|Captain America: The United States versus Itself, Through the Eyes of a Wartime Fictional Hero|
Christian Dailly shows how the changing incarnations of the comic-book hero from his beginnings as the all-American hero in the struggle against Nazism in 1941 to the troubled and reflective warrior in the post 9/11 era, have reflected America’s changing views of their own society and its place in their world.
by Christian Dailly
|On the side of good
The 1950’s- Fighting the red menace
The 1960’s – a crisis of conscience
Post 9/11– the end of history?
“But we must have [enemies] – our patriotic fervour is so intense that we must use it against someone.”
Gustave Doré, L’histoire de La Sainte Russie.
Comic-books appeared as a popular cultural phenomenon during the late 1930’s. This occurred principally in the United States, and it was the U.S. that, for the most part, produced adventure comic-books during the early years of the medium’s existence. The super-hero genre would only emerge with Action Comics #1 in June 1938 and the creation of one of their most influential representative: Superman. This was an immediate success, and consequently created a series of imitators. In fact, the super-hero variety grew out of the Depression period. It spawned a demand for tales of heroic action and the costumed crusaders were designed to satisfy these tastes and needs. These new characters all bore the traces of old myths and legends. “They express in today’s idiom the ancient longing of mankind for a mighty protector, a helper, a guide, or guardian angel who offers miraculous deliverance to mortals” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.100, by Reitberger, R.), and as such they are rightly called the ‘modern myths’.
The basic structure of these early comics was more than simple: characters resembled character types more than individual characterisations with a sense of a unique personality. They were representations as opposed to discernable individuals. Or in other words, they were a vehicle for simply telling a story as opposed to making a comment on the ‘types’ represented by the characters. They lived in a Manichean world: they were always ready to avert catastrophes, help damsels in distress, prevent crimes being committed or injustice being done, and to save the world. The criminals they fought were super-criminals; and the crimes committed, even if they were symptoms of sickness in a society, were never stated because the super-heroes were interested in the ‘battle’ not in the removal of its causes. They thought, spoke and acted in clichés. Moral distinctions between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ were clean-cut and precise; i.e., the villain was ‘bad’ and the hero was ‘good’. Justice was seen to be done and that was it.
Though it is fair to say that these early comics’ stories did not make any direct social statements, they did reflect their times. This is even more notable following U.S.’s involvement in World War II. Its effects, in the end, would have an unprecedented impact upon American society: women and race issues were given a new light and the U.S. would no longer be isolated from the rest of the world. Many of that first generation of comic-book readers went to war and took their love of comics with them and brought it back afterwards. There emerged many characters whose purposes were built for WWII.
Captain America, my example for this analysis, grew out of that era and such notions. His first adventures depicted him as battling the forces of the Third Reich and Japan, as well as Nazi sympathisers and secret agents that had infiltrated the American home front. For example, the cover of Captain America #1 (1941) pictures the hero actually punching the jaw of Adolf Hitler, at a time when most American popular culture was avoiding specific mention of the Axis powers, preferring to hint vaguely at ‘powers of darkness’. ‘Cap’, as he is affectionately named, was explicitly a product and agent of the U.S. military, and remained America’s most powerful piece of wartime comic-book propaganda. Wearing the symbols of America all over himself, Cap became the ultimate patriotic hero and a national figure: he represented a national desire more than an individualistic one. Thanks to War, he was considered as a ‘person’ you could relate to, simply because he was both an embodiment of society and of an individual during wartime. As an example, soldiers who were fighting like ‘supermen’ against awful human conditions saw Cap as a representation of this. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Captain America comic-books were sent to soldiers in huge quantities, and the troops enjoyed them as a morale booster for the duration as well as a form of contact with their homeland.
Having presented the context in which Captain America was born, I will now turn to his fictional history in order to decrypt the first symbols used at the time which make the character more than interesting to study.
