Was the recent “death” of Marvel’s Captain America (reported by the AP on March 7) a bit of comic book ethnic cleansing?
Less than two weeks after the surprise death of this superhero created during World War II to embody the patriotic spirit, Marvel Entertainment Group announced a partnership with UAE-based Al Ahli Group. According to Marvel’s press release, this partnership “will bring Marvel’s full library of Super Heroes – including Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men, Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer – to Dubai for a major new theme park destination being developed by AAG.” Captain America died just in time.
Apparently, there is no longer room in Marvel’s library for a super hero that symbolizes – and, indeed, is named for – America. Marvel’s website calls Captain America “a fallen son,” and laments that “Captain America’s death has dealt a major blow to the heroes of the Marvel Universe.” Despite any mourning period, the AP reported on March 21 that “Marvel said it is beginning talks with the developer (AAG) to partner on additional projects in the (Persian Gulf) region.”
Since the “Captain America Complex” has been linked with the global war on terror, perhaps its namesake’s days were numbered. When it comes to the global marketplace in general, and the United Arab Emirates’ booming economy in particular, it looks to me like there is no longer room for the “living symbol of freedom” (to quote Marvel’s website). After all, when there is money to be made, sometimes freedom – however symbolic – takes a back seat to commerce.