Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Case for Bucky

OK, Now, as you probably know by now, Captain America is, illogically, one of my favorite comic characters. So now, while I believe that the current storyline will be resolved (eventually) and that (also eventually) we will see Steve Rogers as Cap again, I'm going to take a moment to point out the rather unique way that Brubaker has made the Bucky-As-Cap a commentary on Modern America.

First, let's get this out of the way: Brubaker's interpretation of Bucky can be summed EXACTLY AS FOLLOWS:



Which is fine. Superhero comics have a long history of swiping stuff from other popular culture (We all know Master of Kung-Fu was a response to the Kung-Fu genre and Bruce Lee. Let's not dwell, ok?), so this is nothing new. As someone else mentioned "Brainwashed minion of the bad guy gone good" isn't really new in comics. So, it's unoriginal, but is it any good?

Well, that depends on what you mean.
In the opening foreward of Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.1: Life in the Big City, Kurt goes on about how you can make comic characters stand for different things, and he explicitly mentions the idea of "How would Captain America look if he were conceived as a reflection of the post-Watergate 1970s America instead of the New Deal America?" . And I think that's what we have here with Bucky/Winter Soldier: A reflection of Captain America as a metaphor for Modern America: A country that remembers its past, but has been dehumanized by a long, cold war, in which it has been inactive, and occassionally entirely mislead, but one that is striving to live up to the legacy of those whom have gone before and laid down their lives for The Dream.
And damn, that's a Story WORTH telling. And a concept worth exploring. It'll be interesting to see where it goes.

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