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What Captain America Means to the Real World

Posted by Hollander Cooper On July - 19 - 2011

The term “the greatest generation” is thrown around a lot to describe those who fought during World War II. In comics, there’s one man who defines this title: Steve Rogers.

It was 1940. Marvel has just begun making comic books and World War II was heating up, and while the United States had not yet entered, it seemed as though their entry into “The Big One” was inevitable. Writer Joe Simon was doodling in a sketch book when he drew up what would become Captain America. The cover was everything we love about Golden Age comics: a fierce, muscled hero clad in red, white, and blue, deflecting bullets with his shield in his left hand while punching Adolf Hitler in the face with his right.

It sold nearly a million copies, and propelled Cap into the public spotlight. From nowhere he was suddenly as big of a seller as Batman and Superman—the latter of which was also fighting the good fight overseas. While this war-time patriotism faded after the troops returned home, Captain America has remained an important character for Marvel.

He is America’s first Super Hero, in many ways. The only one before him to really fly the colors was Superman, and while he punched around Nazi’s and fought for the American way, he was an alien to this nation (as Lex Luthor would be the first one to point out). Of all of the members of the super team, and of most of Marvel’s big names that developed over the years, Captain America was special. He wasn’t born a god like Thor was, gifted fantastical abilities like Spider-man. He didn’t even have a super suit with crazy tech like Iron Man. He had a shield, and the Super Serum coursing through his veins, but he was still a man (albeit the best a man could ever be). He was just a kid who wanted to stand up for his country and fight the good fight.

When America’s politics steer it in a strange direction, Steve Rogers stands against it–instead representing the America from the 1940’s. He’s not the an agent of the American government–he’s an agent of the American people. Like the members of the greatest generation did so long ago, cap fights for freedom, equality, and a better way of life.

It’s Captain America Week on TheQuarterBin, and all this week you can check in for some great original articles leading up to the release of Captain America: The First Avenger.

1 Response so far
  1. The Quarter Bin » Blog Archive » Why Captain America is the Most Respected Man in the Marvel Universe Said,

    [...] this week, Jon Cooper took a look at what Captain America meant to the real world. Today, I’m going to give a little [...]

    Posted on July 21st, 2011 at 4:25 PM

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