Monday, November 21, 2011
Just Call Him Steve: a word about Captain America
fIRST, a word about Captain America, a hero most agree Roger Stern had written well already in his own title.
It’s so wise to set an example and lead in ways that allow others to find themselves choosing and doing right on their own, to speak measuredly while others get an idea what it is like to consider everyone on the team, to learn responsibility, without usurping control of everything.
Cap never fails to speak up when a turn is against his better judgment, but only at the moment he's seen enough; having been the leader, he is accustomed to pondering everyone’s contributions with an open mind, while still maintaining an objectivity in battle situations that spells out one of the reasons he is so trusted by his super hero partners.
Another part calls back to his competency, which is built largely on the experience of brooding over what he doesn’t understand, when he realizes it’s important. One thing you often hear Cap point out is when it is not, in fact, the time to worry over a given thing, when other decisions require concentration.
He is, in fact, very empathetic, and this leads him in feeling out people, and also when to lend an encouraging word; experience has taught him the appearance and feel of many traps and tactics; all the while, he is all he can be, with spirit and dedication that makes a man with no super powers and a nearly indestructible shield impressive beside or against any array of imaginatively powered beings.
He's able to follow an order, and gives orders based on an understanding of what following orders is like. When you are the Wasp and you have Captain America following your orders, it sets an effective precedent that can even give a three thousand year old chauvinist pause to think. Considering his fellow Avengers are practically never trained U.S. Military personnel--- who are as humble and obedient as possible while individually touting some very creative problem solvers--- his grasp of behavior, and his intention to be as good a friend as possible are his truest allies in establishing something of his orderly personality in the team's collective psyche. They are without fail completely different individuals, each and every one. You learn you can always rely on Cap for a thoughtful response, though he readily admits to not having all the answers.
He never stops learning, and he’s creative in approaching the many lessons he’s inspired to teach. He’s such a believer in what people can do, working together, that you know he’s the kind of person to be, anywhere you really want things done. No one’s more entitled to ego than a man without power to fall back on besides his brain, standing side-by-side with the inter-galactically known, revered and feared, Avengers, costumed in Old Glory, nonetheless--- and if he can check it at the door, whoever you are, why wouldn’t you?
Remember: this isn’t even his time period. Imagine all your old friends and kin you ever knew, already in the grave, and here you are, adapting to whatever comes your way, with your heart, your only home. The guy most likely to keep a level head and help get everyone home will never, in fact, go home, but he’ll never forget where he came from: weakness, innocence, need. He'll let you know, too, when there is no one else but you who can save the day---and that everyone is counting on you. He is counting on you.
He doth ne'er give up!
If he ever blows a call, he apologizes, and he’ll accept an apology, too, if it means an end to senseless violence. He’s made a life of making sense of violence. He judges others by their actions. The ends never justify the means. He is Socrates---not to call him old, but he is soldier and philosopher in one. If you’re a full-fledged Avenger, though, one day he’ll most likely ask you to just call him Steve.
Roger Stern gets this.
A problem with any of the above might be an invitation to a fat lip.
Sincerely, Clint Barton, HAWKEYE