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Film / Captain America

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"I don't like bullies. I don't care where they're from."
Captain Steve Rogers, The First Avenger

Captain America is a sub-franchise of films set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe —based on the character of the same name— starring Chris Evans as Cpt. Steve Rogers.

The main Captain America trilogy is comprised of:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) — During World War II, Steve Rogers is a sickly young man desperate to join the military. When he's deemed unfit for service, a kindhearted scientist takes pity on him and invites Steve to become part of a top-secret initiative tasked with creating super-soldiers for the war effort. Emerging stronger than ever, Steve soon becomes a beloved figure of American propaganda back home, but is unfortunately lost in the Arctic while performing an act of heroism... until decades later, when a mysterious figure recovers his frozen body and recruits him to join a project called the Avengers Initiative.
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  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) — Now a top-ranking agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Steve's faith in the United States government is put to the test when that organization is infiltrated by a long-dormant threat, forcing him to re-evaluate his trust in certain people. Making matters more complicated, he's being hunted by a deadly assassin who's closer to him than he thinks...
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016) — When an incident indirectly caused by The Avengers abroad produces many casualties and international strife, Steve is once again forced to confront his loyalties and moral judgement, even if it causes a schism between him and longtime ally Iron Man.

Captain America also appears throughout the Avengers films in a leading capacity:

  • The Avengers (2012) — Set shortly after his body is recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D., Steve is forced to acclimate to life in the 21st century amidst an alien invasion of New York.
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  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) — With Steve now fully integrated in the 21st Century and officially leading the Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes are forced to reassemble when Tony and Bruce accidentally create an evil robot bent on rebooting mankind.
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018) — Following the disbandment of the Avengers, Steve must work with the African nation of Wakanda to prevent a genocidal alien conqueror from bringing ruin to Earth.
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019) — In the wake of Infinity War, what few heroes are left standing in the rubble must somehow make things right.

And then there's a string of cameo appearances in other MCU films:

  • Thor: The Dark World (2013) — Shows up as a brief illusion materialized by Loki.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) — Appears in a series of PSAs and motivational films broadcast in the Midtown School of Science and Technology.

The future of the Captain America series post-Infinity War is unclear, since it's been reported that Evans' contract expires with that film. Marvel's "Phase Four" slate has yet to be unveiled, so it's entirely possible the franchise will continue with (or without) Evans as Cap.

See also: the 1979 duology starring Reb Brown as Captain American, and the 1990 film with Matt Salinger (yes, that Salinger) in the title role.

Tropes throughout the Captain America films as a whole include:

  • Arc Villain: HYDRA is this for The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier. By the time Civil War happens, they've already been done and dealt with during Age of Ultron.
  • Black Best Friend: Averted in The First Avenger with Bucky, but played straight with Sam starting in The Winter Soldier.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted. Steve is often referred to (almost interchangeably) as Captain America throughout.
  • Deuteragonist: Each individual film has its own Deuteragonist, but "Bucky" Barnes is one for the trilogy as a whole.
  • Genre Shift: Each of the Captain America films can be classified under different genres:
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Black Widow's participation in The Winter Soldier comes across as this, since she's not overtly considered a supporting character in Captain America lore.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Steve's longtime sidekick The Falcon makes his debut in The Winter Soldier, as does on-off love interest Agent 13 and frequent adversary Crossbones. Civil War sees the introduction of Zemo, yet another one of Cap's rogues gallery from the comics.
  • Rogues Gallery: Crossbones is the only recurring villain of Cap's from the comics that appears in multiple films, not including HYDRA.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: The First Avenger has less in common with either of the two films that succeed it, as it's set decades before the second and third entires, and it's the only one of the three not directed by The Russo Brothers. The Winter Soldier and Civil War, on the other hand, are more tonally consistent with one another.


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