He was created in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, and was first published by Timely – which became later on Marvel Comics – in Captain America Comics #1. The first episode tells the story of Steve Rogers, an American born on July 4th, 1917 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York, from Irish immigrant parents. You will already detect that he is a ‘fashioned’ typical American: he was born in the most representative multicultural city of the United States which was the first
landscape immigrants used to see, coming from Old Europe by boat. He is a ‘product’ of the
melting-pot and ‘the American Dream’ concepts that some claim to be at the roots of America. Moreover, he was not born on any date; he was born on Independence Day – the ‘Fourth of July’, which celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (July 4th, 1776) - just after WWI. As a character, he is already a patriot by heart.
That is why, by the early 1940’s (comic’s timeline) and before America’s entry into WWII, Steve Rogers (Captain America’s alter ego), a tall but scrawny man disturbed by the rise of the Third Reich, tries to enlist only to be rejected due to his poor constitution. An army officer looking for test subjects offers Rogers the chance to serve his country by taking part in a top-secret defence project – Operation: Rebirth, which seeks to create a means of developing super-soldiers. Rogers becomes one of the first human test subject for the Super-Soldier serum invented by the scientist Dr. Reinstein. The name was not chosen without purpose: this professor has strong links with the true story of Albert Einstein (1879-1955). When Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933 and passed “The Law of the Restoration of the Civil Service”, which forced all Jewish university professors out of their jobs, Einstein was forced to renounce his Prussian citizenship and stayed in the United States like our fictional Dr. Reinstein. However, even if we could draw a parallel between Operation Rebirth and the Manhattan Project, we have to bear in mind that Einstein, as opposed to Dr. Reinstein, did not invent the project. He had only signed a letter to President Roosevelt urging the study of nuclear fission for military purposes, under the fears that the Nazi government would be first to develop nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, the important concept of secret weapon is there, as the rumours during WWII of Nazi ‘wonder weapons’ abound in our reality.
Eventually, the ‘Rebirth’ process transforms the weak Steve Rogers into a man with the maximum of human efficiency, greatly enhancing his musculature and reflexes. Dr. Reinstein declares Rogers to be the first of a new breed of man, a “nearly perfect human being” (Captain America #109, Jan.1969). At that moment, a Nazi spy reveals himself and shoots the professor, leaving the formula unduplicated and Rogers the unique ‘Super-Soldier’. It will surely strike one as odd that this fervent defender of American democracy, of all people, can personify an idea preached by Nazi ideology: the spoiled Nietzschean concept of ‘Übermensch’. Nevertheless, even if Cap is a tall blond blue-eyed man and a WASP, we can also see it as a back-scent, a transformation of this concept into the one of the ‘self-made man’ – i.e. an American ‘embezzlement’ of an enemy’s concept for their own profits.
Leslie Fiedler, The Middle Against Both Ends, 1955.
In the comic, the U.S. government, making the most of its one super-soldier, re-imagines him as a super-hero who serves as both a counter intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi’s head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull. To that end, Cap is given a uniform modelled after the American Flag, a bullet proof shield, and the codename Captain America. The imagery of the costume is more than important in this analysis in order to comprehend the character. First, clad in the Stars and Stripes, he incorporates American ideology. He represents with the star the fifty U.S. states and with the stripes the thirteen original colonies that rebelled against the British crown. Thus, he becomes the unconquerable spirit of the USA, an incarnation of the all-American ideal – from North to South, from East to West. Besides, in terms of the symbolism of the design itself, a book about the flag published by the Congress in 1977 states:The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”
George Washington is also credited with saying:
Secondly, his shield is an unconventional weapon. It has two uses: offence, by throwing it like a boomerang and defence. In some of his adventures, Cap will even have the American Constitution written behind it. As a result, it can have two meanings: one, Cap is simply the protector of the American Constitution and protects it behind his shield; or metaphorically, the Constitution itself is a shield, a symbolic shield which enables Cap to be invincible and show the ‘true American Way’ to his adversaries by throwing at them the political and social cornerstone of his country. To conclude on this issue, he is the embodiment of the perfect soldier: invincible, patriotic, extremely masculine and firmly grounded in the ideology of ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’. As Richard Reynolds notes:
“[…] the third term has stood for the ideals enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Superheroes have been better ‘Americans’ than most [Americans].” (p.74)
Reynolds R., Super Heroes, BT Batsford Ltd., 1992
Throughout WWII, Captain America and his sidekick Bucky would fight the Nazi menace both on their own and as members of the super-hero team the Invaders. However, many heroes, who experienced a short blossoming between 1940 and 1949 following in Superman’s wake, would encounter at the end of this particular era a saturated market and readers who had lost interest. “The patriotic flames that had inspired the heroes and had spurred them on to action during wartime had died down” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.106, by Reitberger, R.). As a consequence, with the end of WWII, Cap lost his ‘raison d’être’. Cap was not just any super-hero, and he simply did not work well in the new context. In 1949, the first series was cancelled: in 1945 (comic’s timeline), during the closing days of WWII, Cap and Bucky try to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. On the plane, Bucky tries to defuse the bomb but it explodes in mid-air. The young man is believed to be killed, and Cap is hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic - neither body is found, and both are presumed dead.
