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Marvel's Latest Coup:
The Captain In The Rye

In the war between DC and Marvel to corral major talents, the estimable Joe Q may have just raised the bar through the stratosphere.

After landing fan-favorites Joss Whedon and Bryan Singer to each take a spin on X-Men, Quesada focused his attention on the faltering Avengers franchise.

Step One: put Brian Michael Bendis on the main Avengers book.

Step Two: Get some major talents to take a spin on the solo titles of the most steadfast Avengers.

Step Two has been accomplished, in spades. Occasional Fanboy Planet contributor Daniel DeFabio got his hands on a proposal from a writer that nobody could have ever guessed would turn his hands to comics.

In a strange way, though, who better to write Captain America than a man of letters whose own son actually played the Star-Spangled Avenger?

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride that we present to you J.D. Salinger's vision for Captain America:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is how I got to be this way, not what my lousy childhood was like and all that other David Copperfield crap. That stuff bores me. The truth is I wasn’t much of a fighter and maybe I was more that a little yellow. It’s not my fault, I didn’t want to be yellow, but I had arms like pencils. It’s hard not to be a little yellow when you have arms like pencils. I wasn’t yellow when it came to the Nazis though. I was ready to fight. You got to give it to anybody, even old Hitler, if they can make you feel like fighting for what’s right.

Stradlater, he’s my roommate at school, he’s a good enough guy except he knows it, he was going down to the Army recruiter to volunteer. I told him was going along. “What for?” he says. “To sign up.” “You can’t. You’re only seventeen.” He was eighteen, just barely
and exactly the kind sonofabitch to lord it over you if you were seventeen. “Stradlater kid, I’ll lie.” He hates when I call him kid ‘cause he thinks he’s old enough to be my father. The truth is, if you want to
know, I’m one helluva liar. I can really string ‘em along if I’m in a mood for it.

So down we went into New York and old Stradlater gets his physical and I’m sure they all made plans for him to be a general right away or something because he thinks he has this terrific build. I’ll admit he does have a great build. I’m tall about six two but he’s almost as tall and weighs probably twice as much.

So when it’s my turn they call out “Rogers, Steven” and in I go. They only asked once if I was eighteen and like I told ya I can be one helluva liar. This old Doctor Spenser he had to be three hundred years
old and he asks me to strip down to my shorts. I sure know a lot of perverts and they always seem to get perverty around me. But old Doc Spenser he looks me over and “hmms” and “rrrmmms” in ways that don’t make you feel like you’re gonna be made a General anytime soon. Turns out maybe he wasn’t a pervert ‘cause he had me get dressed again right away and tells me I’m 4F. In case you don’t know 4F is army talk for too weak to go fight. Like I told you before I have arms like pencils.

“What do I do now?” I ask the old Doc. “Go home. Go back to school.” He says without sounding sad about it. At least he wasn’t a phony, I hate those kinds of phonies that would make you think you
came real close. “Nice try.” They might say. I hate when people tell me nice try. “What about the Nazis?” I asked him. Then he looks up
and kinda stares into my eyes a minute. “The Army will take care of the Nazis.” He says.

So now I walk out and I’m thinking I can’t make it back to Pencey for any classes that afternoon and what am I gonna do in New York. I’m not gonna go see a picture. IF there’s one thing I hate it’s the movies.
I’m too damn skinny. I was supposed to be on this diet where you eat a lot of starches and crap to gain weight, but I didn’t ever do it. Then I hear “Mr. Rogers?” and turn to see old Doc Spenser hurrying after me. For a guy two hundred years old he could move at a good clip. Now he’s talking to me in hushed whispers. “You really wanted to go fight the Nazis very badly didn’t you?” “Yes sir” and he started
getting serious as hell. “We have a new experiment in the Army hospital… It might give you more strength. You might not be 4F after our treatments.” He had a long speech about how it might be dangerous or even deadly but all I kept hearing is I wouldn’t be 4F. I
was wondering if I’d end up sent to the same troop or unit or division as old Stradlater. I was in the Boy Scouts for about a week. You spent a lot of time staring at the back of the neck of the kid in line in
front of you. I figured the Army was like that too and with my luck I’d have to stare at the bastard Stradlater’s neck. But maybe the Army would have too much time for us to stand around like the Scouts on
account of wanting us all to get over to Germany.

So I told old Spenser “yes” and before you know it I was in this hospital getting a shot of serum. He called it “Soldier’s Serum” I think. It didn’t do much but make me dizzy and give me a headache so they
told me to go to sleep and I wasn’t going to argue because all of a sudden I felt like I could sleep standing on my feet.

When I woke up I felt great and all these Army phonies were around me shaking my hand and congratulating me. All like they were rooting for me all along when I never saw any of them before this. Some of them were calling me Captain Rogers. Old Spenser makes his way
to me and says it was a success and I had been given the rank of Captain. He tells me I sleep about forty years but I was in amazing shape. I should see myself in a mirror. So two soldiers wheel over this mirror and get this they salute me.

I thought maybe it was some fun house mirror or maybe that serum had left my head reeling because the Steve Rogers in that mirror was built like a wrestler. He about drove hell out of me. I moved my pencil arm and he moved his arm full of muscles. I have to admit I looked great, I really did. Except I was wearing this skin tight suit with stars and stripes all in red, white and blue that looked pretty flitty. It wasn’t
too gorgeous. “What’s with the get up? Where’s my Army duds?”

“You’re not just a soldier now Rogers. You’re a symbol of America. This is your uniform. Everywhere you go you’ll represent America. You are codenamed Captain America.”

I felt like a huge phony for a while but they gave me this indestructible shield and dropped me in the middle of Berlin and it turns out I was a goddam good fighter.


Okay, so we're a couple of days early, but it's no more unlikely than Marvel's making peace with Alan Moore. And THAT actually happened.

You can see more of Daniel's stuff at The Sodajerks.

Daniel DeFabio


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