FAST FACTS about Captain America
Due to the recent spate of blockbuster films featuring the superhero, it seems like the entire world knows about Captain America. However, comic veterans know there are a lot of strange stories about the patriotic Avenger that will never make it to the silver screen.For fans of movie Captain America who want to know more about the character, here are interesting facts you need to know about The Avengers hero.
1.) HE CAN USE THOR'S HAMMER
Casual Marvel fans who have only watched The Avengers and related movies could be forgiven for assuming that it takes Chris Hemsworth’s arms to lift the mighty hammer Mjolnir. However, as any Thor nerd is happy to point out, picking up the hammer does not require physical strength. The not-so-fine print of the hammer reads “Whosever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Hence, a number of Marvel characters (along with Superman and Wonder Woman), have held the hammer.
During an attack by some of Seth’s followers, Thor is separated from Mjolnir. Cap wants to give it back to him, but in the process of reaching for it, he is overpowered by bad guys intending to crush him, so he comes out swinging the hammer and swiftly defeats them. Afterward, Thor congratulates the Captain on having the pure heart and noble mind to use his hammer. The two exchange more pleasantries under the setting sun before parting ways.
2.) CAPTAIN AMERICA HASN'T ALWAYS BEEN STEVE ROGERS
While Rogers has changed monumentally from the character he once was (with the secret identity of a bumbling private to boot), he isn’t the only Captain America we’ve seen. One notable version was William Nasland, who was selected to become the new Captain America when Rogers and Barnes disappeared at the end of the War. (This storyline was actually added in so later versions of the comic would make sense.) Another is James Buchanan Barnes, aka Bucky, who, after the events of Marvel’s Civil War storyline and Rogers’ death, took on the identity of his former friend. In the current Marvel comics run, the official Captain America is Sam Wilson, who was previously known as The Falcon (portrayed by Anthony Mackie in the films).
Even though the identity of Captain America has been taken on by many men, his ideals represent protecting the innocent and the personal freedoms of all individuals, bravery, and righteousness. Much of this is what has led to the character, in whatever incarnation, being labeled as one of the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe, if not the greatest.
3.) DESPITE HIS NAME, HE IS NEITHER A NATIONALIST NOR A CHAUVINIST
Captain America has come a long way from the pro-war and pro-American political statement his character made with his first appearance. Though he loves his country, Rogers has had moments of dissent from his government when its actions and beliefs no longer matched his own. He took on the alias of "Nomad" when a conspiracy caused him to become disillusioned with his original role and only reassumed the mantle after the Red Skull killed the young fan who succeeded him. Rogers also became another hero, The Captain, but a similar series of events led him to return to the shield once more.
These issues with the government and its frequent incongruity with the ideals of Captain America are part of what led to the clash between Stark and Rogers in Marvel’s popular Civil War event. While Stark sides with the Superhero Registration Act that means to force heroes to provide their information to the government, Rogers becomes anti-registration, believing that the Act will endanger many people and also fly in the face of personal freedom. Rogers only backs down when he realizes the war they create hurts the people he’s fighting to protect, a true showing of his character.
4.) HE LIVED IN A DIFFERENT DIMENSION FOR OVER A DECADE
After 75 years, it’s easy for a character to become stale. Some writers might keep the storyline fresh by introducing new wrinkles into their backstory or another event that changes how they see the world, but Captain America’s defining features keep him relatively static. As the embodiment of American ideals, he can’t waver from them.
Comics scribe Rick Remender instead brought change to Captain America’s environment by transporting him to Dimension Z, where time moves faster. Captain America was only gone from his world for a couple of minutes, but it felt like 12 years to him. During that time, he raised a foster child named Ian, fought Red Skull’s henchman Arnim Zola, and thought that he lost both Sharon Carter and the foster child.
5.) HE IS THE FIFTH AVENGER
Despite being labeled “The First Avenger,” Captain America was not the first avenger in the comic series. That honor goes to Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor. Captain America joined the Avengers only after Hulk left the team.
6.) HE IS THE OLDER THAN MARVEL
Captain America has become a very public face for Marvel comics, billed as the “First Avenger” and known as the moral center of Marvel’s universe. The only problem with that is that Marvel didn’t create him. He was actually created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the latter of whom later helped Stan Lee create heroes such as the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, and the X-Men.
The first Captain America comic debuted in 1940, when many Americans were hungry to enter World War II. As a result, it sold nearly one million copies. This ended up being a double-edged sword for Cap, because the comics became infinitely less popular when the war was over. He didn’t make his Marvel debut until The Avengers No. 4, complete with the now-familiar back story about being frozen in ice.
7.) HE PUNCHED A LOT OF COMMUNIST IN ’50s
Captain America has often been defined by his enemies. As a literal symbol of America, the country’s enemies shape the character. His most iconic bad guys, of course, are the Nazis he first battled in the ’40s, and readers are constantly reminded of these enemies by the Red Skull. However, after World War II but before the debut of the Cap story we know and love, he spent a lot of time serving as propaganda for Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunts.
At this time, Cap held the title “Commie Smasher” and met Communist spies everywhere with either his fists or even weapons like gasoline.This wacky witch hunt only lasted a year, but it posed a problem for Marvel later on, as McCarthyism fell out of favor. In the early ’70s, they simply claimed that the Captain America of the ’50s was not Steven Rogers but a crazy American history professor who was a little too obsessed with the superhero. He had plastic surgery to resemble the Captain and recruited a young man as crazy as he was who looked like Bucky Barnes. They somehow got their hands on some Super Soldier Serum without using “vita rays” to keep them from becoming even more unstable. Marvel’s official story is that these two simply hallucinated all of the Communists they kept seeing, leaving the real Captain America free of any Red Scare hysteria.
8.) HE HAD A HEALTH PROBLEM
According to his medical report, skinny Steve Rogers had a litany of health problems including, but not limited to: asthma, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, epilepsy, sinusitis, chronic or frequent colds, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, fatigue, heart trouble, nervousness, prior contact with a tuberculosis patient, family history of diabetes, cancer, and stroke.
9.) HIS FIRST FILM APPEARANCE WAS A 1944 SERIAL
When the character was still at the height of his popularity (and we were still in the middle of WWII), a black-and-white serial was released starring Dick Purcell as Captain America (aka District Attorney Grant Gardener) and Lorna Gray as his secretary, Gail Richards. The serial received praise from critics, and though it left out many of the defining traits associated with the character (including his shield, the Super-Soldier Serum, and his original identity of Steve Rogers), later film, television, and comic versions have made reference to it in various ways.
The character appeared in many media incarnations in the years since, including a 1966 animated television show, The Marvel Super Heroes, a straight-to-video film in 1990, and the animated series The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which was replaced by Avengers Assemble in 2013 and soon Avengers: Ultron Revolution. In 2011, Captain America: The First Avenger was released, with a sequel released in 2014.
Captain America: The First Avenger” was the fifth live-action adaptation of the superhero. There was a television movie in 1944, two more television movies in 1979, and a theatrical release in 1990.