[[quoteright:330:[[WearingAFlagOnYourHead http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cap3pd.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:Those who oppose his shield must yield.]]

->''"[[BadassBoast I'm loyal to nothing, General...]] [[AmericanDream except the Dream.]]"''

[[Comicbook/TheAvengers The First Avenger]]. [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger The Star-Spangled Man with a Plan]]. The Franchise/MarvelUniverse's BigGood.

'''''The''''' CaptainPatriotic Superhero.

Captain America first appeared in ''Captain America Comics'' #1 (March, 1941), created by Joe Simon and [[Creator/JackKirby Jack "King" Kirby]] for Timely Comics. (Timely would later change its name to Creator/MarvelComics). Captain America is one of the [[PatrioticFervor many]], ''[[PatrioticFervor many]]'' [[CaptainPatriotic patriotic]] {{superhero}}es created during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII to bolster morale on the home front.

As a skinny orphan artist who grew up in TheGreatDepression, Steve Rogers JumpedAtTheCall, but the US Army declared him 4-F (unfit for service), and handed him over to Operation: Rebirth, an Allied Powers project headed by Professor Erksine to create a SuperSoldier for the war effort. Injected with SuperSerum and bombarded with radiation, Rogers' treatment proved a complete success with his scrawny body suddenly enhanced to the maximum human potential. Unfortunately, a Nazi spy immediately assassinated Dr. Erksine at that moment and the formula of the treatment, which was never completely written down, was lost forever.

Deciding to make the best of their one successful subject, the US government decided to make Rogers an elite counter-intelligence agent who could also be an ideal propaganda mascot to oppose Nazi Germany's frightening head of Terrorist activities: The diabolical ComicBook/RedSkull. To that end, Rogers was appropriately trained and costumed and given a [[ExoticWeaponSupremacy signature shield]]. Cap fought the Axis, [[http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/captain-america/1-2.jpg memorably punching]] UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler [[EstablishingCharacterMoment in the face on the cover of his first comic]]. A key supporting character was BuckyBarnes, Cap's boy sidekick and an answer to {{ComicBook/Robin}}. Bucky's death became one of the most major--and longest-lasting--deaths in comics.

''Captain America Comics'' ended with issue #75 (February, 1950). The last couple of issues were also titled "Captain America's Weird Tales", an attempt to rework the series into a horror/suspense anthology. The character remained dormant for a few years. There was an attempt to revive him a couple of years later, with ''"Young Men''" #24-28 (December, 1953-June, 1954) and ''"Captain America Comics''" #76-78 (May-September, 1954). The character was next successfully revived in the pages of ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'' #4 (March, 1964).

While Cap's adventures were written and published throughout the [[TheForties 1940s]] and early [[TheFifties 1950s]], StanLee and a returning Jack Kirby {{retcon}}ned his history in 1964: the post-War Caps who fought Communism were impostors (first other superheroes and then an AscendedFanboy who went insane with a flawed imitation of the Super Serum), and the "original" Cap was killed in action, but they NeverFoundTheBody. Naturally, he came back from [[HumanPopsicle suspended animation]] to join Comicbook/TheAvengers, bringing his old-style patriotism and battle tactics to the table, eventually ascending to leadership. However, Cap also had to deal with being a man out of his time with everyone he knew gone while plagued with [[MyGreatestFailure his greatest failure]] being not able to save his sidekick's life in their final fight against Baron Zemo, until Rick Jones finally told him to [[QuitYourWhining quit his whining]] and move on. Cap took that advice and while the RedSkull drove Rick away when impersonating Cap, Rogers got a new partner, TheFalcon, who was with him for years.

Captain America threw his mighty shield for decades, proving remarkably more adaptive for the changing times than his creators could have guessed. For instance, when American ideals were shaken by the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar and [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Watergate]], Rogers reflected that disillusionment in the 1970s when he abandoned his Cap persona to become Nomad, a man without a country, until he realized he could champion America's higher ideals as Cap instead. In the cynical 1980s, Rogers would be forced out of his Cap persona and replaced by a, AntiHeroSubstitute, John Walker, only to serve as The Captain to show his ideals still had power in the TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks, loyal to nothing but The AmericanDream. Eventually, Cap learned that this was all arranged by the RedSkull to sully his name and took back his old motif with Walker getting Rogers' Captain costume be {{Usagent}}. In 2007, Rogers even took up armed resistance to the American crackdown on the superhero community in the ''Comicbook/CivilWar'', until he gave and was assassinated. Even though WordOfGod stated that he was KilledOffForReal, [[DeathIsCheap nobody believed it]].

Cap's mantle was taken up in 2008 by BuckyBarnes, Steve Rogers' WWII boy sidekick who, [[NotQuiteDead rather than dying at the hands of Baron Zemo]] was brainwashed into the Soviet killing machine Winter Soldier and kept in SuspendedAnimation much of the time that he wasn't on missions to explain his age. Cap later freed Bucky from his Brainwashing with the help of the Cosmic Cube, allowing him to make a HeelFaceTurn. In addition to having a bio-mechanical left arm and a new armored costume, he also carries a gun. Prior to being the Winter Soldier, Bucky was often cited as one of the three people in comics who would always stay dead.

Bucky did a pretty good job filling in for Steve, but, [[FirstLawOfResurrection this being superhero comics]], Steve eventually came back. However, Steve felt that wielding the shield was good for Bucky and insisted that he continue on as Captain America until his apparent death in the ''Comicbook/FearItself'' CrisisCrossover, when Rogers took up the role again. Prior to the upcoming ''ComicBook/AvengersAndXMenAxis'' storyline, [[spoiler:Steve will be force to hand over the title of Captain America to his old partner Sam Wilson, the Falcon, after the Super Soldier Serum is removed from him, turning him into an old man.]]

In the UltimateMarvel universe, Captain America is still skinny Steve Rogers-turned buff superhero-turned poster boy for the war effort, but DarkerAndEdgier. He gets pulled out of the ocean in 2002 instead of 1963, thinks it's a Nazi trick, and breaks out of SHIELD's secure holding facility despite Bruce Banner's insistence that he shouldn't be able to move. Joining TheUltimates, Captain America proceeds to show everyone how to be a true {{Badass}}: dropping a tank on the ComicBook/IncredibleHulk, beating a 60-foot-tall Giant Man barehanded, and kicking seven shades of piss out of a regenerating alien before convincing the Hulk to take over. And while he does cleave to certain [[DeliberateValuesDissonance less-than-admirable 1940s values]], he still stands for [[AmericanDream the Dream]]. In volume 2, he and the Ultimates even split off from working for the U.S. government after some [[AuthorTract questionable assignments]] in the Middle East almost led to America's downfall.

