Jim Johnson assesses one of the least “super-powered” team mates on the Avengers: Captain America. What makes him so great as a member when he is surrounded by so much firepower? JJ will show you in this video clip!
JJ here, Back to the Past Pop Culture TV, and this week I’m taking a look at Captain America, a character who mainstream audiences have come to know as The First Avenger. Comic fans know that this wasn’t exactly the case, as Cap was still in the deep freeze when the team was formed. But just because Cap wasn’t a charter member of The Avengers doesn’t mean that his name shouldn’t be held in the same regard.
In my column this week, I talked about how I first took notice of Cap after I first discovered The Avengers. At first, though, I didn’t attach as high a cool factor to Cap that I did to his teammates, because Cap didn’t have superpowers, or an enchanted hammer, or a cool set of armor. But after reading a few issues, I realized that Cap actually WAS pretty cool, because he didn’t have superpowers, or an enchanted hammer, or a cool set of armor. Cap quickly became my favorite Avenger, because he was a relatively normal guy who could stand side by side with demigods, mutants, and technological powerhouses, and go toe to toe against the same with no quarter asked.
Captain America not only strove to be the best on a physical level, but on a mental and ethical one, as well. He was uncompromising on his beliefs, he was a strict disciplinarian, and his old-school ethics gave the team a moral compass that was sorely needed when it’s ranks started including reformed supervillains. And characters like Peter Parker have powers beyond their physical strength; Spider-Man could quit working out and switch to a diet of fried chicken and milkshakes, but he would still presumably retain his spider-sense and other spider-powers. Not so with Steve Rogers; his physical strength is all he has, and he therefore has to maintain it. Just like the rest of us. Cap has no enchanted hammer or high tech armor, and neither do we.
And because of this, I actually found Cap to be an inspiration to me, as a kid. Maybe we can’t aspire to be superheroes, but we can sure aspire to be the best person we can be, to do the right thing, and hopefully be an inspiration to others. And that is why, depsite not being the First Avenger, in my book Captain America is certainly the BEST Avenger. JJ, Back to the Past Pop Culture TV.