Thursday, September 30, 2010

Should Captain America work for the government?

Karen: I'm sure most of you know that Steve Rogers, the former Captain America (that sounds so wrong) is now Steve Rogers, Super-Soldier, and is essentially fulfilling the role Nick Fury once played. He's been described as "America's top cop", and his position was given to him by the president.

Karen: While on one hand I am glad to have Steve back and bringing some sense of order to the Marvel Universe, this idea that he is now reporting to the U.S. government bothers me. Perhaps it's because I began reading Cap around the time Steve Englehart had his tremendous run on the title. Englehart's Cap did a lot of soul-searching, particularly during the Secret Empire storyline, and came to the conclusion that his responsibility was to the Constitution and the ideals of the country, not to any one administration or president. That made a lot of sense to me. Times change, the people in charge change, but the Constitution is forever and whatever it is that defines America lies within that document. Later writers continued to build on these ideas.

Karen: We've seen a number of times in the past where Cap came into conflict with the government -most recently, in the Civil War -and he's restated again and again that he owes allegiance to the country and its ideals, but is willing to defy the government when he feels it is not in accord with the laws of the land. On the other hand, he has also scrupulously followed the law as much as possible throughout his career, and obviously respects authority.

Karen: But does it make sense now for him to come back and essentially take on a job with the government? Yes, I know, in World War II he worked
for the government, but he was a soldier in war time. Later, after he was revived by the Avengers, he wanted a position in SHIELD. But both of these occurred before his pivotal involvement with the Secret Empire, and the conclusions he reached afterwards. After all he has been through, wouldn't it only strengthen his belief that he needs to be outside of the government?

Karen: I'm sure at some point, we'll see Steve back as Cap, especially with a new movie coming out. But will that Cap be his own man? Or a government


ChrisPV said...

I don't really see a fundamental character conflict par se. Cap should never work for the government, but now that Steve is just Steve, I see no problem with it. Since he's just a guy and not the living embodiment of the USA any longer, I don't think he'd have a problem with working with the government if he agreed with said government's policies.

Now, is it terribly bright to put Steve into the position where he's making that choice, and thus tacitly saying "Steve Rogers supports Barack Obama?" Nope. Let's face it, Bucky's a temp. He's got until either A) Brubaker leaves or B) the movie comes out. So when, as inevitably as Scarlet Speedsters return from the grave 20 years later, Steve picks up the shield again, you've left a mess wherein you have to admit that, yes, Captain America is a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

I'm not reading the current stuff right now, but I do see this as part of the natural evolution of the character. (identity changes notwithstanding)

During WWII he *did* work with the government because he saw what they were doing as being in harmony with America's ideals. During Secret Empire He split because he saw the gov't as being not in harmony. Likewise for Civil War.

The fact that he keeps running back to the gov't is part of his idealistic nature.

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