Doug: Today's question asks you to consider which single character in all of comicdom is perfect execution-wise: from the origin story to the costume to the basic characterization, which character is fully capable of the suspension of disbelief? Which character might have been a product of his/her time, yet remains relevant years later?
Doug: My vote goes to Captain America. Introduced in a comic book cover-dated months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' entry into World War II, Steve Rogers epitomized the patriotic fervor that was welling in this country as President Roosevelt sought to circumvent the isolationists. Was it ironic that Rogers represented the blond Aryan look that Hitler so coveted for his people, and that he was to become the first of what would become an Allied Master Race? The strong young Anglo-Saxon, Rogers came to embody freedom, spirit, tact, perseverance, integrity, and every other antithesis to the Third Reich.
Doug: Captain America then becomes a timeless character with one of the better revival stories told of Marvel's "Big Three" from the War years. The "man out of time" angle gave Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, among others, enough fodder to bring the Captain through the Silver Age. Constantly finding how society had changed and attempting to find a way to stay relevant in the Vietnam era, and then being ushered through the Watergate travesty by Steve Englehart, Steve Rogers' patriotic mettle was tested. Always tied to both the Avengers and SHIELD, the Captain became the moral voice and conscience of the Marvel Universe.
Doug: And what of the costume? I'd argue that it's the best costume in comics. Yes, I've heard that Spider-Man's or Green Lantern's have often been mentioned in that vein, and I'd not argue that they are visually stunning. But is there a costume that more readily identifies a character and what he stands for? Couple that with the fact that's it's gone unchanged for almost 70 years, and I think we have a winner.
Doug: But who do you think is the most solid character ever designed? Is it Batman? The aforementioned Green Lantern (Hal Jordan version)? What about some villains?
Alpha Flight #13 - John Byrne art & cover
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