!!Adaptations to other media
* ''Captain America'' (1944) a movie serial which incorporated practically nothing of the character except the basic costume.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelSuperHeroes'' (1966) An animated anthology series which adapted several Marvel Comics for television. This also introduced an often-repeated theme song for Cap: "''When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield...''"
* Unofficial turkish movie ''Film/ThreeBigMen'' (1973) which gained [[CultClassic notoriety status]] since it features (besides the captain) Wrestling/ElSanto and [[InNameOnly evil]] Franchise/{{Spider-Man}}.
* Two TV movies starring Creator/RebBrown, built upon a completely revamped origin and backstory:
** ''Captain America'' (1979)
** ''Captain America II: Death Too Soon'' (1979)
* He has had only two video games on his own: ''Captain America in: The Doom Tube of Dr. Megalomann'' (1987) on the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 and ''[[VideoGame/CaptainAmericaSuperSoldier Captain America: Super Soldier]]'' on next-gen consoles, but has featured alongside other heroes quite often, such as the arcade BeatEmUp ''VideoGame/CaptainAmericaAndTheAvengers'', the FightingGame ''Avengers in Galactic Storm'' (with a different set of Avengers), and of course most of [[CapcomVsWhatever Capcom's Marvel Fighting Games]], the ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance'' games, and ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance''.
* ''CaptainAmerica1990'' This movie was originally going to play in theaters, but it went direct to video instead.
* Cap made various guest appearances and cameos in the 90's Marvel cartoons, like [[WesternAnimation/XMen X-Men]] (appearing as an alternate version in another, Professor X-less future, and in one of the last episodes, teaming up with Wolverine in World War II), major roles in [[SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries Spider-Man: TAS]], and a couple of cameos as part of The Avengers in [[WesternAnimation/FantasticFour Fantastic Four]], and a guest role in the horrible late 90's [[WesternAnimation/TheAvengersUnitedTheyStand Avengers cartoon]]. He was planned to get his own series at that point (stories, character models, and a one-minute pitchfilm were all made), but was canned because of Marvel's bankruptcy; its slot in the FoxKids lineup was filled by TheSecretFilesofTheSpyDogs.
* Cap was mandated to appear in an episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution X-Men: Evolution]]'', where he and Wolverine teamed-up during the war. In a twist from his usual narrative, this Captain America isn't frozen in the ocean during a mission gone wrong. Instead, [[spoiler:S.H.I.E.L.D. cryogenically froze him, placing him in suspended animation because the super soldier treatment was flawed and slowly killing him. The episode ends with Wolverine visiting him in his berth, promising that they'll find the cure one day]].
* A clearly Ultimate-inspired Cap appeared in the ''UltimateAvengers'' animated films (2006) [[note]]Well, sort of. While Cap does wear costumes that are directly lifted from The Ultimates, his personality seems to be more in line with his Earth 616 counterpart, so he's a CompositeCharacter, if anything.[[/note]].
* There have also been a couple of Captain America novels.
* The animated series ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' (2010-2012) includes Captain America as one of the major characters. In a manner paralleling {{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} ''Avengers'' comics, he became the sixth superhero to join the team. Chronologically speaking, four episodes pass in between the event that led to the founding of the Avengers, and the events that led to Cap joining their team, just as his comic incarnation joined in issue ''four'' of the first ''Avengers'' volume.
* A film - titled ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' - was released in July 2011; it takes place in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse. It's a period piece set almost entirely during World War II, and ends with the Captain being frozen and waking up in modern times, while segueing directly into ''Film/TheAvengers'' movie (released in summer 2012)
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' (2013-), an ''Avengers'' animated series developed in conjunction with ManOfActionStudios, features Captain America as one of the foremost members.
* A sequel to ''The First Avenger'', ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', was released in 2014 with Rogers being forced into the wrenching task of tracking down [[spoiler:Bucky]] as a brainwashed assassin, but at least he will also have TheFalcon, Comicbook/BlackWidow, and [[{{Agent 13}} Sharon Carter]] by his side.
* ''Anime/MarvelDiscWarsTheAvengers'' (2014-), an {{anime}} series featuring Captain America as one of the main characters.

And if you're wondering where Captain America's shield is now, [[Series/TheColbertReport let's just say you can catch it weeknights on Comedy Central at eleven-thirty EST...]]
----
!!Captain America also provides examples of:
* TenMinuteRetirement: Cap famously abandoned his identity in the 1970s after finding out the identity of the Secret Empire's leader[[note]]Which was heavily implied to be the President of the United States.[[/note]] and continued to operate as the Nomad. He also gave up the identity in the 80s when the U.S. Government tried to force Cap to work as a government-sanction operative, soon resolving to continue superheroics as "The Captain".
* ActionGirl: Two of Cap's three major love interests: Sharon Carter and Diamondback. Not to mention ComicBook/BlackWidow (who is Bucky's main love interest)
** Sharon's great aunt Peggy was also one, being a member of the French resistance.
*** Also Rikki Barnes, formerly the Bucky from ''HeroesReborn'', who crossed over into the 616 reality and now goes by Nomad.
** And in the [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger film version]], Peggy Carter, who, instead of being a member of the French Resistance, actually works for the U.S. government agency responsible for turning Steve into a super-soldier. Depending on her relation to Sharon Carter and how closely they follow the comics, this could make things awkward for Steve.
* AFatherToHisMen: Any team he gets put in charge he treats like his family, possibly because of his late Sidekick Bucky.
* AffirmativeActionLegacy: [[https://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/marvel-comes-to--the-colbert-report--to-announce-a-new-captain-america-sam-wilson-071950016.html Steve will be]] [[StatusQuoIsGod temporarily]] replaced as Captain America by Sam Wilson, better known as ComicBook/TheFalcon.
* AlcoholicParent: Steve's father, Joseph Rogers, was an alcoholic. Steve still loved him despite that, and the fact that Joseph was apparently an abusive alcoholic towards his wife.
** Loved him, yes, but equally knew that he was a weak man and feared becoming like him.
* AllAmericanFace: Oh ''yeah.''
* AllLovingHero: He's the Marvel counterpart of Superman after all. At one point, {{Magneto}} tried to erase his mind of all prejudice towards mutants. Problem for Magneto: Captain America has no prejudice towards anybody.
* AllYourPowersCombined: A BadassNormal version of this. Anyone who knows about athletes can tell you that not every physique is suited to every type of athletic performance. Marathon runners are ''not'' sprinters, sprinters are ''not'' weightlifters, weightlifters are ''not'' pole vaulters and so on. However, Cap can do it all thanks to his Super Soldier Serum that gives him the peak of human ability in all of these things at once.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: Agent America and Fighting American (Awesome Entertainment). AA was so thinly-veiled that Marvel sued, and told Creator/RobLiefeld that FA couldn't throw his shield.
** The Fighting American, ironically, was originally created by Kirby and Simon for Harvey Comics, as a ''[[SelfParody parody]]'' of Captain America type characters. Leifeld either missed the irony or [[TheyJustDidntCare didn't care]] and quite literally continued telling [[HeroesReborn his Captain America story]] with the character.
* AlternateContinuity: UltimateUniverse Combined in the UltimateUniverse. While the "regular" Cap is unusually sensitive and intelligent for any time period, the Ultimate version is a '40s Average Joe thrown into the modern day, leading to a mixture of confusion and outright [[JerkAss macho and jingoistic]] behavior. To be fair, he was advanced for his time in some respects, as evidenced by his treasured photo of him standing with the famed African-American fighter pilots, The Tuskegee Airmen. DependingOnTheWriter though, these hints can vary or even disappear entirely. (For instance, in a WarrenEllis-written appearance, Ultimate Cap once bragged about how much he hates educated people.)
* AmericaSavesTheDay: Built around this.
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: Cap obviously isn't but he has had several villains who were: Cobra, the Serpent Society, Porcupine, Armadillo, Man-Ape, Rhino, Scorpion, etc.
* AntiHeroSubstitute: [=USAgent's=] brief stint as Captain America. Only this version, temporary insanity aside with the RedSkull's manipulations, soon made an honest effort to emulate Rogers' ethics and was the one to truly convince his predecessor to become the Sentinel of Liberty again.
** Kinda applies to [[BuckyBarnes Bucky Cap]], though technically, he's a ClassicAntiHero. Ignoring his DarkAndTroubledPast, his [[SuperheroPackingHeat tricked-out gun]], or his costume being [[DarkIsNotEvil more black than red-white-and-blue]], he genuinely does try to be a traditional superhero, but a large source of his {{Mangst}} is his doubt as to whether or not he can do the mantle justice.
* ArcWelding: Mark Gruenwald revealed, when he resurrected the Red Skull in Captain America #350, that every bad guy or bad guy group that had appeared in roughly the last four years (save for the Serpent Society), worked for Red Skull as part of his newly formed cabal of evil groups under his control. Mind you, the groups themselves didn't know this; the Red Skull infiltrated them with a few sleeper agents to secretly bend the groups' activities to work toward his goals. When Flag-Smasher, the leader of one of the groups, found this out, he fled the group and warned Captain America.
* ArchEnemy: Red Skull
* TheArtifact: Steve's secret identity rarely ever served much purpose, as he had no consistent civilian supporting cast; he had one pretty much because it was assumed all superheroes should have one. Done away with in 2002, and it hasn't really impacted the comics much at all.
** Also, the presence of Bucky, a KidSidekick in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, is becoming more and more awkward to explain why the US Military would tolerate a child going into combat with Cap. Currently, they have had to shoehorn his presence as a kind of [[OlderThanHeLooks youngish]] agent who is actually of borderline legal age.
*** Creator/EdBrubaker retconned this. Bucky was trained to do covert operations that Captain America couldn't be seen doing.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Baron Zemo I had a mask permanently stuck to his head due to Adhesive X. According to the ''Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe'', the mask has two eyeholes that allow him to see and is thin enough to allow him to hear perfectly. It's also porous enough to allow him to breathe but he can't eat or drink and has to take nourishment intravenously. However, somehow he's able to talk without difficulty meaning that the mask isn't stuck tightly to his entire face. Even if nobody actually thought of cutting the mask off (or at least a hole for the mouth), normal epidermal shedding and oil secretions would have loosened the mask eventually. Just ask anyone who has accidentally superglued fingers together.

