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An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes: Captain America

  An Idiot's Guide reviews the history of America's most famous 'roid user!


 

This is An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes. It's part fact, part opinion, and part bullshitting my way through 75 years worth of literature that is both entertaining and slightly ridiculous. An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes is not meant to be taken 100% seriously nor is it 100% factual.

If you come away learning something new, I applaud you. Knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle...or something like that. Otherwise, I apologize for wasting the next five to ten minutes of your life.

An Idiot's Guide to Superheroes: Captain America

No one likes Nazis.  Americans don't like Nazis, the English don't like Nazis and the French really don't like Nazis. In Germany it is required by law to HATE the Nazis.  We don't like their Final Solution, we don't like their U-boats, and we really don't like the fact that they enabled Tom Cruise to waste ninety minutes of our lives with Valkyrie.

Obviously, any superhero who punches Nazis in the head for a living must be really freakin' sweet, right?

That's where Captain America comes in. Steve Rogers was too scrawny and too weak to join the military during World War II. Instead, the American government injected a unique blend of steroids similar to those used by baseball players and pumped him up into the ultimate super-soldier.  Taking on the mantle of Captain America, Rogers went overseas armed with only an oversized Frisbee and an underage sidekick named Bucky to kick Nazi ass.  Moral of the story? America only needed steroids, a Frisbee and underage boys to beat Nazi Germany. Suck it, history books! AMERICA, F@*K YEAH!

Obviously, the presence of a super-soldier bolstered the American war effort.  Even though Rogers had no super-powers, his bulging muscles and his super accurate Frisbee skills proved invaluable during the war. Normandy went from daring invasion to a play date on the beach.  The Battle of the Bulge went from German counteroffensive to being named after Steve Roger's penis.  Sadly, Captain America and Bucky were both thought to be killed when Bucky took a missile to the face and Captain America learned that super-soldiers don't make super swimmers. Luckily, the HGH in Captain America's system saved him from death and instead put him into a ‘roid coma inside of an iceberg. 

Thirty (or so) years later, the Avengers found him and thawed him out. Although he had trouble adjusting to an age where women were allowed out of the kitchen and offensive to ask a black man for a shoeshine, Captain America quickly found his bearings and took control of the superhero team. Now, he fights Nazis, terrorists, and the Tea Bag movement in the name of democracy, patriotism and American supremacy. Besides the Avengers, he often teams up with the Falcon, a black superhero who flies and talks to birds.  Together, they form the Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder duo of the Marvel Universe.

Captain America is considered to be the de facto leader of Marvel's superhero community.  Although the Marvel superheroes aren't as organized as the unionized DC heroes, most of them defer to Captain America's judgment in battle.He's also considered to be one of the Marvel universe's finest fighters, although he still comes painfully short of true warriors like Batman or Jackie Chan. However, he is unanimously considered to be the premier ultimate Frisbee player in all of comicdom. When he's not punching Adolf Hitler in the face, Captain America likes doing the Charleston, eating apple sauce and looking for those pesky WMDs in Iraq.

Captain America is symbolic for America in so many ways.  He's blonde because of the amber waves of grain in the Heartland.  His costume is blue because Americans are blue-blooded. He has a star on his chest because we won the space race.  He has an A on his forehead because of our awesome credit rating (it's an A, suck it Greece!) He carries a shield because of our nation's role during the Middle Ages. He has wings on the sides of his head because one day Americans will evolve and be able to fly using only our minds.  He takes performance-enhancing drugs because as Americans, it's our God-given right to do whatever it takes to be better than everyone else. AMERICA, F*^K YEAH!

Captain America's villains represent the smorgasbord of enemies that America has faced over the last seventy years.  Nazis, communists, hippies, and evil corporations have all fallen to Cap's righteous fists of patriotism. Some of Captain America's antagonists include AIM, a fascist organization responsible for Windows Vista, the Hate-Monger, who's actually a clone of Adolf Hitler and owns stock in BP, and Batroc the Leaper, a Frenchman who dropkicks people in the face and promptly surrenders before they can retaliate.

Of course, the Red Skull is Captain America's most dynamic nemesis.  The Red Skull is an infamous Nazi named for the red skull that comprises his head.   He fought Captain America during the war and retired to Argentina, only to return when Captain America returned from iceberg slumber. Over his illustrious career, the Red Skull has taken over part of Manhattan, started race riots, became a US bureaucrat (side note: that's the second major Marvel villain I've mentioned that has been employed by the US government), and almost killed Captain America about a dozen times. He's also horribly bigoted, dislikes puppies, and occasionally throws babies out windows for shits and giggles.
Some of Captain America's more memorable stories include Captain America No More (Captain America gets sick of the government's bullshit and quits), Truth: Red, White and Black (the American government tests the super-soldier serum on African-Americans before they try it out on a white guy, it's a tragically awesome story) and The Ultimates (Captain America is reinvented as a total badass with no regard to human dignity who drops tanks on bad guys and throws out witty one liners like it's his job.) He's also been featured in two shitty television movies and a foreign film in which he and a Mexican wrestler fought a serial killing green Spider-Man. He's also due to appear in a Saving Private Ryan sequel starring Chris Evans as Steve Rogers and Tom Hanks as Bucky Barnes.

So what is the good Captain up to today? After finding out that his dead sidekick Bucky wasn't as dead as everyone thought, Steve Rogers got shot by a time bullet and got stuck in time.  Bucky felt bad and became the new Captain America, complete with a dandy new outfit with a gun and a nifty belt. Using his new belt and a little help from his friends, New Cap rescued him from the time stream and punched the Red Skull in the face.  Now Rogers is in charge of superhuman affairs while New Cap is putzing around with the Avengers.  Got all that?  Good, now go read the entire Ed Brubaker run of Captain America, which is some damn fine comics. Seriously go now!

Next Week: I'm taking a week off to do some "research" on Wonder Woman. However, Porcelain38 is stepping in with a very special Idiot's Guide featuring Daredevil and the Shadowlands!


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About the Author - Christian Hoffer


Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.

 


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