Captain America and Logan may not get along, but Steve Rogers just revealed why he let a killer like Wolverine fight alongside him in the first place.
Steve Rogers has always been one of the more straight-laced Avengers who showed a hesitation towards killing, but the latest issue of Captain America finally explains why he continues to put up with the heroes that don’t share that hesitation – and may even justify his working relationship with Wolverine. While Cap may have taken his share of lives during his time as a hero, it’s still not something he does freely. This tends to set him apart from a few of his allies, and it’s caused its fair share of tension between Cap and his teammates.
Captain America #30 marks the end of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on the title alongside Leonard Kirk on art, and its final moments raise some interesting questions about the titular hero’s stance on his teammates’ willingness to kill. After Sharon Carter tries to apologize to Steve for supplying Wilson Fisk with the information about Alexa Lukin’s location and inadvertently getting her killed, Steve stops her and tells her that while he doesn’t think what happened was right, she doesn’t need to apologize to him, even saying, “There are codes older than mine. And my answers aren’t the only ones.” This shows real growth from Captain America, who has a notable track record when it comes to thinking his way is the right way.
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Steve sees himself and his fellow heroes as icons and symbols of a better world and believes they should act as such. This outlook has put him at odds with his fellow heroes before, especially Wolverine. But Steve knows that his word isn’t the law, and this recent conversation with Sharon Carter shows a surprising acceptance of his allies’ more violent outlooks. This even explains why he would allow someone like Wolverine to become an Avenger in the first place, even though he initially argued against Logan’s inclusion in the group way back in New Avengers #6 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch. It takes Iron Man to convince Steve that they’ll need a teammate willing to cross the lines they won’t, especially after the Scarlet Witch’s betrayal.
Captain America may have been a soldier, but he doesn’t consider himself to really be a killer. He’s taken lives when absolutely necessary, but he never did so as frequently or emotionlessly as someone like Wolverine. Despite his wartime origins, Captain America was created to be a hero, while Wolverine was created to be a weapon. It makes perfect sense that their ideologies would be inherently different.
Even so, Steve may not like his teammates’ willingness to kill, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand it. Everything he’s been through since he first became a super-soldier has helped Captain America recognize that sometimes certain lines have to be crossed, even at the expense of his morality. While he can’t condone Sharon’s actions, he won’t condemn them either, which is pretty substantial growth from the man who has repeatedly called Wolverine a murderer.
Whether Steve is subconsciously giving Sharon a pass, or he’s finally come to peace with more ruthless ideologies, this exchange paints Captain America in an interesting new light. And it goes a long way toward explaining how Steve tolerated Logan’s Avengers status for as long as he did. It’s up in the air when fans will see the two heroes team up again, but when they do, Captain America will hopefully be a little more forgiving of Wolverine.
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