Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, has always been a beacon of hope in the Marvel Universe. He first appeared in Captain America Comics #1, and since then has fought everything from Nazis to cosmic beings. Steve Rogers showed us what a hero can be when facing great adversity. With the help of Dr. Abraham Eskrine, Captain America was given the Super Soldier Serum, which allowed him to reach peak human performance. His strength, speed, and durability increased tenfold; power enough to impose good on the world. Unfortunately, he wasn’t always the shining example of a hero.
During Secret Empire, however, it was revealed that he was now a member and high-ranking official of Hydra. The world no longer viewed him as the force of good he was known as during his life. He was now the most formidable and dangerous enemy that the Avengers ever faced. Captain America has been on both the side of the devils and angels, but there’s no doubt that he is one of the most enduring heroes. His body has been through hell (one time, literally) and back. It has been through intense battles and had some supremely silly weaknesses. Either way, there’s a ton of weird stuff that has gone down with Rogers’ body, and we’re here to give you the full skinny.
15. NEEDED AN EXOSKELETON (TWICE)
In the ’90s, Captain America was having some Super-Soldier Serum issues that made Tony Stark create an exoskeleton for him. Steve Rogers was suffering from an illness induced by his Super Soldier Serum, which made him paralyzed. However, this wouldn’t stop someone like Rogers from continuing to battle bad guys. His exoskeleton was specifically designed to match Rogers’ fighting style. It did more to incapacitate a foe by inducing vertigo instead of hurt them.
He also needed the suit when the effects of his Super Soldier Serum wear off and he no longer had the abilities it offered during “World War Hate” in Avengers & X-Men: Axis. At that time, Steve didn’t fight under the Captain America alias anymore. Still, he wore the exoskeleton to defend the reformed white-headed Red Skull from the Avengers when an Inversion spell was cast.
14. CAN WITHSTAND THE WEIGHT OF A BUILDING
While we’ve seen the strength that Captain America possesses whenever he throws a punch, it makes us wonder what the limits of his strength are! According to the Marvel Strength Scale, which appears in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Steve Rogers can lift 800 lbs. It is a very specific number, but this isn’t the only time we’ve seen him use his strength outside of combat. We’ve also seen him hold the debris of a building crumbling around him.
His shield is definitely a factor for why the force of the weight above him doesn’t smash him and protect Agent 13, but it is also a serious example of his strength because he ends up holding up the rubble with a ton of discomfort. He pushed himself to the max to ensure that those with him don’t die. This is something he’s actually accomplished twice in the comics.
13. DOESN’T AGE NORMALLY
Captain America is a man out of time for more than one reason. While he was found frozen like a big patriotic popsicle, it isn’t why the First Avenger still looks so young. The Super Soldier Serum that gave him his abilities also keeps his body from suffering the negative effects of age. Steve does age, but his cells work at peak human conditions, which means they don’t suffer rapid cell degeneration.
This would also account for his cell regeneration, which gives him his healing factor. It isn’t as potent as Wolverine’s, but it has saved him in a number of fights. Imagine being a mortal that fights super-powered villains and gods, but having the same healing abilities as the average human. It’s also why Steve Rogers reverts to an old man when his Super Soldier Serum becomes inert.
12. BONES CAN RESIST FALL FROM VERY HIGH HEIGHTS
Superheroes are known for the extraordinary feats they commit. Captain America is no stranger to making the impossible look like a daily routine. He has jumped from extreme heights and landed without breaking a sweat, or even a bone. Steve can just land on his feet. He doesn’t suffer from the blunt force of hitting the ground from 200 ft. because his body can withstand it.
He has jumped from a helicopter and quinjet without a parachute for this specific reason. In Captain America: Winter Soldier’s opening scene, he jumps out of a quinjet without one to immediately start taking out the bad guys on a ship. On top of not being hurt, he does this without needing to recoup any of his energy. His mind and body work together in great harmony because of this.
