If you had told me in 2011, that Captain America would be my favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I would say you’re crazy. Come 2016, Captain America is my favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Univse. This all stems from a combination of many different factors but ultimately it comes down to great storytelling and a great actor in the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America.
In 2011, Captain America was featured in his first solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It detailed his origin of a sickly youth who wants to do the right thing so much that he is willing to go to a potential lethal length to be able to achieve it. It is easy to peg Captain America as something of a stereotype but this movie showed that there is much more to the character. The ending firmly brings him into the present day which leads into his next appearance.
In 2012, Captain America returned to the silver screen in The Avengers. This was meant to show how Captain America fits into the modern age. Since in-story, his character has only been around in the modern day for about a few weeks, it shows that while there is still some clashing that he may not be able to fully acclimate to, he doesn’t completely stick out like a sore thumb. It also went to show that his “do good” nature is exactly what the team needs with the team consisting of various forms of cynics and outsiders and while some people, mainly Tony Stark/Iron Man, don’t exactly like him, they will like listen to him.
In 2014, Captain America’s second solo movie, “The Winter Soldier”, was released. In-story it has been two years since his appearance in The Avengers and it shows that he has acclimated to modern day as best as he can and has been keeping busy as SHIELD’s best soldier. However, his honest nature is beginning to clash with the shady politics of the era are starting to chafe and the appearance of the mysterious Winter Soldier, who is a link to Cap’s past take its toll.
This was the movie that completely changed my opinion on Captain America as a character and made him my favorite character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was growing weary of the films within the Universe but this one upped the ante and is my favorite within the franchise. This was due to show why a character why Captain America is needed within dark times with his steady nature. That he wasn’t just a blind soldier who followed orders but someone who believed in what America stood for but not its politics. The film also detailed his relationships with The Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Nick Fury, The Falcon and others.
In 2015, Captain America appeared in the sequel to The Avengers, dubbed “Age of Ultron”. This movie continued the trend set by, “The Winter Soldier” as Cap continued his nature as he was once again someone who continued to do what he felt was right despite what others, Tony Stark specifically, otherwise thought. The movie also hinted that since Steve Rogers’ whole existence as Captain America, was to serve and fight, he might actually feel uncomfortable during peace time and that he might have developed something of a thirst for fighting. The movie ends on an ambiguous nature regarding where he stands as he claims he has found his home with The Avengers but earlier scenes suggest that it’s a distraction.
So in 2016, “Captain America: Civil War” will be released and it is the third Captain America solo movie but is one that features the rest of the Avengers and at the heart of the movie is the conflict between Iron Man and Captain America. The trailers flat out say that Captain America is not down with working for the government as has been shown in, “The Winter Soldier” and “Age of Ultron” after another international incident, the first one being in Age of Ultron, puts them in the sights of registration. The incident also involves his friend turned brainwashed turned somewhat recovered best friend, Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. Iron Man being the opposing the side.
While it is easy to anticipate this movie because it features The Avengers, Captain America is at the center of the movie and as he should be. The trailer really makes it known that while there are many other heroes, he is the center of it all with his relationships to the others driving the plot of the movie. I can say that Steve Rogers/Captain America has gone through an interesting character arc throughout all of the films that will carry into his third solo film.