Episode 160: Bringing a Gun to a Shield Fight

The Overthinkers tackle “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

Matthew Wrather hosts with Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, Josh McNeil, John Perich, and Jordan Stokes to overthink Captain America: The First Avenger, discuss the meaning of laser weapon colors, and read from the Falling on Grenades Wikipedia Page.


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10 Comments on “Episode 160: Bringing a Gun to a Shield Fight”

  1. Stacy #

    In Harry Potter, the colors aren’t their energy, it’s the color of the spell. Green is the color of the killing spell and red is the disarming spell. So, you can think up reasons why J.K. Rowling decided to make the killing spell green expectably since green usually symbolizes life


    • Stokes OTI Staff #

      Green is pretty systematically worked out as the color of evil in the Potterverse. Slytherin’s house color is green. The killing curse is green. The nasty potion Dumbledore drinks is green. The big Dark Mark in the sky at the quidditch cup is green. The basilisk is green. And so on and so on.


    • Logan #

      Yeah, but… Consider the house system used in the Harry Potter universe, in which green is akin to the Slytherin house, while red is associated with Gryffindor, representing good and evil entities respectfully throughout the series. Just a thought… Of course, it could also be because Voldemort is sickly, and Harry has the power of love…


      • Timothy J Swann #

        Yeah, I always see the Green there as equivalent to Chloros (i.e. the Horse of Pestilence in Revelation – usually translated as pale because Black, White and Red are scary, Green is a My Little Pony), and to this day have had to live with my school house having been the green one, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned recently on here.

        I imagine each colour comes with a dichotomy – which again, I may have mentioned, yellow is every cowardly jaundice or buttery sun, orange is fire, which is both good and dangerous, black is the night or the life-bringing rain, white is ghostly or pure, etc. etc.


  2. Brian #

    There’s a bunch of 40’s era comics from the online archive at http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/ It’s mainly smaller publishers but there’s some big titles in there like Black Terror. He’s a darker themed contemporary of Capt. America, jolly roger on his chest and black/blue hair, a pharmacist bullied by gangsters who gets his powers by science mishap when handling acid from red ants, also there’s a Robin-esque sidekick who dresses just like him.

    It had a good example of negative WWII propaganda. One cover had him punching a caricatured Japanese-American for taking a picture of a military air field. That’s the only piece of propaganda I’ve seen for the internment specifically. The character has been revived by Alan Moore on Americas Best Comics, he’s more pirate themed and hopefully less racist.

    Coincidentally, the original publisher also had a character named Captain Easy which predates Captain America. He didn’t make everything easy though, his super power seems to be having the squarest head and beadiest eyes ever.


    • Brian #

      When I say “darker themed” I mean his costume is black and red with a skull and cross bones and a black eye mask, not psychologically layered like Batman. He’s as one dimensional as it gets. Just the skull and cross bones outfit gives a strange counterpoint when he’s grinning while stabbing a German with his own bayonet that Capt. America doesn’t have with his bright stars and stripes.


  3. Patrick #

    On the question of the symbolism of color, I was reminded of a passage from Rabelais remarking on a popular late medieval heraldic color manual (and the general futility of trying to nail down color symbolism):

    …who is telling you that white means faith and blue means firmness?
    Why, a wretched book, peddled by hawkers and hucksters, entitled The Blason of Colours. Who wrote it? Whoever it was, he was wise not to put his name on it. I simply do not know what should astonish me more, his presumption or his stupidity: his presumption, in that he has dared, on his private authority, without reason, cause or verisimilitude, to prescribe what colours should mean; such is the practice of tyrants, who intend their will alone to take the place of reason, not of the learned and wise who satisfy their readers with evident reasons; his stupidity, in that he thought that the world, without further demonstrations or valid arguments, would govern their devices by his fatuous impositions. Indeed, as the proverb puts is, A besquittered bum in shit abounds: he has found a few nincompoops left over from the days when hats were tall who have placed their trust in his writings and have, in accordance with them, fashioned their mottos and apophthegms, bedizened their mules, dressed their pages, quartered their breeches, embroidered their gloves, fringed their bed-curtains, painted their medallions, composed their songs and — what is worse — secretly spread their frauds and dirty little deceits amongst honest matrons.

    [from Gargantua, Ch. 8, trans. M.A. Screech]


  4. Redem #

    Perhaps we should consider that while Captain America fought Nazis he did so before the holocaust was known in a way they were written at a time where Nazis biggest evil is pretty much invading all the country around them and the country around them.

    This movie is breaking the color barrier for death ray

    On the plus side Captain America probably stronger than Hawkeye

    You know shouldn’t they have taken a game they knew he couldn’t have heard of ?

    Could we splice footage of Captain America and Inglorious Basterd into one coherent narative?


  5. Lee OTI Staff #

    This is relevant to our discussion on Super Serum as steroids:


    Apparently, America’s unique “culture-bound syndrome” is “muscle dysmorphia,” in which males “suffer the delusion that they are insufficiently ripped.” The article goes on to mention:

    “Unlike hypermasculine Western heroes such as Hercules, Thor, and the chiseled Arnold of yesteryear, the Japanese and Chinese have tended to prefer their heroes fully clothed, mentally acute, and lithe, argue Kanayama and Pope. In fact, they say anabolic steroid use is virtually nonexistent in Asian countries, even though the drugs are considerably easier to obtain, being available without a prescription at most neighborhood drugstores.”


  6. Gab #

    Okay, catching up on Podcasts and movies put me behind.

    I think there were a number of subversions with the Hydra v. Nazis thread of the film. The parallels already pointed out, of course, but the doctors switched. In the movie, it seems like they’re trying to make him comply with Red Skull’s wishes not out of a maniacal desire to do experiments, but rather out of fear he’ll get lazered himself. Mengele was a certified crazy and did his experiments with joy. There was reluctance in the movie. This, I think, actually complicates Hydra’s role vis-a-vis the Nazis even further.

    A final scene at the end in a nursing home would have been FAR too depressing for the overall tone of the movie. Think about it. It was sad enough that he “had a date.” Imagine how demotivating it would have been for him to find her wrinkled and old. And what could they have done to explain what she had been doing? He would have been hurt more if she had moved on and married someone else; and it would have been utterly devastating if she had never recovered after losing him. A compromise, I suppose, would have been him putting flowers on her grave or something, and he could have given a line or two about how he hopes she had been happy (and maybe *then* if she had been with someone else, it would have been okay- but her tearing up and telling him would have been too much). But I dunno, have you read The Time Traveler’s Wife? I haven’t seen the movie (which I hear is pretty different), but the theme through the book is how she waits for him to come back all the time, and a scene at the end of Captain America showing them interacting would have been straight out of that piece of crap. I was kind of relieved they didn’t go there- I had tensed up, more than half expecting it.

    I had a few witty one-liners, but I lost them.


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