Saturday, July 23, 2011

Captain America: The Final Odyssey

Captain America always has his origin story in World War II. This is actually kind of a problem.

Unlike Batman, who's parents could have always been murdered "twenty years ago," Steve Rogers was always born in Brooklyn within a few years of 1924. He doesn't age like his Golden Age counterparts, thanks to accelerated healing and a few decades frozen in ice (or time, occasionally).

But here's a quirk: Captain America was presumed dead at the end of WWII, until his frozen form was found and thawed out by The Avengers. The first time the comics did this 1964. Cap had been frozen for 19 years.

Flash forward to 2011 and Samuel L. Jackson explaining to Chris Evans that he's been frozen, "almost 70 years," and we begin to see the issue. The first time Cap was revived, his girlfriend was still alive. I think in some versions she even married Bucky. Steve could go see his war buddies. Currently, Peggy Carter would be about 96. Not exactly fit to go dancing with Steve next Saturday.

Batman's parents were billionaires. It doesn't matter what year it was, they could always have put on their formal wear and dragged a 9 year old out to the theater one night. But Captain America has to start in the mid '40s and then he has to disappear until the 'modern' day, whenever that is. Every time Marvel does a reboot, Captain America looses another decade to time.

In 2045, Rogers will have been frozen for 100 years. At what point does his brain just melt from the culture shock? Will it be like Arthur C. Clarke's 3001: The Final Odyssey, where the one astronaut left floating in 2001 gets found by asteroid ice skimmers a thousand years later and is revived to a world of technology so complex not a single living person can understand every integrated system in even the simplest devices?

Screw that. In the Marvel world, Spider-Man 2099 has cloaking technology and nano-whatevers. After a thousand years, Cap's going to be woken up by Cable popping through his dystopian future while raising Hope Summers.
"My name is Miguel O'Haha. I am a geneticist trying to recreate Spider-Man's powers in others.
In an unrelated story, I gained those exact powers trying to break my forced-addiction to drugs. Really."
After all the world's oceans run dry and toxic, will Cap still be floating in a block of ice somewhere in the North Atlantic?

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