Captain America paid the ultimate price in Marvel’s Civil War – and when Thor returned from the dead, he honored his fallen friend.
The Mighty Thor honored Captain America‘s death in the most poignant way in Marvel Comics. As dramatic as the superhero conflict may have been in the film Captain America: Civil War, it paled in comparison to the comic book version – if only because the scale was far greater in the latter, and the conflict ended when warring heroes rained out of the skies over Times Square. Steve Rogers ultimately surrendered when he saw the unfolding chaos.
Thor did not participate in the Civil War, simply because it took place shortly after the last Ragnarok, and at the time he slumbered in the embrace of death. When the God of Thunder was finally restored, he was shaken to learn what he had missed, especially when he was told Iron Man had created a clone of him during all that madness. A furious Thor humiliated Iron Man and grieved for his fallen friend Captain America who was assassinated not long after the events of Civil War.
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The one-year anniversary of Steve Rogers’ death came in Thor #11, by J. Michael Strczynski and Olivier Coipel. Thor stood at the foot of the monument erected in Captain America’s honor, and he used the power of Mjolnir to summon his spirit from the realm of the dead. “I can still feel the world, Thor,” the spectral shade told Thor, “and there’s been too much pain and death because of what happened that day.” As Captain America reflected on the world he had left behind, he confessed he felt sorrow for the way the symbol he had stood for throughout his life had been devalued, how everybody was trying to turn that symbol into whatever suited their own political agendas.
And so Thor honored his old friend in the best way he knew how. When his conversation with Captain America’s shade was over, the God of Thunder flew into space and waited till the exact minute of Rogers’ death. At that moment, he used Mjolnir to release a powerful electromagnetic pulse that shut down all communications systems across the entire globe. For sixty seconds, every newscast, every radio, every satellite and cable broadcast went totally silent. All the prepared spiels by political commentators were silenced, giving Captain America’s spirit a moment of peace. It was the greatest gift Thor Odinson could give him.
Of course, death is something of a revolving door in comics, and it rarely lasts long. Soon Marvel revealed Captain America was not really dead at all, but rather had been projected through time, and he was restored. The ghost of Steve Rogers seen in Thor #11 was hand-waved away, a continuity error created as the Marvel Universe moved on from one story to the next. But, whatever that wraith may have been, Thor‘s act of devotion remains – and stands as truly impressive.
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