When a comic book makes news, every fanboy begins to get asked to fill their non-reader friends in on what's going on. Some hidden need to feel a sense of belonging through knowledge kicks is, and worried about perhaps saying something ill-informed down the line and even though they will in all likelihood never read the comic in question, they must know.
The was the case with Captain America when news of his death was published in the news papers the morning issue 25 was released. I was asked to tell my friends and coworkers what was going on, feeling a little like a front-line analyst with a khaki vest and rugged five o'clock shadow.
Now, it's not at all that I mind talking about comics, but rather the opposite. If I could, I would surrounds myself with interested people and talk comics all day long, so when asked to break down the events leading up to the death of Cap here, I was on that like white on rice. White rice. But, as is customary, I must provide the standard spoiler alert, as I will be going into the plots in order to cover what happened.
There. Sigh. Huh, now that I'm at the part of this post where I'm actually going to write about the comics, I'm no longer sure of where to start. Captain America has been around since 1941, so there's a lot of Cap history. Between his own book, being in the Avengers, and all the appearances he's made in other titles, he's got a huge library already written about him. I'm just going to assume you all know his origin and skip right up to more recent events.
There's sort of a timeline of "events" that set Captain America towards his fate, and they are as follows:
*House of M
If you would like a detailed account of those story lines, I don't think I could do it better than the wikipedia articles, so don't don't be afraid to take advantage of the hyper-text, it's good reading. Basically, Nick Fury took some heroes on a covert mission and then mind wiped them. Then the Scarlet Witch lost her mind and in the ensuing battle between her and the Avengers, with her reality warping hex magic going wild, Hawkeye, Ant-Man and Vision were killed and Captain Britain and Wasp were badly hurt, and She-Hulk was taken into custody after hulking out and ripping Vision in half in a rage.
They beat her, and gave her over to Professor X and Doctor Strange to tend to her now shattered mind. When all hop had been lost, a discussion about what to do with her led to some dark suggestions, and her brother, Quicksilver, decided to wake her up. Bereft with guilt over what she had done, Wanda decided to call a big "do over" on the world, and ushered in the "House of M".
Boy, this is long. It's taken me like a week just to get this far.
In the House of M, Wanda remade the entire world, trying to give the people she knew what they wanted from life. Magneto was a king and mutants were revered, Spider-man was happy, Hawkeye was alive, and Wolverine was the head of SHEILD, etc. But cracks in reality started to show and a band of heroes realised that this world was fake. The went after Scarlet Witch, and had to cut through her father's forces to get to her, but when it was all said and done, she returned the world to normal, disappeared and all but a few hundred mutants had their powers, down from the millions they numbered before her meddling. Notable mutants to lose their powers were Xavier, Iceman, Quicksilver and the Blob.
Okay, I'll get to Civil War and Cap's murder in the next post.