|How it all began for me|
Fast forward 34 years and I'm sitting in a cinema watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the opening scenes a mercenary named Batroc has hijacked a ship and a goofy grin spreads across my face as I come full circle.
|Batroc - movie and comic version (they kept the suit!)|
However, I had several problems with the character. For one, I didn't care for the gung-ho, propagandist, America-the-great aspect. Two, the costume seemed silly to me. Three, Steve Rogers was such a goody-goody that I found him dull. In short, I didn't have an "in" to the character; a handle by which I could understand the motivations and complexities, the inner life.
|Evolution of a uniform - one of these is silly|
As for the key to opening up the character, they went with "sacrifice." That's the one consistent element throughout the narrative: Steve Rogers gives up everything and has to come to terms with the post-war world we have made. It's a fascinating take. What would a Churchill or a Roosevelt make of our modern world in which we surrender our hard-won freedoms in the name of security and wage wars of choice rather than necessity?
The journey from WWII icon to government sceptic continues for Steve Rogers in the next movie and in some ways is the reverse of my own path from being iffy about the character to now having him as a firm favourite. A hero who literally sacrifices everything to save the world, only to find that sacrifice might have been wasted - that's my kind of story.