Who is Captain America?
Captain America is a Marvel Comics character created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in March 1941. Steve Rogers was born July 4, 1920, to poor Irish immigrant parents, Sarah and Joseph Rogers, and grew up a frail youth during the Great Depression. His father died when he was a child, and his mother died from pneumonia later when he was in his late teens. Steve Rogers tried to enlist in the Army during World War 2. He was rejected because of his frailty and sickness. Overhearing the boy’s earnest plea to fight for his country, General Chester Phillips of the US Army offered Steve Rogers the opportunity to take part in a top-secret performance-enhancing experiment called Operation Rebirth. Steve Rogers agreed and was taken to a secret laboratory in Washington, DC, where he was introduced to Doctor Abraham Erskine (code named Professor Joseph Reinstein), the creator of the Super-Soldier Serum.
After weeks of tests, Steve Rogers was at last administered the Super-Soldier Serum. He was then bombarded by vita-rays, a special combination of exotic wavelengths of radiation designed to accelerate and stabilize the serum’s effect on his body. Steve Rogers emerged from the vita-ray chamber with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. A Nazi spy who observed the experiment murdered Erskine mere minutes after its conclusion. Erskine died without fully committing the Super-Soldier formula to paper, leaving Steve Rogers the sole beneficiary of his genius. Steve Rogers was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program that taught him gymnastics, hand-to-hand combat, and military strategy.
Captain America: Symbol of American Patriotism:
Captain America was created in 1941, prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in which the United States entered the war. Wearing red, white and blue, Captain America is a patriotic American symbol of freedom and faith in American Greatness. He believed in doing what was right, no matter the consequences.
Captain America in the 21st Century:
Captain America: The First Avenger will change its title to The First Avenger when it hits the foreign film markets of Russia, Ukraine and South Korea. Marvel Comics is trying to be “less controversial” oversees. But in reality, this is not about controversy. This is about trying to detach Captain America from American Patriotism. And if you strip away American Patriotism and American Greatness from Captain America, you rip away the character’s soul, conscience and reason for existence. You end up with a diminished cartoon character who fights people with guns. Who is the “Good Guy?” Who is the “Bad Guy?” Good and bad become irrelevant, and so too does Captain America.
Captain America recently celebrated his 70th birthday. He has been transformed over the years, except for what he stands for: American idealism, American Greatness and American Patriotism. He truly believes in doing what is right and what is honorable. But if you strip away the concepts of honor, faith and righteousness, you are left with a hallow character that has no purpose. The same goes for the average human as well. If a person has nothing to believe in and nothing to strive for, there is no reason for determination, passion, perseverance or achievement. We simply exist.