It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S., and that means remembering those who have fought and fallen for the country. With that in mind, we thought it would be worth putting the spotlight on five patriotic superheroes who have died in the line of duty.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: Steve Rogers was not the first patriotic-themed hero but he was the one who stood above all the rest. A kid from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Steve volunteered for “Operation: Rebirth” in the 1940s and was transformed into a super-soldier. Circumstances led him to be placed in suspended animation in 1945 and he did not awake again until decades later, becoming a “man of time” but determined to still fight for the ideals he believed America stood for (even if he no longer trusted the government itself).
Several years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the “Super-Human Registration Act” in the Marvel Universe. Anyone with advanced abilities was required to become an official agent of the U.S. government or else they would be declared a “living WMD” and imprisoned. Captain America refused to go along with this, stating that it was not the right of the government to declare who was free and who was not based on genetics or physical traits.
After several battles against those who supported registration, Cap declared that he would surrender himself to the authorities if he could state his case to the courts. But his enemies took advantage of this. While walking up the steps of the NY Supreme Court, Captain America was gunned down by agents of his arch-enemy, Hitler’s protégé, the Red Skull. Though his former partner Jim “Bucky” Barnes has taken on the mantle as the new Captain America, the world still mourns Steve Rogers.
MAJOR VICTORY: Recruited to lead a special government team known as the Force of July, William Vickers was given a high-tech suit which gave him flight, superhuman strength and the ability to wield energy blasts.
After years of doing his best to serve his country, Vickers was killed when he and a team of heroes attempted to defeat the demonic villain Eclipso.
THE SPIRIT OF ’76: In the 1940s, William Naslund was inspired by stories of Captain America. After training to be an exceptional fighter and athlete, Naslund became a costumed hero who hunted down Nazi spies. When Captain America later went missing in action, Naslund was asked to assume the hero’s identity so that the U.S. public did not lose hope.
He operated as the New Captain America for a couple of years but was then killed while trying to protect Congressional candidate John F. Kennedy.
SKYMAN: Originally, Sylvester Pemberton was the 1940s teen hero known as “The Star-Spangled Kid.” When he entered adulthood, the older hero Starman gave him technology that could manipulate cosmic energy. Sylvester used this to create a “cosmic converter belt” which gave him his powers of flight, energy blasts and super-strength and then renamed himself “Skyman.”
Sylvester was a well-loved hero and leader of the team Infinity, Inc. Sadly, he was later killed in a battle against the villain Solomon Grundy.
LADY LIBERTY: Armed with a torch that could manipulate energy, Lady Liberty was a member of the Force of July and did her best to protect the U.S. from extra-normal threats. She later sacrificed her life to protect the Earth from the terrorist cult-leader Kobra.
Since then, there have been other heroes called Lady Liberty, most of whom, sadly, have also been killed.
Any other superheroes who should've made the list? Let us know in the comment section!