The politics of Captain America

Captain America was not just shown as a propaganda tool in the film Captain America: The First Avenger, the fictional character was actually created in 1941, by timely comics, which later became Marvel comics. The date of the release, in the middle of the Second World War is why the Captain was depicted on many front covers, delivering a punch to Hitler and other such things. CA was therefore an actual propaganda tool used in an actual world war and so is just a little more than a fictional character, wrote about in a picture book. The USA have used several comic books to represent propaganda over the years and the first one was probably Captain America, all the way back in World War II. Here you get more information about the political background:

Word War 2

The character was the ultimate patriot and a great character to represent the might of America and really inspire troops in World War II. The creators of the comic claim that although the comic did have a clear storyline of its own, the comic was a deliberate political tool that they wanted to be used as propaganda. The issue in which the Captain gave Hitler a good old punch to the face sold over a million copies and the comic was hugely popular during the war, as you can well imagine.

  • The reason that CA proved so popular and worked so effectively as a piece of propaganda was because he didn’t have amazing super powers.
  • He couldn’t fly and he couldn’t swing from a skyscraper from spiders web, he was simply a normal American.
  • This meant that normal Americans could relate to the character and believe that they too could be just like Captain America.
  • This explains why Nazi propaganda producers had laughed at many previous attempts at propaganda of a similar kind.

Documentary: The Power of Nazi Propaganda

The comic also epitomised everything that Hitler stood against. America did not laugh in the face of a frail, but determined man who desperately wanted to join the army, something Hitler would have despised, they evolved him into a super soldier. The soldier was not armed with fearsome weapons of mass destruction, and was not a war-mongering lunatic, instead he had a shield, an emblem and a symbol of safety and protection. The shield was symbolic of the fact that Captain America, who represented America as a whole was simply defending itself against the evil of Hitler.

Genesis of Captain America – Second Part

Genisis of Captain AmericaIn many films and comics throughout the years, the shield has been able to withstand incredible amounts of force, not least, the full strength of the Hulk and Thor’s hammer. The shield also has unique properties and the shape and material means it can fly through the air easily, without being affected by wind, the shield also rebounds elastically, which means none of the energy is wasted and so will rebound from hitting a target at near enough the same speed it is thrown. The shield is said to be indestructible as it resists heat and force exerted on it. The only way to damage or deform the item is by altering the molecular bonding in the structure.

It is not only an elaborate Frisbee that makes Captain America the ultimate leader and soldier. He has mastered, developed and refined his own unique fighting style that incorporates several different forms of martial arts that makes him quite a formidable opponent. Steve Rogers was able to maintain his physique by undergoing an intense training regime that made him one of the best hand to hand fighters in the world.

The super soldier serum really is sophisticated equipment and it saves Steve Rogers life. The serum is highly sophisticated and it allows the body to make more and more of it so that the natural physical condition is maintained and does not diminish over time. On top of this, the reason that Captain America survives in the ice is because the serum allows the body to enter a trance mode, where it does not function properly but is still alive before being frozen in a block of ice, later to be discovered and reused to help save the world.

Genesis of Captain America – First Part

Captain America first grabbed the attention of the world around the time of world war II. The super hero becomes a super soldier that leads the American army into several battles in world war II. The release of the comic, which was coincidentally around the time of world war II saw the character become one of the most popular of all Marvel comic book characters ( ), before the comics stopped being produced 9 years later.

The story begins with a timid, skinny young man, Steve Rogers, who desperately wants to join the army but due to his diminished stature, is rejected. The physical examinations and procedures proved too hard and so he was rejected. The young art student was left without a father, who passed away when he was a child and also without a mother who recently died of pneumonia. If only this frail young man could enlist into the army, he would be the perfect soldier, he loved his country and had the right attitude to being a soldier.

Steve Rogers was still determined to serve and when he was offered a place as a human guinea pig for professor Abraham Erskine’s research to turn him into the super soldier, he gladly accepted. Project Rebirth was planned to take place on many test subjects. However, due to the lack of the super soldier serum available and the fact he was killed shortly after the first test subject was injected, the first subject was all that was left, it just so happened that the first subject was in fact Steve Rogers who would later go on to become CA.

