*now has many thinky thoughts about Steve Rogers and Night Watch and Young Sam Vimes*
The third gif is what keeps getting me.
He sees all these people getting on preparing to attack him, and they are all the faces of men he has worked with over the last few weeks and months, maybe years. Men he’s trusted. Lives he’s saved. Comrades in arms. His team, as much as he’s had one.
That is the look of bleakness, as someone else gets on and Steve thinks, “You? I liked you. I thought you were better than this. Oh god, don’t make me do this.”
(Sometimes the person that you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger)
But these aren’t people he’ll lie down for. This is a fight he’ll pick his shield up after. There’s nobody in this elevator he loves enough.
MCU!Steve is absolutely bebe!Vimes, except he’s a bebe!Vimes who actually got handed the ability to DO SOMETHING about all the shit he saw and hated as a young man, instead of having his hands tied and having nowhere to go but the bottle or the grave for thirty years.
There’s also interesting meta in reflecting on these men in the elevator, vs the Commandos, vs Sam and Nat and Maria and even Fury by the end. Way back at the beginning, Steve Rogers flatly turned down an attempt to pick him “the best men” and held firm on choosing the ones he thought were the best.
These men in the elevator? They were assigned to him. They were the “handpicked best men” he refused however long before.
But the people who actually had his back and made him able to do what he did? Another unpredictable band met by chance and chosen because he knew them and knew who and what they were.
Cap2 is really all about Steve remembering that actually he’s a stubborn unpredictable maverick force that never met an order he actually obeyed out of Basic, not a cog - even an important cog - in the big grinding machine. He’s the guy in the costume who wasn’t even supposed to be there who ran a racially integrated unit that also held two guys not even from the US Army and NONE of whom deigned to wear uniforms. He forgot that for a bit. Then he remembered.
Call me unimaginative, I had him down as Carrot. But now that I’ve read this I am all for CEvans as Sam Vimes.
(Though, can you imagine him smashing through a wall, covered in mud and yelling “THAT IS NOT MY COW?”)
I’m not a comics girl, but I have watched some of the cartoons and THAT Cap is %100 Carrot. But the MCU takes a different shake on all the characters and MCU!Steve is, for my money, v definitely a young Vimes given agency instead of alcoholism, who got to get started on his project at 24 rather than 50.
Now see, I’m very much a Cap=Carrot type myself, but I’m open to conversion. Could you maybe say why you see him as young!Vimes instead of Carrot?
Motherfucker, I already answered this but tumblr seems to have eaten it; if it’s just being REALLY SLOW TO POST, well, sorry for two very long rambles about more or less the same thing.
But basically? Privilege, background, reactions and effects.
Carrot Ironfoundersson is the only kid of a wealthy and respected dwarven Chief Mining Engineer (aka “king”). He was lovingly raised by two healthy and wealthy parents doing exactly what he was told at all times; his Destiny then sat on his head and makes every. fucking. thing. happen in his favour. Carrot is Naturally Good. He is Naturally Charismatic and people Naturally Like Him. When he shows up, people throw themselves in front of bullets for him and - and this is important - IT’S JUST BECAUSE HE EXISTS. He’s physically massive, strong and handsome, girls fall all over him even when he’s totally oblivious, and everything he ever does works out for the best. He’s never lost a damn thing in his life; he even totally abandoned his post (and that was abandoning his post) when he thought he was going to lose Angua and even that worked out perfectly for him, getting her back, getting rid of his rival, keeping crime quiet in Ankh-Morpork and saving the day. Carrot’s the definition of privileged and blessed. He’s so privileged and blessed fucking causality's on his side.
And if he didn’t have Vimes to rein him in hard he’d’ve done some fucking awful things, and thought some fucking awful things. Let’s recall it’s not until he realizes the hot girl he wants to bone is a werewolf that Carrot stops being fundamentally opposed to the undead, yeah? Or how the whole idea that kings are a bad idea is Vimes’? Who taught him to use his power to help others? (“Vimes puts words in his head,” Angua thinks in Feet of Clay. Vimes is the moral centre of the Watch and of Ankh-Morpork; Carrot is literally just the McGuffin that lets Vimes get away with it instead of continuing to be slammed down into alcoholism and despair. Vimes even stops him from running off and being an idiot White Saviour in the complicated civil wars of Klatch. Most of Carrot’s actual morality, certainly the stuff more sophisticated than “stealing is bad”, comes from Vimes.
