Long, long before Chris Evans brought just the right amount of charm and humanity to the role for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel and various other companies have been trying to make Captain America ‘work’ in film and television – and let’s be honest, it rarely worked. Sure, the character seemed at home in the 40s, when flag waving and starry-eyed patriotism were the norm, but as America grew more cynical and distrustful of its government, and wary of blind patriotic fervor, Cap started to feel more and more like an anachronism. A new video from youtube channel Burger Fiction charts the history of the Star-Spangled Avenger on screen, and it’s interesting to see the various ways Cap’s been represented over the last few decades.
Interesting, and also a little cringe-worthy. Whether it’s Cap warning kids not to waste electricity in a 1980 PSA or Reb Brown as a bohemian, motorcycle-helmet wearing Cap who cruised the country in a star-spangled van for a pair of 70s TV-movies, the various attempts to keep Captain America in the public eye very rarely hit the mark. In the 1990s, Cap frequently appeared as a guest-star in animated series like Spider-Man, X-Men and the much, much less remembered Avengers: United They Stand, and usually came across as a hokey grandpa. It was only until the mid 2000s that writers seemed to find the perfect tone: a mix of sincerity and compassion that made him slightly more human.
Check out the video below and let us know: what’s your favorite iteration of Captain America? Is it Chris Evans? One of the many animated iterations?…….Matt Salinger? You’re gonna have to explain yourself, if it’s that last one.