Steve Rogers was a scrawny fine arts student specializing in industrialization in the 1940’s before America entered World War II. He attempted to enlist in the army only to be turned away due to his poor constitution. A U.S. officer offered Rogers an alternative way to serve his country by being a test subject in project, Operation: Rebirth, a top secret defense research project designed to create physically superior soldiers. Rogers accepted and after a rigorous physical and combat training and selection process was selected as the first test subject. He was given injections and oral ingestion of the formula dubbed the “Super Soldier Serum” developed by the scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine. Rogers was then exposed to a controlled burst of “Vita-Rays” that activated and stabilized the chemicals in his system. The process successfully altered his physiology from its frail state to the maximum of human efficiency, including greatly enhanced musculature and reflexes.
Roger’s was re-imagined as a superhero who served both as a counter-intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi Germany’s head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull. Rogers was given a costume modeled after the American flag, a bulletproof shield, a personal sidearm and the codename Captain America. In the closing days of World War II in 1945, Captain America and Bucky tried to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. Zemo launched the plane with an armed explosive device on it, with Rogers and Barnes in hot pursuit. They reached the plane just before it took off, but when Bucky tried to defuse the bomb, it exploded in mid-air. The young man was believed killed, and Rogers was hurled into the freezing waters of either the North Atlantic. Neither his body or Bucky’s were found, and both were presumed dead.
An intentionally patriotic creation who was often depicted fighting the Axis powers of World War II, Captain America was Timely Comics’ most popular character during the wartime period. After the war ended, the character’s popularity waned and he disappeared by the 1950s aside from an ill-fated revival in 1953 as “Captain American: Commie Smasher” (later on, this Captain was reveled to be an imposter). Captain America was reintroduced during the Silver Age of comics when he was revived from suspended animation by the superhero team the Avengers in The Avengers #4 (March 1964). Since then, Captain America has often led the team, as well as starring in his own series. Steve Rogers was apparently killed in Captain America vol. 5, #25 (March 2007), although he was later revealed to be alive; in any case, the Captain America series continues publication with Rogers’ former sidekick, James “Bucky” Barnes, having taken up the mantle while Steve Rogers recently has assumed the mantle of the new director (which was held by Norman Osborn and Tony Stark). He also leads a team of Secret Avengers.
Powers and abilities
Captain America represents the pinnacle of human physical perfection. He experienced a time when he was augmented to superhuman levels, but generally performs just below superhuman levels for most of his career. Captain America has a very high intelligence as well as agility, strength, speed, endurance, and reaction time superior to any Olympic athlete who ever competed. The Super-Soldier formula that he has metabolized had enhanced all of his bodily functions to the peak of human efficiency. Most notably, his body eliminates the excessive build-up of fatigue-producing poisons in his muscles, granting him phenomenal endurance.
Captain America has mastered the martial arts of American-style boxing and judo, and has combined these disciplines with his own unique hand-to-hand style of combat. He has also shown skill and knowledge of a number of other martial arts. He engages in a daily regimen of rigorous exercise (including aerobics, weight lifting, gymnastics, and simulated combat) to keep himself in peak condition. Captain America is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known.