Captain’s bLog 042020.7 : Happy Independence Day with Captain America!
“Who will indeed lead the call for America? Who'll rise or fall, give his all, for America?
Who's here to prove that we can? The Star Spangled Man with a plan!”
Captain America was created in 1941 by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby to be the fictional answer to the very real threat of fascism spreading through the world during WW2. Superheroes were popular during the war and Cap was the most successful character for Timely Comics (now known as Marvel Comics), with issues even being sent overseas to American troops to keep them entertained once the United States entered the war later that year. After the war was over, the demand for superhero stories waned and Cap fell into relative obscurity in the 50’s until his revival in 1964.
With issue #4 of The Avengers, titled “Captain America Joins… The Avengers!”, Stan Lee re-envisioned Steve Rogers’ past. Now, instead of fading away or retiring after the war, Cap went missing and was presumed dead after a secret mission went awry, with his young sidekick Bucky Barnes losing his life in the process. Cap is found alive, albeit frozen in a solid block of ice, and later revived by The Avengers. It is here that Stan laid the foundation for a lot of the pathos that defines Steve’s character – a man haunted by the friends he has lost, trapped in a time that is not his own. Most people simply think of his bravery when it comes to Captain America, but it is also his personal tragedies that frame his identity.
“Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing.
That you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”
Even though Captain America may be known as the “Man Out Of Time” I would argue that we need him now more than ever. He wears the colors of the American flag but unlike a nation, his moral compass never changes direction. Steve Rogers fights for
freedom for all and stands against injustice wherever it may be, from Nazi Germany to right here at home. In fact, there has been multiple times in Marvel Comics history where Cap has given up his costume and even the shield (and continued the fight without them) when he just couldn’t abide by his government’s actions. In his eyes, obedience is not patriotism, and he will fight against tyranny in whatever form it takes. It’s rare to find a character that is written so consistently decade after decade, but Cap is that guy, making him even more a timeless hero.
Captain America and Thanos in 'Avengers: Endgame'
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cap was portrayed by actor Chris Evans. While no stranger to playing a superhero, Chris initially turned down the role multiple times. There was a stigma that it was impossible to bring this character to life in a believable way. Steve Rogers is often viewed as one-dimensional and unrelatable to anyone unfamiliar with him. Thankfully, Chris reconsidered and provided an excellent performance in three solo films, four Avengers films and various cameos. I have never witnessed a more passionate crowd reaction in a movie theater than when Cap catches Mjolnir in Avengers: Endgame, and it’s truly Chris’s effort in developing that character over the course of the franchise that earns that moment.
“No, I don't.”
“If I see a situation pointed south, I can't ignore it. Sometimes I wish I could.” “No, you don't.”
Despite being known primarily as a Cap cosplayer, my appreciation for the character came late in my life. Growing up in the early 90’s, the superheroes I was most familiar with were the X-Men and Spider-Man thanks for their animated series on Fox Kids. I knew precious little about Captain America and I assumed he was just a generic patriotic hero. When the MCU films started taking off I was instantly hooked and dove deep into his comic history, it was there that I discovered how much I could relate to him. I’ve always tried hard to be a good person and do the right thing, being the stereotypical “boy scout” all of my life. I may not have the Super Soldier Serum running through my veins, but I’ll do whatever I can to help others, till the end of the line.
“Happy Independence Day!” with “Captain America”