Captain America fights suicide


It can’t hurt, but is a comic book about suicide likely to prevent any?

Marvel Comics today released an app as part of “an effort to help raise awareness of suicide prevention.”

The company, however, is releasing the app for the iPad and iPhone only. Droid users, for example, are out of luck, although there is an online version. But I’m not sure this is what you want to see when you’ve reached the point of desperation…


There’s no dialogue in the comic (except for the last page). There’s a tall building, a bad report card, a note from a parent that isn’t helpful, a text message from someone urging the reader, presumably, not to call anymore. It’s not hard to figure out what’s going on.


Then comes some weird intervention by Captain America against a bunch of people on another building’s roof. Why they all have bazookas and weapons, I’m not sure; perhaps they’re life’s demons:


If only life were that easy. At the end of the comic, the number appears for a suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255.

Perhaps in the next episode, Captain America will take on the fact when parents often call for help for their in-crisis children in Minnesota, they’re told there are no juvenile psychiatric beds available. Fixing that reality will take a real superhero.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Any contribution meant to better anyone’s life should be thoughtfully considered and then welcomed. The thorny question of the probability of negative unforeseen consequences is one that thinking human beings are forever challenged to confront.

    Not being a comic guy, I would defer to the opinions of those with more expertise as to whether the message would be interpreted as intended by aficionados of the medium.

    Kudos, Bob, for your frequent compassionate exploration of issues that are part and parcel of the human condition. Your work is one of the reasons that I am proud of Minnesota. (Similarly Minnesotan phenomena like Bachmann and collapsing domes just make me shrug and smile).