I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy... Captain America Dead. (b.March 1941 - d.March 2007) When a Hero Falls.
I take pictures with dead people.
Captain America killed! - NY Daily News
Pop! Thwack! Captain America dead. - SAWF
Captain America Killed Outside Courthouse - CBS News
Captain America is Dead; National Hero Since 1941 - The New York Times
Captain America, who has the secret identity of Steve Rogers, died from fatal gunshot wounds from a sniper yesterday.
This dark news hit me as if I were the target of those bullets. I couldn't believe it. I refused to believe it. It took me a full day to recover with the help of many cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a beer I can imagine Captain America himself enjoying.
Cap was my favorite superhero. When I was a kid standing in front of the local liquor store's comic book rack and had only 25 cents (yes, I just dated myself) to spend and had to choose between the Spiderman comic or the Captain America comic, I'd choose Captain America everytime while I stuffed Spiderman down my Toughskins.
Captain America was always the top superhero to me. He wasn't a mutant or a beneficiary of radioactive exposure. He was human. All too human. He could bleed. He could die. He just kinda took performance enhancing drugs or "Super-Soldier serum" and trained a lot for his extraordinary strength and abilities. Very much like our heroes do today. Good ol' Cap was just ahead of his time.
However, Cap always sort of got screwed in the Marvel Comic Universe. He got the crap movie adaptations and played second fiddle to Spidey and the Hulk. It's probably because of his costume. Too on the nose, maybe. Too red, white and blue. But I didn't care. I loved it. And I don't drive around town with Old Glory wedged between my car window and roof either. His costume just had that certain je ne sais quoi about it.
The last time I saw Cap alive he was making his way to the Marvel Mania theme restaurant at Universal Studios Hollywood. Marvel Mania was the superhero's Planet Hollywood (oddly enough, also run by the same people who manage Planet Hollywood). He appeared to be running late for something (probably to bash on his arch enemy the Red Skull or to sing a version of "Happy Birthday" to the tune of "Born in the USA" for somebody's birthday lunch).
I stopped him to say hi and to tell him that I really appreciated everything he's done for comics, the country and me, the snot-nosed kid too poor to buy two comics and had to lift one. But it wasn't yours, Cap! Never. I couldn't do that to you. Spidey, yes, because he's sneaky.
I got to the point of telling him that he's a credit to his country and the fighting men and women everywhere and was about to tell him how much he meant to me personally when he cut me off and said he "really had to punch in! Sorry, guy, I'm late. Gotta run."
And now, he's gone. Forever.
He'll never know.
Never know how much he meant to me and that little boy once upon a time with the Spiderman comic stuffed in his *wince* tighty whities.