Captain America Killed Outside Courthouse

A Captain America character is on display at Universal Studios during the Spider-Man 40th Birthday celebration at on August 13, 2002 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Michel Boutefeu/Getty Images) Getty Images/Michel Boutefeu

Captain America, the stars-and-stripes-wearing crimefighter, was gunned down by a sniper as he left a courthouse today. He was 66.

Or at least that's how the latest issue of the comic book series goes.

The venerable superhero — noted for wielding a shield as he'd battled Nazis, Communists and assorted evildoers in a career that began during World War II — is killed in the new Marvel comic book that hits newsstands today, as reported by the New York Daily News.

The hero was created in 1941 by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby as a foe for Adolf Hitler. Over the years, an estimated 210 million copies of "Captain America" comic books, published by New York-based Marvel Entertainment, have been sold in 75 countries.

The superhero, born Steve Rogers, was spawned when the scrawny arts student, ineligible for the army because of his poor health but eager to serve his country, agreed to a "Super Soldier Serum" injection. Armed only with his shield, his strength, his smarts and a command of martial arts, the substance made him a paragon of physical perfection — but not, alas, impervious to an assassin's bullet, as revealed today.

But resurrections are not uncommon in the world of comics, and Marvel Entertainment editor in chief Joe Quesada said a Captain America comeback wasn't impossible. The company has also said it's developing a Captain America movie.

Still, the character's death came as a blow to co-creator Simon.

"We really need him now," the 93-year-old Simon said.
  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.

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