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The Shield


(permanent link) added: 2009-12-25 09:47:01 sponsor: Primo Victoria (last reply: 2009-12-27 11:29:36)

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Courage, Honor, Loyalty, Sacrifice.

Captain America is not here to lead the country. I'm here to serve it. If I'm a captain, then I'm a soldier. Not of any military branch, but of the American people. Years ago, in simpler times, this suit and this shield were created as a symbol to help make America the land it's supposed to be... to help it realize its destiny. Ricocheting from super-villain duel to super-villain duel doesn't always serve that purpose. There's a difference between fighting against evil and fighting for the common good. I'm not always able to choose my battles... but effective immediately, I'm going to make an effort to choose the battles that matter. Battles against injustice, against cynicism, against intolerance. I will still serve with the Avengers. I will continue to defend this nation from any and all threats it may face. But as of today, I am not a "super hero." Now and forevermore, I am a man of the people. Together, you and I will identify and confront America's problems. Together, we will figure out what we are and what we can be. Together, we will define the American Dream and make it an American reality.

Alternate title - The Flag

Somewhere between The Crown and The Cape lies The Shield. This Super Hero has one motivation - he loves his country. He loves everything wich it symbolizes, stands for all it's values and is damn proud of it's history. He's a symbol of everything a patriots thinks, when they think of their country. He's really heroic, maybye even as The Cape, almost always follows Thou Shalt Not Kill route, exept if it's a war - then you can expect him to be in first line, taking as much Those Wacky Nazis and Dirty Communists he can. When is time to deliver a Rousing Speech or give somebody Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! moment, except he will do it. If he becomes Older and Wiser will almost always end as somebody's mentor.

No matter how much on cynical side of Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cinicsm the mayor premise is, he will be always helluva idealistic. In Five-Man Band he's always The Hero, in Super Team or any other kind of The Squad he will almost always be The Captain. He can be very harsh and strict - The Cowl may not get along with him, every single Anti-Hero should not expect to see him among his fans and if you are Nineties Anti-Hero stay away from him if you don't want to get your butt kicked big time.

Hoever, all General Rippers,Obstructive Bureaucrats and Evil Presidents have to remember, that he's not loyal to goverment, law or army - he may serve them, but his true loyalities lies in his country's spirit and it's ideals. Try to do something against his values or limit people's freedom with law, even if you think it's the right thing to do, and he will be very first person to kick you in the face.

Proving him that his country has fallen and become corruped and broken to the core is the best way to make him doing Heroic BSOD. For a while. Because you can be damn sure he will stand again to fight for return his fatherland to it's former glory. In a case he is forced to give up his costume and secret idientity, you can be sure he will join some kind of force like army or police. There are many way to serve you country and he knows it.

Often is Captain Geographic, but keep in mind, he dosn't have to - Captain Geographic may look like The Shield or even think he is one, but justi because you are Wearing a Flag on Your Head it dosn't mean you have what it takes. Daredevil's enemy Nuke, for example, despite beign Captain Geographic, is just crazy psycho who only belives he is The Shield.

This archeotype was most popular in Golden Age and almost vanished during Dark Age. Compare The Cape and The Crown wich he can often overlap, sometimes beign both at the same time.

Note: Many of Golden Age superheroes mentioned here, wich have become a Public Domain later, have been repackaged in Tom Strong and Project Superpowers comics.

Examples:

  • Captain America - the most faumous, and greatest embodient of this trope ever.
    • Ultimate Comics Cap seemd to be an subversion of this in The Ultimates, beign more a Jerk Ass than anythign else, but Warren Ellis managed to give him few The Shield trials, as we can see here:
      Ultimate Captain America to Commie Super-Soldier: Yeah, I'm gonna fight you. You know why? Because I fought besides Russians during World War 2. They were good and decent men, and they made they made terrible painful sacrifices to save their country. And to their country then turn around and put monsters in prisons with nuclear landmines... to see people like you, proudly complicit in this nightmare... Yeah, I'll fight you. You've waited forty years for me in this hellhole, I feel it'd be impolite not to kick your head in. ''
    • Marvel has few other examples like Miss America, Citizen V, Josiah X or Patriot from Young Avengers. Iron Patriot is supposed to look like one. In MC 2 this role is occupied by American Dream.
    • Another Marvel example is Captain Britain, who stands for all values of England, and even all his alternate counterparts does the same - the only versions Evil Twin he has are from world when England is evil empire.
    • And we cannot forget about Falcon - the biggest Shield who is not dressed in the flag
  • Trope Namer - Archie Comics character The Shield, created two months before Captain America, currently brought back by DC Comics.
  • Nedor Comics has few of those, like Liberator and American Eagle but their best example was Fighting Yank, powered by American Spirit itself and with ghost of World War I hero as The Mentor.
  • Fighting American, who quickly turned into parody, when Joe Simon and Jack Kirby realized he was not so popular as they excepted. Even when Rob Liefeld bought rights to this character in order to turn him into cheap Captain America rip-off, Fighting American didn't lost all shield triats.
  • DC Comics take it to extreme, having their equivalent of Captain America beign Uncle Sam - Anthromorphic Personification of American Spirit - himself.
    • other DC characters wich embodies this trope are Major Victory, Lady Liberty and first Star-Spangeled Kid
  • Image Comcis has Super Patriot, who seems to be their equivalent of Captain America. Or at last the closes thing they ever had to it. He's kids, coming with superhero conednames Liberty & Justice can also qualify.
  • Comediant from Watchmen is either a Deconstruction or total inversion of this trope.
  • The Flag from Ace Publications, who has been even informed about beign America's Chosen One by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln themselves.
  • Man of War
  • Statesman from City of Heroes
  • Minuteman from Freedom Force
  • In Rising Stars comics corporate superhero Flagg (who later changes his name on Patriot) is working on his reputation as one. Hoever, real The Shield in this universe is officer Matthew Bright, who wanted to serve America and it's people so much he joined police force, despite that he has to hide his powers, because Specials cannot be members associated with any kind of force.
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