Captain America’s Most Powerful Form Isn’t The Marvel Hero But The Father Figure
Recent issues of Marvel Comics have seen Steve Rogers’ Captain America evolve into a much-needed new role for the future generation.
As the Marvel Universe’s sentinel of freedom, Captain America has always been synonymous with patriotism, leadership, and bravery. However, as the Marvel Universe continues to attract more and more young heroes, Steve Rogers has taken on a new title sparked by the respect young members of the superhero community have for the veteran hero. This led to the captain evolving from the role of tactical chief to a more fatherly role for up-and-coming Marvel heroes.
Over the years, Captain America has been an inspiration to many heroes and anti-heroes. Even such a violent character as the Punisher refused to fight the hero for Civil war by respect. Rogers also helped Peter Parker to The Amazing Spider-Man #537 (by J. Michael Straczynski and Ron Garney) when the webslinger struggled to turn against the Superhuman Registration Act.
Recently, young heroes like Miles Morales have shown the captain that there’s still a place for his voice in the superhero community, and he can even help shape a new generation. Since their first meeting, Miles and Captain America have forged a close bond, and thanks to his input, the young Spider-Man has even helped the new Darkhawk find his place. Miles and Rogers worked together in Black Falcon #4 (by Kyle Higgins, Juanan Ramírez, Erick Arciniega, and Travis Lanham) to help the new black hero understand why he’s a hero and how to rely on his teammates.
Captain America also fought for young heroes and their right to protect the lives of others. This is best illustrated in the miniseries, Captain America’s United States (by Christopher Cantwell and Dale Eaglesham), when Steve travels the country to retrieve his shield and encounters many young Captain America impersonators fighting their own battles along his journey. Rather than trying to stop them, Rogers urges them to keep fighting and showing others the importance of standing up for their beliefs and the safety of the innocent. In reign of the devil #1 (by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles), Rogers takes a more active approach to helping young heroes, challenging the mayor’s new Thunderbolts to save Miles Morales from being detained.
As the Marvel Universe becomes more politically charged with Mayor Fisk taking over the city more aggressively, it harks back to Steve’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he chooses to defy the Sokovia Accords. This version of the Captain isn’t quite as fatherly as his comic book iteration, but that doesn’t make him any less nurturing as he tries to console Wanda Maximoff after her actions lead to the deaths of civilians in Lagos. This scene proves that he is still a beacon of wisdom in any universe.
Although it seems like a new chapter in the hero’s life, Steve has been a fatherly mentor since taking on Bucky as a sidekick. However, the trauma of his loss prevented him from returning to a similar role. But with the current influx of young heroes, Captain America is once again gravitating towards the familiar role of mentor and father figure to the next generation.
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