Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cap In Hand

Once upon my childhood, Captain America was one of my favorite heroes. What appealed to me was he had no far-out powers like X-ray vision, super-breath, flight, etc.

I wasn't a kid anymore when the rumors of steroid use ran through Major League Baseball, but I was shocked to learn Mark "Big Mac" McGwire had used the then-legal supplement Androstenedione in breaking Roger Maris's longstanding single-season homerun record. Though "Andro" was legal, I didn't think it was fair. And then I realized Steve Rogers became Captain America by volunteering to take "Super Soldier" serum. This was similarly vetted by Uncle Sam, but was it fair?

Superheroes gain their powers in all sorts of ways, many by ingesting secret formulas. There was nothing "wrong" with it, but I was stuck on whether it was "fair". After all, Captain America was supposed to represent our country's highest ideals, one of which was fighting fair, and he himself had taken a shortcut. If he hadn't, he'd be physically incapable of serving.

I may be the only one to see the Super Soldier serum as a performance-enhancing drug, but it turned me off Cap for many years. With the quality of the recent Marvel movies beginning with 2008's Iron Man, I was curious how they'd present Captain America. I've had my eye on last year's Chris Evans movie until, yesterday, I bought it on Blu-ray at Amazon for $19.99.

Captain America's theme music sealed the deal:

It's the most stirring theme I've heard since Iron Man's "Driving with the Top Down", and it rivals John Williams's Superman theme.

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