Whereas, let’s talk about movie!Steve. And I want to emphasize MOVIE STEVE. I neither know nor, I’ll be totally honest, care about comics Steve: like I said, the most I’ve seen is cartoons Steve and there, yeah, sure. That’s pretty Carrotish. Movie-Steve, no.
Because in MCU, Steve Rogers is the chronically ill and physically disabled (asthma without proper meds = fucking disabled) son of poor Irish immigrants back when that kind of thing still kind of mattered. He’s born to a widowed TB nurse (his father having died in the war which means having died before Steve was born) and brought up by her in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn. There’s a (very neat) bit going round about Brooklyn having been the queer neighbourhood? Yeah, back then, openly queer people didn’t have money, guys. “Queer neighbourhood” didn’t mean immaculate lawns and fake and bake tans, it meant poor-as-fuck. He was small, he was physically weak, he was chronically ill, he was dead poor and he had no dad, which also mattered, and also meant his mother would have been working a lot, in a world where simply because of what had and hadn’t been invented yet everything was harder.
Sound familiar? Because if you aren’t thinking “Shades”, or at least the outlying areas around it, you should be.
He would have had to fight for everything. He was born in 1918; that means he was 11 when the stock market crashed and since actually the poor hadn’t been very well off even during the boom that just meant his life went down. He came of age during the worst of the Depression - as a small, weak boy whose only talent was art, and an ability to pick a fight with anybody he thought was bullying someone else. He can’t really run, he can’t effectively fight, and he would still see himself as extremely, extremely lucky because they had a place to live, and they had food, and they weren’t freezing come winter. When his mom died when he was 18, the fact that his lifelong best friend offers to let him sleep on his floor for nothing is a big deal, something Steve is almost too proud to accept.
Steve gets exactly two things Vimes never got: Bucky, and Erskine. James Buchanan Barnes means he grew up with a lifetime iron-clad insanely loyal friendship, and one wherein frankly Bucky was the one continually doing for Steve what Steve wanted to be able to do for everyone else (like walk in, give the bully a black eye and a kick in the pants and run him off). Which is a big deal. And then Erskine, who gives him his shot at the Army which, up till then, kept rejecting him over and over again (he was committing indictable offenses by falsifying that paperwork, y’know?) - and Steve still worked for that, he sweated for that, half their size and half their weight and probably less than half their oxygen capacity he kept within a few feet or a lap or two of all the other candidates.
Even the serum didn’t actually give him the chance he wanted: he spent three years as a propaganda piece selling bonds and kissing babies that cried at him, before he got to the front, found out Bucky was probably dead and the rest of the 107th captured, went “FUCK y’all” and began his exemplary career of ignoring any order he didn’t feel like following at the time.
And charisma? Please. His date doesn’t want him there. When he first shows up to the remnant of the 107th, they boo him, they moon him, they throw garbage at him, they don’t want to even fucking SEE this stupid civillian fuck in his tights coming here and feeding them the sugared-shit the people back home believe. Phillips doesn’t want him, the 107th doesn’t want him, nobody actually wants anything to do with him.
You know when they do? When they decide he’s awesome and alright? After he parachutes into enemy territory under fire, fights his way to the HYDRA factory, fights his way INTO the HYDRA factory, lets everyone out, goes after someone who’d been taken to the “isolation ward” (from which, as Monty says, none return) and then gets that guy and himself out of an EXPLODING FUCKING BUILDING and then gets them back to camp, fighting right at the front of it the whole damn way.
People don’t follow Steve, or look up to Steve, or react to Steve, because of some ill-defined charisma. They follow Steve because when your back’s against the wall, he’s right behind you (and that’s a quote about Vimes, from The Fifth Elephant). They follow Steve because when Steve’s asking you to risk your life to fight HYDRA, he’s also dragging his ass up the parapet in spite of three gunshot wounds, one of them in the gut, and a knife in his shoulder, and who knows what else, and then he orders the strike to save other people knowing it’s going to kill him - and then tries to save the guy who shot him and stabbed him.
