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Earlier this week, Jon Cooper took a look at what Captain America meant to the real world. Today, I’m going to give a little perspective as to what Captain America means to the people and heroes inhabiting the Marvel comics we love so much, and why he’s the most revered hero in the Marvel Universe.

Though the Avengers were already formed by the time they found Captain America’s body trapped in ice, the team was directionless. Constant bickering and infighting led way to the Avengers being little more than a group of heroes collected together in one spot who happened to want to stop the same villains. Cap’s arrival on the scene not only gave the team a much needed leader, but also provided them with the heart and soul they so sorely needed. Until someone who commanded their respect came along, nobody in the team bothered to give much respect to one another. Steve Rogers immediately had the respect of everyone in the room. His past actions earned him mountains of credibility, and though he may have been a bit out of his element when he awoke, there was no better man for the job. Not to mention the fact that he’s personally trained every single Avenger in hand-to-hand combat.

Of course, Captain America is more than just the leader of the Avengers and a survivor of World War II. Steve Rogers was absent for decades, but Captain America is more than just one man. He was a symbol the world needed despite his absence. There have been more than a few other men to don the stars and stripes when Steve was out of commission or had walked away from the role. Ultimately though, no other man could shoulder the weight of responsibility that Rogers once did. There was clearly something special about the Captain America persona when Rogers was behind it. Quite possibly it was because Steve wasn’t just acting out through a persona. Steve was Captain America. Others had tried to replace him, but just didn’t have the fortitude to live up to or surpass the original.

A lot of heroes look up to Captain America. That doesn’t mean they can end up just like him. Perhaps no two heroes admire Cap more than Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and James “Bucky” Barnes. On more than one occasion , Peter has remarked to Cap just how much he means to him, and how he strives to be a man as noble and just as Cap is. Bucky was though dead much longer than Cap, but unfortunately was taken in by the wrong people when he was saved. Bucky’s admiration for Steve not only led to his breaking free of his mind-control, but also led him to take up the slack when Cap was though to be murdered after the conclusion of the superhero civil war. Even though he knew he couldn’t possibly live up to the man he was replacing, Bucky took up the shield because Cap believed in him.

Having Captain America in your corner, or on your side in a fight, could mean all the difference. Knowing that this man would stand by you when things seemed their darkest, or believe in you enough to think that you could carry on his legacy far after he was gone, is the ultimate compliment. Conversely, when Cap rallies the troops against your cause, you had better watch out. This is a man who people would go to war with if he asked. And they have. On numerous occasions. You don’t get that type of respect by being just any old guy. That’s the type of honor bestowed upon a man who has earned the trust of thousands by delivering on a promise. Not just for a better America, but for a better world.

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.

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1 Response so far
  1. Romsey Lieth Raybaya Said,

    Mmm this legitimately made me tear up, I love Cap, and he is one of my role models (my life doesn’t have many people I look up to haha)

    Posted on August 31st, 2011 at 12:01 PM

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