Captain America punches faces, Pt. 2Posted: 06/19/2012
It’s Captain America day! That guy’s the best.
I went a little into Captain America’s history (real name Steve Rogers) in a previous post, so I’ll get you caught up to the point where our story begins. As you may know, Captain America was killed by a sniper bullet as the Marvel Civil War wrapped up. Very sad. His former WWII sidekick, former Russian brainwashed assassin, and former rogue super spy Bucky Barnes took over the title and costume. Because comics are comics, Rogers came back to life a few years later, and two Captain Americas aren’t really necessary. Bucky gets to keep the role and the shield while Rogers becomes the head of the government agency S.H.I.E.L.D. – basically the new Nick Fury.
For years, the Captain America comics, written beautifully by Ed Brubaker, aimed more towards cool espionage missions. Captain America isn’t backhanding dinosaurs. More of James Bond if he fought terrorists. And the miniseries Steve Rogers: Super Soldier, also written by Brubaker, is no different.
Okay, maybe more James Bond than previously thought. But what kind of comic would it be if plans didn’t go badly?
Yes, they’re giant brutes of men. But Rogers also ranks a zero on the wussy scale. He can run a mile in a minute, bench press half a ton, fought in every major battle of WWII, and is regarded as the best hand-to-hand fighter on the planet. Can the super soldier take on three ex-pro wrestlers? Yes, of course he can. He’s Captain America.
That super soldier serum, the only one of its kind in the world, flows through Rogers’ blood. He’s the absolute peak of human potential. Captain America has taken down Spider-Man in ten seconds and once defeated Iron Man with his bare fists. The guy’s a super soldier, not one or the other. Both are equally important.
But so what? Sure, it’s pretty cool to watch Rogers take down three dudes, but what’s the point of this article? The twist, my friends. Guess who get caught in a trap?
Woopsie. Remember when Captain America was a 90 pound weakling with illnesses too severe to join the army? That’s back! How’s he going to get out of this jam?
Which brings me to why I’m writing this article. Yeah, he may not be super, but he’s always going to be a soldier. And the fire in his gut that got the attention of the super soldier serum scientists in the first place? That never went away. The baddies can take away 150 pounds of muscle, but unfortunately for them, he’s still Captain America.
Compare this next fight with the brawl you witnessed in the beginning. Notice any difference? The only one I can find is that in the second fight, Rogers isn’t wearing a shirt.
Y’see, Captain America’s origin story isn’t tragic like so many other superheroes. He sees Hitler start to conquer Europe, sees the atrocities and horrors the Nazis are inflicting, and decides to enlist to stop them. Rogers knows right and he knows wrong, and his entire belief system follows the singular idea that wrong needs a stern thumping. The character of Captain America had originally been created as a propaganda tool, but the evolution of the character since then has expanded tremendously. I say this every single time: Captain America is the heroic and moral line that all other superheroes judge themselves against. Always has been and always will be.
Most importantly, what does Captain America do to the bad guys when he gets his super soldier serum back?
He beats the crap out of them.