The latest comic book blockbuster, Captain America starring Chris Evans hit theaters at the weekend, with critics generally giving a positive reaction.
“With a mix of WWII nostalgia, Bam Pow comic book sensibilities, underdog determination and red white and blue battle scenes, Captain America: The First Avenger is the best Marvel flick since the first Iron Man,” said Tom Long of the Detroit News.
Comic Book Resources Reviewer Josie Campbell has said that along with the WWII theme, Captain America brings back that old school definition of villain and hero.
“Captain America inhabits a world where the bad guys are bad, and the good guys are good, and the day is saved in the nick of time-though with some original twists along the way,” said Campbell, who feels watching the movie is like walking back in time.
Chris Williams of Advisor and Source Newspapers called Captain America, “An exciting old fashioned romp that calls to mind Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Joe Simon created the Captain America character in 1940 along with the late Jack Kirby, and attributes Nazism and WWII as two of his main inspirations.
“When Captain America was created, we were looking around and realized the perfect villain was right on the front pages of the newspaper: Adolf Hitler,” said Simon in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times.
Chris Williams of Advisor and Source Newspapers added that Captain America represents a superhero of a different era.
“Captain America is not the easiest sell. It’s a period piece in a genre where science fiction and futuristic gadgets are the biggest draws. The hero is not a snarky wiseacre, ala Iron Mans Tony Stark, but rather an earnest self sacrificing patriot,” said Williams, stressing the fact that Captain America is the type of hero from yesteryear which is not usually seen in newer superhero flicks.
Captain America is the result of a WWII experiment where the government wanted to create super soldiers. Brooklyn resident Steve Rodgers tries to enlist to fight in the war but keeps getting rejected. Finally Scientist Abraham Erskine, the doctor conducting the experiments, becomes interested in Rodgers and uses him to create the ultimate weapon in WWII, Captain America.
Throughout various story lines in the comic, Captain America regularly attends church and professes his faith in God. He was called a Protestant Christian in a Newsweek article talking about superheroes’ hidden religious identities.
The character first appeared in Timely comics which later became Marvel Comics, home to other superheroes such as Spiderman and the X-Men.
The film also stars Hugo Weaving as Captain America’s Nazi inspired arch nemesis the Red Skull.