When I answered the knock at the front door and signed for my package I had thought perhaps it was the latest release by Scream Factory. Tearing open the large envelope from Sterling Publishing I was surprised to see I had received a book by Dr. Travis Langley, a collection of essays (ten in total) that boils down the character choices of both Captain America and Iron Man in regards to the freedom of the individual and national security.
For a second I just stared at the book. My Wife asked me if anything was the matter and I responded in the most honest way I could, “I think I got a book intended for another Retroist author.” I mean…I’m the type of guy that tried to wax poetic about the death of a shrinking anthropomorphic comic book mouse last year.
So later that night I cracked open the book, reading the foreword by Stan Lee – who Dr. Langley has spent some time with it turns out, and let myself be informed through 158 pages of the deeper symbolism of some of our favorite Marvel Comic icons. While some elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are cited in the essay topics ranging from Mara Wood’s Moral Decisions In Marvel’s Civil War: Stages of Hero Development to Codes of Masculinity: The Road to Conflict by Alan Kistler and Billy San Juan, the unauthorized book actually focuses more on the characters we’ve come to love through the years of Marvel Comics, although mostly the Mark Millar and Steven McNiven 2006 – 2007 Civil War series.
Of course more than a few of the essays examine the psychological make up needed to become a hero, whether that be from childhood traumas to the ability to listen to one’s inner voice, to perhaps more importantly put the needs of others before the self as well as the legacies we build with symbolism and how it affects the real world.
The contributors to Captain America Vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology – Martin Lloyd, Patrick O’Connor, Janina Scarlet, Lara Taylor, Jenna Busch, E. Paul Zehr, J. Scott Jordan, Josue Cardona, Eric D. Wesselmann, Stan Lee and of course Travis Langley present a varied and educated looks at not just Steve Rogers and Tony Stark but ourselves. You can pick up the book right this very minute at your local bookstore or by following the link to Amazon.Com.
Although I have to add that reading the book didn’t affect my decision that Captain America was on the side of right…not only in the comic book series but the Civil War movie as well.
[Via] John F