Steve Rogers, Captain America, the Sentinel of Liberty and the Star-Spangled Avenger, is the quintessential hero. Seen as the physical embodiment of freedom and everything that makes the United States of America a noble and honorable country, there is no other hero like him. Steve Rogers hasn’t always been Captain America and others have stepped in to fill the boots and take up the mantle. Some served the position with top-notch excellence while others struggled to represent what it means to be Captain America. Yet for all the many alternate Captain Americas, there are just as many Captain America analogs and rip-offs.
With a character as popular as Captain America, it comes as no surprise when one looks at all the copycats he inspired. Nearly every comic book company has created their own Captain America rip-off. Sometimes these characters are stronger than Cap and other times they were weaker. Readers instantly recognize Captain America analogs. At the end of the day, all these Captain America rip-offs are a wonderful testament to the Sentinel of Liberty’s legacy and the influence he’s had on our world. Today at CBR we’re taking a look at 15 rip-offs and seeing who’s weaker and stronger than Captain America.
15 STRONGER: AGENT AMERICA
Back in the ‘90s, Rob Liefeld and Marvel Comics were having issues. Despite leaving the company, he still had pages from an unfinished Captain America storyline for "Heroes Reborn". The plan was to have Cap fight the Hulk. Instead, Liefeld revamped these pages into a new series called Agent America. Though originally created by Jack Kirby, going as the Fighting American back in the ‘50s, Liefeld gave the character one heck of a makeover. John Flag was a young man who volunteered for a government experiment and became his country’s first super soldier.
Agent America was as tough as he was patriotic-looking. Liefeld made sure his version of Captain America far outclassed the real deal. He possessed a wide-range of abilities, including super strength and invulnerability. With his superhuman agility, stamina, and unbreakable shield, Agent America was a mighty hero.
14 WEAKER: GUARDIAN
DC Comics’ Guardian is one of the most flagrant imitations of Captain America there have ever been. However, that’s probably because Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the brilliant minds behind Captain America, also created the Guardian. Though his outfit wasn’t overly patriotic, his gentle but firm demeanor, the way he commanded respect among his colleagues, and his gnarly shield all came together to make a character that was Captain America in everything but name.
Jim Harper, who’d later become the Guardian, came from a rundown neighborhood. He’d later get trained by the superheroes Wildcat and the Atom and become a vigilante. The Guardian most people are familiar with was primarily featured in Superman-related comics during the ‘90s. Regardless, Guardian, for all his skill his shield and proficiency in fighting, was weaker than Captain America. Unlike the Avenger, Guardian didn’t have a special serum flowing through his veins.
13 STRONGER: SUPER-AMERICAN
After Captain America debuted, there was a mad rush to find the next big thing. Patriotic heroes started coming out of the woodwork and one that stood out was the hero Super-American. First appearing in Fight Comics #15, Super-American himself isn’t even from the 20th century. Turns out, scientist Allan Bruce created the Chronopticon, a machine that permitted him to look into the future and communicate across time and space.
Seeing the 23rd century, a period where everyone had powers, he begged the future American president to send help to the ‘40s to fight Hitler. The president did and sent the Super-American back in time to find the Axis powers during World War II. With radar sense, a super intellect, super strength, teleportation and even the ability to time travel, Super-American is definitely one of the strongest Captain America analogs.
12 WEAKER: RED GUARDIAN
The Red Guardian was Marvel’s Captain America for Russia. Alexei Shostakov was the second man to assume the mantle of the Red Guardian and would serve as Russia’s patriotic hero. One of his country’s premiere soldiers, Russia realized they needed their own Super Soldier. The KGB then had Alexei fake his death so that they could train him in secret. Out of this training he became a superb combatant and incredibly skilled athlete.
Somewhere along the way, the Red Guardian was outfitted with a nigh indestructible shield that bore a striking resemblance to the weapon Captain America used. Despite his prowess in fighting, the Red Guardian, and nearly every Red Guardian that followed, didn’t have any powers. They were merely skilled and acrobatic fighters, but nowhere near the level of Captain America.
