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The Painting of Captain America?

| July 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

Daily Dose-laalaa-3

 

There’s a time and a place for everything, isn’t there?

The question, then, is “is this the time for Black Captain America”?

I was writing a script recently, and made an observation about the 21st century. Today, we’re all about acceptance. We’re all about tolerance. To be intolerant is to be a throwback–even as we’re still uncomfortable about male homosexuality here in America. (In general, we have very little problem with female homosexuality when compared to males. It’s a double-standard, and the exploration of that is outside of these thoughts.)

I don’t think of Captain America as a legacy character, even though there have been others who have taken up the shield. Those characters have always been treated as placeholders while we waited for the “real” Cap to get better. That’s what’s happening with the Falcon–he’s a placeholder while Steve gets better.

Marvel has no real legacy characters. Not like DC. While we all know that Batman cannot last forever (although it may seem like he might), Bruce Wayne acknowledges that he cannot don the cowl forever. There is an entire Flash family. Even though we’re used to seeing certain people in the role, Green Lantern is set up so that just about anyone can be part of the Corps. Those are legacy characters.

To my mind, with Sam Wilson taking up the shield, we have done two things: we’ve lost a great character in the Falcon, and we’ve embarrassed a race of people by painting a white character a different color. Again.

This is different from Miles Morales taking over the role of Ultimate Spider-Man. Peter Parker is dead, and isn’t coming back, so we’re not waiting for him to “get better.” Also, the Spider-Man uniform covers the wearer from head to toe, making it impossible to tell the race of the person. The same is not true for Captain America.

In Truth: Red, White, and Black, we get a much more feasible, much more realistic approach to the Captain America mythos and creation. While some didn’t like it, it provided a window into what Captain America can be, and the bumpy road taken to get there. (Today’s modern American white male, with the battle cry of “acceptance” ringing in their ears, finds it difficult to look back and see what was done to anyone who’s not-white, even though we still have those still with us who lived through it. Living memory can be hard to ignore.)

I would much rather have had an all new character take up the shield than have Sam Wilson take it. In America, we have the line of succession, in case the President cannot perform the duties of the office for whatever reason. Why the same cannot be true for Captain America? Have someone trained at all times to take up the shield, in case the original falls. Captain America is a staple of the American superhero, and basically replacing him with someone who isn’t trained to actually be Captain America should be seen as a travesty. Sam Wilson has his own schtick, and as such, he should be counted out.

I see putting Sam in the uniform as a paint job. I don’t see it as a natural progression. Sam isn’t properly trained. I don’t care if Steve can be his consigliere. Steve isn’t going to be in the field, and he can’t be in his ear the entire time, either. Steve can’t be Sam’s eyes and ears all the time. Sam has to be his own man, as he should. Will the other heroes look to Sam as a leader? Or just the Falcon in the wrong suit?

It’s a paint job, and a badly done one at that.

It would be a lot more dramatic if some new guy or gal–Black, White, Hispanic, Native American, female, or all of the above–came out from somewhere wearing the uniform and knowing what they’re doing, to the chagrin and rampant distrust and unease of the rest of the heroic community in general and the Avengers in particular. Then the character spends their time proving themselves as they grow more comfortable in the role of leader of supers. Then we can have a true legacy character in Captain America.

Hell, we could have a new title altogether: Captain America Legacy. Set in different times with different characters, going back to the origins of the character, exploring the different people who have donned the uniform, and going into the future or other Earths. (You hear me, Marvel? I’m open to pitching this.)

Anyway, there’s your Daily Dose!

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Category: Columns, The Daily Dose

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

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