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Captain America

Captain America is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Captain America Comics (cover dated March 1941) from Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics. Captain America was designed as a patriotic supersoldier who often fought the Axis powers of World War II and was Timely Comics’ most popular character during the wartime period. The popularity of superheroes waned following the war and the Captain America comic book was discontinued in 1950, with a short-lived revival in 1953. Since Marvel Comics revived the character in 1964, Captain America has remained in publication.

The character wears a costume bearing an American flag motif, and he utilizes a nearly indestructible shield which he throws as a projectile. Captain America is the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a frail young man enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum to aid the United States government’s efforts in World War II. Near the end of the war, he was trapped in ice and survived in suspended animation until he was revived in the present day. Although Captain America often struggles to maintain his ideals as a man out of his time with its modern realities, he remains a highly respected figure in his community which includes becoming the long-time leader of the Avengers.

Captain America was the first Marvel Comics character to appear in media outside comics with the release of the 1944 movie serial, Captain America. Since then, the character has been featured in other films and television series. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the character was portrayed by Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). He had cameos in Thor: The Dark World (2013), Ant-Man (2015), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and Captain Marvel (2019).

Captain America is ranked sixth on IGN’s “Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time” in 2011, second in their list of “The Top 50 Avengers” in 2012, and second in their “Top 25 best Marvel superheroes” list in 2014.

Creation
In 1940, writer Joe Simon conceived the idea for Captain America and made a sketch of the character in costume. “I wrote the name ‘Super American’ at the bottom of the page,” Simon said in his autobiography, and then decided:

No, it didn’t work. There were too many “Supers” around. “Captain America” had a good sound to it. There weren’t a lot of captains in comics. It was as easy as that. The boy companion was simply named Bucky, after my friend Bucky Pierson, a star on our high school basketball team.

Simon recalled in his autobiography that Timely Comics publisher Martin Goodman gave him the go-ahead and directed that a Captain America solo comic book series be published as soon as possible. Needing to fill a full comic with primarily one character’s stories, Simon did not believe that his regular creative partner, artist Jack Kirby, could handle the workload alone:

I didn’t have a lot of objections to putting a crew on the first issue … There were two young artists from Connecticut that had made a strong impression on me. Al Avison and Al Gabriele often worked together and were quite successful in adapting their individual styles to each other. Actually, their work was not too far from Kirby’s. If they worked on it, and if one inker tied the three styles together, I believed the final product would emerge as quite uniform. The two Als were eager to join in on the new Captain America book, but Jack Kirby was visibly upset. “You’re still number one, Jack,” I assured him. “It’s just a matter of a quick deadline for the first issue.”

“I’ll make the deadline,” Jack promised. “I’ll pencil it myself and make the deadline.” I hadn’t expected this kind of reaction … but I acceded to Kirby’s wishes and, it turned out, was lucky that I did. There might have been two Als, but there was only one Jack Kirby … I wrote the first Captain America book with penciled lettering right on the drawing boards, with very rough sketches for figures and backgrounds. Kirby did his thing, building the muscular anatomy, adding ideas and popping up the action as only he could. Then he tightened up the penciled drawings, adding detailed backgrounds, faces and figures.”

1974 Comic Art Convention program featuring Simon’s original sketch of Captain America.
Al Lieberman would ink that first issue, which was lettered by Simon and Kirby’s regular letterer, Howard Ferguson.

Simon said Captain America was a consciously political creation; he and Kirby were morally repulsed by the actions of Nazi Germany in the years leading up to the United States’ involvement in World War II and felt war was inevitable: “The opponents to the war were all quite well organized. We wanted to have our say too.”

source : wikipedia.org

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