Monday, March 28, 2011

Emails #23: He Licks the Blood From the Blade

Red Skull pops an expensive bottle of French champagne. He sits at a table heaped with caviar, lobsters, shrimp and a roasted pig with an apple in its mouth. On each arm are hot German fashion models sporting chains and collars and red flowing evening gowns. They are snorting cocaine and licking the leather of his Nazi uniform. He is surrounded by industrial big wigs and their coke snorting, eye candy mistresses. All are laughing.

"There is money to be made gentlemen, untold piles of it. A candidate for President that I have hand picked for you. The initial startup money of two billion dollars each will be repaid a hundred times over in the first year." Red Skull lights and puffs on a cigar for emphasis. "This alliance shall be known as the Red Axis. Do I have your attention gentlemen?" Applause and laughter.

"What about Captain America? Reports indicate that he has also been reanimated."

"Captain America is a symbol of an older time, a simpler time. A symbol who has outlived his usefulness and no longer has the power to inspire." Red Skull draws a Luger pistol and fires a clean shot through the head of the man who posed the question. The revelry stops. "No more talk about Captain America. He's washed up..."

Red Skull gets up from the table and all eyes follow him. "There is only one true superman, one master race, one destiny. Join me now or join him." He draws and throws a knife into the chest of the fearful man next to the guy who spoke up. He puts a boot on the guy's chest and pulls the knife out. He licks the blood from the blade.

BEN: It's terrible, but Red Skull shooting the guy made me laugh. So matter of fact. Great piece, my friend!

I'm not sure if Skull should be frozen/reanimated or not. I like the duality of it, but I wonder if his serum has kept him young. I know we haven't decided on what the Nazi version of the serum actually did for him, just that he lived and that he may need something in human blood to keep (immortal?) his edge. We can assume the Nazi's were also trying for an Übermensch, but I was thinking Red Skull would be more cerebral than brawn. Perhaps that's more of an attitude, though. He prefers weapons and appearing erudite, but he could go toe-to-toe with Cap. I don't see him as a mirror image, though. Not Hulk Hogan like Cap.

RICK: Red Skull is about power. Make strategic alliances. Break alliances. Kill all who stand in his way. Ruthlessness, cunning, bloodthirsty, sadistic. The kind of guy who laughs in your face then stabs you in the back. He will always try to tempt others with vice as a form of persuasion. The carrot and the stick. In the above example, the greedy are lured with the promise of more wealth. The coke and girls on chains are meant to evoke drug and human trafficking. Then there is murder. Thou shalt not kill. Pretty heavy duty stuff. I want the Red Skull to be intelligent yet highly visceral. When you shake his hand, it might leave a faint smear of blood. This guy is not a Bond villain.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
-Abraham Lincoln

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.
-Samuel Adams


  1. Anonymous writes:
    Can you please provide me some more links for similar articles.

  2. Like many other sites, we do not accept robot submissions.

    Your comment has been edited and paraphrased in order to communicate your question.

    There is no other site similar to the Captain America! Redefining Modern Myth blog. It is the unique creation of filmmaker Ben Alpi and myself. We are not affiliated in any way with Marvel Comics or the new movie coming out in July. The opinions expressed here are our own and those of our readers. No transfer of rights is inferred.

    Looking for links? More general links on specific topics are available through simple internet searches. For example, to find out more about screenwriting, look for Syd Mead. For ideas on the origin of myth look for Joseph Campbell. WWII is an extensive topic with a lot of writing devoted to just about anything you could be interested in. I do suggest starting by looking at WWII timelines. There are several good ones easily available. Biographies of famous players in the war like Patton, Churchill, FDR, Eisenhauer and many more... Look for links on the Flu epidemic of 1918, Secret government medical trials but let's not forget the Founding Fathers and the Constitutional convention.

    We cover a lot of ground here on the blog. Half of the learning you will do involves finding things you weren't exactly looking for which is why I have only doled out topics and not links. Ben and I have talked about creating a reference page as a companion to the blog which might include links, recommended reading and movies although this will have to be down the road.

    Thanks for reading our blog, there is much, much more in store for Cap in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned. RICK

  3. "He puts a boot on the guy's chest and pulls the knife out. He licks the blood from the blade."

    This blog post is a brief sketch of what an after WWII Red Skull could be like. It also helps define the relationship between him and Captain America. We also wanted to reflect on the Red Skull as a character, a villain. Is he simply deranged? No. Not simply anyway. Is he cold, calculating evil? Yes but not entirely. What I think makes the difference between the Red Skull and many other villains in comics and film is the evil. He knows and understands completely the difference between right and wrong and deliberately chooses to take wrong actions. He is in control of himself and his decisions at all times. Circumstances do not force him to do anything. He acts out of his own free will and sadistically tortures those caught in his web. We may find ourselves rooting for him because he his brash, charismatic, decisive, bold, humorous or daring.

    I enjoy a good villain. If a hero has a good villain to act as a foil against, it increases both their statures. In comics, films and literature: The FF have both Doctor Doom and Galactus as villains. Spiderman has Green Goblin and Doc Oc. Cap has the Red Skull. RIpley has the Alien. Decker has Batty. Batman has Joker. Holmes has Moriarty. Sarah Connor has the Terminator. The stronger the villain of the piece, the more the hero has to overcome in order to defeat them.

    If you are watching a film and the villain is weak, any victory the hero has is also weak and unsatisfying. For Cap to be successful, he must go up against foes who are stronger, smarter and more powerful than he is. He must be humbled; lose. It is only in the journey to find the Achilles' heel that the struggle transformations weakness into real wisdom or skill.