* AsLethalAsItNeedsToBe: Cap's shield, DependingOnTheWriter or continuity. Sometimes the edges are portrayed as razor sharp, other times blunted.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Not for nothing is Cap considered the leader of the Marvel Superhero community. When he speaks, [[TheMightyThor Gods]] [[Comicbook/TheIncredibleHercules listen]].
** During the first Secret War, when the Beyonder had sent a large group of heroes and villains to Battleworld so that they could fight each other, the heroes were all gathered together and Cap was focusing the discussion on who should be in charge. He worked his way through almost all the other team leaders present (Reed Richards, the Wasp, Professor X, even the Hulk, who at the time had Banner's personality in control), trying to get one of them to step up, but all of them had some reason why they could not lead such a large team (in fairness to the Hulk, he just shrugged and said to let Cap give the orders). The way the scene is set up, it's perfectly obvious to almost everyone that Cap should be in charge. Professor X even cuts the knot and suggests it. Wolverine, who at the time was still in his jerkass personality, immediately objected and said Cap was the least of them and he wouldn't follow him (remember at this time Wolverine had almost no dealings with Cap and lacked the ''enormous'' respect he has for Cap now). Cue Thor, who up to this point had stayed in the background and out of the discussion, to immediately step up and make it ''very'' clear that not only was ''he'' perfectly willing to follow orders from Cap, but to also get the message across that ''there wasn't anyone else there that he was going to let take command over Captain America.'' That ended the entire discussion. Even Wolverine shut up and went along after that.
** In fact, it's not just the Marvel Universe. A crossover with the {{Justice League|OfAmerica}} had him lead [[{{JLA-Avengers}} the combined teams]] during the final assault upon the BigBad.
---> '''Franchise/{{Superman}}:''' [...]We'll need a commander... Someone who can lead both teams, make us one troop. I believe that should be you, Captain America.
---> '''Captain America:''' ''(stunned)'' I'm flattered, but I'm not so sure. Our worlds' conflicting nature got us tense... Flared our tempers, clouded our judgment...
---> '''Superman:''' I know. But you're still the best one for the job.
---> '''Franchise/{{Batman}}:''' I agree.
* AwesomeMccoolname: A bit understated, but '''Steve Rogers'''. Does that sound like a character JohnWayne would play, or does that sound like a character JohnWayne would pay?
* BackFromTheDead: Cap himself, naturally, but also Bucky, as [[BrainwashedAndCrazy The Winter Soldier]], his archnemesis, the Red Skull, and his first girlfriend, Sharon Carter.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0664.html this]] ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' page, from while Cap was supposedly KilledOffForReal, notice the chauffeur waiting to take Roy back to the land of the living. Now notice the one '''beside''' him.
* BadPresent: ''Every'' incarnation of Cap uses this trope to some capacity, as the whole point to the character post-[[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] is that he's a FishOutOfTemporalWater. DependingOnTheWriter, the modern day can be anywhere between a pure nightmare or a place he no longer belongs to, but fights to defend anyway. That said, he's also the first person to admit that his era was far from perfect.
** In one story, a reporter is doing a story about the changes Captain America faced when he was revived, and asks Cap "Would you have gone back to the 40s if you could have?" Captain America's answer is to point to a group shot of the Howling Commandos, pointing to the two men to Cap's immediate right and left in the picture. Cap then explains that in all those group shots, Cap would intentionally position Gabriel Jones and Jim Morita right next to him because that way, they'd never be cropped out of the picture. Why would they be cropped? Because Jones was an African-American and Morita was a Japanese-American. Cap then points out that in today's world, it would never occur to anyone to ask why a black man and an Asian man were standing next to Captain America, and that this was one way in which the modern world was better than the 40s.
* BadassNormal: Borderline example - there's a reason his SuperSerum was so sought after. Technically it doesn't push any of his abilities to a "superhuman" level, but few if any humans have ''[[JackOfAllTrades every single athletic ability at peak potential all at once]]'' (speed plus stamina plus strength, etc). Thus, he is quite capable of holding his own with people who have more impressive superpowers. In real life, athletes have to make tradeoffs between strength, endurance, agility etc so decathletes who have to train for ten different events are not as good at them as those athletes who specialise. Cap ''doesn't'' have these limitations, he can sprint 100m in 9.75 seconds, run a marathon in two hours, bench press 500kg and perform Olympic level feats of gymnastic ability.
** Some of his villains fall under this as well. Like Batroc the Leaper.
** His non-superhero allies like Sharon Carter or Dum Dum Dugan definitely count too.
** Intercompany {{crossover}}s with Creator/{{DC|Comics}} have established that, physically, he and Franchise/{{Batman}} are very nearly equal. Bats's evaluation is that, in a fair fight, Cap could probably beat him, but it would be a very long fight - which means Batman would [[CombatPragmatist never intend on fighting him fairly.]]
* BattleCouple: Steve and Sharon, Steve and Rachel/Diamondback, Bucky and Natasha/Black Widow.
* BattleCry: AvengersAssemble! Technically it's for anyone on the Avengers, but usually it's Cap saying it.
* BerserkButton: The Nazis are still a sore point for him decades after World War II. Justified in that, unlike the real world, Nazism in the present-day Marvel Universe isn't just underground political movements and street gangs.
* BecomingTheMask: Meta level. In part because he has no real secret identity, Cap and Steve are pretty much synonymous (and everyone knows it). Any other Captain in Marvel tends to get called by something else.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: He may well be the friendliest guy in the Marvel Universe, but God help you if he discovers you're harming or oppressing innocents.
* BigBad: The Red Skull.
* BiggerBad: UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler during the [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]]
* BigGood: Steve, mainly for ComicBook/TheAvengers, but also the Marvel Universe as a whole. Any superhero worthy of the title in the Marvel U will defer to Cap, no exceptions. He's SO MUCH a BigGood that [[OnlyTheChosenMayWield he's actually been able to]] ''[[LoyalPhlebotinum lift]] [[TheMightyThor Thor's hammer]].''
* BlackBestFriend: Sam Wilson, aka Comicbook/TheFalcon, Cap's most consistent partner, actually also the first African-American superhero. (Comicbook/BlackPanther, who preceded him, is African, not African-''American''. He'd probably take offense to being called that, in fact.)
** The Falcon is also the first black superhero ever to not have the word "Black" in his hero name.
** Lamar "Battlestar" Hoskins was also this to John Walker's Cap, until Walker's [[FakingTheDead untimely public assassination]] when the latter was handing the role back to Rogers.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: A plot point. His shield can stop just about anything.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: BuckyBarnes, during his stint as the Winter Soldier.
** Happened to Cap himself on one unfortunate instance, courtesy of Dr. Faustus and the Grand Director. He even wielded a swastika-adorned version of his shield.[[note]]Luckily, Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} saved the day and helped Cap return back to his star-spangled self.[[/note]]
* [[BroughtToYouByTheLetterS Brought to You by the Letter "A"]]: On his mask and an iconic part of Cap's outfit.
* CanonDiscontinuity: A story by Chuck Austen revealed that Cap's suspended animation was actually at the hands of the US Government who feared he'd have interfered with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki strikes. All of Cap's memories of the Baron Zemo incident were memory implants. This has never been acknowledged again.
