Bucky [previous page]: What’s on your mind, Eli?
Eli: I don’t know…a bunch’a stuff… I mean…you know about my grandpa, and what they did to him…and you know how this country has treated black people, like…a lot. And, I don’t know…I guess I set out to honor my grandpa. And then after I met Cap…your cap…I stopped being angry so much.
Bucky: But now?
Eli: Now that he’s dead, and with the whole registration thing and all…I don’t know what it means anymore. To be a black kid calling myself “Patriot”, y’know? ‘Cause I don’t really feel like I love this country a lot of the time.
Bucky: I know what you mean…but… Man, this was way more Steve’s territory than mine… But I think you have to realize that America is bigger than its politics or its problems. Steve would say, America is an idea. But I’m not sure I really know what that means, sometimes.
Eli: Yeah, me either.
Bucky: See, Steve always tried to see the best in everyone, and I’m not like that. But I’m trying to be, you know? I think just like most people, America isn’t just one thing. It’s not just slavery and what happened to the Indians…it’s not just what happened to your granddad. It’s also the New Deal, and the Civil Rights movement, and democracy…
Eli: And Martin Luther King.
Bucky: Yeah. But really, if I were you, I’d be having a hard time carrying that name, too. The difference is, I knew the first man to carry it…Jeff Mace. And I think Jeff would be proud to have someone as smart and brave as you keeping the name alive. Just like he kept Cap’s name alive for a time.
— From Young Avengers Presents #1 by Ed Brubaker, art by Paco Medina