Aaron R. Davis
[Editor’s Note – This column originally ran on the site on April 29, 2014.]
Alright, look: I’m a fan of Captain America. I appreciate everything he’s done for our country. The man’s a goddamned, bone fide, one hundred percent American hero.
But as a taxpayer, I have to ask: how many more costumes is this guy going to get out of us?
When they made Captain Rogers’ first service uniform back in 1942, it was made from some sort of carbon polymer to keep military rounds and knives from chopping him up. That was cutting edge technology back in the day, and it probably was none-too-cheap. I’m sure it was nothing compared to that vibranium shield, or this drug experiment that turned him into Captain America in the first place. The guy cost the government a lot of money — in 1942 dollars! — and he goes off and gets trapped in ice for a generation or two. But let’s be charitable: that’s just shitty luck. We owe the guy thanks for his service and everything he sacrificed has been rightfully honored.
Cut to 2011: they find this guy in the ice, thaw him out and the first thing we see? New costume. The old one gets put in the Smithsonian, and he’s got a new thing that looks like he raided a Party City. Still, I get it; it moves better than the old one, and according to press releases, it’s made with Nomex and Kevlar. Makes sense. Some street kid with hollow-tipped points and a ripped-off AR-15 is better-armed than anyone Rogers had to face in WWII (HYDRA notwithstanding, obviously). Rogers needs up-to-date armoring, especially if he’s fighting freaking aliens.
And again, I thank him for his service to this country. I want to make that clear.
But then this SHIELD thing goes down, and there are helicarriers falling out of the sky. What is the deal with the freaking helicarriers? Have they ever made one of those things that stayed in the air for more than a couple of hours? I know, I know — if they do, we have no idea. So much for transparency in government. Bad enough we pay, through our taxes, to be monitored, spied on and lied to about it by the people who are supposed to protect us. But then they spend untold billions on flying aircraft carriers that don’t even work? Hey, assholes: maybe next time build just one. If it stay in the air for longer than it takes an ice cream cone to melt on a July afternoon, we can talk about building a second one.
How come Tony Stark can build 42 Iron Man suits that apparently work fine and our top G-men can’t make a floating pad that can’t withstand missile fire? It probably helps that Stark didn’t build all 42 of those things at once. And look at that guy! He supposedly went through a dimensional hole and blew up an alien ship and saved basically the entire human race in just that tin can he wears, while SHIELD was apparently just drawing up plans to make more damn helicarriers!
And SHIELD turned out to be nothing, anyway! I don’t know what the hell happened with those helicarrier explosions, but SHIELD was harboring terrorists or something? It’s not like we’re going to find out about our latest counter-espionage/Homeland Security fiasco, anyway. God forbid they tell us anything that has to do with anything. Just keep grazing, sheep. And paying your taxes, of course. We’ve got more flying Ford Gremlins to make!
Someone tell these people that if they just want to explode shit, fireworks are cheaper and come in a variety of colors.
But okay, apparently SHIELD is something we have to deal with. They’re probably going to rebuild it. And they’ve got these Avengers characters running around. I know they’re flashy and weird, but I actually trust them a lot more than I do the government guys. If Captain America vouches for Stark and these other jokers, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
But, and I don’t want to sound like I’m whining here, but … okay, did you see the news footage of Captain America at the Battle of New York? And then did you see any of the few pictures that leaked after that helicarrier fiasco? What’s he wearing? HIS OLD COSTUME! He isn’t even wearing the new new suit that he’d been running around in after New York. So, if you’re keeping track, ever since Rogers woke up, he’s had his Party City costume, another costume and then gone back to the original … and then, we get these pictures out of Seoul, and he’s wearing another new costume!
Now, Cap’s still working for us, right? That means someone’s taxes are going to keep wardrobing this peacock. Is he still SHIELD? Is SHIELD still a thing? Is he CIA now, or Homeland, or what? Who is paying for all of these damn uniforms? How many mods do they need to keep making to this thing? Is the guy in charge of designing these things the same guy who can’t design a toy helicopter that can take a jet from point A to point A-and-a-quarter without it catching fire and crashing in the Potomac?
I mean, Cap’s out there dodging, I dunno, space lasers and energy beams. Even the bad guys don’t seem to be deigning to use bullets anymore. So it seems like if you don’t want to put him in an Iron Man case, there’s only so much you can armor this guy with that’s going to stand up to some kind of heat blast, right? Just let the costume stand as it is and stop wasting our money outfitting him. Let’s face facts, here: if someone wants to get the drop on Cap, all they have to do is aim for the face and hope he’s distracted.
Look, I admire the hell out of Captain Rogers. He’s a hero. He’s the hero.
But I just hope he never loses that shield of his. They probably charge us $10,000 every time they need to repaint the damn thing. Who the hell knows how much vibranium must cost? Do you even know what the hell vibranium is?
Let’s hope they don’t decide to cover his next costume with it. We’ve paid enough.