Avengers Month: Why Captain America is Key to the Avengers


Throughout the forty year history of The Avengers the hero who has become the most synonymous with the team is the Star Spangled Avenger himself, Captain America. His sense of loyalty has lead to him taking on a leadership role in helping the team that saved him from the frozen tundra. It is little doubt that Joss Whedon has said that the super hero ensemble film will be told through his POV. To be completely honest, I have personally always had a fondness for Captain America, he has Superman’s values and ethics with Batman’s drive and skills which I have thought always made him incredibly cool. And this is why he is not only a key player in the Marvel pantheon but why is the perfect main character for the upcoming film, The Avengers.

Captain America serves the essential role as the moral compass of the team. True every super hero has had a moral crisis that forced them to make a choice as to whether they would be good or evil, but with Cap no crisis was needed he volunteered at the chance to fight evil, not to get payback or show off or anything like that, but because it was the right thing to do, because as he put it in the movie he did not like bullies no matter where they are. Sadly as is the case far too often when people try to do the right thing society rejected him, because of his poor physical condition he was barred from military service, but that did not stop him as he risked his life in order to follow through with what he believed he should do. Like the Man of Steel he is the kind of character we should strive to be like, but unlike Superman, Cap is relatable; he was not empowered by the yellow sun, like real people he had to work for what he achieved and faced rejection at the hands of the military he wanted to serve in. This is a quality that the universe of the Marvel movies has truly played up, Chris Evans even stated he modeled his performance after a man he knew who was a legitimate Boy Scout who always strove to do the right thing no matter what others thought.

Another trait of Captain America’s which makes him perfect to being the central character in The Avengers is his leadership abilities. In the comics he led the World War II version of the Avengers, the Invaders a diverse group of heroes which gave him plenty of experience when the time came for him to take charge of the Avengers. In the film version of things Cap led a team of commandos who along with his childhood friend Bucky, took the war to the bad guys. When The Avengers rolls into theaters expect Cap to wrestle the reigns of the team away from the likes of Fury and Stark, not because he demands that kind of loyalty but because he commands it, he is the only guy on the team who has what it takes to inspire a thunder god, a master archer, as well as the other characters.

Despite the jingoistic implications that could arise from a hero like Cap, the core traits he embodies are international in scope. Everybody, no matter who they are or where they’re from, can and should strive to be like Captain America, you don’t need a magic ring or an invisible jet to be like him. All anyone needs is the resolve to do what’s right no matter what the risk is.