Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans

Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans
Marvel/Marco Djurdjevic
​Captain America has had a tough past five years. He led the losing side of a civil war, was murdered (well, not really, but everyone thought he was dead), and when he finally returned, he found out that Chris Evans is set to portray him in a movie next year.

But that's the thing about Cap: He takes it all in stride and perseveres. His idealistic nature, his integrity and his genuine patriotism have kept him going strong since the 1940s. 

So why doesn't his Boy Scout attitude grate on people more? Why is it that we're accepting of a man who's older than our great-grandpa telling us about right or wrong, but we're dismissive when we hear it coming from a guy like Superman? My opinion: It's because Cap knows how to pull off great Fuck Yeah moments!

In honor of the Fourth of July--and also because the new issues of his series and Secret Avengers, which he stars in, hit stores this week--I've compiled the 10 Cap moments that make Americans ecstatic he belongs to the U.S. of A.
1. Captain America (vol. 1) #109 
Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans
Marvel/Words: Stan Lee; Art: Jack Kirby and Syd Shores

Background After enduring the process that transforms him into a peak human physical specimen, Steve Rogers, the man who would become Captain America, witnesses a Nazi assassin strike down Dr. Abraham Erskine, the inventor of the Super-Soldier Serum responsible for Rogers' change. Rogers watches Erskine die in his arms, then performs his first heroic act in his new body: He kicks the crap out of the killer.


Why it makes the list In this retelling of his origin, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby use one panel to encapsulate Cap's character as a passionate, principled man of action.

2. Captain America (vol. 5) #25 
Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans
Marvel/Words: Ed Brubaker; Art: Steve Epting

Background Being on the losing side of the super-hero civil war, Cap has been arrested and is being escorted to court. That's when he notices a sniper rifle in a nearby window and takes the bullet meant for his guard. Then he's unknowingly shot by his lover, Sharon Carter (technically, he's displaced through time and space a la Desmond from Lost or Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five). 


Why it makes the list Shot and dying, Cap still takes charge to try and protect people. Those would be the best last words ever. Y'know, if he had actually died.

3. Captain America (vol. 1) #200 
Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans
Marvel/Words and art: Jack Kirby

Background Cap leads a two-prong attack against an organization bent on detonating a "mad bomb" that would enslave humanity in, um, madness. While a strike team disables the bomb, Cap faces the leader of the group, who just happens to be the ancestor of a colonial traitor who was slain in a duel by Cap's ancestor. What? That hasn't happened in your life?


Why it makes the list A World War II veteran himself, Jack Kirby knew how to handle Cap's  badassery perfectly. Here's what I can't determine when I read this scene: Does Cap's confidence come from the fact that he knows the guy will wuss out (spoiler alert: he does)? Or is he confident because he knows he can disarm the guy before he could pull the trigger? Or maybe he just knows he's Captain Freakin' America and no traitor descendant in a powdered wig is going to take him down?

4. Captain America (vol. 3) #8 
Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans
Marvel/Words: Mark Waid; Art: Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang

Background A group of alien Kree are kidnapping and genetically experimenting on humans on Earth. Cap is called in by fellow Avenger Ms. Marvel (going by Warbird here) to help stop them. Fisticuffs ensue, and Cap loses his temper after discovering a warehouse packed to the rafters with dead bodies.


Why it makes the list Cap is at his best when he professes his ideals while pummeling a monstrous opponent. It adds some genuine nobility to a good ass-kicking. 

5. Amazing Spider-Man #537 
Patriot Fame: 10 Captain America Moments That Make Us Proud to be Americans
Marvel/Words: J. Michael Straczynski; Art: Ron Garney and Bill Reinhold

Background Spider-Man has switched sides in the super-hero civil war, and public opinion has turned on him like a rabid zombie dog. Now on the same side in the conflict, Cap seeks out the Web-Slinger and gives him a pep talk that put Knute Rockne and Bluto from Animal House to shame.


Why it makes the list Captain America's only documented superpower is his ability to speechify. (His only undocumented power is to continually apologize for all his speechifying.) And in the hands of a good writer, it's a power that can give a grown man goosebumps. So? What of it?   



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