March 7, 2007
@ 06:47 PM

Marvel comics has been ticking me off for a few months now with their mediocre Avengers Disassembled, House of M and Civil War trilogy but it looks like they finally found a way to push me over the edge. According to MSNBC in Death to ‘America’: Comic-book hero killed off

Captain America has undertaken his last mission — at least for now. The venerable superhero is killed in the issue of his namesake comic that hit stands Wednesday, the Daily News reported.

On the new edition's pages, a sniper shoots down the shield-wielding hero as he leaves a courthouse, according to the newspaper.
In the comic-book universe, death is not always final. But even if Captain America turns out to have met his end in print, he may not disappear entirely: Marvel has said it is developing a Captain America movie.

This reminds me of a headline from the 1990s, Superman killed by falling comic book sales, when DC Comics tried a similar stunt back in the day. The overuse of cross over stories and super hero shockers (like radical changes to a character's history or killing them off) seem to be symptoms of the death of comic books as an entertainment genre. I buy comics from a local comic book store on a monthly basis and I don't think I've ever seen anyone under the age of 25 in the five and a half years that I've been using that store. Well, there was the one time that one of the guys who worked there brought his grandson into work. 

Even though super hero movies featuring A-list and B-list superheroes from Spider-Man to Ghost Rider are making hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, they are pretty much milking a fan base that grew up with these heroes instead of introducing these characters to a new audience. This is similar to the way that George Lucas milked a fan base that grew up on Star Wars with his series of horrific prequels although in his case I suspect that there probably is a market for Star Wars pre-prequels in another 20 years.

Without a continuous influx of fans who are interested in the source material (i.e. comic books), there won't be a next generation of fans to buy all the overpriced merchandising and special effects laden movies. However I doubt that stunts like this are a good way to get people reading the comic books again, even though it did work when they killed Superman...I was one of the suckers who bought all the books. :)

Although Cap is dead, his memory will live on...on YouTube.


Categories: Comics