Saturday, 10 March 2007

R.I.P Captain America and my tribute to Kraftwerk

So Marvel comics have finally killed off Captain America. He was never one of my favourite superheroes it has to be said. A bit bland, a bit boring, blonde, goody two shoes, even had the super soldier serum removed from his blood in the 90's to show kids that "drugs were bad".

So why kill him off? Because Marvel didn't have a storyline for him. And he was killed off in a rubbish way (shot by a sniper, not bummed to death by a re-animated Red Skull which would have been much cooler).

Marvel killed him off because they bottled it. He represents America and its ideology driven from the war of independence and the civil war which came later, freedom, democracy, liberty.... but they couldn't give him an opinion anymore, he wasn't allowed one, not when there is a raging debate about war/international intervention going on. Comics, or at least comics aimed at the mainstream are apolitical. So Marvel sacrificed him. It was too dangerous to keep him alive, in case he upset one part of the polarised readership. Maybe they didn't bottle it, it was fairly shrewd in some ways.....

I hated modern storylines around Captain America, he was boring, they were boring. The Avengers were boring. I much preferred him as a member of the Invaders. Set in World War II, battling the Super Axis, The Red Skull, Baron Blood, Master Man, Thor and Adolph Hitler himself. I love those 1970s comics. Weak on plot, but high on action and adventure. And the gaudy bright artwork sticks in the memory.

I think I have most of them somewhere, if not, then I'm going to re-buy them.

Captain America, Union Jack, Spitfire, The (original) Human Torch, Toro, The Whizzer, Prince Namor the Submariner, Bucky (actually he was shit) and Miss America (she was shit too - the others were great).

Also here is a cool rendition of the original Union Jack before he got his legs smashed by his traitourous turncoat Nazi vampire of a brother Baron Blood. After this tragedy with a boulder (ha), his son had to take over in the Invaders. One of only a handful of British Marvel Super Heroes.... set back in the time when guns, and smoking, especially pipes, were considered cool.

Anyway, onto my tenouous link with Kraftwerk. As you know, the Germans fought in the second world against the Allies. Did you know that Kraftwerk were also German? Ha Ha Ha. That was a grim link.

Anyway, I was listening to the C.S.S album today, which is magnificent. Danceable indie brasilian punk. Like many artists they have sampled Kraftwerk. I am absolutely positive that (admittedley small) chunks of "The Robots" and "Spacelab" have found their way into C.S.S' album. I can't find any reference to this on the web anywhere. But it is a tribute to these dance music pioneers heritage.

Kraftwerk, and their 1970's electronics, where more time was spent repairing failing analogue keyboards than recording were geniuses, one of the progenitors of modern dance music, admittedley a curse on, as well as a blessing to the world. So what if the music sounds a bit dated today? It would be like having a 3000 year old Egyptian sarcophagus in your living room, using it as a coffee table. Not particularly appealing, but made of solid gold. It isn't disposable music to jump around to nowadays, but it is still appreciated on the rare occasions you do dig it out.

Coldplay and their tired usage of "Computer Love's" main riff aside, most samples of Kraftwerk in modern music are a great tribute to their musical heritage.

What magnificent nerds. I love them.

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