Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Star-Spangled Flying Wallenda


Beats me how the Captain America in the movies doesn't hesitate to leap out of planes--even without a parachute!--with no thought of the consequences. Because the Cap in the printed page usually finds himself in dire straits when he's plunging at high altitude:



But, somehow, despite all these dizzying descents, Cap is still in the land of the living, and still fighting the good fight, even though you or I would be laid up somewhere and hooked up to a respirator if we took these kinds of plunges. We've all see Cap make impressive landings from heights and come up swinging--but hundreds of feet above the ocean is another matter:




I suppose if I had a shield capable of withstanding high-impact forces, I might make use of it in a situation like this to cushion the impact with the water. Cap's solution, however, is to mimic the form of a high diver. If it works for cliff divers in Acapulco, I guess I can believe that a super-soldier can survive the impact of a "dive" from a much greater height. (Even though cliff divers are only dealing with a dive of 125 feet.)

Cap, however, hasn't always opted for a diving form when faced with such a plunge. Let's see what happens when the Super-Adaptoid puts him in an impossible situation:




Apparently Cap is under the impression that a 300-foot fall into the water is preferable to a fall over land. Maybe Cap has taken a few too many blows to the head, because it's a safe bet he'd be just as dead either way--even if he tried again to hit the water like Greg Louganis. But this time he's chucked his diving stance, convinced that he should hit the water in a different way in order to save his life:




Cap finds himself in a similar predicament when he's in pursuit of Dr. Faustus, and the rickety plane he's flying in lurches while he's attempting to leap onto the villain's dirigible:



It looks like Cap is going to try his skydiving moves again, to try and reposition himself to intercept the dirigible. Let's see how he does this time:





Whoops! It looks like it's curtains for Cap--unless Daredevil, who's piloting the plane, can make a pitch that even Nolan Ryan would drop his jaw at:





I guess we can't argue with success, can we? Though by this time, it looks like word has gotten out that if you're in battle with Cap in mid-air, your best bet is to still send him flying and hope that the fall does your work for you:



Dr. Faustus seems to prefer murdering his victims in the air just as much as on the couch, doesn't he?  In this case, though, this cover image is taking a tiny bit of license with the story inside, where it's instead Faustus meeting this fate and not Cap:



Fortunately, at times Cap has the Avengers watching his back when he finds himself in a deadly fall, which has come in handy a time or two:



Take this battle with the Swordsman, where Cap was at a distinct disadvantage and plunging to his doom. Each member of the team springs into action to save him:





And when the Man-Ape attacks Cap at Avengers Mansion and hurls him over the roof at the ground--hurls him, mind you--the team still manages to save him. Even when it's a fall of only three stories, and all of these measures only have two or three seconds to play out:



I hope it doesn't take Cap falling from orbit to convince him that a serum in his bloodstream isn't necessarily going to keep him from going SPLAT one of these days when he makes landfall. If I were Cap, I'd stick to a hovering helicopter in close proximity to a pool and a diving board:


Where he'd probably even get a glass of lemonade out of the deal.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could never be a superhero like Spider-man or Batman because I'm scared of heights. How a guy could swing from one skyscraper to another on a web or a bat-cable is beyond me!
Just the thought of a ledge makes me queasy. By the way, what happened at the end of King Kong?
I couldn't stand to watch him hanging off the Empire State Building like that. I switched channels. I just hope he came out of it okay and landed safely on the ground.

Anonymous said...

I was out walking the dog early one morning when I caught my toe on an uneven part of the sidewalk. As I was going down, I tried to angle myself towards the grass and in the back of my mind I was thinking WWCD (What Would Cap Do). I remembered his advice to Hawkeye "Go limp, don't tense up or you'll hurt yourself". So I did. KNOCKED THE AIR COMPLETELY OUT OF MY BODY. But I didn't break anything.

Go Cap!!!


Oh, and Fay Wray and King Kong were together at the end. Everybody came out to see.

The Prowler (proving bigger is not better since back in the day).

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