Captain America has had a tough past five years. He led the losing side of a civil war, was murdered
(well, not really, but everyone thought he was dead), and when he finally returned, he found out that Chris Evans is set to portray him
in a movie next year.
But that's the thing about Cap: He takes it all in stride and perseveres. His idealistic nature, his integrity and his genuine patriotism have kept him going strong since the 1940s.
In honor of the Fourth of July--and also because the new issues of his series
and Secret Avengers
, which he stars in, hit stores this week--I've compiled the 10 Cap moments that make Americans ecstatic he belongs to the U.S. of A.
1. Captain America (vol. 1) #109
|Marvel/Words: Stan Lee; Art: Jack Kirby and Syd Shores|
After enduring the process that transforms him into a peak human physical specimen, Steve Rogers, the man who would become Captain America, witnesses a Nazi assassin strike down Dr. Abraham Erskine, the inventor of the Super-Soldier Serum responsible for Rogers' change. Rogers watches Erskine die in his arms, then performs his first heroic act in his new body: He kicks the crap out of the killer.
Why it makes the list
In this retelling of his origin, Stan Lee
and Jack Kirby
use one panel to encapsulate Cap's character as a passionate, principled man of action.
2. Captain America (vol. 5) #25
Why it makes the list Shot and dying, Cap still takes charge to try and protect people. Those would be the best last words ever. Y'know, if he had actually died.
3. Captain America (vol. 1) #200
|Marvel/Words and art: Jack Kirby|
Cap leads a two-prong attack against an organization bent on detonating a "mad bomb" that would enslave humanity in, um, madness. While a strike team disables the bomb, Cap faces the leader of the group, who just happens to be the ancestor of a colonial traitor who was slain in a duel by Cap's ancestor. What? That hasn't happened in your life?
Why it makes the list A World War II veteran himself, Jack Kirby knew how to handle Cap's badassery perfectly. Here's what I can't determine when I read this scene: Does Cap's confidence come from the fact that he knows the guy will wuss out (spoiler alert: he does)? Or is he confident because he knows he can disarm the guy before he could pull the trigger? Or maybe he just knows he's Captain Freakin' America and no traitor descendant in a powdered wig is going to take him down?
4. Captain America (vol. 3) #8
|Marvel/Words: Mark Waid; Art: Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang|
A group of alien Kree
are kidnapping and genetically experimenting on humans on Earth. Cap is called in by fellow Avenger Ms. Marvel
(going by Warbird here) to help stop them. Fisticuffs ensue, and Cap loses his temper after discovering a warehouse packed to the rafters with dead bodies.
Why it makes the list Cap is at his best when he professes his ideals while pummeling a monstrous opponent. It adds some genuine nobility to a good ass-kicking.
5. Amazing Spider-Man #537
|Marvel/Words: J. Michael Straczynski; Art: Ron Garney and Bill Reinhold|
Spider-Man has switched sides in the super-hero civil war, and public opinion has turned on him like a rabid zombie dog. Now on the same side in the conflict, Cap seeks out the Web-Slinger and gives him a pep talk that put Knute Rockne
from Animal House
Why it makes the list Captain America's only documented superpower is his ability to speechify. (His only undocumented power is to continually apologize for all his speechifying.) And in the hands of a good writer, it's a power that can give a grown man goosebumps. So? What of it?