When it comes to superheroes, is there anyone more patriotic than Captain America? It sounds like he literally has freedom built right into the name. The character of Captain America has been around since 1941 when he was created for Timely Comics (which predated Marvel) by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Cap ended up being the most popular superhero during WW2, and it is easy to see why. With several front covers that feature him getting down and dirty with the Nazis, it’s no surprise that people looked to him as a character to rally behind.
Despite a short discontinuation of the character in 1950, Captain America returned strong in 1953 and has remained one of the most prominent superheroes for Marvel. The character is praised not only for his physical skills, but his tremendous leadership that has helped make him a vital part of the superhero group The Avengers (which you may have heard of).
One of the biggest forces behind the latest surge of superhero films has been the role of Chris Evans in portraying Steve Rogers in the Captain America films. With Captain America: Civil War slated to come out in 2016, there is perhaps more excitement now than ever before towards the star spangled superhero.
Thankfully, with a history that has over 50 years of facts and trivia, there is no shortage of amazing and interesting things that Captain America has experienced throughout his run. Here are only 15 of the facts that you didn’t know about Captain America: The First Avenger.
If you are interested in learning more about Superman, feel free to check out 20 facts that you may not know about the Man of Steel.
15. Stan Lee Invented The Idea Of Throwing The Shield
When it comes to Captain America, one of the coolest things about him is his ability to throw his shield out in a split second to dispose of the enemy. It may be interesting to note that comic superstar Stan Lee seemingly inspired Joe Simon and Jack Kirby to allow such usage for the shield. Lee mentions throwing the shield in Captain America #3 during a “text story.” The passage written by Lee involves Captain America throwing his shield across the room with the speed of thought. When Kirby and Simon have Captain America throw his shield in a visual form, for Captain America #4, they use the same phrase that Stan Lee used.
14. He Was Going To Be Called Super American
Part of what makes Captain America so awesome is his name. There is just something commanding about having captain built right in, and the nickname ‘Cap’ is also top-notch. There would be nothing wrong with Super American, but it hardly holds the awesomeness that is expressed by the name Captain America. Thankfully, creator Joe Simon agreed and changed it to Captain America, citing
“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.”
13. Somebody Bought Chris Evans’ Superhero Suit
When it comes to cool pieces of movie memorabilia to own, there might not be anything cooler than owning a superhero’s costume. There is literally nothing that you would be able to do while wearing that costume without feeling like an absolute badass. That must be why it sold at auction for $233,700 to an anonymous bidder. The costume was the exact one that was worn by Evans during the final battle scene with the Red Skull in the 2011 Captain America film. It also came with a rubber colt .45 pistol, leather boots, gloves, a mask and of course, a shield.
12. There Was Lots Of Hate Mail For The First Captain America
When the first Captain America came out in 1941 it featured Captain punching Adolf Hitler in the face. This was clearly a loud political statement from a country that had not yet gone to war with Germany yet. As a result, while it was a popular comic (selling over 1 million copies) there was also a great deal of hate mail and threatening letters sent to the creators. After menacing looking men started to loiter around the building, the threats got serious enough that a police presence was put into place to patrol the building to help keep the creators and staff safe.
11. Jonathan Frakes Dressed Up As Him
There was no shortage of fans of Captain America. It shouldn’t seem like a shock that some people that grew up fans, also ended up being actors. Jonathan Frakes ended up making it as an actor, and is best known for his role on Star Trek. When he first moved to New York he was still trying to find his big break and took a job dressing up as Captain America at fan conventions. Frakes was apparently outstanding in the role, not only for fitting the physical requirements, but also for his ability to respond to trivia questions while still remaining in character.
10. Captain America Was Going To Die In The 60s
With the emergence of Captain America #300, current writer J.M. DeMetteis had the idea for a storyline that involved Captain America being assassinated. In the storyline, the world was going to turn against Captain America, who was going to stop being a superhero and instead focus on different ways to find world peace.
Who better to explain the line of thinking, than the man who was going to create the comic himself;
“The only allies he was going to find in his quest for global change would be the Sub-Mariner and Doctor Doom. This was the period when Jack Monroe-aka Nomad, the Bucky of the 50’s-was Cap’s partner…and Jack, with his cold war mentality, would be manipulated by Cap’s enemies. In the climax, as Cap speaks at a rally of his few remaining supporters, Nomad (perched on a roof across the way) assassinates him. Only then, with Cap dead, would the world realize what they had. In tribute to Cap, all nations of the world would lay down their weapons for one hour. One hour of peace on Earth.”
The idea was shot down when it was deemed not to follow the typical values that embody Steve Rogers and another idea was pitched for #300.