As society shifted gear after WWII, so did the comic industry. Just as Hollywood and the film industry would undergo political scrutiny and suffer from McCarthyism (1950s) and the headhunt for communist supporters, the comic industry also had their own problems with the government. The great responsibility for this and the ‘cleansing operation’ which followed fell on Dr. Fredric Wertham (March 20, 1895 – November 18, 1981). He was a German-American psychiatrist and crusading author who protested the purportedly harmful effects of mass media on the development of children. His crusade against comics started in 1940 and culminated in 1954 when he published his accusations in a book entitled Seduction of the Innocent. The McCarthy era, “that heyday of the blindly hysterical” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.133, by Reitberger, R.), was his great time. As a result, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency investigated comic-books, believing they corrupted the youth of America and debased culture. The comic industry banded together and created the C.C.A. (Comic Code Authority) which would serve as a ‘self-monitor’ of the industry, instead of letting the government do it for them. Content of comics is dictated by the type of society in which they appear - “Mass culture is the screen through which we see reality and the mirror in which we see ourselves. Its ultimate tendency is even to supersede reality.” (Robert Warshow ‘American Popular Culture’, 1954, The Immediate Experience) – Captain America’s covers went so far as to bear the subtitle “Commie-Smasher” during this decade. As with WWII, the ‘Cold War’ gave a ‘new’ enemy for America’s heroes to fight and turned America’s abstract ‘enemy within’ into a reality.
It became a conglomeration of American ideals gone too far, and Captain America became a more than usual black and white moral super-hero representing a united opinion in America, as shown in this particular storyline of the 1950s: In 1953 (comic’s timeline), an unnamed man who idolizes Captain America and who had completed his PhD thesis on Rogers, discovers Nazi files in a German warehouse, one of which contains the lost formula for the Super-Soldier serum. He takes it to Washington on the condition that they use it to make him the new Captain America. Needing a symbol for the Korean War, they agree, and the man undergoes plastic surgery to look like Steve Rogers, even assuming his name. He meets a young orphan named Jack Monroe, and they become the new Captain America and Bucky, but this time fighting Communism (Young Men #24, Dec. 1953). However, as the character of Jack Monroe will reflect many years later upon his role as Bucky in the Winter Soldier storyline:
Captain America v.5 #7, 2006.
We discover that by the middle of 1954 (comic’s timeline), they are irrationally attacking anyone they perceive to be Communist; and in 1955, the F.B.I. places them in suspended animation (Captain America #153-156, Sept.-Dec. 1972). This can bring out how American society, through comics, ponders on the ‘witch-hunt’ and in general over its past history.
The theme of the ‘enemy within’ will be re-introduced much later in 2006 in The Winter Soldier storyline by Ed Brubaker, in the wake of what we could consider a new ‘witch hunt’ on the background of 9/11. In this story, which insists on its resemblance with The Manchurian Candidate (a 1959 book by Richard Condon), we discover that the first Bucky is still alive and being used by Soviet espionage interests as the ‘Winter Soldier’ (a very talented killer) after multiple brainwashes. It truly plays on the old American fear of Soviet infiltration among them in their own country. As one of the Soviet leaders argues in the comic:
“It has long been my plan to turn this American symbol back against our enemies. I believe, because he walks and talks just like them, because he exudes ‘America’ with his every breath, that the enemy will never see him coming.”