** Whether Cap has killed enemy forces has wavered back and forth. In the Golden Age, he and Bucky were blow-torching Nazis. After his resurrection, Marvel invoked the classic ThouShaltNotKill law on Cap and he claimed he'd never killed anyone "even during the war." Creator/EdBrubaker has since reversed that: Cap did in fact kill during the war and still will when there's no other alternative.
*** Actually, it was revealed that Bucky himself had always had a more sinister purpose: handling the covert killings that Captain America himself couldn't do from the front lines. Why else would Cap bring around a little kid on the battlegrounds?
* BreakTheCutie: John "[=USAgent=]" Walker's entire tenure as Captain America was one of these.
* TheCape: He's like Franchise/{{Superman}} without the ability to fly. How balls-out crazy-brave is that?
* TheCaptain: He actually ''used'' it for his codename after he refused to become an operative of the U.S. government, and he's actually ''earned'' the rank of "Captain" in terms of military ranks.
* CaptainGeographic
* CaptainPatriotic: Probably not the UrExample though.
* CaptainSuperhero
* CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown: His stints as Nomad and as The Captain.
* ChemistryCanDoAnything: Like turn scrawny beanpoles into brawny American super-soldiers ready to protect freedom.
* CloseOnTitle: The comic detailing Captain America's death, "The Death of the Dream", saved its title for the closing.
* ClothesMakeTheLegend
* CoattailRidingRelative: How the first, male Viper tried to get into the supervillain business. His brother was the original Eel.
* ComicBookTime: Cap retains an "anchor" in the 1940s, but the amount of time he spent frozen in ice just grows and grows as time goes on. When he was first revived in 1964 he'd spent 20 years on ice, which was lengthy, but wouldn't have been a wholly unfamiliar world - in the current comics he woke up at some point in the early 21st century.
* ConvenientMiscarriage: Averted; when Sharon is faced with the prospect of her and Steve's child that she's carrying falling into the hands of the Red Skull and being used as a weapon, she [[TearJerker stabs herself in the gut]].
* CoolPeopleRebelAgainstAuthority: This is the essential modernization of Cap in the 1970s. Rogers became so disillusioned by the American establishment and the abused of the US Government, that he eventually gave up being Cap for a while in favor of Nomad, the man without a country. Eventually, he eventually realized that he could champion America's ideals as Cap, giving him the liberty to butt heads with the US Government when necessary.
* CostumeCopycat: U.S. Agent (who was actually given the name and costume of Captain America by the government during one of the latter's ethically-motivated retirements. Though The Cap Came Back, U.S. Agent has never stopped trying to relive those brief glory days.)
* CulturedWarrior: Rogers is a talented visual artist who drew for his own comic book about himself once.
* DaddysLittleVillain: Sin, the Red Skull's psychotic daughter.
* DatingCatwoman: Diamondback
* DeadMansTriggerFinger: A Captain America[=/=]ComicBook/ThePunisher teamup comic has Frank cause this with a precise knife-throw into a guard with a machine gun, which takes out the other guards for them.
* DeadSidekick: Bucky was a textbook example of this (emphasis on "was"). [[spoiler: He would've fit this trope again, if it weren't for NickFury using the last vial of Infinity Formula to save him.]]
* DeathIsCheap: Sure, Captain America was shot by a sniper. But the gun didn't shoot ordinary bullets, it just... ''shifted Steve through space and time''?
* DependingOnTheArtist: The trend in recent years of depicting Cap (Steve Rogers' suit, anyway) with scale armor (see the current page pic), a look that debuted in the 1990s ''Sentinel of Liberty'' miniseries that retold his origin. Historically, Cap's shirt was said to have been made of "synthetic chainmail", which wouldn't have such an obviously scaly look (and was usually drawn as though he was wearing normal superhero tights).
* DependingOnTheWriter: Exactly how strong and tough Steve is compared to regular guys depends on the writing. He's never depicted as being strong enough to throw cars around or anything like that (even agility-based Spider-Man is stronger than him) but if the writer is generous, with great effort he can bend weak steel, heal from injuries in days that would have most guys laid up for months (and heal in months what would take most guys years, or never) and run at the speed of a sprinter for the duration of a marathon runner...but again, the extent of this depends on the writer. Many claim "it's not superpowers, really" but isn't having the body of an omni-athlete without needing to train excessively a power of its own?
* '''{{Determinator}}''': Of all the heroes of the Marvel U minus Spidey, none has the willpower and "never say die" attitude that Cap has.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Basically his day-job as leader of the Avengers. In his spare time, he has faced villains holding [[AGodAmI the Cosmic Cube]], and defeated them. '''More than once.'''
** Screw the cosmic cube, he took on {{Thanos}} while he was holding the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet, a glove that basically made Thanos the supreme being in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse.
** In a telling quote from the Nineties, when Cap was missing and feared dead, Hercules summed it up:
---> "On Olympus, we measure wisdom against Athena...speed against Hermes...power against Zeus. But we measure courage by Captain America."
* DisposableSuperheroMaker
* TheDragon: The Skull has had several, including the aforementioned Sin, Crossbones, and Mother Night. Note that the Skull himself began his career as a Dragon, in this case to Hitler himself. Post-World War II, though, he's working for himself (and, in fact, disposed of at least one cloned version of Hitler specifically because he wanted to stay that way).
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Cap's cowl was originally a separate piece of material like a hat, which was soon changed to a full connected cowl. JohnByrne later explained that Cap had it knocked off in a fight and his secret identity was almost exposed as a result. To fight that, Cap modified with connecting material to the rest of his costume, which had the added benefit of covering his neck with his costume's armor.
* EmpoweredBadassNormal: [[BuckyBarnes James "Bucky" Barnes]] since getting a cyborg arm. He was BadassNormal before that.
** Steve, himself, when you consider that although none of his physical abilities reach superhuman levels ([[DependingOnTheWriter depending on the continuity]]), no unenhanced human can be as fast AND as strong AND as agile, etc. as Steve Rogers, at the same time.
*** Steve Rogers does have at least one 'power' though it's not good in a fight. Even the flawed super-soldier variants like Nick Fury's greatly increases their life span. Years after his deep freeze, Cap's really not getting much older than his WWII days.
* EnemyMine: Frequently with Batroc, once with the Flag-Smasher, once with ''the Red Skull'' of all people to try and stop Hitler again.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Flag-Smasher once abandoned one of his plans to unify the world when he learned it was financed by the Red Skull. As he explained to Cap during an EnemyMine scenario, no matter how much it might benefit him, it would benefit the Red Skull more, and he couldn't stomach that.
** Batroc the Leaper may be a mercenary, but Mister Hyde's plan to kill everyone in New York City just to get revenge on Cobra is enough to make him help Cap take him down.
** During the ''[[VillainTeamUp Acts of Vengeance]]'', ComicBook/{{Loki}} [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong tried to put the Red Skull on a supervillain team with]] the Mandarin (who is Chinese), SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom (Romany), and {{Magneto}} (''Jewish Holocaust survivor''...who spent time among Romany), among others. They tended to look at the Skull like something you'd scrape off your shoe. Magneto ends the team-up by [[BuriedAlive burying him alive]].
** When even ''SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker'' won't work with you (and this was the baddie who once became the ''Iranian ambassador!''), you've crossed a line.
* EvilCounterpart: 50s Cap.
* ExpansionPackPast: He's probably had more adventures in World War II than there were days in the war; there's a tendency for stories involving him to feature a one or two-page flashback to some World War II event to contrast with whatever's happening in the present. Famous World War II events (D-Day, for example), have been retold frequently with conflicting information about what he was doing then.
