Captain America facts for kids

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Captain America at cosplay

Captain America is a fictional character, a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (cover dated March 1941) from Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics. Captain America was designed as a patriotic supersoldier who often fought the Axis powers of World War II and was Timely Comics' most popular character during the wartime period. The popularity of superheroes waned following the war and the Captain America comic book was discontinued in 1950, with a short-lived revival in 1953. Since Marvel Comics revived the character in 1964, Captain America has remained in publication.

Captain America wears a costume that bears an American flag motif, and is armed with a nearly indestructible shield that he throws at foes. The character is usually depicted as the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a frail young man enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum to aid the United States government's efforts in World War II. Near the end of the war, he was trapped in ice and survived in suspended animation until he was revived in the present day. Although Captain America often struggles to maintain his ideals as a man out of his time with its modern realities, he remains a highly respected figure in his community which includes becoming the long-time leader of the Avengers.

Captain America was the first Marvel Comics character to have appeared in media outside comics with the release of the 1944 movie serial, Captain America. Since then, the character has been featured in other films and television series, more recently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) portrayed by Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and its untitled sequel (2019).

Captain America is ranked sixth on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time" in 2011, second in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012, and second in their "Top 25 best Marvel superheroes" list in 2014.

Abilities

Steve Rogers Super Soldier
Promotional art for Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 (Sept. 2010) by Carlos Pacheco and Tim Townsend.

Captain America has no superhuman powers, but through the Super-Soldier Serum and "Vita-Ray" treatment, he is transformed and his strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability, and healing are at the zenith of natural human potential. Rogers' body regularly replenishes the super-soldier serum; it does not wear off.

Although he lacks superhuman strength, Captain America is one of the few mortal beings who has been deemed worthy enough to wield Thor's hammer Mjolnir.

Tactician and field commander

Rogers' battle experience and training make him an expert tactician and an excellent field commander, with his teammates frequently deferring to his orders in battle. Thor has stated that Rogers is one of the very few humans he will take orders from and follow "through the gates of Hades". Rogers' reflexes and senses are extraordinarily keen. He has blended judo, karate, jujitsu, western boxing, kickboxing, and gymnastics into his own unique fighting style and is a master of multiple martial arts. Years of practice with his near-indestructible shield make him able to aim and throw it with almost unerring accuracy. His skill with his shield is such that he can attack multiple targets in succession with a single throw or even cause a boomerang-like return from a throw to attack an enemy from behind. In canon, he is regarded by other skilled fighters as one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the Marvel Universe, limited only by his human physique. Although the super-soldier serum is an important part of his strength, Rogers has shown himself still sufficiently capable against stronger opponents, even when the serum has been deactivated reverting him to his pre-Captain America physique.

Rogers has vast U.S. military knowledge and is often shown to be familiar with ongoing, classified Defense Department operations. He is an expert in combat strategy, survival, acrobatics, parkour, military strategy, piloting, and demolitions. Despite his high profile as one of the world's most popular and recognizable superheroes, Rogers has a broad understanding of the espionage community, largely through his ongoing relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D.

Super-Soldier Serum

The formula enhances all of his metabolic functions and prevents the build-up of fatigue poisons in his muscles, giving him endurance far in excess of an ordinary human being. This accounts for many of his extraordinary feats, including bench pressing 1200 pounds (545 kg) and running a mile (1.6 km) in 73 seconds (49 mph/78 kph). Furthermore, his enhancements are the reason why he was able to survive being frozen in suspended animation for decades. He is highly resistant to hypnosis or gases that could limit his focus. The secrets of creating a super-soldier were lost with the death of its creator, Dr. Abraham Erskine. In the ensuing decades there have been numerous attempts to recreate Erskine's treatment, only to have them end in failure. Even worse, the attempts have instead often created psychopathic supervillains of which Captain America's 1950s imitator and Nuke are the most notorious examples.

Weapons and equipment

Captain America has used multiple shields throughout his history, the most prevalent of which is a nigh-indestructible disc-shaped shield made from an experimental alloy of steel and the fictional vibranium. The shield was cast by American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain, who was contracted by the U.S. government, from orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to create an impenetrable substance to use for tanks during World War II. This alloy was created by accident and never duplicated, although efforts to reverse-engineer it resulted in the discovery of adamantium.

Captain America often uses his shield as an offensive throwing weapon. The first instance of Captain America's trademark ricocheting shield-toss occurs in Stan Lee's first comics writing, the two-page text story "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941). The legacy of the shield among other comics characters includes the time-traveling mutant superhero Cable telling Captain America that his shield still exists in one of the possible futures; Cable carries it into battle and brandishes it as a symbol.

When without his trademark shield, Captain America sometimes uses other shields made from less durable metals such as steel, or even a photonic energy shield designed to mimic a vibranium matrix. Rogers, having relinquished his regular shield to Barnes, carried a variant of the energy shield which can be used with either arm, and used to either block attacks or as an improvised offensive weapon able to cut through metal with relative ease. Much like his Vibranium shield, the energy shield can be thrown, including ricocheting off multiple surfaces and returning to his hand.

Captain America's uniform is made of a fire-retardant material, and he wears a lightweight, bulletproof duralumin scale armor beneath his uniform for added protection. Originally, Rogers' mask was a separate piece of material, but an early engagement had it dislodged, thus almost exposing his identity. To prevent a recurrence of the situation, Rogers modified the mask with connecting material to his uniform, an added benefit of which was extending his armor to cover his previously exposed neck. As a member of the Avengers, Rogers has an Avengers priority card, which serves as a communications device.

Captain America has used a custom specialized motorcycle, modified by the S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons laboratory, as well as a custom-built battle van, constructed by the Wakanda Design Group with the ability to change its color for disguise purposes (red, white and blue), and fitted to store and conceal the custom motorcycle in its rear section with a frame that allows Rogers to launch from the vehicle riding it.

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Captain America Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.