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Sunday, August 12, 2007 

Surprise is nothing compared to guts

Jonathan Last is a writer I've often found plenty to agree with. However, I think that, in this op-ed he wrote in Opinion Journal on the "death of Captain America" last March, he may have keeled over too much in what's almost like trying to appease the "other side", when towards the end, he says:
"Captain America" will probably return. Ed Brubaker, the current writer of the series, won't divulge details, but comments in an interview with the Web site Comic Book Resources, "I've got the next two years of Cap plotted, if that says anything." Fans have already concocted several plausible resurrection scenarios.

But before looking toward his next incarnation, it's worth pausing to appreciate that even at this late date, Captain America's death still meant something. Partially, this was due to the simple fact that Marvel was able to keep his murder a surprise--something of a wonder in an age when every other happening comes prehyped and presold. (Mr. Quesada reveals that the editors went to great lengths to keep the secret, engaging in a quiet campaign of disinformation and even going so far as to leak fake covers to throw fans off the scent.)
I'm sorry to say, but, considering that what we're dealing with here is a case of a company now being dominated by anti-war moonbats who're simply not willing to tackle meatier subjects that Capt. America was created to deal with, such as - you guessed it - modern-day terrorism and even slavery, that's exactly why the element of surprise doesn't really belong here, and can't be appreciated. Partly because death is really a pretty obvious excuse for not dealing with meat/potatoes stuff, and only "frees" them from having to really deal with it at all.

Besides, wouldn't a convincing story in which Steve Rogers does confront modern day terrorists and slavemongers be a real surprise? And it doesn't have to be based on real life examples at all, it can be even fictionalized terrorists like HYDRA, one the most notable of fictional terrorist organizations in the MCU. That they're not willing to write a story involving even those kind of villains just shows how badly they're in contempt.

IMHO, the whole argument that there's anything great about surprise as this so-called event envisions it is pathetic. I don't agree with Last at all on this. Furthermore, he too is one of many in the mainstream who could be missing the bigger picture about the problems plaguing comic book writing today, and just how badly isolated they are from the rest of society.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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