** Cap's new Marvel NOW! ongoing series appears to do this for his past ''prior'' to becoming the Super-Soldier, showing the hardships Steve and his family had to go through in 1930s America.
** The new limited series ''Hail Hydra!'' does this for the entire HYDRA organization -- unmoored from being the Marvel equivalent to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ODESSA real-world ODESSA]] (and later a generic and amorphous "[[Franchise/GIJoe ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world]]''), it is now part of a massive AncientConspiracy that has been laboring since the days of Gilgamesh to create an army of immortal superhumans to rule the world with.
* FaceHeelTurn: Captain America was accused of doing one during Operation Rebirth (teaming up with the Red Skull, though the two were teaming up to stop Hitler) leading to him being briefly exiled from the US.
** The Fixer did one during "No Exit", but managed to avoid getting caught.
* FakingTheDead: John Walker, when turning the title of Captain America back to Steve Rogers in a public press conference, is assassinated by a member of the Watchdogs, presumably in retribution for Walker's violent campaign against them. The Watchdog was a fake, however, and the assassination staged so as to rehabilitate Walker's image, and allow the government to resurrect him as [=USAgent=].
** [[spoiler: BuckyBarnes, then-current Captain America was supposedly killed in battle by Sin/Skadi, but actually survived and had his death faked by [[ComicBook.BlackWidow Black Widow]] and NickFury in order to [[StatusQuoIsGod convince Steve to return]] to the Captain America mantle and give him the PlausibleDeniability to return to the Winter Soldier identity and attend to his own matters.]]
* TheFettered: Captain America is the embodiment of America's ideals and virtues, and has throughout his run has avoided killing whenever possible (well, there was a vampire that one time, but he doesn't count). He's killed several times, but it's always been only when he has no choice, and causes much angst. During World War II he did kill people, but he was a soldier, and it's not something he boasts about. He also frets about damage to churches, and is very accommodating to accountants trying to total up superfight destruction.
* FictionalPoliticalParty: Once featured a Presidential Candidate who started the Third Wing Party. It turned out to all be part of Red Skull's latest evil scheme.
* FightingIrish: Both Dum-Dum Dugan and Steve himself.
* FightsLikeANormal: He's basically a BadassNormal cranked UpToEleven via SuperSerum.
* FirstLawOfResurrection: First for Bucky, then for Steve.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: The basis for Cap's re-introduction into the modern era.
** This got worse in the Dimension Z arc. Although Steve was missing from his home dimension for only 30 minutes, he lived there for 12 years - WordOfGod states that he spent longer in Dimension Z than he has spent in the present day since thawing out.
* FolkHero
* FriendlyEnemy: Steve Rogers and Batroc the Leaper. They are usually really friendly with each other and culminated in Steve Rogers spending the last couple of hours he thought he had left alive with Batroc.
** Subverted when Batroc squares off against [[BuckyBarnes Bucky Cap]] in the "Captain America and Batroc" special. He looks at their confrontation as an opportunity to improve himself in combat, as he does in his FriendlyRivalry with Steve, but all Bucky is concerned with is [[CombatPragmatist dealing with him in short order]].
* FromNobodyToNightmare: The Red Skull is one of the best examples in comics: Johann Schmidt was an ordinary teenage petty thief growing up in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. He eventually managed to land a job as a bellhop at a luxury hotel frequented by Hitler himself. By pure chance, he happened to be in Hitler's room while the latter was berating an officer, prompting Hitler to claim he could turn the bellhop into a better Nazi. [[GoneHorriblyRight He did]]. And it went FromBadToWorse. He went from a petty hooligan to being listed by ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} as one of the ''greatest existing threats to humanity'' despite being a BadassNormal most of the time in a setting that includes things like a planet eating EldritchAbomination. If that isn't a perfect example of this trope, then nothing is.
** Sin is a more recent example; a completely forgotten character who under Brubaker, became Red Skull's chief underling and ultimately scoring an act of evil even the Red Skull found horrific: killing Captain America's unborn child when Sin shot Sharon Carter in the stomach. And now she has recently become the New Red Skull and is trying to out do her father.
*** [[spoiler:And now she just killed Bucky Cap after ripping his bionic arm and beating him to death with it (mild exaggeration, she just sent him flying several feet off the air with it). I'd say she's succeeded in outdoing her father. Unless somehow she's shifted Bucky out of time space to take over his body.]]
**** [[spoiler:She did indeed kill a Bucky, just not ''the'' Bucky, as it turns [[FakingTheDead out,]] courtesy of the [[NickFury Infinity Formula]], and a well-placed Life-Model Decoy.]]
* FrozenInTime: See ComicBookTime. His HumanPopsicle backstory means he can stay rooted in the 1940s without the kind of problems this has posed, say, Magneto.
* GeniusBruiser: The man's mind is as well-developed as his body.
* GentleGiant: Steve is this trope even ''with'' his costume on.
* TheGoodCaptain
* GoodCounterpart: Rogers was given the whole Captain America persona specifically in part to counter the terrifying propaganda value of Germany's RedSkull.
* GoodIsNotDumb: So very much.
* GoodIsOldFashioned: Often jeered at for upholding "outdated" principles.
* GoodOldWays: Sometimes he attributes his standards to his coming from an older time.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Along with InnocentBlueEyes, befitting of one of the purest people in the Marvel Universe.
* TheHeart: Of The Marvel Universe. Also, Captain America is not only TheLeader of The Avengers, he's also TheHeart seeing as the Mighty Avengers without him seemed more like a millitary institute (which is somewhat FridgeLogic, considering Captain America is a MilitarySuperhero) and he's the one that most people rally behind when someone cries Avengers Assemble!
* TheHero: He's TheLeader of ''Franchise/TheAvengers'' and the BigGood of the Marvel Universe.
* HeroicBSOD: A rare sight, but at the end of the first issue of the ''Age of Ultron'' storyline, [[spoiler: We see Cap slumped against the wall, looking utterly hopeless and emotionally defeated for the first time, since ever.]]
* HesBack: The appropriately-titled ''Captain America: Reborn'', dealing with [[spoiler:Steve's return to the land of the living.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: Even as the world becomes more hateful, dark, and cynical, Steve Rogers refuses to lower himself to the standards of "normality."
* HopeBringer: [[spoiler: Steve's return was more or less the beginning of the end of NormanOsborn[[ComicBook/DarkReign 's reign of power]].]]
* HorrorHost: Cap can actually be considered one, albeit only on a technicality. The last two issues of his Golden Age title [[NewSeasonNewName were retitled]] ''Captain America's Weird Tales'', because horror was selling and superheroes weren't. Cap didn't actually introduce any stories "on panel," though. In issue #74, he appeared in a regular Captain America story (albeit one with horror aspects, as he fought the Red Skull in, literally, Hell.) He didn't appear in #75 at all, except in the title.
* HumbleHero: Part of the point of him. He wasn't anything too special before he got his injection, and he's pointed out he wasn't ''supposed'' to be unique, just the first of many. His humility is one of the reasons he's the embodiment of the American Dream: he's a nobody who became a somebody, and he's eternally thankful for it. Perhaps best summed up by the following exchange from Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger:
-->'''RedSkull:''' ''What makes you so special?''
-->'''Cap:''' ''Nothin. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn.''
* HumanPopsicle: One of the {{Trope Codifier}}s; any use of this trope in comics is almost always a reference to him.
* ICallItVera: Some stories indicate that, in Cap's head, the shield is actually named "Shield".
* IconicItem: If a character who ''isn't'' Cap holds up the Mighty Shield, ''everyone'' stops and takes notice.
* IdealHero: Captain America is Marvel Comics' moral equivalent to ''{{Superman}}''.
