Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Which is more Economically Feasible: Time Manipulation or Cloning?

*Spoilers Herein*

We've all heard of the death of Captain America. In Captain America #25 it seemed like the original Cap, Steve Rogers, was shot by a sniper and then finished off by his brainwashed girlfriend Sharon Carter. This was all portrayed as part of the Skull's devious plan to manipulate the American political landscape and get a candidate loyal to the Skull to win a presidential election.

In the current Captain America: Reborn mini-series it seems that the Red Skull's plot to kill Captain America was actually much more sinister. After the Skull was murdered by Aleksander Lukin, the ruthless head of the Krona corporation, the Skull's mind was trapped in Lukin's body via the use of a Cosmic Cube (only in comics folks). Once in this position, the Red Skull began scheming to get his mind out of an unacceptable vessel (old Russian man) and into an acceptable one (hunky Steve Rogers). That's all derailed by the intervention of Bucky, Falcon, Black Widow, and Sharon Carter.

Now the Skull is trapped in a cybernetic body and is enlisting the help of Norman Osborn to capture Steve Rogers' time-traveling body and fill it up with his Naziness. But doesn't this seem overly convoluted? Even for a man who was trapped in suspended animation for forty years and wears a red skull mask on his head? Who was once aged to an elderly man and died of a heart attack but got better. And who was also reduced to becoming a shadow creature who ate the bones of people who went to the beach. Hmmmm, maybe this is right up the Red Skull's alley.

But still, the infrastructure and planning required to carry out this particular devious scheme seems needlessly difficult. To enact his plan the Skull needed to first brainwash Sharon Carter to shoot Steve Rogers with a wacky time gun. Then the Skull needed to develop machinery to rip Steve out of time and place the Skull's mind in his body. All elements of this plan need to be enacted in a perfectly organized manner and new technology must be developed to complete the goals set forth by the Skull's scheme. This plot requires its own infrastructure of lackeys and scientists to work out all the elements that the Red Skull can't himself. So this plot requires large amounts of money to be expended for materials and labor.

I'm sure it would be simpler just to clone Captain America. Or put your mind into his body without shooting him through time. Granted the story of Captain America: Reborn is still unfolding and we don't know exactly what will happen or what the full depths of Skull's plan may be. But Captain America has been cloned before and the Skull has previously used Cap's DNA to give him the same super strength and endurance as his foe. Granted, by putting his mind into Steve Roger's body, the Skull is able to effectively kill his arch enemy and then use his foe's form to create all kinds of nasty havoc. Still his choice of plan, while undoubtedly villainous, seems somewhat unnecessary.

Had Skull simply followed established procedure rather than going a new route (which undoubtedly requires a huge R&D investment to work out the new technology required for Skull's body swap in time) he would have been able to get a new body quickly and economically. And he wouldn't be trapped in an Arnim Zola robot and be forced to talk out of his chest.



Anonymous said...

Considering that time travel has many logical limitations, and would require massive energy outlays, whereas we're relatively close to human cloning (especially if you do the dirty version where you throw out the 1000s of failed clones for the 1 good one), I say "yes, you're right."

Anonymous said...

This is the Marvel universe we're talking about, full of mutants, enhanciles (mutant-like but not born with it, such as Spiderman or the Hulk), and hunky people in general. Time travel and cloning both have sizeable up-front costs that even the hunkiest of super-serum-infused bodies cannot compensate for.

I say grab a bunch of existing hunks off the street for Red Skull mind infusion. if you MUST clone for some reason, harvest their DNA, maybe pick up a few stray skincells of Magneto or Jean Grey or some other signigicantly powerful mutant to augment your base material, and make a whole new body from scratch.

alan said...

Much of the tech the Skull used was developed by Dr. Doom, so he outsourced a lot of the materials and tech requirements to an outside vendor.

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