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Captain Patriotic

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Beg pardon. Were you expecting someone else?

"My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."
Carl Schurz

This superhero is motivated by one thing above all: love of country. He loves everything it symbolizes, all its values, and is damn proud of its history.

He's heroic, maybe The Cape, and will normally follow Thou Shalt Not Kill. Unless it's war, then you can expect him to be on the front line, taking down as many of Those Wacky Nazis and Dirty Communists as he can. He is a master of the Rousing Speech or can give somebody a powerful Get A Hold Of Yourself Man moment. If he becomes Older and Wiser, he will almost always end as The Mentor.

No matter how near the cynical end of Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism the major premise is, he will be idealistic. In the Five-Man Band he is The Leader, on a Super Team or any other kind of super group he will be The Captain. He can be very harsh and strict - The Cowl may not get along with him. The Anti-Hero should not expect to see him among his fans. If you are a '90s Anti-Hero, better stay the hell away from him if you don't want to get your butt kicked. On the other hand, he is respectful of true patriots, no matter what country they serve - he will quickly recognize that their patriotism is akin to his own. The same goes with dissenters with his government's policies and/or his nation's current public sentiments if their ultimate principles are in keeping with the larger ideals he values. For instance, if a historical 1960s American Captain Patriotic heard growls accusing Martin Luther King Jr. of being a traitor simply because he is making the nation look bad by opposing its injustice, he'd be first to answer, "No, he is a true American patriot!"

However, all Mad Generals, crooked politicians, Evil Presidents, and infiltrators from The Illuminati must remember that he's not loyal to government, law or army. He may serve them, but his true loyalty is to his country's spirit and ideals. Attack his values, use the symbols he values as a hypocritical excuse to commit injustice, or limit people's freedom with law, and he will be the first to kick you in the face.

Discovering that his country has fallen and become corrupt is the best way to cause his Heroic BSoD. This is temporary. You can be damn sure he will stand again to restore his fatherland to glory. In case he is forced to give up his costume and secret identity, he will join the army or the police, or adapt a similar superhero identity. He knows there are many ways to serve his country.

Plenty of them, but not all, are Captain Geographics. Just because they wear their country on their sleeves doesn't mean they're good guys. Daredevil's enemy Nuke, for instance, who has the flag tattooed on his head, is just a psycho who believes he's Captain Geographic and of course is no match for the real Captain America.

This archetype was most popular in The Golden Age of Comic Books and almost vanished during The Dark Age of Comic Books. Compare The Cape; often there is overlap, sometimes he is both.

Compare Patriotic Fervor, The Paragon, Captain Superhero, Propaganda Hero, All-American Face.

Note: Many of the Golden Age superheroes mentioned here, who have entered the public domain, have been repackaged in Tom Strong and Project Superpowers comics.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Played straight, parodied, played for laughs, lampshaded, and justified with America in Hetalia: Axis Powers. As he is the (admittedly stereotypical) personification of the US, he is deeply loyal to it. He hates Communists and Nazis, and claims, "I'm the Hero!" However, he is completely clueless (giving him the nickname AKY in the Japanese fandom, short for Aete Kuuki Yomenai, which roughly means "Doesn't read the atmosphere") and orders his allies to be his backup. note 
  • Gundam:
    • Played with in one of the Mobile Suit Gundam sourcebooks, styled as a collection of news photos from the One Year War, featuring a shot of war orphans watching a Captain Zeon cartoon.
    • Also Mobile Fighter G Gundam as each fighter is characterized along national stereotypes.
  • Isabelle Of Paris is full of this trope, being set in the era of the Franco-Prussian war. Every character, from commoner to military general, vows to defend France to their dying breath.
    Andréa: "As long as I have Paris, I will never die! I will never give Paris to the Prussians!"
  • All Might from My Hero Academia looks like the result of Superman and Captain America performing the Fusion Dance: He's a tall, muscular blonde man with blue eyes who wears a hero costume that's primarily red, white, and blue, is The Cape through and through, and his special attacks are all named for the 50 States (i.e. "Texas Smash")... and he's also 100% Japanese (real name: Toshinori Yagi). He's just really fond of America. The movie My Hero Academia: Two Heroes reveals that he adopted such things after he went to college and started his hero career in America as a form of tribute. Played straight with Star and Stripe, the Top Hero of the USA who deliberately modeled herself after All Might.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero: In the first episode of the second season, Togo dresses up as the "warrior of patriotism", Kokubou Kamen, and stops crimes. In her case, the costume is military-themed. Most of her friends are instantly able to tell who Kokubou Kamen is because no one else around is as patriotic as Togo.
  • Voltes V: Prince Heinel is a dark example, as his idea of "patriotism" is extreme nationalism where "lesser" races are forcibly enslaved and neighbouring planets are forcibly integrated into the Boazanian Empire. He also believes in Capital Punishment for those who turn their backs on the Empire. When Kenichi claims to be half-Boazanian, Heinel flies into a rage and begins slashing things with his sword.

