On Captain America's Death and the State of the Marvel Union
It seems Steve Rogers really is dead as of Captain America #25. I had hopes that it was all a ruse, but Civil War: the Confession pretty much wrapped up that loose end for me.
While I don't for a second believe this is a permanent thing, it's ironic that Marvel has brought back the un-resurrectables, Gwen Stacy and Bucky Barnes (very poorly and surprisingly well, respectively), in recent years only to have the ubiquitous Captain America killed so suddenly. If there was any doubt that Disassembled, House of M and Civil War changed everything in the Marvel Universe, it's gone now.
Cap's dead. Tony Stark is in charge of SHIELD and commands every registered superhero in America. The Avengers are nationwide. Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the rest of Cap's hand-picked "New" Avengers are on the run. There are now only 198 mutants in the world.
Complain about Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada all you want, but as a writer I know what makes for good storytelling: high stakes. The Marvel Universe has a level of urgency and uncertainty now that it hasn't seen, well, ever really. In some ways, it's starting to resemble the WildStorm universe a bit, which I wholeheartedly approve of.
I still have suspicions that Steve Rogers is going to be somehow revived, and that he will take Tony Stark's place as Iron Man. This little gem of an image has been floating around the web for a few weeks...