The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

BLACK CAPTAIN AMERICA AND COMICS "RELEVANCE"
chest too broad, out of proportion
Captain America, a character who's been around for over 60 years, is getting a new chapter added to his mythos with a storyline that reveals a Tuskegee Experiment-type scenario at the root of his origin.

It sounds intriguing, enough so that I might just pick up a copy. It's been ages since I've read a Captain America book. This twist in the Super-Soldier Serum development has been touched upon before, sort of; in one of Frank Miller's return stints to Daredevil, he wrote in subplot about a continuation of the Super Soldier project after Captain America. But this looks like a deeper look. And it buys lots of exposure, which is the goal. You can also check out a few sample art pieces from the series, although truthfully they aren't much to look at.

Unfortunately, as with most news stories about comics, this one has the subtext of irony that "funny books" could possibly take on any subject matter that's not aimed at the adolescent-and-under mentality. A lot like this one, which is missing only a "Zap, Bang, Pow! Comics Are Growing Up!" style of headline. Even when a news piece is trying to be well-meaning, it comes off as condescending.

Ultimately, comics will be in a lot better shape once the parallels to rarefied artwork are dropped, the comparisons to rare collectibles are forgotten, and the hints of innocence lost are dashed. At some point, the greater audience out there may recognize comics as just another medium, like TV, text, movies or audio. What type, and quality, of story is delivered via said medium can be as varied as in any of those other media.