The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Movies

July 21, 2011

'Captain America' captivates

— Packing a patriotic punch, “Captain America: The First Avenger” is a note-perfect tribute to an All-American hero.

BACKGROUND: Horrified by the atrocities being committed by Nazi Germany during World War II, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created Steve Rogers, an red-white-and-blue-wearing hero for the ages. “Captain America Comics No.1” debuted in December 1940, a full year before the United States entered the war. Even then, the America public seemed hungry for an American solution to the problem — Cap’s debut, the cover depicting Captain America punching Hitler in the jaw, sold over a million issues. Sales remained strong through the war era, topping news magazines like Time.

As superheroes’ popularity waned in the 1950s, so did the appeal of Captain America. By the mid-1950s, he had disappeared all together from the pages of comic books.

Rogers was revived by Kirby and the legendary Stan Lee in “Avengers No. 4” in March 1964, and he has remained a cornerstone of the Marvel universe since as a leader of the Avengers and symbol for uncompromising good.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” is the first time Cap has graced the big screen, though there have been a few ill-fated television movie attempts.

It is the fifth is a sequence of films leading up to next summer’s “The Avengers.’ Like “Incredible Hulk,” the two “Iron Man” films and “Thor” before it, “Captain America” lays the groundwork for one of the most anticipated comic book films in history.

SYNOPSIS: The only thing Steve Rogers wants to do is serve his country in World War II. His 90-pound frame, asthma and bevy of other ailments keep him from enlisting, but don’t stop him from trying. His tenacity, inner strength and compassion draw the attention of Abraham Erskine, the head of secret government program dedicated to creating a super soldier. Rogers is selected for the program and transformed into a superhuman hero. When Hydra, an evil organization under the command of the Red Skull, kills Erskine in an attempt to steal the serum that gave Rogers his strength, Captain America is forced into action to defend not only America, but the world.

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