Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Poster


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  • Note: For this list only the creators of the characters first appearances are listed. As with all comic book characters, Captain America and his supporting cast have had several reinventions and different contributions from different writers. Theses include different iterations in different mediums that all have added different concepts to the overall mythology of the characters.

    Theirs Steven 'Steve' Rogers/Captain America, who made his first appearance in the comic story "Meet Captain America" from Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) by writer Joe Simon and writer/artist Jack Kirby.

    Margaret Elizabeth "Peggy" Carter, referred to on screen as Peggy Carter. She made her first appearance in a single panel (and was unnamed) as a wartime love interest of Captain America in the comic story "30 Minutes to Live!" from Tales of Suspense #75 (March 1966), and then receiving a name in the comic story "If a Hostage Should Die!" from Tales of Suspense #77 (May 1966). She was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

    James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes, who made his first appearance in the comic story "Meet Captain America" from Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) by writer Joe Simon and writer/artist Jack Kirby.

    General Chester Richard Phillips, referred to as General Chester Phillips on screen. He made his first appearances as an unnamed character in the comic story "Meet Captain America" from Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) and appeared again in the comic story "The Origin of Captain America!" from Tales of Suspense Vol 1 #63 (March 1965). The character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

    Johann Schmidt/The Red Skull, who made his first appearance in the comic story "The Red Skull" form Captain America Comics #7 (October 1941) by writers/artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

    Howard Anthony Walter Stark, referred to as Howard Stark on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "The Controller Lives!" from Iron Man #28 (August 1970) by writer Archie Goodwin and artist Don Heck.

    Heinz Kruger, who made his first appearance as in the comic story "Meet Captain America" from Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) by writer Joe Simon and writer/artist Jack Kirby.

    Dr. Abraham Erskine, who made his first appearance as Professor Reinstein in the comic story "Meet Captain America" from Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) by writer Joe Simon and writer/artist Jack Kirby. The name was revised after Marvel resumed using Captain America. A 1965 retelling of Captain America's origin identified the character as Dr. Erskine.

    Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury, referred to as Nick Fury on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "Seven Against the Nazis!" from Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963) by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

    Dr. Arnim Zola, who made his first appearance in the comic story "The River of Death" from Captain America #208 (April 1977) by writer/artist Jack Kirby.

    Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader "Dum Dum" Dugan, referred to Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "Seven Against the Nazis!" from Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963) by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

    Gabriel "Gabe" Jones, referred to as Gabe Jones on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "Seven Against the Nazis!" from Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963) by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

    Jim Morita, who made his first appearance in the comic story "This One's For Dino" from Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #38 (January 1967) by writer Roy Thomas and artist Dick Ayers.

    James Montgomery Falsworth, who made his first appearance in the comic story "The Blackout Murders of Baron Blood!" from Invaders #7 (July 1976) by writer Roy Thomas and artist Frank Robbins.

    Jacques Dernier, who made his first appearance in the comic story "To Free a Hostage!" from Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #21 (August 1965) by writer Stan Lee and artist Dick Ayers.

    and Gilmore Hodge, who made his first appearance in the comic story "First Flight Of The Eagle" from The Adventures of Captain America #1 (September 1991) by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Kevin Maguire.

    All other characters were created by the films writers just for this movie. Edit

  • Only some of them. Most cinematic material made under the Marvel Studios banner is set in the same universe (known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe), with the characters crossing over (most notably SHIELD personnel-Fury, Coulson, Romanoff or Barton), culminating in The Avengers (2012) which ties these films together. Marvel Studios also owns/owned The Punisher and Blade, however The Punisher (2004), Punisher: War Zone (2008), Blade (1998), Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004) are/were not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Other Marvel-based films owned by other studios are not set in the MCU, due to differing ownership. This includes, for example: Spider-Man (2002) and Ghost Rider (2007) (both owned by Sony); X-Men (2000), Fantastic Four (2005), and Daredevil (2003) (all owned by Fox). Edit

  • Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull, is the villain, played by Hugo Weaving. The Red Skull is a Nazi German officer and the head of HYDRA, the special sciences branch of the Nazi SS. In this movie, he forces Dr. Abraham Erskine to develop a Super Soldier serum in order to make him the pinnacle of human perfection. Erskine reluctantly complies, but when Schmidt takes the serum, it does not work as planned; it gives him enhanced strength like Steve Rogers but it also has side effects; his face turns a grotesque blood-red and mutates into a hairless skull. As a result, Schmidt has his current head scientist, Arnim Zola, design masks for him which look like his old face which he wears in public to hide the mutation. Erskine later explains to Steve Rogers that the Super Soldier serum enhances the core of whoever takes it; therefore, Rogers, a "good" man in-and-out, becomes a greater man, while Schmidt, a "bad" man in-and-out, becomes even more evil and hideous. Edit

