July 4th marks one of the most important holidays in the United States: Independence Day. Plus, this date marks the birthday of one of the greatest – if not the greatest – American icons of all time: Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. Depending on the media consumed, your year of birth changes. In the comics, for example, it was already in 1917, 1920 and 1922. In movies, however, as can be seen in Steve’s (Chris Evans) enlistment documents, he was born on July 4, 1918, which makes him celebrate 103 years today. old.
The son of Irish immigrants Joseph and Sarah Rogers, Steve grew up in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. His father died when he was still a child and his mother, Sarah, died during Steve’s teenage years of pneumonia. With a strained financial life, the young man with fragile health grew up and attended the School of Fine Arts, where he specialized in drawing comics and newspaper strips. But when the United States finally entered World War II, the boy did everything he could to enlist. His beliefs and ideals would not allow him to miss the chance to defend his people against the Axis. After being rejected due to his fragile health and compromised physique, he is ultimately watched and chosen by General Chester Phillips to be part of a secret US government project led by Dr Josef Reinstein, which will later be revealed. under the pseudonym of Dr. Abraham Erskine. By agreeing to the terms, Steve participates in Project Rebirth and becomes the world’s first Super Soldier. However, a Nazi spy murders Erskine and the formula for the Super Soldier Serum is lost. With this, Steve Rogers becomes the first perfect soldier and begins to fight the Axis forces. Initially, he wore a helmet with a mask which is a triangular shield. But he almost ended up revealing his identity unwittingly. So he was given a mask and, as a gift from President Franklin Roosevelt, a disposable shield of Vibranium and Adamantium. During his missions against the Nazis, the Captain served with James Buchanan Barnes the Bucky and several other heroes such as Dum Dum Dugan, the original Human Torch, and Namor, the Underwater Prince. Its missions were crowned with success until in April 1945, it fell from a missile in the English Channel and found itself frozen in Arctic waters, where it remained in suspended animation until the 1960s, when it was found by the Avengers submarine. Reanimated and alive because of the serum, Steve becomes a man out of his time and, because of the respect that other heroes have for him, is elevated to the rank of leader of the Avengers, with whom he lives the greatest adventures of his life. .
Released in December 1940, although the cover of its first issue dates from March 1941, Steve Rogers and Captain America were created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Unlike other heroes recruited to fight the Nazis, the Captain was born destined to face the Axis forces. Interestingly, the hero was born almost a year before the United States entered World War II (December 1941). His initial motivation was propaganda, to show and extol American values in these difficult times. And it worked. With over a million copies sold, the first edition of Captain America, which featured on the cover hitting Adolf Hitler, has become a phenomenon, making Steve one of the most popular characters of the 1940s. lost in popularity. They even tried to bring him back to the 1950s when he was fighting the Communists, but things were so bad that Marvel later explained that it was another man who discovered the Super Soldier formula. and acted as Captain America on his behalf. Ultimately, this formula itself would do terrible collateral damage to him.
Revived in the 1960s, when Marvel became a worldwide phenomenon, Steve Rogers and his Captain America achieved Legend Living status and established themselves as Pop Culture icons for good. This reinvention of the character by the Stan duo. Lee and Jack Kirby took a less aggressive and more imposing approach to the hero, which commanded respect only through his presence. Over the years, this ideal of what the American Dream should be has made Steve an idealist who never gave in to the idea of being a government puppet, although many non-comedy readers see it. still that way today.
Several times Steve has given up on friendships, political leanings, and his own role as Captain America when he has seen opponents or the government itself make decisions that undermine the individual freedoms of the people. The most famous example is the Civil War arc, in which he rebels against all authorities when he learns that they plan to treat unregistered heroes as criminals, putting the hero on a collision course. against other great superheroes. Still in this saga, seeing that the people were suffering from his actions, he surrendered and ended up being “killed” on the steps of the court where he would be tried.
During these years Steve left a legacy of respect, equality, freedom and belief in his ideals. He’s a character who fights for what he believes is right from birth and has been forged through ironies that are more like parodies of the context he’s in. Designed by a Jew (Kirby), Steve – unlike other heroes of the 1940s whose appearances were based on average Americans – is practically an Aryan sent to fight the world’s greatest advocate of eugenics. In the 1960s, when super-skill heroes dominated the comics, Steve returns and is defined as the world’s greatest athlete. Even then, with the racial issue on fire in the United States, it was in the Captain’s comics that Sam Wilson the Falcon, one of Steve’s best friends, emerged. In the 1970s, when the so-called Communist threat took hold of the United States, Steve rebelled against the American government and abandoned the costume of Captain America… and so on. His career in comics is marked by small revolutions that are very significant and courageous for the time.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe – yes, let’s ignore his previous portrayals of him in the movies – Steve Rogers was played by Chris Evans. Initially, he was treated like the comic book version of the 1960s, like a super athlete. As the universe expanded, Steve acquired superhuman abilities, but he was even marked by his persistence and inherent goodness. As Erskine tells him in the first movie, Steve was chosen to be a benevolent man. His ideals speak much louder than the wishes of his government, and he shows himself capable of facing the world he cares about. It’s a legacy of friendship, love, honor, hope and perseverance that was beautifully completed in Avengers: Ultimatum (2019).
As in the 2014 comics, in which Falcão takes on the role of hero, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) of the MCU could also feel the weight and significance of Steve Rogers’ legacy, especially as a black man in the States. -United. Knowing this weight, this relevance, the Falcão eo Soldado Invernal series masterfully tackled the revolution inherent in the character by showing the hero, now Sam Wilson, facing world leaders to propagate his ideals of equality and unity in favor of a better society. Additionally, he showed the dark side of government by addressing the oversight of Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly) due to his color and deep-rooted American racism.
In these 80 years of Captain America and 103 of Steve Rogers, the “Brooklyn boy” leaves a legacy of hope and will to defend his ideals, even if it means opposing what everyone says is right. His appreciation for freedom and equality, without losing respect and his way of being, has inspired millions of fans in different eras, who seek their best versions to look like Steve Rogers, and have eternalized him in the pantheon of the greatest heroes of all time.
Captain America movies are available on Disney +
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