Captain America To The Big Screen

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

And Jon Krasinski might well be holding the shield. Alyssa ain't with it:

I just think Krasinski is far too much of a relatable, regular guy to take up the shield as Steve Rogers.  I think that he's into the running speaks to the body type that's become so popular among young Hollywood actors today: the tall, almost willowy type that looks good in slim-fit suits.  Sam Worthington may be the only actor in this particular generation with a real jaw.  And he's already overcommitted and in danger of overexposure.  We don't need him to be Captain America, too.

I love that "jaw" observation. I keep meaning to watch "Human Target" just because the dude looks like a fucking dude. Damn I miss, the A-Team...

Anyway, I'm not as down on this as Alyssa. Wasn't there always something ordinary about Cap? Measured against Marvel's line-up of mutants, androids and aliens, he was merely super-human in the literal sense--a human being displaying the alleged limits of his physical potential.

One thing that makes me sad--I wish they'd been ballsy and made Captain America black. I really didn't like Truth--the art just stopped me cold. But the notion was really awesome. Moreover, I do remember liking Christopher Priest's short-lived The Crew. The subtle power of a black Captain America--in the age of a black president--really could be awesome.


That's provided it's put in the hands of a subtle director. It could also become a well-meaning, overly-earnest morality tale. Don't want to see that either. If they made him black, they really wouldn't have to say much else. I always thought that Bruce Timm, James Tucker and Dwayne McDuffie did a fabulous job dealing race in Justice League Animated--to the extent that before we knew McDuffie and Tucker were black, both me and Kenyatta suspected that there were black people writing for the show.

There's that "interracial" romance between Green Lantern and Hawkgirl, where before they get together she says, "We're so different"--and that line means so much. And then there's that great scene  when the Green Lantern (the John Stewart version) goes into the comic book world of his boyhood. One of his heroes (stuck in the 50s) says, "You're a credit to your race, son." Nothing else is said about his blackness. Like all things, race in art works well when the artist knows how to handle a dagger, not a machine-gun.

But we were talking about Jon Krasinski, right?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/03/captain-america-to-the-big-screen/36833/