I’m not saying Captain America is perfect because I was him on the Zimbio “What avenger you?” Quiz. Nor is it because I recently watched the two films bearing his name.
No, Captain America ranks as a perfect hero because he’s uncompromising, principled, and unencumbered by personal baggage. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome with sculpted muscles, either.
Of course, those exterior qualities grace every so-called Superhero. Beauty is only skin deep, after all, so we must go deeper to find a hero to acclaim perfect.
Every hero fights for cause. Why do they call them The Justice League? They uphold justice using the might makes right principle.
Cap doesn’t believe might makes right. Just because he’s strong enough to dominate most people doesn’t excuse such an action. In fact, his biggest problem is with people and organizations who want to force those who are weaker into submission.
He’s a patriot. He believes America is the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” He dons that red, white and blue uniform with purpose.
He believes the truth is for everyone. In fact, his major issue with S.H.I.E.L.D. is the secrecy and deception. An honorable man is honest. Always.
A Stand-up Guy
Cap doesn’t care who gives an order if it is wrong. This guy isn’t the peon soldier not “paid enough to think” and who must obey without question.
In the newest movie, Cap faces down his best friend. Decades encased in ice haven’t dimmed his loyalty. Bucky stood beside Steve when things were at their worst. Even if his brain has been tampered with, Bucky is Steve’s buddy.
Rather than save himself at the expense of Bucky’s life, Steve surrenders. The iron fist pounds his face and it looks like the end of the line. Doesn’t matter. His life isn’t worth betraying friendship. Bucky might not remember but Steve does. If he compromises his belief in loyalty first, what will life be worth?
This is a rare quality. Stand up and perish instead of shut-up and compromise. Cap is uncompromising in his core ideals and that makes him rise above the other superheroes – not to mention us regular folk.
Free from Entanglements
Superman Loves Lois Lane. Spiderman laves Mary Jane Watson. Wolverine dreams of Jean Grey.
These emotional entanglements hinder their ability to see the bigger picture. It also gives their enemies leverage against them. In fact, in their series they are all forced to choose between their love and the wider world.
In The Winter Soldier, Black Widow is constantly trying to set Captain America up with one girl or another. The irony in this wasn’t lost on me. She has no personal entanglements, either, but feels like he isn’t really living because he doesn’t date.
When the world needs saving, the perfect superhero rises to the challenge. He doesn’t safeguard his own family first. Since this will always be a temptation, it’s best for him to forgo these institutions.
Who thinks Captain America’s life is meaningless? He saves the world from domination by evil forces bent on selfish pursuits. His unselfish nature crowns his hero-hood.
When push comes to shove, I want Cap on my side. Facing a choice, he will never compromise his principles and favors no individual as more redeemable than another.
What’s your idea of a perfect superhero? Maybe you think they’re all flawed. Speak out. Cap would.