Why the First Avenger is the Best Avenger

Captain_america_WWIIToday Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out in US theaters. In honor of this event, we are going to talk about something I firmly believe.

Captain America is the best Avenger.

Now some of you might disagree. You look at Cap and think, “He can’t fly, or shoot lasers out of his eyes, or really do anything SUPER human. He’s nothing special.” And you’d be right. Steve Rogers is not extra-human. He is merely the peak of the human existence.

So out of a group of geniuses, gods, and hulks what makes Steve Rogers special?

Steve Rogers was a hero before he was super.

In many superhero origin stories, our heroes start about as far away from being heroic as they can be. Tony Stark is an arrogant womanizer who doesn’t even give the people who love him respect. Bruce Banner recklessly charges forth to do a test that isn’t ready because he wants to figure out the answer first. Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton both start out on the wrong side of the law. Hank Pym is pretty much a jerk. The list goes on and on. Men and women who only became heroes after they were granted powers or technology or after some huge life changing event.

The same can’t be said for Steve Rogers.

Steve Rogers didn’t need great power to know he had great responsibility. This is a man that believes that every person, whether they have power or not, haSteve_little_fights a responsibility to stand up for what is right and good in the world. That every person should work towards the common good and, should the need arise, lay down their life for someone. Superheroes as a group are fairly invulnerable (Hawkeye excepting).  It doesn’t take a lot of bravery to step in front of a bullet when you know it can’t hurt you.

It takes a lot to fall on a grenade when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will destroy you.

Steve_grenade

Steve Rogers was always a hero. He always stood up for people, he always believed in sacrifice. And it was because he was a hero that he was chosen to be super.

Steve Rogers believes in you.

Yes, you. I don’t care who you are. He believes in you. He believes that no matter your circumstances or your life, you have the ability to make the right decision and that you will.

Hawkeye
Hawkeye

After all, Steve is an orphan raised in the Great Depression who fought in World War 2. He lost the closest person he had to family (his best friend Bucky Barnes). He froze into a Capsicle–isolated and alone in the ocean, undoubtedly believing he was not ever going to wake up. He woke up in a world so strange it might as well be an alien planet.

Steve Rogers knows about bad circumstances. He understands how the world can often seem to be working against you, as if the universe is conspiring just to thwart you.

But he also believes you are better than your circumstances. That you can and will overcome.

Are you a mild-mannered scientist who if he gets angry releases a bright green rage monster? Well you know what? Captain America believes that you can control that, that you won’t get angry and you will make the right decision.

Steve_Bruce_word1

Steve_Bruce_word2

Steve_Bruce_word3Are you a former Russian spy or an ex-carnie with a middle school education and a habit of making bad decisions? Captain America believes in you.

A genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist with MAJOR daddy issues? He believes in you too.

A brainwashed science experiment sent to kill Captain America? Yes, Steve Rogers even believes in you.

And that solid belief, that Steve Rogers patented look that says, “I know you’re going to do the right thing”–it makes people want to do the right thing.

Steve Rogers makes other people better just by believing in them.

Steve Rogers doesn’t just save the world, he makes this world and the people in it better.

And that’s why Captain America is the best Avenger.

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2 thoughts on “Why the First Avenger is the Best Avenger

  1. Shauna Granger

    I read this and then immediately got up to find my hubs and had him read it. Capt is his favorite Avenger – even as a little boy. Your point is really well made and I totally agree with you. While I think some of the Avengers are more heroic than others, you’re right that most only become heroic when, basically, it becomes their job.

    Point of interest, my favorite as a child was Thor – he still holds a special spot for me, but Loki has pretty much eclipsed him now. 😀

    1. I adore Loki, but though I love him, he’s not a hero. (Though he did try in the Young Avengers and now in Agent of Asgard). So Cap is my favorite Avenger, while Loki is probably my favorite Marvel character.

      And of course, I have a major soft spot for an ex-carnie who wields a paleolithic weapon. ❤

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