While Avengers Infinity War continues to break box office records, Kristina Knight explains why Captain America stands out of the crowd.
I like a bit of escapism in my fiction, it’s a prime reason I love romance novels so much. Whether I’m reading about a down-on-his-luck cowboy or a silver spooned billionaire, I get to escape whatever is boring me about my ordinary life on the shores of a Great Lake for just a little while. I’m not Carpool Mom or Can-I-Have-A-Snack Mom or Deadline Mom (Okay, deadline mom is pretty cool) or Honey-We’re-Out-of-Milk Wife.
For those reading moments, I’m the feisty farm girl who isn’t going to let the cowboy ride away, or the down-on-her-luck tech genius who is going to save the billionaire’s bacon. I’m the princess who needs a bodyguard or the bodyguard trying to fence in a wayward prince.
Almost a week ago, the new Avengers movie released. The Avengers movies (and the solo Iron Man and Thor and Hulk movies) are my favorite bits of movie escape. This winter I was gaga over Wakanda and Black Panther (still am, honestly), but I’ve always had an extra-soft spot for Captain America.
Everyone loves a billionaire-playboy-philanthropist with a bit of a sarcasm problem (especially the way Robert Downey Jr plays him) and Spidey is, at some point, the dream of every high school girl. But, for me, Captain America is a cut above all of them. And I’ll tell you why.
First, let’s dive in to what a superhero is. According to Webster’s, a superhero is any comic-strip character with superhuman abilities or magical powers. And from Dictionary.com, a superhero is defined as a hero …possessing extraordinary, often magical, powers. I like these definitions, and they definitely cover all of the Avengers, Justice League-ers, and even a few of their mortal enemies. I’m not here to say that Captain America is the only superhero, but I do feel like he’s a little bit better than the rest.
Because he doesn’t just have the gadgets.
I adore Iron Man and Batman. But lets face it, without his billions, Iron Man would just be a sarcastic billionaire with a bevy of females at his beck and call. Batman would just be a grump. They would probably both still hate crime, they might even join a community watch program or be asked to join (or fund) a task force or law enforcement board of some kind. But they would mostly just be suits. It’s their gadgets that make them superheroes: Batman’s batarang and toolbelt give him the ability to catch criminals. Iron Man’s suit protects him from evildoers… and, you know, flies him around the world in a heartbeat.
Captain America doesn’t have a flying suit or a teched up toolbelt or fast cars or any of the rest.
Because he isn’t just a lab accident.
There are a few people out there who think Spider-Man and Hulk and Cap are the same because their abilities come from lab accidents. I say those people are wrong. Spider-Man and Hulk were definitely lab accidents – Peter Parker was bitten by a spider, Bruce Banner wasn’t sure what those gamma rays would do. Steve Rogers wanted to join the Army with his buddy, but he was too small. He volunteered to be a test subject for the serum that would give him his abilities. But it wasn’t an accident.
Because his instinct is to protect and fight, even when the odds are against him.
That volunteering thing? That holds a lot of weight for me because it underlines Steve’s, ah, Cap’s, innate nature. He is a protector of the innocent. A fighter for right. Even when he was a shrimp, he would stand up for what he felt was right…even when standing up meant he was going to get pounded. Steve threw himself on a grenade to protect his friends – and this was before he had superhuman abilities; his morality was (and remains) to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It’s why he is so adamant about protecting Bucky, who some would say doesn’t deserve protection or a second chance. In the Captain America franchise, Bucky was turned into an evildoer, but Cap still saw/sees his friend, and his instinct is to protect that friend, even though Bucky may have done Bad Things.
All of these things take Captain America from mere good-guy-with-gadgets to true Superhero. At least in my opinion. What about you? Do you have a favorite superhero?
Kristina Knight's book Perfect on Paper is available for pre-order. You can find out more Kristina on her website, and feel free to follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Is Cap your favorite Avenger? If not, who is and why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on our social media using #CurrentCrush