*spoiler alert for the Marvel movies consisting of Captain America, as well as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier*
The first time I heard about him, I am not going to lie, I thought he was pretty lame. He didn’t have any superpowers. I mean, all he had was a shield! Not some cool weapon or energy blasters that could reduce his foes to cinders. A freaking shield! That was my first impression of him. In my eyes, he was simply a boring goodie-two-shoes.
I was never really that much into DC or Marvel. I thought they were the same. That was until Marvel started gearing up for their renowned Avengers series.
I religiously watched all of the movies to keep up with every reference and to keep myself updated with everything, all but except The Incredible Hulk (sorry!) And it was during that time I got introduced to the First Avenger.
Meet Steve Rogers. A man with a weak constitution. Physically inferior to all of his brothers in arms. No one was willing to accept him in the army for his own sake! (He had: asthma, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, high blood pressure, and heart trouble, among other illnesses.)
Even then, there was something that separated him from the rest. Dr Abraham Erskine saw something in him that no one else did. Because Rogers was weak, he had a perspective no one else did. Steve Rogers could use brains to outwit the brawn (as seen from his dismantling of the flag pole). He understood the power behind being strong. He was like Erskine said: “a good man”. The one who would not hesitate to put his life on the line for others. The one who would jump in front of a live grenade to protect others even when he was powerless. The one who is always at the front to lead the charge and take the brunt of the battle.
Although, there were numerous supersoldats in the Marvel films and the television series: Falcon and the Winter Soldier. None of them could ever compare to the likes of Steve Rogers.
Steve Rogers is ultimately a good person. Someone every person should aspire to be. He became a role model for me throughout the movies before I even knew it. Like your average cynical person, I believed myself to be “realistic” and “logical”. But there are times when you need that person in your corner who you can rely on to make everything okay with their aura of absolute positivity. An assurance in themselves and the people around them. That is Captain Steven Grant Rogers. Whenever Steve was with the Avengers, there was a feeling that everything would be okay in the end. If Cap had turned to dust with Thanos’ snap, Endgame would have had a completely different vibe.
Steve Rogers is the type of man that exudes compassion and humanity towards others, no matter what side. With the rise of the relativist antagonist in cinema, Cap can showcase his full ability to reach the hearts of the antagonists with his charmingly naive but firm belief in the good inside all of us. The man’s heart is so pure, Mjölnir deems him worthy to wield him for crying out loud!
Besides the joke of being America’s ass and a complete boomer, Cap has had meaningful relationships throughout all his appearances. No matter who he was interacting with, he always showed them respect. Often an overlooked quality, but an important one. The three most notable to me are Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, and Natasha Romanoff.
James Buchanan Barnes, otherwise known as “Bucky” or “Winter Soldier” was a man Steve had known since childhood. He stood by and supported Steve all this time until he became the Winter Soldier after his freak accident. Steve never gave up on Bucky when everyone else had. Steve knew Bucky was a good person without his commands and brainwashing. In the end, it paid off as Bucky went from killing machine for the Soviet Union back to being a brother by his side.
Another best friend of Cap, Samuel Thomas Wilson, a.k.a. “Falcon”, or the new “Captain America”. After Cap woke up from his 70-year “nap”, Sam Wilson was his jogging buddy, the one who recommended Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” album, and the one he turned to when going AWOL. Sam was always there when he needed him, had a clear conscience, and was the rightful recipient for the shield and title of Captain America as passed down by Steve Rogers.
*If you haven’t watched The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and are still reading this, I recommend you to give it a watch. It entails life after Cap’s “retirement”. And how his best buddies and the world cope with his absence.*
Natalia Alianovna Romanoff, commonly known as “Black Widow”. I feel for all those Romanogers shippers when the ship officially sunk, as I was also one of them. Natalia was a consistent figure in Steve’s life after his rebirth. From working alongside each other in S.H.I.E.L.D. to leading the Avengers after the snap. Their banter and support of each other shined throughout the movies. And this is one opposite-sex friendship that stands out to me in fiction. Even when they initially picked opposite sides in Civil War, Natasha still considered Steve a close friend and helped him escape. Steve accepted Natasha when she was unable to open herself to others. Steve trusted Natasha to have his back when things went dire. I believed Steve enabled Natasha to break away from her chains as a trained assassin since birth; it was character development at its finest. Natasha was there for Steve at Peggy Carter’s funeral. She also helped Steve move on from the snap. These were some of the most memorable moments for me in the movies.
In the end, Steve Rogers chose to go back to the past and spend the rest of his life with Peggy Carter. And we all saw it coming when he stood in the teleporter in Endgame. Steve seeing his picture frame on Peggy’s desk was the final nail in the coffin to every ship that wasn’t Steve and Peggy. A funny meme has arisen with Steve and his locket with Peggy’s picture. Cap was indeed a loyal dog.
What impresses me the most about Steve Rogers is that he does the right thing and follow his beliefs under any circumstances. Even if it meant he had to go against the law and his team. In the end, Steve is more than just a superhuman. The thing that came out of a bottle is just an enhancement to an already incredible human being, a hero. It is easy to empathize with him because he seems more “human” when compared to the other supes. Even when it appears that he is no match against his adversaries, he will rise to the occasion. Even when alone with Thanos and his army, he walked towards them, fearless.
He seemed powerless before a godlike being. Hell, he even had to strap his dangling forearm to his shield so that it wouldn’t fall off. He utters these words we have all come to recognize: “I can do this all day.” In the face of death, a mortal squares up to a god so that he can bring everyone back. If you had to explain what a hero meant in simple terms, this is it. I hear some people saying, “he is just reckless”. Do not fret. After all, you are talking about the star-spangled man with a plan.