    Fan Works 
  • Captain America is parodied in Twisted Toyfare Theatre: where he's a jingoistic Ugly American, sometimes even indulging in Black Comedy Rape. And other people who were carrying the name of Captain America, like Patriot's grandfather, 1950s Cap or Bucky (who, in an inversion of Captain Geographic, wore a costume that looked more like the flag of Puerto Rico). Captain America's original costume, bearing only one star on the chest and back, looks more like the flag of Liberia than the Stars and Stripes. At least Puerto Rico is US territory! It gets hilarious when you consider that, under this logic, Osborn's Iron Patriot armor looks more like the flag of Cuba (white star on red field + blue and white stripes).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Captain America: The First Avenger downplays his Patriotic Fervor and emphasizes him being The Cape. ("I don't like bullies. I don't care where they're from.") Prior to becoming a hero, he plays a hokey parody of this concept while touring with the USO. That's not to say he doesn't love his country, though.
    Red Skull: I have seen the future, Captain! There are no flags!
    Steve Rogers: Not in my future!
  • In Iron Man 3, the Iron Patriot is simply War Machine repainted in star-spangled colors as a means to boost the nation's morale in response to the terrorist threat posed by the Mandarin. Since Rhodey is as patriotic as Steve, he still plays the role straight.
  • Kick-Ass 2 had Colonel Stars-and-Stripes, a former mob enforcer who had a Heel–Faith Turn and joined the titular hero's team of vigilantes as the dependable Team Dad. He dressed in Army fatigues and fought with an American flag patterned axe handle alongside an attack dog named Eisenhower. He becomes a Sacrificial Lion, as he suffered Death by Irony at the hands of the supervillain Mother Russia.
  • Parodied and deconstructed by Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad. He actively styles himself as a patriotic superhero defending America, but he's a jingoistic Right-Wing Militia Fanatic Vigilante Man who kills people on the flimsy basis of protecting peace. It's made abundantly clear that Peacemaker is a delusional nationalist and he proves to ironically be the most villainous member of the Suicide Squad, and he ultimately turns against them to protect the US government's interests.
  • Parodied in The Return of Captain Invincible. Captain Invincible is called before the House Un-American Activities Committee where a senator accuses him of being a Dirty Communist because he wears a red cape. Captain Invincible protests that his costume is actually red-white-and-blue. The senator then recommends he be charged with perjury for calling himself Captain when there's no record of him receiving a commission in the United States Armed Forces.

  • Liberty from Curveball is an Expy of Captain America, so this is pretty much expected.
  • Michael A. Stackpole's superhero short story Peer Review has one, Colonel Constitution, who's got his own shield and whose real name is Bill Wright. Unfortunately for the characters he's an Expy of, his character is of the 'overzealous, letter of the law chomping at the bit soldier' type.
  • The Commander in The Poster Children is portrayed as this to the public, more or less. He's said to be America's favorite hero by June. As is later deconstructed, he does answer to the BPHA, which unfortunately leads to the imprisonment of his wife.
  • Rainbow Magic has Elizabeth the Jubilee Fairy, a fairy with a Union Jack dress whose magic protects the Queen and her Jubilee. Yep, definitely the most British of the fairies.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Captain Patriot. He leads a super-team in Cincinnati.
    • Cerebrex dearly wants to be "Captain Canada"... and can't, because he's only a student yet and using a rank he doesn't actually hold would be against school rules.
    • Mephisto explains at one point that the large number of 'flag heroes' during World War II were mostly the result of a broad-spectrum series of Super-Soldier experiments by the US military (as every major power were dabbling in things like that at the time) - every inductee was given a test to see if they might be a suitable candidate for one or another of the processes, and the 2% who were would become guinea pigs. The surviving 'heroes' were then sent into action on the home front against saboteurs and criminals, to test whether they would go psycho in the thick of the fight; those who didn't, and lived through the fight itself, were swept off to train for some deep-cover mission, while those who did were pumped up with speed and painkillers for a glorious suicide attack on the front lines. Either way, the costume would then be handed over to the next schmuck to survive the experimental processes...
  • Worm provides Miss Militia, whose Immigrant Patriotism leads her to lobby (successfully) for the right to include an American flag scarf in her costume.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Captain Freedom on Hill Street Blues
  • In Weird Science, Chett becomes invincible for a short period of time and becomes The Star-Spangled Butt-Kicker.
  • Deconstructed in The Grand Tour's racing driver, The American. He criticizes anything un-American and likely believes cars, things, and concepts not made in the U.S.A. to be communist.
  • El Chapulín Colorado is frequently mentioned in-universe as "the hero of Latin America", yes, not only Mexico. Which is Truth in Television in any case. His bitter rival is a superhero version of Uncle Sam. Take That! as you wish.
  • The Boys (2019):
    • Homelander is both a deconstruction and subversion of this trope. He sells himself as an American patriot, to the point of wearing the flag as a cape, but he espouses a specific, right-wing, militaristic version of patriotism. It's also outright stated that the entire persona is a fully invented marketing ploy, and he really cares about nothing but himself. The Brazilian translation downright calls him very close to the trope name, "Capitão Pátria" ("Captain Homeland" — the comic went for a simpler "Patriot").
    • In The '70s, Liberty had a similar gimmick. Like Homelander, she played to patriotism, but of a specifically right-wing Southern sort to cater to the people in North Carolina who she was serving as a superhero. She was eventually relocated and renamed after she killed a Black man in a brazenly racist incident, and his sister Valerie refused to let it go. In the present day, she's known as Stormfront.
    • Homelander's predecessor Soldier Boy was a Captain America expy who was said to have led America to victory in World War II and had a statue in his honor in New York. In reality, he was a Fake Ultimate Hero who never actually fought in the war but convinced himself he did, and was the source of Homelander's narcissism by being his father.

