Captain America is Marvel’s Golden Boy, and the popularity he has brought to the Avengers is something Disney does not want to lose. But behind the winning smiles, the heroism, the chivalry, and the All-American attitude is a comic book hero with a dark secrets that Disney would love to keep hidden. Steve Rogers may be the inspiring leader of the Avengers, but he has not always been the most stand-up guy. He was introduced as a piece of war propaganda, and his comics were meant to be cancelled soon after. When the war ended, Captain America kept going, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t quite a few bumps along the way.
Hopefully Disney and Marvel stick to the Captain America we have come to love (even though the comics are still going rogue, on occasion). With Disney’s move toward progressive media and inclusion, a racist Captain America, or a drug-addled Steve Rogers, or a literal Swastika shield, are things no kid wants to see. Just imagine meeting Captain America at Disneyland, only to realize he is a complete sham, with dark secrets hidden in his past and a racist attitude to boot. No thanks. If you thought Captain America was all hero, all the time, prepare for an unwelcome truth.
15. HAIL HYDRA
Captain America is always there to save the day, save his friends, and save America. Well, not always. In the recent Captain America story arc “Secret Empire”, it is revealed that Captain America is not who we thought he was. In a flashback, distraught fans of the First Avenger learned that he was recruited to Hydra at a young age, and had been a sleeper agent for the organization the entire time the world regarded him as one of Earth’s greatest heroes.
Fans and comic book characters were equally outraged, but luckily for everyone, comics are always changing. Due to some confusing timelines and some Cosmic Cube action, it turns out that Hydra Cap wasn’t our Cap at all (obviously). Still, the dark stain of Hydra Cap is a time most fans would like to forget, and a storyline that the MCU will likely avoid, hopefully forever.
14. HE REALLY WANTED TO KILL JACK FLAG
Everyone knows Captain America and Bucky Barnes, but Bucky was not Captain America’s only sidekick. In fact, there was not only one Bucky, either, but that’s a Marvel mess for another day. Throughout the course of his comics career, he has also teamed up with the All-American duo, Jack Flag and Free Spirit.
Besides being nauseatingly full of American Pride and covered in the most tacky stars and stripes outfits ever seen, Jack Flag was a well-loved character and one of Cap’s best friends.
Unfortunately for Jack, comics get dark, and bad things happen to good heroes. Captain America recently decided it would be in his best interest to toss his friend and sidekick out of a moving plane. The “Hail Hydra” he uttered after attempting to murder Jack was a telling clue to the Hydra Cap timeline that was about to ensue.
13. HE WENT TO HELL
When Captain America was first introduced, he was in constant battle with his eternal arch-enemy, Red Skull. After battling Red Skull over and over, all over the world in in all sorts of weird scenarios, the writers were pushed toward stranger and stranger means of keeping Cap fresh and interesting. Marvel might have gone too far, though, when they literally sent Captain America to Hell.
He didn’t deserve it, he was a pretty good guy and a great hero, but down he went anyway, with Red Skull close behind. He was forced to decide whether to murder Red Skull or remain in Hell forever. Even though Captain America likes to think he saves killing for the last resort, he didn’t waste any time making sure he could get back to his heroic life on Earth.
12. HE’S A PLAYER
Captain America, or Steve Rogers rather, and Peggy Carter is the Marvel love story of a lifetime. Though time, circumstance, and some seriously weird comic book events kept them apart, they are still the OTP of the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, Steve is not the devoted boyfriend he is usually made out to be. In the MCU, we meet his new love interest, and she happens to be related to his long lost love, though at least far enough removed to give him a bit of a break.
Before that, though, Steve met Peggy’s sister in the comics, and he managed to date both women at once.
He didn’t want to hurt their feelings, but that is a tired excuse. Luckily future comics and the MCU have managed to make things a little less creepy, but Steve still gets a mark on his dating record for bouncing between broads.
11. HE KILLED BLACK WIDOW
Fans of Marvel comics and the MCU know that Captain America and Black Widow are good friends. They aren’t just co-workers in the Avengers together, but they really get along. Sometimes, they are even a little more than friends. Unfortunately for Natasha, cozying up to Cap is a dangerous game. In the Captain America comics, it was foretold that Miles Morales would have to kill Captain America (he was having an issue with the Cosmic Cube, but no one knew it at the time).
Black Widow didn’t want to kill her friend, but she was more on board with the idea of dispatching the evil Cap than some of the other Avengers. She was also concerned with saving Miles, because she didn’t want the teen to have a murder on his hands. She tried to save Miles, but she was too late to avoid a killing blow from Cap’s shield.
10. CAP CRUSHES THE COMMIES
Captain America was born of war propaganda, and when the war ended, Marvel had to re-evaluate what it meant to be Captain America. They jumped on the next war-like scenario they found…the Red Scare. Most fans (and Marvel) try to forget this era in Captain America’s history, because the resurgence of Captain America, the Commie Smasher, is not a thing the world needs.
Like the Red Scare itself, the point and scope of these Captain America adventures was vague and reactionary.
He led racist tirades against people based on their race, culture, and political beliefs in the name of Justice and Peace and the United States of America, but in retrospect, these outdated Captain America comics were just mistakes rooted in the misplaced fear and xenophobia of the time.
9. HE STARTED A CIVIL WAR
The “Civil War” storyline in the MCU seems a lot less dark and serious than it was in the comics. There is still time for things to get much worse, but some parts of the Civil War timeline might be too dark for Captain America fans to want to revisit on the big screen. In “Civil War”, Captain America goes against the Avengers, standing up for what he views as necessary rights instead of helping his teammates enforce new laws.