9. He Had The First Superhero Film
When people think of superhero films, it’s only natural to think of the latest Marvel blockbusters that have dominated the box office. These were not the first attempts at turning superheroes into films, and it was Captain America that started the whole thing off for Timely Comics in 1944. The film was distributed by Republic pictures, but it ended up being the last Timely Superhero featured film to come out for the next 40 years. The film cast Dick Purcell, who unfortunately passed away a few months after its release. Unlike the more recent films, the original decided to forgo the Super Soldier serum and there is also no usage or mention of Captain America’s traditional shield. Perhaps that’s why it failed?
8. There Could Have Been A Cartoon Series In The ’90s
One thing that helps make Batman and the X-Men close to my heart, is that they came out during the ’90s when I was a young child. Unfortunately, financial issues that were hurting Marvel in the mid-90s led to several projects getting cancelled, one of which seems to be a Captain America cartoon. There is a rumor that the series was cancelled due to their refusal to include Nazis, but that was proven to be false. The series would have centered around Red Skull as the villain, but they would not have featured the themes that were as prevalent with WW2.
7. There Could Have Been A New Costume
Joe Simon sued Marvel Comics in 1966 stating that he was the creator of Captain America. It was in 1966 that the renewal copyright for the character was going to run out, and thus the idea of who officially created the character was an incredibly important debate. Marvel claimed that Simon had only co-created the character alongside artist Jack Kirby, who signed an agreement with Marvel stating that he created Captain America as a “work-for-hire” project (and thus it was not his property). Had Simon won, he would have been able to create his own line of comics which would feature the original, and iconic Captain America costume. As a result, Jack Kirby had designed two other types of costumes to use in event of Simon winning. Thankfully for Simon, Marvel and fashion’s sake, Simon settled the lawsuit and the amazing costume got to keep on living.
6. Captain America: Civil War Will Feature Spider-Man
While this is hardly a fun fact about Cap himself, there is no doubting the excitement that is surrounding his upcoming film Captain America: Civil War. Part of the excitement is that this upcoming film will be the first inclusion of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The role will be handled by relatively unknown Tom Holland, whose most notable performance is in the film Locke which also stars Tom Hardy. Holland is a young talent in Hollywood, and while there is no knowledge on how big his role will be, he will also take on the role of Peter Parker in a stand-alone film in 2017.
5. Captain America Comics #1 Sold For $343,000
There is no shortage of amazing comic books that have been sold for an exuberant amount of money. Captain America is no exception, and a copy of the first comic sold in 2011 for a record $343,000. The comic was influential, not only introducing the character to the world, but it was also a huge moment in the career of artist Jack Kirby. It was reportedly the 2nd highest quality of the #1 comic ever sold, with a slightly higher quality selling for $265,000. The comic was purchased off of a newsstand way back in 1941, and was kept in incredibly good condition. Interestingly enough, the owner of the comic also sold a copy of Action Comics #10 for $258,000, which is “particularly sought after because it is the 3rd Superman cover in the Action Comics run (and #13 is the 4th Superman cover).
4. He Was Not An Original Avenger
I know, right?! It seems like such a cop out that someone who claims to be the first Avenger, was not actually an original member of the Avengers. When the super group first formed, it was Ant-Man, The Wasp, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk who rounded out the team. When the team came across Captain America trapped in ice in Avengers #4, he quickly replaced The Hulk in the team, who was deemed too unstable. Since then the team has seen a variety of superheroes come and go, but there is no doubting the leadership ability of Captain America.
3. There Was A Story Where He Thought About Becoming The President
As if being a superhero was not a busy enough job, there was a storyline written in 1980 that involved Cap running for office. To make things even easier, Beast offered to be his campaign manager! Despite the support of most of his friends, Cap ends up declining the position.
“Cap considers his position and calls a press conference. He explains his duty is to uphold the American Dream, but being President of the United States would require him to preserve the reality of the country. Since the two objectives are at odds. Cap must decline the candidacy.”
2. The Falcon Is The New Captain America
It was announced back in July 2014 that the mantle of Captain America will be officially passed onto Sam Wilson, better known as The Falcon. In the recent line of the comics, Steve Rogers, was a 90-year-old man, so it is only natural that someone needs to replace him. The change will begin with the upcoming comic series All-New Captain America. It is also interesting to note that the inclusion of The Falcon in Captain America #117 (in 1969), marked the first inclusion of a mainstream African-American superhero. The Falcon can be seen in some of the more recent Marvel films, and is wonderfully portrayed by Anthony Mackie.
1. He Has An Unauthorized Turkish Film
If you want to see Captain America throwing down with Spider-Man, look no further than the 1973 film Three Mighty Men. The film features Captain America, Spider-Man and the Mexican luchador wrestler Santo. The film takes an odd turn when it has Spider-Man become evil, even murdering a woman in her shower. The film was not authorized by Marvel (shocker), but that doesn’t make the film any less real. Thankfully, whether in English or Turkish, Captain America can still lay down the law and he alongside Santo defeat Spider-Man at the climax of the film. The film exists, but good luck trying to find a copy of it.