Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!
The week before last, we covered IRON MAN. Third in our series on the MARVEL SUPER HEROES wheel show that hit TV in the wake of the company’s super-guy renaissance after HULK and THOR. But not all the featured stars were newbies. Some dated back to the pre-Marvel “Timely” era.
Well before the US entered WWII, comic books were literally draping heroes in the Stars ‘n’ Stripes to fight the Nips and Krauts. CAPTAIN AMERICA wasn’t the first of these, but he became the best-known. A 4-F, 90-pound weakling who got ‘roided-up with an experimental Super Soldier Serum, put on a costume, and wielded an invulnerable shield that thought it was some kind of boomerang.
In keeping with the established norms of 1940s masked adventurers, Cap had a teen sidekick (rather lazily named “Bucky” in and out of costume) and a secret identity to preserve. The latter seemed particularly pointless, as Steve Rogers served only to annoy his sergeant as a clumsy Army private.
Cap was featured in a 1944 Republic serial… Sort of. It appears the script was written for an entirely different character (some speculation as to which) and they just stuck the Captain America name and costume on the lead at the last minute.
Like SPIDER-MAN, Hulk, and DR. STRANGE, there was an attempt to bring an updated version of Cap to live-action TV in the ’70s. This resulted in two TV movies, but no series.
He got a notoriously bad live-action feature film in the early ’90s, which was mercifully forgotten when he was introduced into the blockbuster MCU AVENGERS franchise ten years ago.
Like all the Marvel Super Heroes ‘toons, Captain America is pretty much lifted directly from the comics. This episode from 1941’s CAPTAIN AMERICA #1, which introduced Cap, Bucky, and archenemy Red Skull. More from the OldHorseman.