Captain America: The First Avenger, is hitting U.S. cinemas July, 22nd, and the star-spangled superhero promises us plenty of summer blockbusting action. Here’s a few facts, to whet your appetite for July, 22nd (July 29th in the U.K.) and of course to celebrate Independence Day for our Stateside readers.
Geared by wartime patriotism, his comics sold nearly 1 million copies a month. To put this in perspective, Cap was quite comfortably out-selling Time Magazine!
2. Captain America has a back story as tragic as any super-hero. Growing up Steve Rogers, a weak and sickly boy in a poor family, he suffered the loss of his father when he was a youngster, and then his mother when he was a teen. Spurred by wartime propaganda, he tried to enlist in the army, only to fail due to his physical inadequacies. However, one dose of super soldier serum later and…
We have Captain America, the All-American hero, as American as apple pie. Cap hasn’t always been on good terms with America. He’s lost faith in the USA more than once. In the 70’s Marvel played out events echoingthat of the Watergate scandal. This led to a new costume and name, the Nomad.During this era he became known as the ‘Man Without a Country’. Then in the
late 90’s after losing faith in the American Government, he loses the patriotism from his name and is known simply as, The Captain.
3. Marvel’s first ever African-American superhero, the Falcon, was introduced in Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969). He donned the Falcon guise at the urging of Steve Rogers aka Captain America.
Harking back to the days where race was a prickly issue, his introduction into mainstream comics was revolutionary. He was also the first African superhero without the word ‘black’ in his name!
4. Upcoming blockbuster, Captain America: The First Avenger isn’t the first time the Patriotic superhero has hit the big screen. Captain America holds the honour of being the first Marvel character to be adapted into another medium with the release of a movie serial back in 1944.
There was also an ill-fated Captain America movie released in 1990, a movie so bad it put Hollywood off Marvel superhero movies for nearly a decade!
5. Captain America Comics #1 is one of the world’s most valuable comics, with a near-mint condition copy valued at around $115,000 by comics price guide. Not too shabby when you consider it cost a mere 10 cents back in 1941!
And as much as we love Cap, I somehow doubt we’ll be picking up an issue anytime soon!
6. Seems like the Captain has some fans over at Blizzard. Captain America’s fame is so far-reaching, it even extends to the World of Warcraft.
One of the paladin class attacks is called the ‘Avengers shield’. It consists of your paladin slamming a shield into your enemy! Not even goblins or dwarves safe from the Cap!
7. Seldom seen without it, the shield is Cap’s defining item. While we are most familiar with it as a circular shield, in the first issue it was a triangular shape. This is homaged in the upcoming movie…
However, after rival publisher MLJ complained that the shield was a rip-off of their own hero, The Shield, they soon changed soon it. His iconic circular shield first appearing in Captain America Comics #2.
8. The Cap is without doubt the inspirational cornerstone of the Avengers. But if you thought Captain America was a founding member of the Avengers, you’d be wrong. The original line up consisted of Iron Man, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Thor and the Hulk. However, due to Hulks penchant for over-reacting, Cap was signed up.
He was even given retroactive “founding member” status Hulks place.
9. Just like any self-respecting superhero, Captain America has a sidekick, James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes. He appeared alongside the Cap in the very first issue. At one point he even donned the Captain America costume in the Caps absence.
10. One of the world’s most enduring superheroes, it’s hardly surprising the Cap has appeared in a whole host of videogames. His appearances range from the retro such as the Commodore 64; 16-bit, namely the SNES; and right up to next-gen consoles such as Xbox-360 and PS3.
If you fancy playing as the Cap, a brand new videogame, Captain America: Super Soldier, is released July 15th.
This article was first posted on July 4, 2011