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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

And sad news now about a superhero. Marvel Comics yesterday announced the death of Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America. He was shot by assassins on the steps of the federal courthouse in New York City.

ED BRUBAKER: On the last page of the issue, he's on the gurney, you know, looking out with lifeless eyes. He's been killed.

MONTAGNE: Ed Brubaker should know. He writes the Captain America series for Marvel Comics. His latest issue depicts the last day of the shield-bearing hero's life.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAPTAIN AMERICA THEME)

Unidentified Group: (Singing) When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield.

MONTAGNE: Captain America was born at the dawn of World War II. Steve Rogers was an ordinary private in the U.S. Army who was given an experimental serum. It turned him into Captain America, the ultimate soldier. Steve Rogers, the character, spent the war years fighting the Nazis. After the war, the series was discontinued.

And then Stan Lee came to the rescue. The former Marvel editor-in-chief resurrected Captain America in the early 1960s because he says he loved the character.

STAN LEE: He represented everything that people in any side of the political spectrum find admirable. He was courageous, he was honest, he was loyal. He tried to always do the right thing, he had no prejudice. He was like a perfect human being.

MONTAGNE: Captain America, Steve Rogers, is survived by his creator. Writer Joe Simon created Cap, as he calls him, with artist Jack Kirby in 1941. We reached him as he was sitting shiva(ph), his words, in his New York studio.

JOE SIMON: To me, Captain America was a spirit. This is the time we need Captain America more than ever.

MONTAGNE: The superhero's creator, Joe Simon. But MORNING EDITION commentator and comic writer John Ridley says it's not so easy to kill an icon.

JOHN RIDLEY: I believe that he will be back. And as he rises, you know, I think we can all believe, no matter where we are from left or from right or if we are in the middle, that America will continue to rise. We have to believe that as a nation, that we will continue to go on. And I think that Captain America's legacy will be his rebirth.

MONTAGNE: Until that day, we say farewell to Steve Rogers, born in 1917, who died as Captain America in 2007. Rest in peace.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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