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Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Jeff Mace

A look at how being the third Captain America affected the man once known as The Patriot

By Tim Stevens

As requested, any and all mental health records related to Jeffrey Mace dating back to the 1940's were requisitioned. Those that could be found were and have been reviewed by the staff. As expected the information is sparse and incomplete. However, the writer has combined as best as possible to create a profile of this individual. That profile follows.

Jeffrey Mace first came to the attention of the United States government as a reporter for the New York-based Daily Bugle where he could be best characterized as an "activist" journalist with a particular focus on exposing saboteurs and spies. However, the subject became dissatisfied with what he could accomplish via the pen and soon, inspired by the first appearance of Captain America, turned his efforts to costumed vigilantism under the alter ego The Patriot. As The Patriot, Mace dedicated himself to protecting America's home front via patriotic radio broadcasts meant to bolster morale and acts of masked heroism, often with a group of like-minded citizens called the Liberty Legion.

While Mace was arguably naïve, there is no sign of mental illness at this time. Like most of the U.S. populace during World War II, he was consumed by patriotism as well as a desire to serve his country and the greater good. For the subject, putting on a costume was his version of a growing a victory garden or collecting and turning in scrap metal. He may have considered the risks to his person, but he either judged them as being minor or decided that the potential dangers were worth it. Unfortunately, during this time period, there exist no psychiatric interviews with Mace. The government was just pleased to have him and saw no reason to attempt more formal contact with him. Thus, the writer is relying on a few interviews printed in newspapers or Life Magazine and some newsreel footage to make this assessment.

In 1946, following the death of the second Captain America, William Naslund, in battle with Adam II, Mace took up the mantel himself. At this time, the government did bring him in as it was felt that, especially after losing the two predecessors, the title of Captain America was too important to not vet properly. Army psychiatrists interviewed the subject over a week-long period, performing numerous psychological tests and physical evaluations. In the end, they found no cause for concern. The Mace of that time was more aware of the danger, certainly, then he may have been previously, but otherwise seemed very much the man who had

called himself The Patriot and patrolled the streets of New York City to do his part.

There are some mentions of Mace feeling unworthy of the moniker and questioning his right to bear it over the several years he was Captain America. Additionally, there is a vague report of the subject losing someone of importance to him because of his decision to be Cap. However, all the information available is nebulous and seemingly several steps removed from a credible source.

Mace retired from being Captain America in the early 1950's and claimed, in his exit interview, that the need for such a symbol no longer existed with America having won World War II and real life war heroes like Dwight D. Eisenhower returning the U.S. to prominence. He did not appeared disillusioned, only ready to move on and return to reporting, something he claimed was a better fit for his temperament anyways.

After this there is again little data on the subject for several years. He won a handful of awards for his newspaper work and was widely held as an excellent reporter. His relationships appeared solid and all information points to his marriage being a healthy and happy one.

Then, sometime after Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, was discovered frozen in ice and brought back to life, Mace was diagnosed with cancer. At this point, the records become far more robust as the subject began to see doctors often and attend a cancer support group. According to these reports, the subject dealt with his diagnosis with dignity. His mind remained unaffected throughout the progression of the disorder and while he experienced some depression, fear and anger, nothing was excessive or warranted any kind of specific psychological intervention. Mace passed away very much still of sound body.

It is the suggestion of this writer that CAPTAIN AMERICA: PATRIOT #1, by Doctors Karl Kesel and Mitch Breitweiser be reviewed when it becomes available on September 15 as it promises to offer more details about Jeffrey Mace's and will perhaps clarify some of the questions raised by this report.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.


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