Marvel Comics has announced there will be a new Captain America to replace Steve Rogers, the man who has been Captain America for nearly seven decades. In the current storyline, Steve Rogers, as Captain America, has lost the super-soldier serum that endowed him with his above average superhuman abilities, kept him young, but reduced him to a feeble, 90-year-old man with a keen strategic mind. Stepping into a supervisory role, Rogers chooses Sam Wilson, his long time aide known as the African-American Superhero, the Falcon. Sam Wilson was Marvel’s first African-American superhero, and has long been a major player in Captain America comics.
As a fictional character, Steve Rogers first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (cover-dated March 1941). He was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Timely Comics. Author and co-creator Joe Simon said “Captain America was a consciously political creation”. He and fellow creator Jack Kirby were morally dismayed by the actions of Nazi Germany in the years leading up to the United States’ involvement in World War II. They felt war was more than likely to occur and wanted to do something to support the troops against the forces of Nazi Germany and those allied with them. The debut of Captain America followed The United States entry into World War II, and was strengthened by the public spirit that followed Pearl Harbor; thus he identified himself forever with a period that may have been The Golden Age of the United States as much as it was The Golden Age of comic books
As a comic book character, Captain America was one of Marvel Comics biggest success and one of the top-selling super hero comic books of all time. A true manifestation of American Patriotism, Captain America a.k.a Steve Rogers was an American soldier in World War 2 who was given a serum that transformed him into a physically perfect human. He wears a patriotic costume, wields an indestructible circular shield, and fights for American ideals of liberty and justice. In the final days of World War II, In late April 1945, Captain America and his sidekick, try to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. Zemo launches the plane with an armed explosive on it with Captain America and in hot pursuit. The bomb explodes in mid-air, as the both Captain America and his sidekick try to diffuse it. Rogers is hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic and his sidekick is presumably killed during the explosion. Neither is found, and both are presumed dead.
Despite several attempts to revive Captain America, as a character in publishing during the 1950s, other characters tried to take up the role and fight the rise of communism with little success. Steve Rogers returned as the original Captain America in the 1960s. Discovered by the superhero team, the Avengers find Steve Rogers’ body in the North Atlantic, the Captain’s uniform under his soldier’s fatigues and still carrying his shield. With the help of the Avengers, Rogers accepts their offer for membership in the Avengers, and although long out of his time, his considerable experience both in individual combat service and his time with the other World War II heroes makes him a valuable asset to the team.
Captain America has faced numerous villains and foes in over 70 years of published adventures. Many of the recurring villains embody ideals contrary to the American values Captain America is shown to strive for and believe. Several examples of these opposing values are Nazism (Red Skull, Baron Zemo), Neo-Nazism (Crossbones, Doctor Faustus), technocratic fascism (AIM, Arnim Zola), Communism (Aleksander Lukin), anarchism (Flag Smasher), and international and domestic terrorism (HYDRA).
Captain America has been presented in a variety of other media, including serial films, feature films, animations, and video games. Marvel Studios, the feature film division of Marvel Entertainment, features Captain America in several films that have been recently released. Currently, he can be seen in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Avengers Assemble (2012) and Captain America: the Winter Solider (2013)
Starting in October, a new chapter begins in Marvel Comics with the All-New Captain America #1 written by Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen. Sam Wilson will be the first African-American to officially wear the Captain America costume and carry the legendary shield. While this will not be the first time another person has stepped in the role for Rogers, including another African-American super soldier named Isaiah Bradley who had the mantle of Captain American in a controversial 2003 series ‘Truth: Red, White & Black’.
In addition to this, you can find books on various characters and creators associated with Marvel Comics in the Millenium Library. You can reserve any of these books or films online here. If you’re in the library, please feel free to come in and speak to any of the Library staff or American scholars!