Captain America v.5 #11, 2006.
Although, the early 1960 did not see any major changes in the overall structure of comics in regards of narration, there was a conscious effort on the part of some writers to give characters a greater sense of ‘realism’ and ‘individuality’ than had previously attempted. Stan Lee, founder of Marvel Comics, was breaking new ground: this era witnessed the first real examples of social commentary within comic-books. Some comics as well as reflecting the society and period of
creation, actually commented upon social issues of the day. In their search for truth, heroes “found themselves face to face with the reality and the social problems that beset the land” (Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, p.108, by Reitberger, R.). The ways in which they were presented had an entirely new approach: serials, in many instalments, made it possible to give the characters a much greater complexity than they had ever had before. Another important sign of progression was that the artwork, as the stories, was more considered, realistic and individual. Accordingly, it led to the new-found status of ‘authored’ work and of “realistic fantasy” (Stan Lee’s words in a Fantastic Four anthology, published by Marvel in 1977). This trend could be said to have been the product of the ‘social awareness’ that was synonymous with the latter years of the 1960s (counterculture).
By the same token, Captain America was brought back in 1964, first as a member of The Avengers, then in his own series in Tales of Suspense. As the U.S.’s image began to alter, Kirby and Lee, rather than just revamp their 1940s hero for the 1960s, chose to explore him explicitly as an anachronism: Having been frozen in an Arctic iceberg for twenty years after the plane’s explosion in 1945 – as his series had in fact been ‘on ice’, this Cap was “a super-heroic Rip Van Winkle, without loved ones, purpose, or any understanding of the world around him. Although such melancholy and turmoil would have been completely alien to the Cap of the 1940’s, it was strangely appropriate and often poignant in the context of the mid-1960’s” (Goulart R., The Encyclopaedia of American Comics, 1990). It would indicate that the world of comic-book super-heroes was just beginning “to lose a certain innocence” (Max Allan Collins’s introduction of Captain America: The New Deal TPB, 2003).
During Steve Englehart’s stint as a writer (1970s), Captain America was explored as a character, a historical phenomenon, and a national symbol. Rogers encounters his revived, but still insane, 1950s counterpart. He becomes deeply disturbed that he could have suffered his clone’s fate at the hands of the government (Captain America #153-156, Sept.-Dec. 1972). This set forth an allegory of America watching his past errors committed during McCarthyism and there are also the first glimpses of ‘Metacomics’: a medium reflecting upon itself by the examination of the super-hero genre. The series also dealt with the Marvel Universe’s version of the Watergate scandal (1972-1974), making Rogers so severely disillusioned that he abandons his Captain America identity for a time in favour of one called ‘Nomad’ (Captain America #176-183, 1974-1975). Torn by self-doubt, Captain America even searched for a new image as a sort of ‘easy rider’ (a reference to the 1969 road movie by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern). As the characters in the movie, Cap is “looking for America, but couldn’t find it anywhere”. Added to that, this quote, “this used to be a helluva good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it”, from Jack Nicholson’s character - George Hanson, sounds very similar to Cap’s words in Captain America #122, 1969:
“And, in a world rife with injustice, greed, and endless war. Who’s to say the rebels are wrong?”
Like the soldiers of the United States in Vietnam (1959-1975), he feels alone in a strange land. The character suffers the metamorphosis of his conscience from a political one to a humanist one, and the alienation he feels is the one created by the establishment. This is also and still exemplified in his comics by the character of Jack Monroe (the Bucky of the 50s) suffering of post-traumatic hallucinations (paranoia) due to the Super-Soldier serum, like the soldiers drugged during Vietnam:
“But I start losing time again, waking up in my motel room with no idea how I got here. I can feel it all happening, just like before. It’s like two parts of my mind are at war. The rational mind and the one that’s trying to kill it, the insanity mind. Sometimes, right as I woke up, I have a fever vision about it. In the vision, there’s another me growing inside my head…Like a tumour.”
Captain America v.5 #7, 2006.
(See the opening sequence of Apocalypse Now, 1979, with Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin L.Willard).
