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    Captain America: Dead, Shmead

    Disco is dead. Captain America is only dead-ish.

    Despite being gunned down in the latest issue of his own comic book title, the red-white-and-blue-clad hero's planned big-screen adventure lives, a Marvel Studios spokesman said Wednesday.

    "The movie is still going," the rep said.

    Screenwriter David Self (Road to Perdition) is on script duty. No other names have been announced. Ditto for a release date.

    In comic book stores, meanwhile, Captain America's prospects looked bleak with Marvel's Captain America #25, on sale Wednesday, featuring the bloody demise of its iconic namesake.

    Steve Rogers, the crimefighter's everyday alter ego, was felled by an unidentified sniper on his way into a courthouse and pronounced dead at a hospital of "multiple gunshot wounds to the shoulder, chest and stomach," according to "assassination" coverage on Marvel Comics' Website.

    Still, as is the way in a comic universe that saw the 1993 "death" of Superman, all is not lost for the hero, first introduced in 1941.

    In an interview with Reuters, Marvel publisher Dan Buckley basically said it was Captain America's secret identity, not Captain America, who was the goner.

    "This is the end of Steve Rogers, the meat-and-potatoes guy from 1941," Buckley told the wire service. "But Captain America is a costume, and there are other people who could take it over."

    Rogers' demise comes amid declining book sales, unlike, you know, all those other times when characters were killed off at the peak of their popularity.

    A veteran of the comic wars, Rogers has been left for dead before. In 1945, per Captain America's official Marvel biography, he and faithful pal Bucky were believed blown to bits by a bomb. It turned out Rogers was merely frozen alive and waiting to be thawed out in the 1960s by the supergroup known as the Avengers.

    The latter-day incarnation of Captain America inspired a 1960s cartoon series, a 1979 TV movie and a barely released 1990 theatrical movie starring author J.D. Salinger's son.

    The new Captain America movie is to be produced as part of Marvel's ambitious plan for 10 self-financed flicks. Filming on the first of these productions, Iron Man, is due to begin this month; Robert Downey Jr. is set to star.

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