Now after yesterday's post, and my discussion of it in other avenues, some people were surprised about how much I cared about Captain America dying, after all,
a) He's a fictional Character.
b) I'm not American.
But it's not the person that was mourned, but rather what Steve Rogers represented. Captain America represents the entire hero complex that exists in today's world. Superman may predate Cap by a few years, but Superman was an alien, sent here from a distant planet. Cap was a man, not unlike us who volunteered to spend the rest of his life as a symbol. Cap represented a time when there was good guys and bad guys, no grey areas. We were good and the Axis were evil. Simple.
Captain America was created in 1941 and was immediately thrust into World War II. He fought the Axis forces before America itself did. He ran into Europe, while wearing a flag.
I personally believe that had it not been for Cap, the superhero genre would be nowhere close to what it is today, if it even existed.
Cap was the first real everyman hero. He was an Army washout given a chance to make something of himself. He fought for 60 years for freedom, in a world where his version of freedom no longer existed. He fought for what America held up as ideals, even against his own government if need be.
America has recently gone through major changes itself. As much as I hate to say this cliché but since 9/11, America is a different country. Not because of "new threats" or a "growing danger", but because America can't sit on this pedestal that they've been on for 200 years. They finally have to admit, that they are just another country.....but they haven't. They've gone so far from the original ideals of their country to this new America, a scared America. By committing these terrorist attacks, Al Qaeda (or whoever you want to believe did it), actually has succeeded in creating fear in America, and every time the US goes to Terror Alert Orange or Red, they win just a little bit more. You want to show the terrorists that you can't break America? Don't lash out like a child afterwards. The follow up after 9/11 was handled surprisingly well, President Bush's people did the investigation, and attacked the country holding those responsible. Afghanistan....and we went for it, and it went as well as could be expected. Iraq on the other hand buggered everything up, and thats a topic for a different day. The fact is America now runs off of fear, and restricting freedoms goes against everything that Captain America stood for.
Marvel's recent Civil War mini was an allegory for 9/11, except replace terrorists with superhumans. The government lashed out, and pulled in the reins on all people that were so inclined in that manner. Rogers represented the old America, and Stark, the new. Rogers' eventually surrendered, knowing that even if he wins the fight.....they lost the argument. The way that America is moving, Rogers' old, flag waving, punch the bad guys patriotism, just won't fly anymore. It was a new world, and he didn't fit anymore.
Other people I've spoken to pointed out that Rogers' was one of their favorite characters, and that they were not happy with what happened. We weren't supposed to be happy, this is not a happy event. Readers should feel sad and angry, not happy. This is not a happy time.