Therefore, the 1980s witnessed a great deal of experimentation in the mainstream of comic world with the apparition of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns or Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The truth is “there was something in the zeitgest in 1986, something in the air” (comics’ historian Peter Sanderson, source: http://www.comicbookresources.com).
The writer Mark Gruenwald explores numerous political and social themes, such as extreme idealism when Cap fights the anti-nationalist terrorist ‘Flag-Smasher’ (Captain America # 312, 1986); or in Captain America #332, when a Presidential Commission on Superhuman Activities told him he is to start taking orders from them or they would find a Cap who will. Already troubled by the corruption he had encountered with the Nuke incident in New York City (in the Daredevil: Born Again arc by Frank Miller, 1986), Rogers chooses again to resign. This particular story arc illustrates the differences between Cap’s beliefs and those of his replacement John Walker. Walker has a jingoistic attitude that reflects a large segment of American Culture during Reagan’s administration (1981-1989), embodied by other fictional characters such as the movie hero ‘Rambo’ (1982, 1985, 1988). In this regard, it could be said that themes questioning authority and corruption were prevalent at that time.
Rogers eventually re-assumes the mantle after reconsidering his status: the Captain America identity is a symbol of America’s ideals rather than of its government. It conveys the eternal conflict between politics and ideology. The character will many times respond: “I’m loyal to nothing, General… Except the Dream” (Daredevil #233, Aug.1986), or “I’m here to protect the people and the Dream. Not your secrets” (Captain America: The New Deal TPB, v.4 #4, 2003).
It is at the same period that Cap’s archnemesis, the Red Skull abandons his beliefs in Hitler. In the beginning, his role in the comic-book was the incarnation of Nazi intimidation:
“A Nazi icon made to spread terror across Europe. Like a bogeyman, to send Jewish children into screaming fits at bedtime.”
Captain America: The Winter Soldier vol.1, v.5 #2, 2006.
He was even given almost identical origins with Hitler: the key episode was when he fell for a local Jewish girl, but when she spurned his advances, he murdered her finding release for his frustrations (For Hitler, the girl is replaced by the rejected dream of entering at the Academy of Fine Arts, 1907-1908). In the 1980s, instead of being an American Nazi-created icon, the Skull turned towards America and its ideological idealisms becoming a wealthy American businessman and manipulating his way into the position of Secretary of Defence as Dell Rusk – an obvious reference to Dean Rusk, a former U.S. Secretary of State, but also an anagram for ‘red skull’. In that way, the Red Skull became untouchable and embodied at that period the fear of most conspiracy theorists:
“In the councils of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
President Eisenhower’s valedictory, March 1961.
I will also speak briefly about another Cap’s threat which is still very significant as a vivid image of the world we are living now post 9/11: Hydra. This fictional terrorist organization of the Marvel Universe, if real, would be the worst fear of G.W. Bush. It represents metaphorically the essence of the U.S.’s vision of a terrorist group: restless, always trying to destroy the world, and indestructible thanks to its functioning, explained in this referenced motto to the mythical Lernaean Hydra: “if a head is cut off, two more will take its place”(Strange Tales #135, August 1965).
On the eve of 9/11, the super-hero idea, through many years of censorship, is just beginning to enter a world that is closer to the one we know. After realizing that the methods of the past are no longer appropriate, Captain America is finally adjusting himself to the times. The key transition would be his recognition that he is no longer part of the Authority; the knowledge that he is no longer on the side of the powers that be anymore, because the powers that be are wrong. He is offered as an anti-establishment image, a radical opponent to the status quo. He became a vehicle for challenging received notions of charismatic authority and leadership. In a sense, he is a real ‘New Deal’ character.
In Captain America: The New Deal (2003), Marvel responded to the horrors of 9/11. The interesting thing to point out is that the writer John Ney Rieber and artist John Cassaday give us a courageous tale which tries to examine the complexities of the issues surrounding terrorism. Specifically, it does not try to dodge the things the U.S. has done to feed the hatred, as one of the terrorist says inside the comic:
“Tell our children then, American, who sowed death in their fields and left it for the innocent to harvest? Who took their hands? Their feet?”
Captain America: The New Deal, v.4 #3, 2003.