11. SUPER-ENHANCED SENSES
The First Avenger doesn’t just have Hulk-level super strength or Flash-like speed at his disposal, but people forget that his senses are also enhanced. His senses of hearing, smell, taste, touch, and sight have all aided him in his battles against evil. He was able to hear trucks moving toward them better than Dr. Fox as they approached a Deux facility in Captain America: Living Legend #3. She says, “Seriously, I don’t hear any–Oh yeah. Okay, you have really good hearing.”
He’s also asked by Agent 13 in Captain America #17 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting about how he’s able to dodge bullets. He tells her that he can simply “see faster.” He even goes as far as saying that it’s really “nothing.” This frustrates Agent 13 because it is a skill that is extremely helpful in a field where bullets are always flying.
10. HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM FOUGHT OFF VAMPIRE INFECTION
So many crazy things have happened in the Ultimate corner of the Marvel Universe, one of which included Captain America becoming a vampire. He was bitten by a vamped-out Daredevil at the end of Ultimate Comics Avengers #2 by Steve Dillon and Mark Millar. This, combined with the Super Soldier Serum, made Captain America a real force of reckoning as Blade tried to fight off a vampire group of Avengers.
In the fifth issue of the “Blade Versus the Avengers” arc, Captain America starts to resist the urge to suck the blood of Perun, a human who held Thor’s harness and had similar abilities. Then, the last issue showed the First Avenger sweating on the ground and realizing that his body was fighting off the vampire “infection.” He stood up and fought against the vampire Avengers with Blade.
9. ADMITTED HE CAN’T GET DRUNK
Most heroes have their vices! They can cope by doing simple things like going out and having a drink (or in Jessica Jones’ case, a lot more than a few). However, not all heroes can indulge in the Happy Hour specials — Captain America is one of them. The reason behind him not being able to get drunk is simple. The Super Soldier Serum has improved his body in every single way, which includes his metabolism.
Since his metabolism is so fast, it means that Captain America burns off any alcohol in his system quicker than the average person. He would have to try to beat the speed of his metabolism in order for him to get a buzz going. He’s tried in Captain America: The First Avenger, sitting in a bar ravaged by the war, but IS never able to feel its effects as he tries to drown his sadness.
8. CAN RUN ABOUT 60 MPH PER HOUR OVER SHORT DISTANCES
Captain America is seriously fast! We know this because we’ve seen him run through traffic in Captain America: Civil War and make the cars around him look slow. It’s no question that his agility is one of his biggest assets as it has helped him dodge anything from a punch to bullets flying at him. The truth was we never really knew just how fast Steve Rogers could be until he mentions it in Captain America: 65th Anniversary Special #1.
When Bucky is bleeding out and in serious need of medical attention, Captain America decides not to wait for an ambulance to transport his dying friend. He mentions that he can run a mile in a little over a minute, picks up his friend, and starts racing toward a nearby hospital. The other soldiers who witnessed Rogers running off are astonished, but remember it’s Captain America.
7. DUPLICATE BODY
One of the most controversial things to happen in comics started with Nick Spencer’s Captain America, when the Rogers let us in on a little secret: He hailed Hydra. When Steve Rogers uttered his allegiance to the organization he had fought for decades, people were outraged. They couldn’t believe that Rogers had turned to the dark side. He was now part of a group that fought with the Nazis during World War II!
It was insane news at the time, but people had to have known that wasn’t the Cap we all know and love. What was revealed to us during the Secret Empire event was that “Hydra Cap” was actually a duplicate copy created by a Hydra-loyal Kobik, a sentient being of shattered cosmic cubes. The real Captain America was stuck in the Cosmic Cube on a journey of his own until he escaped and punched Stevil out.
6. INFECTED BY ZOLA VIRUS
During Rick Remender’s run of Captain America, Arnim Zola cast Steve Rogers off to Dimension Z. Before Zola sent him there, he infected the First Avenger with a virus known as the Zola Virus. The virus leaves Captain America in a constant state of pain while also trying to take over his mind. It’s a brutal virus that would destroy anyone who didn’t have the immune system that a super soldier like Captain America has.
