Illustration for article titled The Real Reason Captain America Is Such A Hard Character To Imitate

As one of Marvel's longest-running and most popular superheroes, Captain America has spawned no shortage of imitations. And, although there's plenty about him that's easy to mimic, there's one reason that no one else has gotten it quite right yet.


So what is it? It's not super strength (so common as to be almost boring). It's not a weapon of almost insurmountable power (what superhero doesn't have one?). It's not even clever strategic planning (Batman's will always be better). It's the fact that, despite a typically scarring comic book past, he's constantly working to move beyond it — and you can actually see him struggling with, but then making that progress.

In a Kinja discussion commenter one time i ate a salad without cheese explained it like this:

Captain America is #1, as he should be. I'll admit, I never thought that I'd fall in love with his character (especially since his superhero name is just SO AMERICA), but I did, and it completely changed the way I judge heroism.

The reason why Steve Rogers is so great isn't his physical abilities, or even his tactical abilities and intelligence. Steve Rogers is great (particularly in the MCU) because he is one of the few heroes who actually has his emotional shit together. There is no macho repressing, there is no angst, there are no angry outbursts that hurt the ones he cares about.

When he wakes up in ice and finds out all of his friends are gone and/or suffering from Alzheimer's? He doesn't turn to self-harming activities. It's clear that he's devastated by this turn of events, but it's also clear that he's actively trying to improve his situation by making new friends (hello Sam) and throwing himself into the modern world (hello adorable list).

Captain America is proof that you don't have to be an angsty, gritty-reboot, emotionally-stunted man to be an interesting character.


What do you think? Tell us your thoughts on the psyche of Captain America and the emotional lives of superheroes in the comments now.

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