Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Emails #15: We Need A Symbol



Thanks much! I'm not sure if we'll be able to fit many (let's call them) testimonials in the film, but I think any time we feel we must write "letters to Cap" we should do so without delay. I think those are snippets of inspiration-- the surfacing of subconscious, raw feelings about Cap. I realized that perhaps more than any of their other characters, Cap is Marvel's Superman. I think "The King" and "The Man" developed into creators interested more in dramatic characters than in idyllic ones. Cap is really their one ideal hero which makes sense given when Kirby/Simon created him. Any hero must deal with being good, but I think Sups and Cap have extraordinary expectations put on them. Cap is the light never wavering. Any human (or Kryptonian) would have a problem with that at some point. Surrounded in temptation and evil, his nagging doubt waaay in the back of his mind might be something Skull would exploit. Cap is the ultimate Aryan after all and holds favor of billions of leaders, media and people around the world. Lex always wanted Sups so they could take over the world, but not in such an absolute way as Skull would want. Of course, I have to admit that I know almost nothing about the Skull as most of my experience with him is from childhood. Actually, I haven't read very much Cap which, if I was really to write a film, I'd want to read every last comic. Anyhow, I think if Skull could actually be helping orchestrate how Cap is used in the field and just be moving all the pieces of the board to culminate into a moment when the audience will wonder if Cap will turn! In the end, Cap could still be considered an impressionable youth, depending. It's easy to forget that he's all of what? 18 when he goes off to war? Making him not much older depending on how long we keep him unfrozen. He'll have the maturity war forces on soldiers no matter what, but unless he stays unfrozen a long period, he'll still be young.

One other note, it's interesting to read about Cap's rising and falling popularity since his creation. In the 60's when he's unfrozen is pretty cool explanation for not being in print for over 10 years, actually. The only thing is, he was unfrozen by the Avengers. I suspect that is Marvel Films' idea for their film series. Such and ill-fated plan that is!

Anyhow, I'm putting together a Google Doc. I don't know if you want to use the method, but I'll send the link and you can decide. Creating a Google account is easy and free.

Rock on brother!



The door slides opens to an airplane hanger. Inside are row upon row of crates containing documents. A desk with a smartly dressed female officer sitting alertly behind it.

"We have been expecting you Mr. Rogers. No need for ID."

She consults a clipboard and she leads him through the rows stopping finally in front of a numbered crate. She opens it for him and it is packed with folders full of memos and letters. The officer produces an envelope and hands it to Cap.

"Unfortunately, nothing can leave here. You are free to examine anything in the warehouse and stay as long as you like. Someone is here twenty-four hours a day to assist. Please feel free to contact me if you need anything..."

Cap is left alone holding the envelope......


PS What Cap doesn't know is 99% of that room is letters to Spider-man. Poor Cap:) Actually, I was thinking it was an annex all about the Super Soldier project (Project Rebirth?) The entire thing!

PPS Hopefully it didn't seem outlandish that the gov would keep his childhood home preserved for him. I figured it would be something vets would volunteer to do.


As each name is given by a different voice actor, an envelope falls unto a huge stack. We can see the handwritten return addresses. The names come faster and faster, the addresses also fall faster. Many of them are immigrant names. Italian, Greek, Polish, Jewish, Russian, Irish, French. A melting pot.

James & Martha Zwyack

Mr. Rupert Fennimore

Sally Watkins

Gypsy Walker c/o Walker's Diner

Van Alsburg, Griffin

Mini "Pink" Pinsky

Brooks Wrightson and family

Kirby Eisenberg

Rosaline Spiegelman

Georgette Feiffer

Anothony Giorgio

Kostas H. Ross

All are addressed to Cap, Captain America. There is a huge sea of letters piling up...

The names are still being read but fading into the background.

Now, growing louder, are excerpts from from the letters. We hear individual voices and see the handwritten pages. These images and sounds overlap one another, growing in strength and clarity. Again there are MANY. son writes to tell me that his whole company was saved from an enemy ambush by you. My heart and prayers go to you and all servicemen.....

....writing to thank you. I would like you to know there is always a place for you here in Wabash county.....

....I am grateful just knowing how my son died and that you were there to comfort him at the medical center when he passed away...

...bravery, honor, courage and justice. I wish I was young enough to serve with you now. I am 72 years old....

...harm's way. It meant so much to us that our son was filled with hope these last weeks. We must carry on....

...I hope you are real Cap. We need a symbol now more than ever....


Finally there is one letter which must be showcased. We see Cap actually pick up the letter and look at it.

Dear Son (it begins),

Your mother and I wanted you to know that we have been following your exploits. Steven, imagine that you couldn't keep something like this from your own parents. We know that you are Captain America. Who else could inspire people to hope? You have done more than that. You represent America out there on the battlefield. Millions of people yearning for freedom have been touched by your example. I know we have. The fight for what is right and good always exacts a price. I have set up the checker board and am fixing the lawn mower for when you return. I am sure I can convice your mother to bake you a month of cobblers when you return. Please stay safe and come home to us.

We love you son.
your father

"I have to see the General. He will know what happened to my parents."

Cap pushes open the gate. It is made out of barbed wire and rotting wood. He notices hair stuck to the wire. There is a tall smoke stack lazily pouring smoke at the other end of the compound. Not a soul stirs. Is this place abandoned? There are fresh boot marks in the mud. Germans were here recently and may still be here. There are no signs of captives. Cap examines the row upon row of brick buildings. They are gutted, fetid, dirty.

"What kind of place is this?"

It is unnaturally quiet.

In the mud, Cap sees a yellow star of David. It is almost unrecognizable.

Cap has found a concentration camp, an extermination center for Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and undesirables. He is about to discover what the smoke from the stack is from. That people were being killed here. Evil has surely touched down on God's earth.

This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.
-Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)

While no one is expected to leap tall buildings in a single bound, our aspiring heroes will be tested on their courage, integrity, self-sacrifice, compassion and resourcefulness - the stuff of all true superheroes.
-Stan Lee

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