The super soldier serum was developed as America’s answer to Nazi Germany’s most deadly commander. The red skull worked very close with Adolf Hitler and his real name was John Schmidt. The use of propaganda made the Red skull a force to be reckoned with and America was tasked with finding, or rather creating a suitable advisory that they would employ in a similar way to instil fear into the opposing Nazi camp. The Germans also tried to replicate the formula to produce super soldiers of their own but after countless efforts, they were still unsuccessful.

Steve Rogers is selected for the super solider serum treatment, accompanied with Vita-Ray treatment that makes him the super soldier America needs to lead troops into battle in World War II. Like many things throughout history, the super soldier came out of necessity for the war and as a result, the serum was not rigorously tested and the formula was never committed to paper. The bursts of vita-rays which are unique forms of radiation was not done to any specific formula and when the doctor died, this meant that the super soldier could never again be replicated.

The First Avenger (2011)

It took twenty-one years for anybody to attempt to make another Captain America film after the first one had been a bit of a disappointment. This big budget blockbuster promised to deliver where the other one fell short and was part of an on-going series of intertwined films released by the Marvel comics universe.

The 1990 film concentrated on Captain America as a pre made concept, that already existed and did not go into detail in terms of how Captain America came to be, whereas in the First avenger there was much more emphasis on this. Although the films were similar in the fact that the Captain fought against the red skull in both of them, they had slightly different approaches. The 2011 film concentrated more heavily on conflicts in world war II, the 1990 film looked more at what happened when the Captain woke up from his frozen slumber.

The film has a star studded cast, with Chris Evans playing the Captain, both before and after the transformation, similar to the first film. This big budget Hollywood blockbuster made use of the green screen in order to make a skinny Chris Evans more life like and realistic, without the actor having to go through ridiculous diets. Samuel L. Jackson also plays a role in the film, as well as Hugo Weaving, who plays the red skull. Other appearances of note come from Tommy Lee Jones and Haley Atwell.

The film tells the viewer a bit more about why Captain America was so effective, because he was completely unique, after the creator of the super soldier serum is killed by an agent of HYDRA, the Nazi’s research department. It also then tells the story of how the Captain starts off as nothing more than a propaganda tool and shows how the poster boy then finds himself on the front line of the army, battling the Nazi’s. The sudden shift from a propaganda tool, to a fierce warrior who charges into battle is sparked when the Captain learns that his best friend, who was never rejected from the army, like the Captain was at first has been captured and he tries to save him. The film ends when the captain wakes up in the modern world and shows him starting to train and get ready for any more fights that he may have to face in his unfamiliar surroundings.

A look back at the to the first Captain America movie 1990

The film in 1990 was the first to try to recreate the classic marvel comic that was first released in 1941. Like nearly all Marvel films, the creator, Stan Lee, had to approve it before it was released. He had a very high standard and was keen that the film stayed true to the comic in which it was based on. In this case, Stan Lee thought that the director, Albert Pyun had done his great comic book justice and allowed the film to be released.

The lead role was a highly contested position by many well-known actors. One of the biggest names to go for the lead role was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who didn’t get the role because of not being able to hide his accent, that would almost certainly compromise the authenticity of Captain America. Dolph Lundgren was also considered, however, he had other commitments. Another applicant for this highly sought after role was Val Kilmer, until it was finally determined that Matt Salinger would play the lead role and he would have to play Steve Rogers before he had taken the super soldier serum, as well as Captain America afterwards, another topic that was up for debate.

The plot of the film follows the Captain as he strives to defeat the red skull, played by Scott Paulin. The red skull has several dangerous weapons and the Captain is the one tasked with making sure they are not used by infiltrating enemy lines and sabotaging the rockets. The film starts with Steve Rogers before he takes the super soldier serum and shows how he adapts with this new found chemical in him and evolves into Captain America. The film also goes on to show the Captain waking up in the 1990’s, only to discover that the red skull is still at large, operating under a different alias and trying to kidnap the president of the United States, the country which the Captain is sworn to protect.