That ain’t Carrot Ironfoundderson. That’s Mister Sam Vimes. Now because Sam Vimes had to way through thirty years of misery with only the bottle for company until a dragon showed up to give him his chance, instead of it being offered by coincidence at 22, Vimes is superficially nastier and his phrase-choices are more cynical, but that’s surface: he’s still willing to die and kill and lose everything he has because he just realized that goblins are people and he’s been ignoring atrocities all his life but he can stop that RIGHT NOW. Steve would be the same.
And that’s the Steve up there, unsurprised but still saddened that it turns out these people he’s fought and bled with are turning on him and turning on him for the sake of bad shit. That ain’t Carrot. That’s Vimes. Just younger, and with more weapons at hand.
@fizzygingr Discworld meta!
You know what this discussion is missing? “The Beast,” and one of the big differences between Steve and (current) Sam.
The entire arc of Winter Soldier is about Steve defying orders and rules and expectations and bringing down a corrupt system, catastrophically, from the outside. Like an earlier comment said, he’s remembering that he’s not a perfectly obedient soldier, and his real power lies in his ability to work beyond what he’s given. It’s something mirrored in a ton of characters throughout the movie- Black Widow has been following orders without question because she was confident that her bosses were on the good guys’ side, the titular Winter Soldier is flat-out brainwashed, even Falcon’s joke about why he’s glad to be out of the army is “the number of people giving me orders has dropped to about… zero?” Both movies are about Steve choosing to defy orders and go off the script he’s been given and letting himself get farther outside the system the rest of the world wants to impose on him (also that you can’t die by falling).
Which is simultaneously exactly what Sam Vimes does every single book and exactly the narrative Sam Vimes is in a constant struggle to avoid.
Because on the Disc, stories are alive and they can drive you and move you and make you into something more, but once one catches you it can be hard to get away, because it’s intoxicating and once you’re in too far it can be hard to find yourself amid all the stories (and this sentence just summarized most of the plot of Witches Abroad). And that’s part of where Vimes’ Beast is- it lives in the story of the Cowboy Cop, the vigilante who abandons the system and plays by his own rules and takes out his anger at those who break the law by breaking the law himself. That narrative has its claws in him, which is why the Summoning Dark likes him so much- it’s a spirit of pure vengeance, and it recognizes that, and uses it (see, again, “THAT! IS! NOT! MY! COW!”).
And that’s why the Guarding Dark exists, and why he always, always sticks by the book, why he arrests people he’d have no remorse about killing and people he knows will get off scot-free, and why when he kills Wolfgang in The Fifth Elephant he refuses to gloat or celebrate, because he has to remember that he did it because it needed done, not because he wanted to. Because he knows that if he slipped up, the story will catch him and the Beast will take over and he’ll stop being anything like who he wants to be. Sam Vimes is perpetually teetering on a tightrope over a howling abyss of rage and hate, and he has to place his steps very carefully to avoid falling off.
Which, obviously, is not something we see with Steve. Both of them are firmly Lawful Good, but where Sam Vimes has to fight tooth and nail to stay that way, Steve Rogers just is.
And yeah, to some people that probably makes Steve sound more like Carrot than like Vimes, but I don’t think that’s right, even beyond the reasons given above about background.
Because what I think it actually means is that Steve Rogers has just as much sheer bloody-minded willpower and refusal to give into darkness as Sam Vimes, but without the decades of marinating in frustration and alcohol, there’s virtually no darkness in him to give into in the first place.
Somebody should introduce them.
Vimes would think Steve was a twerp.
HOLY FUCK BEAUTIFUL DISCWORLD META WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA META OMG THESE TWO THINGS ARE COMING TOGETHER LIKE PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE AND I CANT EVEN
"Vimes would think Steve was a twerp."
DEAR COMBINED MCU/DISCWORLD FANDOM: I FUCKING LOVE YOU.