It is not completely Cap’s fault that everything got so out of control, but his beliefs and actions are the true root of the contention behind “Civil War”. Eventually, Captain America regrets the rift he has caused between the Avengers and turns himself in, but even his surrender can’t save him from a dark fate at the end of “Civil War”.
8. HE HATES RICHARD NIXON
Captain America was born of propaganda, and it occasionally leads him to some strange political platforms, like when he witnessed (and did nothing to prevent) the death of Richard Nixon. Captain America has met presidents before, so it’s not the office he hates, it’s just Nixon. He shook Bill Clinton’s hand, but Nixon, he tracked down and watched him die.
Captain America was battling an organization called the Secret Empire (some dangerous foreshadowing) which was set on nuclear warfare.
Cap defeated the grunts, but their leader, Number One, got away. Cap chased him to the Oval Office, where it was revealed in a roundabout way that he was definitely President Nixon. He ended up shooting himself, and Captain America just stood over him and watched. Captain America let his political beliefs go too far, and Disney endorsing this hyper-political Cap is not likely.
7. HE SIDED WITH HITLER
Fans were outraged by Hydra Cap, because he worked for the organization that he had fought since the beginning, the organization that is a direct representation of the Nazi party. Unfortunately, that is not even the darkest secret Cap is harboring regarding the Third Reich. For a man who has literally punched Hitler in the face, no one would expect Captain America to fight for the ideals of the mustachioed dictator.
If you find the right comics, though, the image of Captain America wielding a familiar shield with a very unwelcome Swastika addition will be burned into your ind forever. Captain America is the epitome of American ideals, and burying this time in his life is the right thing to do. No one wants to see Cap saluting Hitler ever again, especially Disney exces, as Disney has a dark past with Nazi propaganda itself.
6. HE’S A QUITTER
Captain America may have been the “First Avenger” but he was not always an Avenger at all. He has quit the cowl, twice in fact, in favor of going solo. Unlike Justin Timberlake, Steve on his own was not a hit. First, he quit being Captain America after he watched Richard Nixon die, because he was so disappointed and fatigued by politics.
He quit a second time, later on, and was replaced with someone who ended up being the exact opposite of what Captain America is meant to represent.
John Walker was skilled and trained by Taskmaster in the style of Captain America, and he even carried a shield. What he lacked, however, was the American spirit that Cap embodied, and he ended up being violent and murdering someone with his bare hands. Luckily, Captain America always came back, but who knows when he will quit again.
5. LIVED THAT NOMAD LIFESTYLE
Captain America was the First Avenger, and most fans think he has always been an Avenger but Captain America sowed his wild oats like everyone else. When he was tired of the downfall of US politics, and scarred after watching Richard Nixon commit suicide, he decided to let Captain America die. That was not the end of his story, though, and a new hero rose from the ashes of Captain America.
Cap ditched his shield for a cape, and became Nomad, a yellow and black caped vigilante that totally has nothing to do with any DC hero, we promise….Steve has a tough time leading a vigilante life away from his signature stars and stripes. He literally trips over his own cape. Steve returns to his role as Captain America after only a few issues, but Disney probably isn’t interested in a disillusioned, lost Captain America.
4. HE’S NOT THE FIRST AVENGER
Captain America has been lovingly known as The First Avenger for a long time, and it is used throughout the MCU and, more importantly, Disney and Marvel’s marketing materials. The idea of Cap being the original instigator of the Avengers is integral to his story, and adds to his heroic personality. Unfortunately, it is all a lie, disguised by years of comics erasing the real truth.
Captain America is not the First Avenger at all, he isn’t even one of the original Avengers.
The original line up consisted of Iron Man, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Thor and the Hulk. Captain America was retroactively declared a founding member, and he pushed Hulk out of the way to do it. Captain America might be one of the most inspirational leaders of the Avengers, but he wasn’t there in the beginning, no matter what Marvel wants us to believe.
3. HOOKED ON METH
Captain America, in the MCU, is shown giving upbeat Public Service Announcements to schools in the United States, which seems like the perfect job for him. He is always polite and chivalrous, even when it comes to saving the day. He even admonished the other Avengers for their language! For most fans of Captain America, it is hard to imagine him doing anything wrong. Everyone has dark secrets, though, and Cap is no exception.
In the comics, he once did a lot of meth, and he had a pretty wild time. In a single-handed attack on drugs (because that sounds like a great idea) Cap decided to blow up a meth lab. Unfortunately, they were making super meth, which is apparently different than regular meth, and it fused with Cap’s Super Soldier blood. He made a mess and a lot of chicken noises, but he was alright in the end.
2. HE WAS MURDERED
There still might be a chance to add to the “Civil War” storyline in the MCU, but it is unlikely that Marvel and Disney would decide to include the truth about the end of “Civil War”. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers don’t make up and stay friends, despite their political differences. Steve does end up turning himself in and surrendering to his crimes, despite his disagreement with his friends’ militant attitude toward the new laws, but the story doesn’t end there.
Captain America is brutally murdered, in one of the most emotionally deaths in the history of Marvel Comics.
1. CAPTAIN RACIST
Captain America is always polite, but he is not always “politically correct”, to put it lightly. He embodies everything America is, and in some of the older comics, that includes the absolute worst parts of American racism and xenophobia. Besides the awful experience that was Captain Swastika, Steve Rogers had some even more questionable moments throughout his comics career.
Like your racist grandpa, Captain America was popular in a much different time, where racial slurs were overlooked and racist tirades were a joke. These days, insulting people for their race and culture in comics is something people should strive to avoid, and that includes Disney. With a checkered racist past of their own, Disney should steer far away from the days of racist Captain America.
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