  • Stan Lee appears as a military dignitary at a press conference and speaks one line of dialogue. This is somewhat breaking with tradition considering Lee had nothing to do with the creation of the character, but he did come up with the concept of Captain America using his shield as a throwing weapon in a 1940s text story, wrote many of Captain America's most famous comic book story-arcs and is co-creator of The Avengers, which Captain America is a member of following the events of this film. Edit

  • Captain America was created during World War II, using the "Super Soldier" serum, then being bombarded with "Vita Rays", an early form of radiation which activates the serum in his body. This formula effectively turned Steve Rogers into the perfect human, with abilities beyond those of the best Olympic athletes including enhanced strength, agility and reflexes. However, he does not have "super powers" per se; he has the best strength, agility and reflexes that any human can have without being considered superhuman, i.e., any form of supernatural influence with grants him his powers. His immune system allows him to resist most diseases as well as gives him incredible endurance. For example, his metabolism operates at a rate of four times the normal human; as a result, his muscles build up lactic acid at an extremely slow rate, allowing him to have almost limitless endurance and operate at peak performance for far longer than any conventional human being. Additionally, the Super Soldier serum has effectively been metabolized into Rogers' body; it is that enhancement that somehow allowed him to be frozen in ice in suspended animation for decades (as opposed to dying from hypothermia) until rescued by SHIELD. The film version of the treatment also gives him heightened mental acuity; he is able to accurately memorize a map of HYDRA bases after only a few seconds of looking at it during a raid.

    This movie version uses more the abilities of the "Ultimate" universe Captain America. In which he is super strong and agile, but not to the extent of Spider-man and nowhere near Hulk or Thor. This is demonstrated in the movie when he is easily lifting a motorcycle while three women sit on it for an extended time. That should be between 800 and 900 pounds (360 and 400 kilograms). Olympic class power lifters can lift around four and a half times their body weight, with a great amount of exertion. That means a non superhuman Captain America, at peak performance could only lift around 800 pounds under optimal conditions and with a great deal of exertion. If he didn't have some superhuman ability, the movie version could never do this, unless he had some amount of super strength, even with an enhanced metabolism. Perhaps the motorcycle was just fake, made of very light material as a tool to allow the girls to sit on it, and Rogers had to lift barely more than them (which would have constituted an acceptable weight of around 350 pounds [160 kilograms]). In addition, he is able to leap over a roughly 10-foot fence (roughly 3-meter fence) while running, clearing it easily. Finally, as his metabolism expels toxic substances very quickly, he can't get drunk.

    He was trained in nearly every form of unarmed combat as well as gymnastics; as a result he is considered the finest unarmed combatant in the world. He is so formidable that in a recent story when a villain temporarily neutralized Cap's physical enhancements, he took on four guards escorting him who themselves were enhanced with the same treatment and defeats them all within seconds. He also studied military history and strategy extensively, which will establish him as the ideal field leader of his superpowered fellows in the Avengers. He also has his iconic Shield, which is made of a combination of Vibranium and an unnamed metal alloy; although the alloy has been mistakenly identified as Adamantium, Dr. Myron MacClain (the scientist who designed the shield) did not discover Adamantium until years later. The shield is virtually indestructible; additionally, the Vibranium allows the shield to absorb an extreme amount of impact without transferring it through the shield, i.e. Cap gets punched by Hulk and blocks with the shield, he won't sustain any severe injury from the impact like a broken arm. He uses it as a shield, a blunt object, and throws it like a discus which can be angled to ricochet back to him after connecting with its target, or caroming off other objects before hitting its target. In later installments of The Avengers, we see him working in tandem with Thor; Thor hits the shield with his hammer, Mjolnir, causing a massive shockwave that takes down enemy soldiers. Edit

  • The producers of the film decided to give Cap an outfit that would reflect what the army would really have given him in World War II. The colors are similar (the gloves and boots are more brownish-red than pure red) but the material makeup of the outfit is very much like what a regular soldier would wear in the combat zone, with regular boots as opposed to the pirate-like "swashbuckler" boots in the comic, military-style gloves instead of bright red gauntlets, etc. The outfit is not without some enhancements, however; for example, Howard Stark (the US Government's main weapons supplier) designs part of the costume using what appears to be a chain-mail / Kevlar blend with the capacity to stop bayonets from piercing it. Interestingly enough, early in the film Steve Rogers goes on a USO Tour wearing an exact copy of the comic-book outfit, albeit made out of simple cloth as opposed to chain-mail, complete with the "swashbuckler" boots, bright red gauntlets, etc. The final outfit used for the movie reflects the one designed for the Ultimate Captain America comic-book series. Edit