It takes a long time, but Captain America does eventually figure out a way to get rid of the virus. He fought it off for years, but it wasn’t until he removed the implant from his chest that it finally went away. When he does cut the implant out, he quickly gets back up and picks up his shield to fight.
5. TURNED INTO A MUTANT SPIDER AND WOLF
Captain America wasn’t always just a super soldier. What we mean by that is that he wasn’t solely human during his tenure in the Marvel Universe. He has been mutated into some freaky stuff! One of HIS MUTATIONS happened during the Spider-Island event. He was kidnapped by Jackal and mutated into a giant spider called the Spider King. It is a truly terrifying image seeing a spider creature wearing the Captain America suit, but it wasn’t the only time he was a different species.
Cap-Wolf was a real thing! In Captain America #402, Wolverine finds the body of a man who was killed by a suspected werewolf. Captain America believes it is his friend John Jameson (son of J. Jonah Jameson) and goes searching for him. In his investigation, Captain America is knocked out and turned into a werewolf.
4. REVERTED TO HIA ACTUAL AGE
Steve Rogers’ Super Soldier Serum does help his cells from degenerating the way normal human cells do, but what if it stopped working? This happened when Captain America finally exhausted the limits of the Super Soldier Serum during the countless crises that were always occurring. Captain America’s health started to deteriorate and he known longer had the strength or speed to fight. He took on Free Spirit and Jack Flag as apprentices before his body was paralyzed.
That is when Steve Rogers had to use an exoskeleton suit specially made for him by Tony Stark. This version of Captain America lasted for a long time until Sharon Carter, along with Red Skull’s help, ended up curing him. He allied with his enemy to fight off Hate-Monger, a Hitler clone who had taken control of the Cosmic Cube and made it a world Red Skull could never rule.
3. ADDICTION TO SUPER-METH
That’s right! Captain America was actually addicted to a super-charged from of crystal meth dubbed “Super-Meth.” It is one of the oddest moments in comic book history as it hooks the First Avengers to a drug that his metabolism should quickly break down. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case in “Streets of Poison,” a story where Captain America suddenly realizes that he hadn’t paid attention to the dangerous effects of drugs in the United States.
So what does Captain America do to contribute to the “War on Drugs”? He decides to blow up a meth lab! It’s insane. What Steve Rogers didn’t take into account was what kind of meth was being manufactured in this lab because when it went sky high so did he. He then starts making chicken sounds to lure out the manufacturer. It’s just a lot of weird even for comics.
2. RED SKULL CONTROLLED HIS BODY
In Captain America: Reborn, Red Skull had Steve Rogers’ body trapped in a fixed position in time and space while everyone thought the First Avenger was dead. Doctor Doom and Zola end up figuring out a way to complete the process of transferring Red Skull’s mind into Rogers’ body which they pull off. When Steve’s body returns to the world, his eyes are portrayed as red, which indicates that Red Skull now has control over the Sentinel of Liberty’s body.
While Red Skull is invading Washington D.C., we realize that Steve Rogers’ mind is still very much active in his own body. The two start fighting it out mentally until Rogers manages to expel Red Skull out of his body and into a robot. Red Skull is eventually destroyed by a missile barrage launched by Sharon Carter.
1. DEAD FROM BULLET TO HEAD (WOKE UP 12 MINUTES LATER)
In the world of comics, dead doesn’t usually mean dead forever. It allows beloved characters to return when they must face their mortality in their for the greater good. It also lets fan-favorite villains come back to terrorize heroes. In this case, Captain America actually got shot in the head by someone who held a serious grudge against the Falcon. It missed him and killed the First Avenger for 12 minutes in Captain America and the Falcon #13-14
At the very least, Steve Rogers was pronounced dead by the doctors who tried to save him at the hospital. Rogers has a healing factor that’s pretty good, but nowhere near as powerful as fellow heroes Deadpool and Wolverine. Still, it’s wild to see that Captain America could survive a bullet to the head, but not one to the torso which he didn’t in The Death of Captain story.
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