  • Red Panda Adventures: Once his stint filling in for the Red Panda is complate, Ridiculously Human Robot John Archer starts going by the codename the "Red Ensign" and continues hero work against the Nazis on behalf of the Canadian government and the Allied Super Services. A prequel episode taking place before John took the mantle, "The Sunday Serial", reveals that the Red Ensign was created by the Canadian government as a Propaganda Hero based on the Red Panda, whose name was based on a nickname for the flag Canada used during World War II, prior to adopting the modern-day Maple Leaf.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • While wrestling has plenty of All American Faces, only one man can cross the line into a full-blown Captain Patriotic — The Patriot.
  • Kurt Angle could be seen as a subversion of this, especially at the beginning of his career when he played an arrogant heel. He even adopted The Patriot's old music, which is now known as the "You Suck" theme.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Lady Liberty and the Patriot in Freedom City setting for Mutants & Masterminds. Many of the major non-American heroes are also examples, most notably Britannia.
  • Steel Commando in the Halt Evil Doer! setting for the same.
  • Kapten Sverige (Captain Sweden) in the Swedish superhero RPG Supergänget (Supercrew in the English translation).
  • Iron Kingdoms Cygnar's Commander Coleman Stryker is described in-universe as such: "Coleman in a word? Patriot."
  • Adeptus Evangelion has an attribute called "Flagship" for your giant cyborg of choice. Your Evangelion was built and/or funded by a country and is a source of national pride.
  • Legacy in Sentinels of the Multiverse is a fusion of Captain America and Superman. His entire family, from the Revolutionary War onward, have used their genetic superhuman powers to protect America and the rest of the world from various villainous threats. While their outfits tend toward the red, white, and blue, their Chest Insignia is a little unique, not being the stars and stripes or any combination thereof — it's a stylized lantern, as in "One if by land, two if by sea," because the first Legacy's Spider-Sense was what alerted the colonies to the British arrival.

