13 April 2008

I'm Not Even A Cap Fan And I Think He's Cool

This week in class we didn't discuss specific comics. Instead we talked about icons and iconic characters. This included breaking up into groups and doing presentations on certain iconic comics figure, and my group got Captain America.

Witness the title of this post. I think Captain America is neat. I was vaguely sad when he died. And I've never even read any comics with him in them. I mean, he made a couple of one-panel appearances in other things I've read, but nothing big.

We've already done our presentation, of course, but I thought I'd provide a little of it to you, my adoring public. We had to answer four questions:
  • What does this character stand for?
  • What other icons are associated with this character?
  • Why has this character endured?
  • How do you think this character will change in the future?
My favorite question was number three. The simple answer: Captain America has endured because he's Captain America. It may sound silly, but think about it. Captain America is sort of like a comic-book version of George Washington. George Washington is an icon because he symbolizes America; so is Cap.

Captain America can always be used to fight whatever real-life bad guy people in this country are scared of. Scared of Nazis? He's fought them. Communists? Punched them into next week. Terrorists? He'll battle them for you. The US government? Well, hey, Civil War. He's fought them too. And he's always fighting racists.

He may not be on as many t-shirts as Superman or have as many separate comics as the X-Men, but Captain America is still Captain America. He's our guy. Not the government's guy--the people's. And that's all the people, too.

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