It’s Captain America’s month, and if you haven’t heard of it, the latest Marvel superhero movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” managed to knock Harry Potter out of No.1 at the box office in America. The film not only managed to catch up with Potter’s last outing, but it also received rave reviews from critics from all over the world. However, cape fever struck not only Hollywood. Right now, Captain America is the headliner of the summer mega-crossover comedy ‘Fear Itself’, where Steve Rogers’ former pal Bucky Barnes met his unfortunate death last month. Since accepting Bucky’s death was extremely bad, I’m beginning to wonder whether Barnes was perhaps the most popular Captain America after all.
Steve is the original and most famous Captain America. Steve’s story began as a skinny art student from Brooklyn, which the U.S. military rejected because of his poor form. Desperate to help the war effort, Rogers agreed to take part in a top-secret operation known as “Operation Rebirth,” which makes Steve the pinnacle of human perfection. In the last days of World War II, Rogers was thrown into the icy Atlantic Ocean after trying to stop a bomb thrown by the villainous Baron Semo, where Rogers was frozen in suspended animation for years, but was once awakened by the Avengers.
Steve gets attracted to being a timeless person. Although this situation has declined significantly in recent years, Steve’s moral principles and values constantly reflect his past. His position ‘never say die’ is something that all the characters admire, and his imperious presence makes him one of the few worthy to lead the Avengers. Steve’s morality often led him to question the actions of some of his teammates. In the 2006-2007 “Civil War” mega crossover, Steve opposes the state superhero registration law, led by former teammate Tony Stark, because he considers it a civil rights vote. Steve’s attempts to oppose the registration bill led to him surrendering to the authorities, where he was shot on the steps of the Federal Courthouse during the trial.
It later emerged that Steve was trapped in time following the evil plan of the Red Skulls. After surviving his past, Steve was finally saved by the new Captain America and the New Avengers. In addition to his brief stint as Captain America in the 2010 comedy event “Siege,” Rogers relinquished the role of Captain America to focus on leading the superhero community as Commander Steve Rogers. That’s what makes Steve such a pure character again. His sacrifice of abandoning the mantle of Captain America really demonstrates the good heart of the character.
James Bucky Barnes
Bucky was one of three characters, along with Uncle Ben and Jason Todd, who were considered forever dead in the comics. But in 2005, it was revealed that Bucky was a Soviet assassin known as the Winter Soldier in Ed Brubaker’s brilliant TV series Captain America. After spending his time as a Winter Soldier, assisting Cold War efforts, Bucky was suspended from missions so that his masters could keep him in check.
It was only when Steve Rogers discovered that Bucky regained control after Rogers used a mystical device known as the Space Cube to restore all of Barnes’ memories. After working for a time in Y.I.T., Bucky switched to Captain America’s cloak when Steve was shot dead after the Civil War superheroes.
What made Bucky such a great Captain America was that he had flaws. Unlike Steve, Bucky’s only superhuman possession was his bionic hand, which meant that he did not enjoy the same advantage as his predecessor in combat. This often led to Barnes being imprisoned, which actually became a cliche related to the character. Barnes was not an idol for his fellow superheroes, as he had to earn their recognition. Bucky tried to redeem his previous actions as a Winter Soldier, he never wanted to be Captain America, he just didn’t want anyone other than Steve to own a shield.
Brubaker created an epic story in which the past finally overtook James.
After his previous life as a Winter Soldier was leaked to the press by Baron Semo, Bucky was forced to stand trial, where he was found guilty of crimes against Russia. Shortly after escaping from a Russian prison, Barnes was confronted with his pathetic disappearance in Matt Frashn’s ‘Fear Itself’ crossover.
Bottom line: my favorite Captain America should be Bucky. He has serious flaws, but he’s still a great guy. Barnes was a more representative Captain of 21st Century America. His subjects were more fascinating, and the character – richer. Steve will always be the classic Captain America, but as we approach the second half of 2011, Roger Captain America begins to feel a little depressed.