  • In the film, after Rogers has become Captain America, he is sent on an USO Tour to drum up support for US Bonds. He is given a costume with a flag motif (the classic costume as seen in the comics, albeit made out of cloth and not chain-mail) and a triangular shaped shield. The shield is made out of conventional metal with no enhanced properties. Later, Rogers has Howard Stark design him a new outfit and is presented with different shields designed by Stark. Rogers spies a simple round metal disc off to the side, and Stark explains that it is a one-of-a-kind prototype made out of Vibranium, a virtually indestructible lightweight metal which can absorb and disperse kinetic energy such that the wielder of the shield would feel virtually nothing. Stark reveals that the shield is made up of the only known specimen of Vibranium, making it the only one in existence. In the comics, Captain America started out with the triangular-shaped shield that was not indestructible. During World War II, he was given the disc-shaped shield made of an indestructible substance that was accidentally created in a lab. Dr. Myron MacClain was trying to create an indestructible armor out of an alloy of an alien metal and another experimental earthbound metal—the alloy is called Vibranium and was supposed to be a new type of armor for American tanks. The other metal in Cap's shield is mistakenly identified as Adamantium, the same metal with which Wolverine's claws are made and skeleton reinforced, although Dr. MacClain did not discover Adamantium until years later. Thus the shield is both indestructible and absorbs energy, meaning that with it Cap can—for example—take a punch from the Hulk and not break his arm or be sent flying. MacClain was not able to duplicate the result, so Captain America's near-indestructible disc shield is the only one in existence. Edit

  • Yes: Steve Rogers is training on a heavy bag, when Nick Fury interrupts Rogers to inform him that he has a mission lined up. Fury also reminds Rogers that he's not the only hero around, which segues into a teaser trailer for The Avengers (2012). Edit

  • It is a "cosmic cube," a well-known artifact from the comics, here renamed the "Tesseract". Although Schmidt never realizes this, he has tapped only the tiniest fraction of the device's power. Within the Marvel Universe, a cosmic cube is the embryonic form of a Beyonder, one of a race of immensely powerful beings. Those who understand a cosmic cube's nature (which, fortunately, Schmidt never did) and are mentally strong enough can use it to rewrite reality in whatever way they wish. The Tesseract becomes even more important in the next MCU installment, The Avengers. Edit

  • When Captain America finally receives his shield, Howard Stark (Tony Stark's father) gives him the choice of many prototypes. In Iron Man 2 (2010), Tony Stark is seen in possession of what appears to be Captain America's shield. However, the shield in Iron Man 2 is incomplete and does not look the same as the one in Captain America: The First Avenger. Therefore the shield in Iron Man 2 may have been one of the many prototypes. Another possibility is that a considerable amount of time has passed between finding Captain America in the beginning of this film and the shield appearance in Iron Man and Iron Man 2, thus giving time to Stark to acquire the shield. Another storyline in the mythos of the character tells how Howard Stark had tried to enhance the shield or build a prototype that was fitted with electronic components allowing Rogers to control the shield while it was in flight, possibly increasing it's accuracy when thrown at a target. Rogers abandoned it later, saying that the components made the shield less accurate when he used it in this manner. Edit

  • By implication, Howard Stark is simply incorrect. Captain America's shield, in this incarnation of the myth, is made from pure vibranium, an exotic metal whose properties are not fully understood. In the comics, it has shown many different effects, one of which is the ability to absorb energy vibrations such as sound which serve to harden the molecular structure. The more it absorbs the stronger it becomes. It is not, however, adept at absorbing mechanical energy such as the impacts of physical objects, which is reflected rather than absorbed, thus its ability to bounce off solid surfaces. When Thor struck the shield in The Avengers (2012), its hardness was strong enough that it could withstand a blow from Mjölnir and also becoming stronger due to the energy vibrations of the lightning the hammer emitted. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • No. The Tesseract converted him to energy and teleported him into the rift it had opened. He does not appear in the sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Furthermore, Hugo Weaving said that he is not interested in returning as Schmidt. Avengers Infinity War and Endgame brought the character back seven years later, now played by Ross Marquand and deified as a 'Grim Reaper' who protects the Soul Gem on planet Vormir. Edit

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