However, we have to stress that Rieber offers no justification for terrorism. Rather, his point here is to insist in examining the root causes in a more complicated, grown-up manner than one might expect from a comic-book. The creators give us their interpretation on particular issues that came after 9/11 like the ‘falling-man’ who jumped from the Towers, the hate-crimes against Arabs, Captain America visiting Ground Zero and Dresden but for the first time he does not wear a uniform:
“Dresden. You didn’t understand what we’d done here until September the Eleventh. These people weren’t soldiers. They huddled in the dark. Trapped.”
Captain America: The New Deal, v.4 #5, 2003.
Moreover, at one point in the story, a young German girl represents an allegoric voice for the Allies in this time of ‘War on Terror’:
“It’s so confusing to the rest of us – Your allies that you ignore. It changes everyday. Who you’re fighting. Where you’re fighting – What the great evil is that America must destroy today.”
Captain America: The New Deal, v.4 #5, 2003.
Even more interesting is the passage where the U.S. is confronted with the very fact that it builds weapons and sells them as an arm-dealer (Captain America: The New Deal TPB, v.4 #3, 2003). This can show that it is not important how much Captain America could have been heroic, because not even he could have prevented the collapse. The issue is not so much how he will never again be able to save the day, because he is and always will be fictional. He and comic-books in general, like literature or any other media, can have a lot of ramifications as this book in particular. It is “in colour, after all, not black and white – and one of the most dominant and troubling colours is grey” (Max Allan Collins’s introduction for Captain America: The New Deal).
To conclude, I will finish on these words from Captain America v.4 #11, 2003:
“I remember a time when it was easy to feel pride in this ‘country’. When ‘this’ country celebrated the victories of its loyal soldiers. When ‘this’ country was my country right or wrong. And most of the time it was right. But times have changed, haven’t they? The battles are less clear, the wars less noble, the cause less right, even in the shadow of 9/11. Dark men with a ‘cause’ come at us like thieves in the night. Men who consider their ‘cause’ noble. Men who consider their cause ‘holy’. Men whose ideals carry power, and weight, and substance and make us seem wrong, but whose actions, reprehensible and vile, make murderers look right. This government can be wrong. Our politics can be flawed. We are, after all, a complex system run by human beings.”
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Brooker W., Batman Unmasked: Analysing a Cultural Icon, New York; London: Continuum, 2001
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Reynolds R., Super Heroes, BT Batsford Ltd., 1992
Condon R., The Manchurian Candidate, Jove Books, 1959
Bloor R., The Comic Book as a Text: a Study of “Watchmen”, ELCH Dissertations
McLachlan B., Superman: Representation and Embodiment of America at War
Young Men #24, Dec. 1953
Captain America #109, Marvel Comics Group, Jan. 1969
Captain America #153-156, Marvel Comics Group, Sept.-Dec. 1972
Captain America # 176-183, Marvel Comics Group, 1974-1975
Captain America #312, Marvel Comics Group, 1986
Miller F., Daredevil: Born Again, Marvel Comics Group, 1986
Miller F., Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, London : Titan, 1986
Moore A. and Gibbons D., Watchmen, Titan, 1987
Captain America #332, Marvel Comics Group, 1987
Rieber J.N. and Cassaday J., Captain America: The New Deal (collects v.4 #1-6), Marvel Comics Group, 2003
Rieber J.N., Austen C. and Lee J., Captain America: The Extremists (collects v.4 #7-11), Marvel Comics Group, 2003
Morales R. and Baker K., Truth: Red, White and Black, Marvel Comics Group, 2004
Brubaker E. and Epting S., Captain America: Winter Soldier vol.1 (collects v.5 #1-7), Marvel Comics Group, 2006
Brubaker E. and Epting S., Captain America: Winter Soldier vol.2 (collects v.5 #8-9 and 11-14), Marvel Comics Group, 2006
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-medved040403.asp (Captain America, Traitor? by Michael Medved, April 4th 2003)
http://www.racematters.org/wwiicaptainamerica.htm (Reliving World War II With a Captain America of a Different Colour, by Brent Staples, December 1st 2002)
http://www1.va.gov/opa/feature/celebrate/Flag.asp (United States Department of Veterans Affairs)
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