The next issue of Marvel Comics’ “Fallen Son,” which chronicles the recent death of the superhero Captain America will be out for sale the day after Independence Day. In the issue, Captain America will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery witnessed by a crowd of fellow Marvel superheroes. His pallbearers include Iron Man, the Black Panther, Ben Grimm, and Ms. Marvel who carry a casket draped with an American flag in the rain.

Captain America, whose secret identity is Steve Rogers, has been a popular comic book hero for 66 years. His first issue came out in March 1941, nine months before the attack on Pearl Harbor with Captain America punching Adolf Hitler on the front cover. Since then, his books have sold over 200 million copies in 75 countries.

The events leading up to the death of Captain America began with the book Civil War. In the book, the popular controversial Superhero Registration Act comes to a head after Nitro, one of a group of villains that the New Warriors are fighting explodes killing hundreds of people. The government passes the law that anyone with a super power must register with the government. The heroes are torn between whether or not to abide by the new law. Iron Man leads the side who is for registration, and Captain America resists the act. In the final battle, Captain America leads a release of superhero prisoners from Tony Stark’s (Iron Man’s) Negative Zone Prison. Captain America is the only one sent to jail. While going up the Federal Court House steps, he is shot by a sniper, Crossbones. He is then shot in the stomach by Sharon Carter who was hypnotized by Dr. Faustus. However, the entire plot was organized by Captain America’s arch nemesis Red Skull, who was killed in a previous issue of Captain America years ago.

Many are taking his death as a metaphor for the war going on in present day reality. Author Jeff Loeb does confirm this as one of the motivations behind the book. However, his main reason for coming up with this storyline is to deal with the grief of losing his 17-year-old son to cancer. When Falcon’s eulogy asks all superheroes to stand up to honor Captain America at the funeral was reminiscent of what Loeb asked at his son’s funeral. This shows how comic books can voice personal messages as well as political which humanizes rather than symbolizes this heroic figure.

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