    Video Games 
  • Statesman, Hero One, and Hero 1 from City of Heroes.
    • Miss Liberty and Ms. Liberty (the daughter and granddaughter of Statesman) would also count.
    • The robust character creator also allows many players to make their own Captain Patriotic.
  • Freedom Force:
    • Minuteman and Liberty Lad are basically Captain America, but different enough to not pay copyright fees. "I don't know what will come from all of this, but I must use these new powers to help my country fight her enemies — within and without. Those reds might have killed Frank Stiles, but they're about to meet... The Minuteman!" He also happens to be a Genius Bruiser, having been a nuclear physicist working on the Manhattan Project.
    • For one of those rare patriotic superheroes who are not from English-speaking countries, Tricolour from Freedom Force vs The Third Reich. As her name indicates, she is French (the French flag is often referred as "Les Trois Couleurs" (The Three Colours). She broke out of a Brainwashed and Crazy state hearing a member of the French resistance about to be executed after she was forced to capture him sing the French National Anthem (La Marseillaise), triggering her Intrinsic Vow and prompting her to dispatch the Wehrmacht troopers about to shoot.
  • Overwatch has Jack Morrison, aka Soldier: 76. Not only does he have an American flag-themed costume that is equal parts Captain America and Winter Soldier but even his name is a reference to the United States' year of independence.
  • Guile of Street Fighter, so much so that as part of the Guile Theme Goes with Everything a significant portion of the comments will relate the action in the video to FOR AMERICA! (or being a family man).
  • The Liberty Prime robot in Fallout 3 is a perfect blend of Captain Patriotic and Optimus Prime. It wasn't enough to create a Humongous Mecha that could shoot lasers and throw nuclear bomb footballs everywhere, he also spouts jingoistic pro-American phrases while attacking.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Assassin's Creed III has Ratonhnhaké:ton / Connor Kenway, a half-British/half-Mohawk Native American Captain Ethnic warrior who fights alongside the Patriots in key events of the Revolutionary War from his participation in the Boston Tea Party to his presence on the frontlines of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. He's also incredibly loyal to his new country despite its shortcomings. Additionally, his Assassin robe has the same colors as the Star-Spangled Banner of the United States with a bald eagle on the hood.
    • Bayek of Siwa in Assassin's Creed Origins is one of the last living Medjay in Ptolemaic Egypt who seeks to uphold the dying values of the Middle Kingdom amidst the Roman Republic's encroaching influence. He even carries a shield and has a kindhearted personality similar to Captain America (the Ur-Example of this trope).

  • In The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, there's Patrianna, a fairly obvious Gender Flip Expy for Captain America, fitting for a parody about superheroes. To a lesser extent, there's Lady Liberty, a superhero with the Statue of Liberty as her theme. It's deconstructed with Patrianna's predecessor (and implied father) Uncle Slam, who's supposed to embody the spirit of America. Problem is that the America of 2016 is so divisive and polarized that it's more or less left Uncle Slam with a split personality disorder.
    Uncle Slam: I have a gun and I'm not afraid to use it! But I won't, because we cling to our guns too much as a society already!
  • In the superhero arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space, Galahad is a superhero actually known as Captain Patriot, who wears an all-white version of Captain America's costume. We don't know much more about him, since he only appears in one strip parodying Comic Book Death. (Kingman complains that his then-recent resurrection doesn't make sense. Captain Patriot points out that he's not one to talk.)

    Web Original 
  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour gives us a Captain America expy in Jefferson Reid, Ace American, proclaimed to be precisely as American as mom's apple pie and his nation's favorite pastime. His stories are framed as a Propaganda Piece radio program in which he, his girl Abbey Adams, and his sidekick of the week fight Nazi supervillains.

    Western Animation 
  • The Tick has American Maid, and the Live-Action Adaptation has Captain Liberty.
  • Major Glory from Dexter's Laboratory is a spoof of this. He even hawks a snack named "Justice Fruit Pies," and periodically recites lyrics or lines from famous American works (such as the national anthem, the Constitution, and the Pledge of Allegiance). However, the jabs are entirely affectionate.
  • In the Mr. Incredible and Pals spoof on the The Incredibles DVD, Mr. Incredible is portrayed as one of these.
  • The Adventures of the American Rabbit features a Captain Patriotic who's also a rabbit.
  • Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls (1998) once reinvented herself as Liberty Belle in the episode "Super Zeroes", complete with a "Freedom Mobile" and a "Lariat of Guilt". Inspired by her favorite superhero, Freedom Gal, also a Captain Patriotic and a Wonder Woman parody.
  • With so many examples Marvel has under their belt (see the Comic Books section above), you bet The Super Hero Squad Show would parody this. In the episode "O Captain, My Captain!", Wolverine decides to leave the team and takes on the mantle of "Captain Canada" (whose uniform is a cross of his and Guardian's) to join the All-Captains Squad, whose members include Captain Britain, plus Original Generations Captain Australia, Captain Brazil (a heroine) and even Captain Liechtenstein (tiny, but prosperous!).
  • In The Legend of Korra, Varrick creates propaganda films in order to compel Republic City to go to war with the Northern Water Tribe. These "movers" star Nuktuk, an overly buff Southern Water Tribesmannote  who fits this trope.
  • Parodied in Teen Titans Go! by George Washington, who is portrayed as a superhero with America-themed powers and attacks such as "Liberty Punch" and "Freedom Shield".


Video Example(s):


The Minuteman

Restored to his prime and endowed with great strength by Energy X, Frank Stiles -- former Manhattan Project scientist -- now leads the charge for freedom, just as those brave miltia once did in 1776, as the patriotic and powerful Minuteman!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / CaptainPatriotic

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