I’m not a Captain America hater! Actually, Cap is probably my favorite comic book character. I love the idea of the little guy becoming the big guy. I love Steve Roger’s devotion to the ideals that make America great: truth, freedom for all, morality. He is strong when he needs to be; he protects those that can’t protect themselves. He is willing to take on people more powerful than he is because that’s exactly who he is.
He might be the best humanity has to offer, but in a world of gods and monsters, he’s often the underdog. He feels duty-bound to do so. His nobility differentiates him from many of the other Marvel Universe heroes. In fact, his innate goodness allowed him to be considered worthy enough to briefly wield Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir.
I enjoyed Captain America: The First Avenger. Cap worked perfectly; he was noble, kind, and determined. He also had a kind of innocence to him that contrasted with his obvious physical superiority. He had a great line about hating bullies, and, in the end, he “gave his life” to stop said bullies from destroying the USA.
In Avengers, Captain America has one really good scene that demonstrates his underdog spirit: He saves an old German man who refuses to kneel before Loki. He then gives a short monologue about how the last time he was in Germany, he saw a man standing above everyone else then, too. Then he has a brief fight where he doesn’t give up, but he basically gets the snot kicked out of him until Tony Stark shows up. (I also want to point out that more time is given to Iron Man fighting Thor than is given to Captain America fighting Loki.)
The scene perfectly captures who Captain America is, but that’s about the last significant thing that Cap does in the movie. You see, in Avengers there are two other “regular people” who are super awesome at fighting. After that amazing scene in Germany, there’s basically nothing else in the movie that contrasts Cap from Black Widow or Hawkeye.
Seriously, think of that street fight where they are fighting the invading Chitauri. Captain America was on the ground, fighting aliens, and… giving orders, I guess? Maybe him directing the police to do things was supposed to show us how awesome Cap is… but really, I don’t remember anything coming of it. Meanwhile, Hawkeye is shooting exploding arrows at Loki, and Black Widow is closing the black hole/portal/thingy.
Maybe the movie should’ve shown Captain America’s orders to the police help turn the tide of battle.
In my opinion, though, Captain America is at his best when he is fighting something bigger than himself. Maybe instead of having Black Widow running away from The Hulk, we could’ve had Captain America fighting him in the bowels of the Helicarrier. Something like this series of panels from The Ultimates (Which was partially what the Avengers film was based on.).
Or maybe we could’ve simply seen Captain America take down one of the giant flying robot snake things. I would’ve been down with that. Again, it shows the underpowered (in comparison to Hulk, Thor, Iron Man) Cap taking down something that is huge.
Captain America fights for the little guy. And, really, that’s what I would’ve liked to see in The Avengers, and that’s what I hope to see in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Otherwise, we have Black Widow and Hawkeye to do the hand-to-hand fighting, with nothing for Cap to do to stand out.
How do you think Captain America could be better portrayed? Or do you think that Avengers did a good job? Let me know!