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: Possibly an UrExample.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Cap's shield, which he uses as not only a shield against weapons fire, but as a throwing weapon itself.
* IncorruptiblePurePureness: Steve, you the man.
* InspectorJavert: Steve turns into this in ''X-23: Target X''. He feels personally responsible for all the killings {{X-23}} has carried out because she slipped his grasp after her field test by masquerading as a wounded survivor. He reveals he's been tracking her down ever since (approximately ''six years'') and is obsessed with bringing her to justice. He's driven to the point where he completely ignores [[Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} Matt Murdock's]] attempts to warn him that S.H.I.E.L.D. won't care really about justice but instead will use her as a weapon the same was she was used by the Facility. Before he can actually turn her over, however, he recognizes the truth of this and that Laura was as much a victim as the people she killed, and lets her go.
* TheIrishDiaspora: Steve is Irish-American.
* KudzuPlot: The Scourge of the Underworld plotline.
* TheLancer: Bucky was his during the war. Sam Wilson is another when not-Avenging, [[Comicbook/IronMan Tony Stark]] is another when he is.
* LegacyCharacter:
** Steve's Captain America mantle has inspired both several direct successors (Isaiah Bradley, William Naslund, Jeffrey Mace, John Walker, BuckyBarnes) and other flag-themed heroes.
** He's also got a few Legacy Villains, such as the 12th and 13th Barons Zemo. Sin has also taken her father's mantle.
* LeParkour: Pretty much Batroc the Leaper's shtick. It's really played up in the "Captain America and Batroc" one-shot. This is a bit of a {{Retcon}} since Batroc originally practised Savate, a different French martial art. He uses both these days.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe (one of the best-known examples)
** This is taken to extremes with the second ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' trailer when Cap uses his shield to STOP A CRASHING HELICOPTER.
* MacheteMayhem: The villain Machete, who oddly enough bears a striking resemblance to Creator/DannyTrejo.
* MadeOfIndestructium: Captain America's shield, made out of a unique Vibranium-steel alloy melded together by a unknown catalyst and the only non-magical thing more durable than true adamantium. Only the power of a skyfather or a cosmic entity can destroy the shield.
* MadLove: Red Skull and Mother Night, one sided at least. God only knows what she saw in him.
* MagneticHero: Captain America is so well-respected by the superhero community that they usually follow his lead whether he's their official leader or not. This is because he's both [[BadassNormal incredibly competent despite not having superpowers]] and because [[TheCape they trust him to always be true to the right ideals]]. It comes to a point that when he fails them, the whole community gets demoralized (ex. in Civil War.)
* MatzoFever: In the 1980s, Steve Rogers was engaged to Bernie Rosenthal (whose parents would have preferred her looking for a NiceJewishBoy, like her ex-husband).
* MilitarySuperhero: Emphasis on ''both'' words. Cap started out as a SuperSoldier (and actually ranked officer, the Captain is both his moniker and actual army rank) for the United States Army. He actually did the jump in D-Day with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, and fought the frontlines against the Nazis. Yet back then, he was already a paragon of virtue and heroism. Being unfrozen in the present only confirmed that honest and selfless asskicking is NEVER out of style.
* MiraculousMalfunction: The material that became his shield was created accidentally during an experiment to merge vibranium and an iron alloy. An unknown catalyst entered the mixture while the scientist overseeing it was asleep.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr. Faustus, an evil psychologist, and Dr. Arnim Zola, an evil geneticist.
* MultipleChoicePast: Roger Stern gave this to Captain America, in order to handwave various conflicting backstories for Captain America, past and future, in terms of having Cap's memory damaged due to him being frozen alive.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong:
** Very much averted with the character's transition to the BronzeAgeOfComicBooks where Cap came to accept that while his country did not always live up to its ideals, those ideals themselves are worth fighting for, especially when his own government violated them.
** Also averted in the UltimateMarvel Universe, where Captain America and the Ultimates break off from the USA after it sends them on shady missions.
* MyGreatestFailure: Losing the Civil War X-Over, as hell on earth broke out afterwords.
** Well before that, there was his failure to save Bucky from dying in WWII. [[spoiler: Well, until it was revealed that Bucky didn't exactly bite the bullet that time...]]
** In the Ultimate Universe, [[spoiler:His guilt over being partially responsible for Peter Parker's senseless death during the ''Death of Spider-Man'' storyline led Cap to quit from being a hero. However, the Nimrod Sentinels' attack on the U.S. and subsequent dividing of the nation has led to Cap returning to the Ultimates to defend the fragmented America from collapsing even further.]]
* NaziHunter: Cap hunted them during the war and has had to sniff them out after being unfrozen since many of his enemies are Nazis. This includes the Red Skull.
** The 1950's version of Captain America also hunted former Nazis.
* NewSeasonNewName: Cap's Golden Age book became ''Captain America's Weird Tales'' in its last two issues.
** Once Cap became the main focus of ''Tales of Suspense'', the comic changed its title to his name starting with issue 100.
* NiceGuy: Steve Rogers, under the uniform, is still a kind and polite gentleman and the picture of the wholesome 1930's boy next door.
** Same goes for {{Bucky|Barnes}}.
* NinetiesAntiHero: When he was resurrected, Bucky's new look embodied this, right down to his [[Comicbook/{{Cable}} Cable-esque]] cyborg arm. Bucky actually averts it however, since he actively tries to be a better hero, especially since he became Captain America.
* NobodyOver50IsGay: Subverted! His childhood friend, Arnie Roth, is living with another man when he and Cap meet again in 1982.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: People have a bad habit of underestimating Batroc the Leaper because of his usually friendly nature. Forgetting that he can fight toe to toe with Captain America. He was once even able to hold his own against Cap and {{Hawkeye}} at the same time!
* OlderThanTheyLook: Cap looks to be in his physical prime despite being over 80 years old. Same goes for Bucky when he was brought back.
* OneManArmy: OK, sometimes Cap brings along a partner or a friend. But it's not like he ''needs'' to....
* PaperThinDisguise: For a while, Cap disguised himself as a hero known as '''The Captain'''. The costume looked identical to his normal Captain America costume except for darker colors and a slightly different chest-insignia. He even threw a shield around that also had a slight color-change. [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a5/Captain_America_350.jpg Here is a cover depicting both costumes.]] This costume somehow fooled everyone, including his allies on The Avengers. The costume would later be worn by the [=USAgent=].
* TheParagon: Well, '''''[[CaptainObvious duh]]'''''. Its pretty much a given that in all of comic books, regardless of companies, the only characters who are bigger paragons than Captain America are {{Superman}} and DC's Captain Marvel. See the page quotes. They're his promise to himself that he'll use his abilities only in pursuit of a future better than the present.
