Created in 1941 and successfully “revived” in the 1960s, Captain America may be a Marvel Comics character, but he actually wasn’t created by Stan Lee. (Which means that the great man of Marvel Comics probably won’t be making his usual cameo in the movie then.) Instead he was dreamt up by writer Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby as a patriotic superhero when America entered World War II in 1941.
After the War, the character’s popularity waned and he was effectively retired. But in March 1964 the character was successfully revived by Stan Lee, with Jack Kirby once again providing the art work. Captain America (or just plain Cap) was the meek and sickly Steve Rogers, who was rejected for military service in the US army on medical grounds. Instead he volunteered for a top secret “supersoldier” serum program by the US army and was successfully changed into a physically super-fit and strong specimen (this program is referred to in
However before the serum can be used to turn the entire US Army into superheroes, the serum’s formula is lost when the scientist responsible for it is killed by a Nazi spy. (What? He didn’t keep any notes?) With only one super-soldier at its disposal, the US military does the best it can and turns Rogers into Captain America, a propaganda figurehead for the war effort against the Nazis. Cue several adventures leading US soldiers invading Normandy during D-Day along with Cap fighting secret Nazi agents led by the nefarious Red Skull, a Nazi mastermind super-villain and his arch nemesis.
In Stan Lee’s reinvention of the character, Cap is thought dead when he foiled a Nazi missile launched at Washington DC. Instead the character has fallen into the freezing Atlantic Ocean where instead of drowning or dying of hypothermia he is instead frozen alive in a block of solid ice, only to be revived twenty years or so later. Strangely enough Lee did nothing more with Cap’s Buck Rogers-type resurrection than turn the character into yet another brooding and moody Marvel superhero. No “fish out of water” stuff as Rogers suddenly has to cope with stuff such as social changes, new technology and the like. After all, when Cap took a dive into the Atlantic Glenn Miller topped the charts and when he came back it was The Beatles
Will be catching this flick today or tomorrow. Expect a full report :)