. You stopped fighting. You knew where you were, I know you did. You knew what would happen wherever you get that many heroes fighting. Cap, you were wrong. You were still fighting for us. You were fighting for those of us who believe in you. You stayed your hand from killing Castle, you stayed your hand from kill Stark. You didn't start this. They did. Captain America. You saw the tragedy around you. And as the man who puts the weight of the world on your shoulders. You blamed yourself. I saw the tears in your eyes. And in that moment of grief, of those cops and paramedics holding you back. You blamed yourself. You believed by surrendering; by finally surrendering to a government who tried to take your identity and freedom solely from you years ago, that you would save your friends, both those who fought against you and beside you by revealing yourself now, and surrendering.

They took you to jail. They treated you like that shield that has saved us countless times, didn't matter anymore. I am ashamed. I am ashamed of what we let allow happen. I know you took it on yourself Cap. That you felt you were saving us once again.

Captain America... We should have saved you...

I woke up Wednesday morning. I heard it first from Matt from this board. I went numb. I didn't think it was real. I didn't think that They would do this. Not now. Not without being able to hear from you first.

I saw you shot. I saw you sacrifice yourself again. And as you laid there. Your concern was for others.

Captain America... Steve Rogers... You were too good for this world. You deserved better than us. They wanted to make you a martyr. Those sons of a bitches forgot. You were already a Super Hero.

Many will come, they will pick up your shield. They will put on your colors. But they won't be you. And no one could ever handle your shield like you did.

Rest In Peace Steve Rogers. Captain America.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.