Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Soldier Who Doesn't Believe in Killing (Mark Waid Year 2, Captain America Vol 3, #16)

The evil Red Skull has the all-powerful cosmic cube... again. In fact, this time he's internalized the power of the cube, so Cap can't do the "knock it out of the Skull's hand" thing. This calls for extreme measures! But of course, Cap won't try to kill the Skull. Why, heavens to Betsy, that would be murder!

You know, I'm a much bigger pacifist than Cap. I don't spend my time beating people up, and I'm against the death penalty and war and all that. But... um... if a genocidal Nazi who's pretty much pure evil attains the power of a God and vows to crush the very concept of liberty, I think he pretty much needs to be taken down by any means possible. At the first opportunity.

This kind of thing really turns me off. I'm all for him wearing the flag, but being holier than the entire frackin' country even at the risk of the freakin' planet (or galaxy)... that's just lame. A lot of people complain that Batman never kills the Joker (who then always escapes custody and kills more people) but I believe that Batman may be genuinely frightened of where crossing that line would take him. Cap is a much more rational guy though, who has always worked hand in glove with agencies and authorities who are prepared to take lives in the defense of the country, within the law. In our country we view taking another's life as moral and legal if it's in defense of the lives of others. Waid seems to be of the school that Cap's schtick is that he can never lose a fight, and knows it. Even Gruenwald didn't go that far. Some would argue that Cap is such a damn good strategist that even with no powers against the most Godlike of villains he never has to kill, but for him to put his entire nation at risk out of the conviction he can outwit everyone ever born under virtually all circumstances smacks of unbelievable arrogance.

And what's this nonsense at the end of the issue 19 where he "hopes" for the Skull's sake that he managed to save himself. That's just... diseased.

(The story also features the character of Korvac, who died tragically wanting to make the world better in a memorable Avengers story, and who has now been turned back into a third rate cyber villain.)

Fortunately Ed Brubaker retconned all this nonsense away in Volume 5. Brubaker says Cap killed Nazis, and Brubaker is still writing Cap, so what he says goes. And Cap is still a decent guy, and a moral guy, but I like to think the current version wouldn't think twice before acing the Red Skull if he got his hands on the damn cosmic cube.


  1. Captain America comics are always sick! did you read the red son?

  2. I stumbled into this site looking up Cap on the Internet. I've started to get into the character after watching the movie and I remember reading it back with Diamondback and when Cap became "the Captain." Keep up the good work.

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