11 STRONGER: CAPTAIN CANUCK
In an alternate timeline, Canada has become the most important country in the world. Realizing they need to protect their various resources, the Canadian International Security Organization went and found two men who would be trained as their country’s special protectors. Tom Evans, aka Captain Canuck, gained his powers after he came into contact with some extraterrestrials. Because of this experience, Evans’ abilities became greater than they might have been otherwise.
As it turns out, there would be three men to don the mantle of Captain Canuck and they would each boast around the same level of power. Along with super human strength that let him take down a fully-grown polar bear, Captain Canuck can fly, has super speed, is a mater combatant, and even possessed a personal energy shield.
10 WEAKER: COMMANDER
An evil Captain America analog from the Wildstorm comic book universe, the villain known as the Commander was created by Dr. Kringstein to be the leader of the evil group known as The Americans. Commander led his team to try and find a newly born Jenny Quantum so Kriegstein could use her powers to control the century.
The Commander was a rotten individual through and through, committing heinous acts on whoever crossed his path, nearly killing a low-on-power Apollo. Later, Apollo got his revenge by burning his legs, leaving him to fall victim to Midnighter, armed with a jackhammer. In short, the Commander was nowhere near on the level of Captain America, either morally or physically. The comic book universe is better off without him.
9 STRONGER: GENERAL GLORY
General Glory was created with Captain America in mind. In all actuality, he was meant to be a pastiche of Marvel’s Star-Spangled Avenger. Joseph Jones, who’d later become General Glory, was an American GI during World War II. At some point during the war, Lady Liberty herself came down and granted Jones a bunch of superpowers. Whenever he recited a certain oath, Jones would become the hero General Glory and his powers would be fully activated.
Incredibly strong, at his peak General Glory could lift tanks with ease. When he was a part of the Justice League, Glory didn’t always use his powers, but would recite long-winded speeches about morality and freedom. This would draw fire to him, letting the League do their thing, as villains would want to kill Glory quickly, not wanting to hear lectures on integrity.
8 WEAKER: CAPTAIN MIDLANDS
Sid Ridley was the English equivalent of Captain America, more so than Captain Britain. Going by the name of Captain Midlands, he went through the Super Soldier program in the early '40s. As a result, he acquired abilities similar to Captain America, like enhanced strength and durability, and occasionally also brought out a golden shield, with anti-magic gloss, into the field of battle.
Much of Captain Midlands’ life history is relatively unknown, but he did work for MI-13 under Pete Wisdom, fighting paranormal threats. Captain Midlands is not a hero to be taken likely, as he’s certainly saved the day on multiple occasions. Currently, Midlands is in his eighties, and while he no longer possesses his original abilities, he still has the physique of a superhero.
7 STRONGER: COLONEL AMERICA
After a streak of purple lightning crashed down in New York City, the Avengers, lead by Colonel America, arrived on the scene. They find a crater with a zombified version of the Sentry sitting inside. Attacking the startled team, Zombie Sentry bites and infects all the heroes present.
Before he became a flesh-eating monstrosity, Colonel America was likely on the same level as Captain America, but once he became a zombie, his powers went through the roof. He, like the rest of his undead brethren, became virtually unkillable and stronger than ever before. Colonel America and his fellow zombies only became infinitely more powerful after they killed the Silver Surfer and Galactus, devoured them, and gained the Power Cosmic. Imbued with godlike power, Colonel America and the zombie heroes nearly ate the whole universe.
6 WEAKER: CAPTAIN CHINA
Li Feng was the only surviving member of a project to create superhumans for China. Originally meant to be symbol of China’s pride, he quickly became the centerpiece for a propaganda program. Yet tragedy struck as he began experiencing fatal side effects on account of the experiments he’d undergone. And so, Li-Feng was spared dying by being put in a cryogenic sleep until a cure could be found. He slept for 50 years only to be awoken in a China he no longer recognized.
