The alter ego of scrawny young man Steve Rogers, Captain America, was created when he was injected with an experimental serum designed to transform him into the world’s greatest super-soldier. Armed with his trusty, nearly indestructible shield, Captain America wages war against the forces of evil, injustice, and tyranny. Unlike other superheroes, Captain America doesn’t have any inherent superpowers. The serum only increased Captain America’s strength and physical attributes to the peak of their possible potential. Captain America can only maintain this power through a constant regime of self-improvement, exercise, and practice.
The Captain America comic book is one of Marvel Comics’ flagship characters and comic books. However, because of the very nature of his character, he is one of the most polarizing figures in all of comics. Some see him as nothing but a by-product of rampant, uncontrolled American nationalism. But those who truly explore his exploits will be shocked to find one of the most complex and intricate characters ever committed to the page.
I have arranged ten of the best Captain America comics here in chronological order. I have tried to choose moments that best exemplified what makes the character great. Some of the selections might seem surprising as they don’t have Captain America punching out Nazis or super-villains. There are few origin moments, like the first time he faced Red Skull or when he temporarily became Nomadin the 70s. Instead, these are the moments that I believe best capture the inherent spirit,attitude, and greatness of one of comic-doms greatest champions.
10. Captain America Punches Hitler (March, 1941)
Captain America Comics #1
This is the only origin moment on this entire list, but it was so monumental that I had to include it. Captain America Comics #1 was the very first appearance of Captain America…and what an appearance it was. Its cover, drawn by the legendary artist Jack Kirby, remains one of the most striking moments in early comic history: Captain America literally punching Hitler. Considering that this comic was released nine months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the official entry of America into World War Two, it was an incredible reflection of American sentiment.
The cover establishes several things that would become iconic about Captain America: his bright, red, white, and blue costume, his shield (which he would later retire for a round shield), and his young partner Bucky (see the bondage side of Bucky). And, of course, it shows Captain America punching Hitler. It doesn’t get any better than that.