** The Red Skull tried to break that image in-universe by using the Commission to force Rogers to quit as Captain America and give the title to the Super-Patriot, John Walker. It wasn't until the Watchdogs murdered Walker's parents that he truly became unhinged and threatened the image of Captain America as TheParagon. Once the Skull was exposed and forced out of power, the remaining members of the Commission decided that the only way to rehabilitate Walker's image was to stage his assassination and give him the new identity of [=USAgent=], going so far as to changing his civilian identity as well.
* PinballProjectile: Cap's shield. Oooh boy, Cap's shield.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: The regular continuity Cap is usually depicted in his World War II days in the modern stories as a man without any prejudices in his personality that were considered perfectly reasonable assumptions by many mainstream Americans in the 1940s like homophobia or the like. Sometimes {{justified|Trope}} in those period stories by him discovering the horrors of bigotry at its absolute worst such as the Nazi concentration/death camps, which obliterated any racial/religious/sexual orientation prejudices he had left. In an 80's Avengers/X-Men crossover, he and Magneto were half-fighting, half-debating. Magneto doubted Cap's claims that he had no prejudice against mutants, and blasted him with a device that could remove prejudice from someone's mind. Magneto then questioned Cap again, and got the same answer; the device hadn't affected Cap because there ''was no prejudice to remove.'' Magneto, whose entire worldview centered around the belief that humans could never accept mutants, was profoundly shaken and immediately surrendered.
* PowerTrio: The Invaders core group: Namor the {{Sub-Mariner}} (Id), Human Torch (Ego), Captain America (Superego).
* PoweredArmor: While Cap's faced off against many armored villains, he himself had to don an armored version of his costume in the 90s due to the Super-Soldier Serum breaking down in his body and causing Cap to be paralyzed.
* PowersDoTheFighting: MODOK doesn't put in much effort in a fight except for pressing buttons on his chair or using PsychicPowers. That's good for him, because he's a huge head in a chair with stubby limbs.
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: Again, Cap's shield.
* PresidentEvil: In a story by Steven Englehart back in the early 70's, Cap was hunting down a SecretSociety; he managed to track down the boss, all the way into the WhiteHouse. Turns out that -- at least at the time -- the BigBad just happened to be -- or at least implied to be -- [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Richard ''F***ing'' Nixon.]] Oh, and then he [[DrivenToSuicide offed himself.]] Of course, thanks to the SlidingTimescale, Nixon was likely no longer the BigBad... but that just raises the question of ''who now was.''
%% * PrinciplesZealot: A lighter version, but still very much in effect.
* PsychoSerum: Cap has discovered there have been multiple attempts create his Project Rebirth enhancements and the results have typically produced murderous psychotics, with the most infamous of these being William Burnside, the man better known as the 1950s Commie Smasher Cap.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: After the first appearance, Timely Comics was prompted by [[ArchieComics MLJ Comics]] to change Cap's shield from the triangular shape to the discus one. Years later, this change of shields was {{retcon}}ned as being presented as a new weapon to Cap by President UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt himself.
* RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun - in-story, Captain America is technically a religious icon for this one tribe of Inuit. Granted, since the story got mainstream coverage in the Marvel U, said tribe have distanced themselves from it, but the story is there...
* {{Retcon}}: Old saying...[[DeathIsCheap Nobody stays dead]] in comics except Bucky and Uncle Ben. New saying: Nobody stays dead. Nobody.
* RightMakesMight: Whenever Captain America throws his shield, you can see this written on it in six-inch letters. His NighInvulnerable {{Unobtainium}} shield is literally reinforced with American Righteous Might - not [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve Self-Righteous Might]]. America is the Greatest Country in the World - but only when it ''[[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism maintains its idealism]].''
--> '''ComicBook/WhatIf #44''': ''[[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped Without its ideals -- its commitment to the freedom of all men]], America is [[ThisLoserIsYou a piece of trash]]!''
* RoguesGallery: RedSkull, [[ManipulativeBastard Doctor Faustus]], [[MadScientist Baron Zemo]], [[TheBaroness Madame Hydra]], [[PsychoForHire Crossbones]], [[DaddysLittleVillain Sin]], Serpent Society, [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul Arnim Zola]]...
* RunningGag: US Agent's names. His real name is John Walker, but after the government fakes his death, they give him a new identity... as Jack Daniels.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Cap has given up his identity numerous times whenever a government's ruling clashed with his own ideals, as well as the American ideal. The incidents involving the Secret Empire and the Commission on Superhuman Activities are two notable examples of this. This trope is also the driving force for Cap rejecting the [[ComicBook/CivilWar Superhuman Registration Act]], as he leads a contingent of heroes who don't approve of the Act.
* SealedGoodInACan: Frozen in 1944, woken up... [[ComicBookTime about twelve years before now.]]
* SecondSuperIdentity: Captain America went undercover as The Captain on two different occasions. This was because the Government demanded that he work exclusively for them, and when he refused, they forbid him from using the Captain America identity, which they legally owned. They gave the identity to another hero, Super Patriot, who later ended up trading costumes with The Captain and being renamed USAgent.
** His Ultimate Marvel counterpart spent some time as that universe's Black Panther.
* ShadowArchetype: Red Skull.
* ShieldBash
* ShoutOut: The story of his resurrection appears to be a WholePlotReference to [[spoiler:''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'']].
** Cap's "Stars and Stripes" attack in the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series is a good old fashioned Shoryuken-style attack, and the Hyper variant tips its hat to Ken's Shoryu Reppa super. His Charging Star special also draws comparisons with [[Franchise/StreetFighter M. Bison's]] Psycho Crusher, especially Hyper Charging Star (Ironic considering how Bison's the BigBad of SF).
* SidekickGraduationsStick: And has even triumphed over Steve Rogers' [[DeathIsCheap return from the dead]].
* SkullForAHead: The Red Skull, of course. His daughter too, now that she has become the new Red Skull.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: The strongest appeal of the ''Captain America'' franchise is its stalwart refusal to stop believing in love, kindness, faith and fundamental human decency. Which in turn is why so many Captain America fans hate Ultimate Captain America, as Mark Millar designed that alternate version of the character as a parody of jingoistic Bush-era conservatism.
* SlidingTimescale: All superheroes do this, but Cap is one of the few whose origin uses this trope ''perfectly'' - he always started out in World War 2, and the only thing that changes is how long he was in the ice.
* SmallStepsHero: Despite being a soldier, Cap will not sacrifice lives. Anyone who dies on his watch does so ''despite'' his best efforts.
* SpectralWeaponCopy: He uses a HardLight version of his shield whenever he can't use it.
* TheSpymaster: Steve's stint as Commander of S.H.I.E.L.D.
* SterilityPlague: Superia attempts to release a plague that would sterilise the world's female population except for her and her cadre of supervillainesses. As the only fertile women in the world, they would essentially be able to hold the world to ransom.
* TheStrategist: There's a reason why any hero worth their weight will defer authority to Cap when the world's about to break.
* StrappedToABomb: Captain America and Bucky Barnes were strapped to an experimental plane laden with explosives by Baron Zemo. They managed to untie themselves, but while trying to defuse it Cap fell off and landed in the Arctic Ocean where he was frozen solid. Bucky was presumed blown up for many many years.
* StrawFeminist: The villain Superia.
* StrawmanPolitical: As might be expected of a character intended to embody what is best about a nation. Writers either tend to use him as a mouthpiece for what they personally think America should be (616 Captain America is usually used for this), or as a voodoo doll for everything they see wrong with America (Ultimate universe Captain America is usually used for this). Needless to say that [[ArmedWithCanon character consistency]] [[AuthorFilibuster usually isn't a priority]] [[AuthorTract for these writers]].
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Steve's World War II girlfriend Peggy Carter and his modern girlfriend Sharon Carter; originally (in the 1960s) they were sisters, now they're aunt and niece (expect grandniece in a few years).
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: [[spoiler: Happens to Sharon Carter in #10 of Rick Remender's run.]]
