Sep 9, 2008

[Comics] Captain America: Secret Empire

Captain American: Secret EmpireI've never claimed to be a big Captain America fan in my life. I just can't quite place it, but then there's never been much about him that I've particularly enjoyed. Sure, he started out as a weakling and perhaps the nerd in me could somehow relate to that. However once he became super-strong, put on the colors and started flinging around that shield of his, I just couldn't really relate to it.

So initially I was on the fence about even bothering to read this particular story arc. However since it came with the download, I figured I might as well give it a chance and read it at least once for good measure. After all, I didn't think much of Batman until I gave his books a chance and really got to know the character.

This was probably a really bad example of a Captain America story.

Captain America: Secret Empire was written back in 1973, so that may explain a lot of the stupidity involved and the strong Cold War themes. Here, Captain America and the token African-American hero the Falcon somehow managed to get themselves involved with a secret organization that is eventually revealed to be called...the Secret Empire. Riiight. In the course of the story, Captain American tries to get to the bottom of this secret organization's plans (which involve a flying saucer of all things) while trying to fend off public attacks against his reputation (of course also orchestrated by the Secret Empire).

If I start talking about how stupid the story is, I'll end up wasting everyone's time. As much as we want to give consideration to the prevailing climate at the time and the quality of story-writing in general at the time, this was just pitiful. I mean come on, their big plan was to use energy harnessed from mutants to power a fake UFO, which the would use to convince the world to support them (as assisted by the threat of nuclear warheads around the world).

Flight of The Falcon at NightImage by TCM Hitchhiker via Flickr And don't even get me started on the Falcon. While I know the 70's still had the African-American community still fully coming into its own in terms of the respect it deserved, the Falcon was a horrible stereotype of a character who could do little more than shout odd quips and had no real superpower of his own until they have him the ability to fly. Okay, okay, so he also had that pseudo-telepathy thing going on at the time but all he could do was talk to his pet bird.

If you want to waste your time on a horribly cheesy story that a child could have written (and probably did) and endure the painful experience of watching the Falcon play the role of the token African-American superhero in a manner more embarrassing than perhaps how Black Lighting was on the Super Friends, then be my guest. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

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