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Captain America
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Captain America

In 1940, as America prepared for war, a frail young man volunteered for an experiment that transformed him into the ultimate physical specimen: the American Super-Solider. Steve Rogers battled Nazis until a freak mishap placed him in suspended animation for decades. When he awakened, Rogers was truly a man out of time, though no less committed to fighting the evils of this perilous new era!

Real name: Steven Grant Rogers
Occupation: Crimefighter
Group affiliation: Avengers, formerly the Invaders
Base of operations: Avengers Mansion, New York City
First appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (historical, 1941), Avengers (Vol. 1) #4 (modern, 1964)

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Eye color: Blue
Hair color: Blond

Powers: Enhanced by the Super-Soldier Serum, Captain America's agility, strength, endurance and reaction time are superior to those of an Olympic-level athlete. Also, Cap has mastered a number of fighting forms, including American-style boxing and judo. These abilities, combined with his indestructible shield, make him one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known.

Weapons: Captain America's only weapon is his Vibranium shield, a concave disk 2 1/2 feet in diameter that weighs 12 pounds. The shield's exceptional aerodynamic properties enable it to slice through the air with minimal wind resistance and deflection of path. The disk's unparalleled overall durability, coupled with a natural concentric stiffness, allows it to rebound off solid objects with minimal loss of angular momentum.

History: Born at the height of the Great Depression, Steve Rogers grew up a frail youth in a poor family. Horrified by newsreel footage of the Nazis overtaking Europe, Rogers was inspired to enlist in the Army. However, his sickly nature caused him to be rejected. Overhearing the boy's earnest plea, General Chester Phillips offered Rogers the opportunity to take part in a special experiment, Operation: Rebirth. After weeks of tests, Rogers at last was administered the Super-Soldier Serum and bombarded by "vita-rays." He emerged from the treatment with a body as perfect as a body can be and still be human. His conditioning continued: Rogers was subjected to an intensive physical and tactical training program. Three months later, he received his first assignment as Captain America, Sentinel of Liberty.

From the Pacific Theater to Eastern Europe, World War II was in full swing; the United States entered the fray with Captain America as its standard-bearer. The Allied forces fought tooth-and-nail against Hitler and the Axis powers, while Cap went toe-to-toe with the Aryan elitist Red Skull, Nazi technician Baron Zemo and a whole host of vile creatures spawned by the Third Reich. He had help: There were other stalwart heroes, such as the super-powered Invaders, and regular G.I. Joes, like Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos, a band of soldiers made famous by their foolhardy but brave combat style. Cap even took on a partner in his crusade against Hitler and the Nazi scourge: a boy named Bucky Barnes.

During the waning days of WWII, a bomb-loaded drone plane launched by Baron Zemo exploded with Cap and Bucky aboard, killing the youngster and hurling his mentor unhurt into the icy Arctic. The Super-Soldier Serum prevented the crystallization of Cap's bodily fluids, allowing him to enter a state of suspended animation. Decades later -- when a confused, changing world most needed a throwback hero who embodied the American ideals -- he was discovered and rescued by the newly formed Avengers, and became a cornerstone of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

But Cap was a man out of time: The world had gone on without him, and he no longer recognized it. This new status quo often causes Cap to question his role. For a short time, he became the hero he thought the world needed: Nomad. The apparent death of girlfriend Sharon Carter, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13, reminded Cap that all people are prisoners of some manner of war -- help captive not just through blood and sweat, but also by beliefs and ideologies. Realizing he could not fight for a dream in which he no longer believed, Rogers again cast off the mantle of Captain America. He eventually reclaimed his heroic identity, but only to prove to the world that the American ideals are greater than the sum of any one governmental body.

Since Cap began fighting for the American Dream, he has embodied the essence of a hero. He doesn't earn a paycheck for laying his life on the line; he does it because it's the right thing to do.

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