The Avengers are one of the most important superhero teams in the world, with each member fulfilling a specific purpose. Thor provides the strength, Iron Man provides financial backing and scientific expertise. Yet the team wouldn’t be the same without Captain America. Some people might consider the character bland compared to other superheroes, but in my opinion Steve Rogers represents more than having a cool set of powers. The Comic Vault is examining what Captain America represents and how he can be an inspiration to the people around him.
Growing up, Steve Rogers was faced with a number of health difficulties that stopped him from fighting in WW2. Steve didn’t want to serve his country for glory or recognition. He wanted to fight so he could protect ‘little guys’ like himself and make a difference during a time when young men were dying in droves. Nobody would have blamed him for quitting, but Rogers continued to look for a way to do his part. Eventually, his determination paid off and he was selected to become the world’s first supersoldier.
After he’d been given the formula, Captain America’s abilities were increased to peak human ability. Compared to flashier heroes like Thor, Cap might just be a guy who throws a shield, but his appeal is much deeper. The formula made him an exemplar of what a normal person could achieve when given the opportunity.
Captain America is a representation of hope and how one person can affect change. Although Steve has followed orders, he’s never been afraid to make his own decisions and fight against authority figures if he thought they were wrong. Thus, Captain America also represents freedom of speech and choice. Someone might find it difficult to make a decision that runs contrary to their peers or friendship group. Captain America is a reminder that you should always listen to your instincts and never be afraid to plant your feet.
Characters like Superman also represent hope, but I’d argue it’s much easier to connect with Steve because of his limitations. Cap isn’t invincible and he’s made his share of mistakes like anyone else. Captain America’s humanity is an integral part of his personality, with him reflecting the greatest qualities of the people who fight alongside him.
This can be seen in how the other Avengers follow his lead and hold him in such high regard. It’s as if they see him as a mirror and look at all they could be, or what they perceive to be inside them due to Steve’s influence. It’s why I’d say that Cap’s ability to inspire others is his real superpower.
The power to inspire applies to normal people as well. Comic fans see Steve as an example of a regular guy who came from nothing, but still chose to make the world a safer place. In the Marvel films, Chris Evans has done a fantastic job of capturing all the qualities that make Captain America so relatable.
Due to his compassion, nobility and fallibility, Captain America is the heart of The Avengers. What’s your opinion?