Philosophy, Morality, and Captain America, Part II
(For the first part of this gripping tale, see PM&CA, Part I.)
In college, I came to love Borders. It was across the street from Barnes & Noble's, and I quickly came to realize that Borders was the store for me (but that's another post). I would head there after – and often between classes – and get my coffee, sit in the Literature section, and do my studies.
When I moved back to Fort Wayne and joined the "real world", I kept up the habit of visiting and studying at Borders (although the frequency has thinned out significantly). About a year or two ago, I entered our newly remodeled Borders to find that (listen for the angelic, "Aaaaaaawwwwwww!") Borders had decided to take up the oft neglected practice of selling comics. The selection consisted of 67% Marvel, 18% DC, 9% Archie and Gang, and 6% "Other" publishers. The purchaser was obviously trained in the X arts which showed in the vast number of X-Men titles that were present. There was also a large selection of Spiderman and, in the DC realm, various Justice League periodicals.
I instantly resumed my interest in the tales of my childhood. Several things had changed. First, I identified several "pencil artists" that were doing incredible work. Amazing stuff. Also, I realized that the depth of several of the story lines had much more depth than most of the ones I had read during my younger days. Behind the standard "save the world from diabolical aliens, miscreants, and spiritual deviants", were deep, thought-provoking thoughts about power, loss, loneliness, pride, loyalty, death, spirituality, anger, revenge, and life. I was just shy of amazed. (I have since found out that several companies have begun to hire novelists to write the storylines.)
As I began to catch up on the lives of Wolverine, Night Crawler, Spiderman, Marvel Girl, Iron Man, Professor X, and Captain America, I for the first time started to be more interested in the Logan, Kurt, Peter, Jean, Tony, Charles, and Steve behind the spandex and masks. I started to be more interested in why each chose the path they did. What motivated them to fight, resign, protect, fear. In short, I realized that I had something to learn from these people. Although there was much I didn't agree with, I realized that I was intrigued with what I could learn from these fictional action heros. What shaped the worlds they occupied and did it relate to the "real world" where I found myself…