The Maoist doctrine he once adhered to no longer had a place in this brave new world. In spite of this, Captain China does his best to serve his nation dutifully. Captain China had low-level superhuman strength, and it’s feasible that he’s stronger than Steve Rogers, but Li-Feng doesn’t have Steve’s fighting ability, experience in combat, or a way to counter Cap’s famous shield.
5 STRONGER: CAPTAIN BRITAIN
Captain Britain is probably the most famous non-American Captain-themed superhero. Even so, Captain America’s influence is strongly felt by comic book readers; those who are unfamiliar with Captain Britain, likely think he’s just an English Captain America. In fact, he’s so much more. Brian Braddock was chosen by the wizard Merlyn to become Captain Britain and take on the role of Great Britain’s protector.
Additionally, he was designated as the guardian of the Omniverse, which is essentially the Multiverse. Along with the Captain Britain Corps, Brian’s duties would lead him to defend all of existence time and again. Though Captain Britain has super strength, flight, invulnerability etc. the exact limits of his powers are unknown, since they currently tied to his self-confidence. If all that wasn’t enough, he’s practically immune to psychic attacks and is a being of Magic.
4 WEAKER: PATRIOT
Elijah Bradley is the nephew of Josiah-X and the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the first Captain America. After Elijah received a blood transfusion from his grandfather, he acquired all the basic abilities of your standard issue super soldier. With new abilities in hand, Elijah would adopt the moniker of Patriot and become one of the founding members of the Young Avengers. His team is so formidable that they’ve saved the planet Earth on multiple occasions, despite the adult heroes not entirely trusting youngsters to have super powers.
Patriot is an incredible hero and he does have a few advantages that Captain America does not, including bulletproof skin (though that depends on who’s writing the character). Even with this added bonus, Captain America is still the superior fighter and tactician.
3 STRONGER: SUPER-SOLDIER
Back in the ‘90s Marvel and DC Comics got together in an extremely rare crossover event. Out of the series DC vs. Marvel, they created the Amalgam imprint line. In this universe, a ton of fan-favorite Marvel and DC characters were fused into individual beings. The Amalgam comics were essentially a failed PR stunt.
One new hero that came out of the crazy mashup was Super-Soldier, the fusion of Superman and Captain America. In this alternate world, Clark Kent was an ordinary human, but he volunteers for a government program and us experimented on with a super-soldier serum made from alien DNA. Because of this, he becomes much stronger than Steve Rogers ever imagined. Though not as strong as Superman, Super-Soldier could fly, had super strength, mild invulnerability, and even came with a fancy shield in the design of Superman’s crest.
2 WEAKER: AMERICOMMANDO
Known only as James, DC’s Americommando was a super soldier for the United States of America. Stemming from Earth-8, it’s somewhat unclear how he received his abilities. That said, it is known that he worked for the American government, going on multiple missions after the Second Gulf War. Clearly an analog of Captain America, Americommando shares more comparisons with the Marvel’s Ultimate version of Captain America, at least in regards to his personality and characteristics, as seen when he had an affair with the wife of one of his teammates.
Sporting a nifty shield, like Captain America’s first triangle shield, Americommando doesn’t really have any powers to speak of. Though he is a proficient soldier, his hand-to-hand combat training is the only thing that allows him to go and punch bad guys in the face.
1 STRONGER: U.S. AGENT
John Walker, or U.S. Agent, is what you get if you give Captain America far too many steroids. He began his superpowered career as the Super-Patriot and after Cap gave up his superhero identity in the '90s, Walker swooped in and took the role of Captain America. He later lost the title and became the U.S. Agent, serving as a government watchdog on the Avengers West Coast team.
He moved on to Tony Stark’s Force Works and then a litany of teams. Even though most of his colleagues despised him, Walker’s results on the battlefield couldn’t be argued. He was much stronger than Captain America; able to lift 10 tons, but the limits to his strength really depends on who is writing the character. With a brilliant tactical mind, and a shield nearly as indestructible as Captain America’s, Walker’s even bested Spider-Man in combat.