I've previously written about the Scottish Marvel Comics scribe here and here and how he injects his leftist politics into just about any comic he is asked to write. As noted in the latter link, Millar writes The Ultimates, which is the modern "re-imagining" of the old Marvel super-team The Avengers. Back in that January post, I pointed out how in that Ultimates issue a super-team dubbed The Liberators had invaded the United States. These "Liberators" included super "heroes" from China, North Korea and some un-named Muslim nation. They invaded the US basically because George Bushian foreign policy has "run amok," and all the other countries of the world (well, those not in the West, that is) got fed up. Government officials are executed, the general population is interned, national symbols (like the Statue of Liberty) are toppled and destroyed.
However, the Ultimates -- after seemingly being destroyed -- begin to fight back. Tony Stark (Iron Man) sets the "revenge" in motion using his usual high-tech solutions (in this case, "nano-bots" which have infected various agents of the Liberators). The latest issue, #12, has virtually all of the "Ultimate" universe's heroes (now freed) battling the Liberators, with the highlight being the showdown between Captain America and his Muslim country analogue (which issue #12 seems to indicate is from Azerbaijan). This Muslim country analogue (henceforth known as "MCA") is armed with a Darth Maul-type light sabre and, of course, Cap has his stalwart shield. Amazingly, Millar makes Cap the victor -- but not without injecting not only dreadful characterization, but his usual political swill. As the MCA lies beaten in a fountain pool, he asks of Cap "Do you not even appreciate why we did this thing?" (We're supposed to ponder, I suppose, the actions the US undertook to justify a genocidal invasion by nations with absolutely abysmal human rights records.) Seconds prior he asks Cap "And why should I give up? So you can humiliate and execute me before your fellow officers?" Cap retorts "Don't be ridiculous. That's not the way we do things in this country."
But Millar has Cap do that very thing to the MCA. Again, beaten and defeated in a fountain pool, the MCA is just lying there. Cap, now armed with one half of the MCA's light sabre, straddles the MCA and drives the weapon right into the MCA's chest cavity -- executing him. Captain America did this. Granted, the Ultimate universe is supposed to be "grittier" than the standard Marvel Universe, but certain characterizations are (or, should be) maintained. Like Cap's purity (or attempted purity) of purpose. Anyone who's anyone would simply not have Capt. America killing a person in cold blood. Unless, of course, he wanted to disparage a certain country!
An excellent example of Cap's aversion to killing is the "Galactic Storm" saga from the 90s where the Avengers were torn over a decision to "kill" the Kree Supreme Intelligence. Half the team wanted to obliterate the mental entity (including Iron Man), and half were against the action -- most vociferously Cap. In fact, Cap held a vote and his "side" won. He ordered that no one kill the Intelligence, but Iron Man and his "side" disobeyed. The Supreme Intelligence had used a "nega-bomb" to destroy virtually the entire Kree race in an attempt to "jump start" their evolution. The Avengers, who were drawn into the galactic conflict (it was the Kree vs. the X-Men-notorious Shi'ar) were horrified by the Intelligence's actions, hence the intra-team struggle. The continuing discord among the team following "Storm" led to the [forceful] dismantling of the West Coast Avengers team, which in turn led to the creation (led by Iron Man) of the short-lived Force Works team.
Meanwhile, over in the Marvel Universe proper, Millar is writing "Civil War." Actually, Civil War #4 doesn't seem like Millar really took to writing much at all. It is simply dreadful. However, at least here, Cap is more in his usual character. He heads the side of the "war" that supposedly is for "freedom" -- against the registration -- and use -- of superhumans by the government. He (and counterpart Iron Man) are going to extreme measures to "vindicate" their side -- their philosophy. In issue #4, Iron Man has Capt. America at his mercy. When Iron Man asks him to essentially give up, a totally out-of-character Cap (at right, below) says "You think I'm really going down -- to a pampered punk like you?"
"Pampered"? "Punk"? This is utterly ludicrous coming from [the Marvel Universe] Cap. As a fellow Avenger from virtually Day One, Cap knows Iron Man better than almost anybody. And he knows that Tony Stark -- above anyone else -- does not personify the denigration inherent in Cap's exclamation. Would a "pampered punk" surpass his father's business and technological acumen at the age of 16?? Would a "pampered punk" take his family's business to heights never conceived? Would a "pampered punk" devote his company's resources to making the planet a better place? But most of all, would a "pampered punk" put his very own life on the line time after time after time as Tony Stark (as Iron Man) has done? In many ways, Iron Man is Marvel's Batman -- heir to a family fortune who uses it to become a hero.
Interestingly, Cap's and Iron Man's roles have done a 180 from the classic Avengers #181 -- where the United States government first took a [large] degree of control over Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Just by looking at the awesome George Pérez cover shows you that it's Iron Man who's angry at the prospect of government control, and it's Cap who's holding him back. Henry Gyrich (whose fictional character played a bit part in the "X-Men" film) dictates the rules by which the Avengers must now play (or have most of their taken-for-granted privileges revoked), including their very membership. Iron Man yells at Gyrich (and I'm going by memory here, though I am quite accurate) "Who the hell do you think you are?" to which the red-haired annoyance retorts "I'm the government, mister." Cap is the one calming Iron Man down, asking "Would it better to have Avengers clearance revoked?" and "vouching" for government-mandated new member Falcon, a hero who has never even been an Avenger before. (Falcon was mandated because of government affirmative action policies; the Black Panther, an oft-member of the Avengers, was not available to join at that time.)
I think it just might be time to give up on these "hot" contemporary comics writers.