Captain America surrendered after failing to register as a super-powered individual following the events of the recent Civil War crossover. Pitted against his former best friend, Iron Man, Cap was fighting for what he believed America wanted. When he was attacked by ordinary citizens in the streets of New York, he realized how wrong he was and surrendered to police custody. Only a week later (real time), he's been shot and killed by a sniper on the way to court.
I can somewhat understand what they're attempting to do here. Old America is dead. The things that we used to hold true to our heart (Mom, Baseball and Apple Pie) have been replaced by iPods, H2 Hummers and Youtube. More than any other hero (except maybe Superman) Cap stood as a beacon of hope and a physical embodiment of America.
Current Captain America series writer Ed Brubaker had this to say about Captain America's current relevance to today's society:
"What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on and giving speeches on the streetcorner against the Bush administration, and all the really right-wing [fans] all want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam."
To that I have to say, so what. Does that mean he has to stand for one of those two viewpoints? Could he not have had his own? Couldn't you use Cap to motivate people to speak their mind, no matter their opinion?
In the end, it doesn't matter. Marvel has made their decision and will live with it until it benefits them to bring him back. With Cap's friend Nick Fury in hiding for the past few years, it will be no surprise to me when he reveals that the "Cap" that was shot and kill was a SHIELD Life Model Decoy and that the real Cap, Steve Rogers, has been working underground with him.
We know that he won't stay dead. I would guess that in less than 6 months, another hero will appear in the familiar red, white, and blue costume. The "impostor" will parade around as Cap for a while until the real one reappears. With copyright laws such as they are, Marvel cannot go without publishing a Captain America series for too long a period or the rights would revert back to creator Joe Simon.
"It's a hell of a time for him to go. We really need him now," said co-creator Joe Simon, 93, after being informed of his brainchild's death.
The sad part about that quote (as a friend mentioned to me), is that at 93, Simon may not be around to see his creation, his legacy, return.
Added Captain America to the Who's OHotMU page today.