Captain America to the rescue!
My old pal Warren Bluhm and I have known each other since, oh, 1968 or so. Back then, we were pen pals, two teenaged comic book geeks sending each other weekly dispatches coast to coast, knee-deep in comics fandom. And the superhero we adored above them all was Spider-Man.
But Warren and I, who renewed our friendship on the Internet just a year ago (and we’ve still never met), are 38 years older now — and wiser, I hope. And while we would have stood by Spidey through thick and thin at 14, we’re both crusty, middle-aged, radical libertarians now. And we can’t ignore the obvious.
The ol’ webhead’s a sell-out.
Warren posted this weekend about the latest shocker in Marvel Comics’ current Civil War story arc: bending to a Superhero Registration Act that orders all superheroes to reveal their identities and list themselves in a federal database, Spider-Man unmasks himself in a press conference. Peter Parker, lapdog to the State. As Warren writes, this event “smashes 44 years of tradition” and “violates all artistic sense — 44 years of establishing a character with an intense sense of privacy flushed down the toilet.” Like
Ironically, the Marvel hero who leads the resisters to Civil War’s national ID mandate is Captain America, often portrayed in the past as a “my country right or wrong” Cub Scout. When the feds demand that Cap “obey the will of the American people” and assist in arresting super-rebels, he shouts, “Don’t play politics with me! Super heroes need to stay above that stuff or
So...a big raspberry today to Spider-Man. And three cheers for Captain America, upholder of freedom, privacy, and the American Way!