8.3.07

Death of an American Hero

R.I.P. Steve Rogers
a.k.a. Captain America
July 4, 1917-March 7, 2007

There may have been several who donned the familiar red, white, and blue uniform (William Naslund, Jeffrey Mace, The Grand Director, John Walker), but there was only one true Captain America.

Rogers was born in 1917, a much different time. Patriotism and doing what was right were much simpler. Disgusted by the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich, which he saw as a clear threat to freedom and liberty, Rogers attempted to enlist in the US Army, but was rejected because of his poor health. Willing to do whatever he could, Rogers volunteered for a top-secret defense project named Operation Rebirth. After an arduous series of training, injections of a still unknown "Super Soldier Serum", and exposure to "Vita-Rays", he was changed into a physically perfect man, "the peak of human potential", ready to serve his country in World War II. Armed with only his martial arts training and an indestructible shield, Rogers and his sidekick James "Bucky" Barnes fought Nazi forces until 1945, when Rogers was thrown into the North Atlantic and was frozen in a block of ice for 20 years.

Since then, Rogers has continued to defend the country he loved and its citizens from those who would harm them. In 1974, after becoming disillusioned with the US government, Rogers decided to abandon his patriotic Captain America identity in favor of the Nomad name (as it means "man without a country"). Rogers soon returnd to the role of Captain America when he realized that he could champion America's ideals without blindly supporting its government.

In 2006, Rogers was perhaps the most well known critic of the Superhuman Registration Act, opposing the law on the grounds that it violated civil rights and the protection that secret identities provide. Rogers became a fugitive, leading similar minded superhumans in a fight against those who supported the Act, lead by Rogers's former friend, Tony Stark. As the war continued, Rogers become more and more extreme in his desire to win, but eventually realized that his fight against the Registration Act was endangering civilians, so Rogers removed his mask and surrendered, giving the anti-Registration side the order to stand down.

While entering a Federal Courthouse, Steve Rogers was shot in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by a sniper on his way up the steps to Federal Court. In the ensuing crowd chaos, he was shot three times with a shotgun, and later died of his injuries. It is suspected that the Red Skull, Roger's arch nemesis, is behind the assassination.

The character's death came as a blow to co-creator Simon, the Associated Press reported. "We really need him now," Simon, 93, told The AP.

Rogers was survived by his original sidekick, Bucky, now a Soviet assassin named Winter Soldier.

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