* SuperheroPackingHeat: Cap's original incarnation used guns in addition to his nigh-invulnerable shield, in keeping with his status as a SuperSoldier fighting Nazis in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. It wasn't until TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks that Cap ditched the guns and just stuck to just using his shield. The 2011 movie based on him is set DuringTheWar, and looks to be a return to his [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] roots (Makes sense since it's during the war). Fan reactions are... somewhat mixed. Recently he once again carries a piece (but prefers not to use it). Bucky plays this straight.
* SuperReflexes
* SuperSoldier: Solid claim on being the trope namer.
* TakeThat: In the Ultimates -- "Surrender? ''Surrender??!!'' You think this letter on my head stands for ''[[CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys France]]''?" Lampshaded later on by Nick Fury pointing out how hilarious it was, while Hawkeye bemoaned that it was illustrative of how unprofessional the team had become since going public. Cap himself says he isn't entirely sure why he blurted that out.
** And again in ''Comicbook/{{Nextwave}}'' by Elsa Bloodstone, who is English; for one issue, she wore a European Union t-shirt with the symbol encircled by stars, and at one point, when described as "my victim" by a villain, (a villain wearing a costume that was apparently stolen from Cap's wardrobe, no less) shouted "Victim? ''Victim?!'' Do you think this letter on my chest stands for ''America''?!" (Cue title box: "You have been getting insulted by NEXTWAVE.")
** The regular Marvel Universe Cap even got in on it: while talking about fighting alongside the Maquis Rebellion in WWII, Steve explains how disgusted he is with the way modern Americans belittle the French with claims of cowardice. It's been suggested this was in response to the Ultimate version's statement.
* TakeUpMySword: After Steve's seeming death in 1945, William Naslund and then Jeffrey Mace took his place in order to keep up troop morale; when he seemingly died again in the 21st century, his former sidekick Bucky took up the shield.
* TeamUpSeries: The current ''Captain America and...'' series, which features a different hero taking second billing in every arc. So far, BuckyBarnes, ComicBook/IronMan, {{Hawkeye}}, and ComicBook/BlackWidow have featured alongside Cap in this series.
* TechnicalPacifist: Some writers have gone out of their way to say that Captain America has never taken a life, even during World War II. This would ultimately be debunked by Mark Gruenwald, who had Captain America kill an agent of ULTIMATIUM in order to stop the goon from killing innocent hostages. It has also been stated that he had killed during [=WW2=]. That said, Steve prefers not to and would like to avoid it if possible.
** Handled beautifully in [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger the movie]]: [[spoiler:when asked by Dr. Erskine if he wants to enlist to kill Nazis, Steve Rogers answers that he doesn't want to kill anybody... but that he dislikes bullies of all stripes and wants to stand up for the little guy. He's subsequently shown to go in guns blazing in many missions, but hey, he's doing it to ''[[SavingTheWorld save the world]]'', a valid reason if there ever was one.]]
* ThemeNaming: John "Johnny" Walker; after his [[FakingTheDead public assassination]], he's brought back as [=USAgent=] with the new civilian identity of ''Jack Daniels''.
* ThinkNothingOfIt
* ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks: The Cap's SignatureMove and also one of the most iconic examples in fiction, Making him the trope's patron saint.
* TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty: Discussed in Civil War. After taking continual beatings from Iron Man's pro-registration forces' underhanded tactics, he finally returns the favor ''[[http://i55.tinypic.com/10x8sj6.jpg here]]''. Also a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
** Also, one of the things that differentiated Bucky from Steve when Bucky first took up the mantle of Captain America was that he wasn't afraid [[CombatPragmatist to cheat]] or just [[SuperheroPackingHeat shoot a guy]] (albeit [[ThouShaltNotKill nonlethally]]) in a fight to make up for his lack of enhanced physical abilities.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Has died a couple times but always gets better.
* UndyingLoyalty: Easily inspires this on all the superhero community, but it's also a defining trait of his. [[{{No One Gets Left Behind}} He'll never leave a man behind]].
* {{Unobtainium}}: Cap's shield is a unique alloy of steel and vibranium, rendering it not only invulnerable to anything less than the Beyonder or the Infinity Gauntlet, but also capable of absorbing impacts up to "pissed-off Hulk" levels and beyond. It's also impossible to reproduce. During his stint as "The Captain", Steve had two replacement shields; a mirror-finish adamantium shield from [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] (which he returned after their falling-out over the Armor Wars), and a black-red-white pure vibranium shield from [[Comicbook/BlackPanther T'Challa]], which went to [=USAgent=] after Steve got his job (and old shield) back. Neither had quite the same action as Cap's regular shield. In the late 2010's, his shield gets broken but repaired and upgraded by Odin. So yeah, it currently stands among the pinnacle of technological and magical advances. And it says something that compared to things like the Cosmic Cube, it's a 'simple' shield - something explicitly designed to protect.
* UpbringingMakesTheHero: It's heavily implied that Steve's moral fiber was very much inspired by that of his mother, Sarah, whom Steve holds in such a high regard due to her love and care for her son.
* WeakButSkilled: Steve's power level, which is set at [[BadassNormal "the peak of human physical potential"]] pales in comparison to [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu those of many of the enemies he's defeated]], yet he manages to beat them through his keen tactical ability and [[{{Determinator}} sheer force of will]].
** Also, Bucky is this in comparison to Steve. He manages to hold his own in a fight with Steve, and then later take up Steve's mantle and do well at it despite having no physical enhancements [[ArtificialLimbs save his cybernetic arm]] because of [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty his willingness to fight dirty]].
* WeaponOfChoice: his shield.
* WeirdTradeUnion: The Serpent Society, a collection of snake-themed villains.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Flag-Smasher. He ''loathes'', almost beyond words, the very idea of national sovereignty, thinking they get in the way of helping people, and thinks the globe should be united in a OneWorldOrder. Unfortunately, he uses terror tactics to advance this goal and innocent people often get killed. During their first fight, before he'd done anything too violent, Cap tried to talk him out of this, saying the best way to persuade people to his way of thinking would be to act not as a supervillain, but as a superhero; let people see how his world government ideology inspired him to acts of heroism, just as Cap's own beliefs inspired him. Flag-Smasher didn't listen.
** Also, Brother Nature, who had been a park ranger until his forest was opened up to lumber companies. He tried to fight in court but lost. Then he gained nature-based superpowers, possibly empowered by GaiasVengeance, and committed acts of sabotage against the company. Cap was able to talk him out of it, though.
* WhamLine
** "You don't understand, Steve. [[ShroudedInMyth The guy we've been hunting]], [[BreakTheBadass the man who killed the Red Skull]]; [[TheReveal I've seen him!]] [[BackFromTheDead I think... I think]] [[KidSidekick it's]] {{Bucky|Barnes}}!"
* WifeBasherBasher: Being a wholesome 1930's boy next door, Steve Rogers HATES any "man" who dares to strike women with a righteous fury.
** That said, if he's in a fight with a female villain, he knows better than to hold back. He knows a woman can be as deadly as any man.
** In ''the Ultimates'' he wrestles the ''10 stories tall'' [[ComicBook/AntMan Hank Pym]] into the ground and pounds him into helpless submission for beating his wife The Wasp.
* WorldsBestWarrior: Has the distinct honor of being considered ''The Best Warrior in the '''Omniverse!''''' Captain America is the superhero that all other heroes respect in combat ability, tactics, and leadership.
* WouldNotShootAGoodGuy: Cap is just that pure-hearted.
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