Steven "Steve" Rogers
Nomad, The Captain, Steven Grant Rogers, Roger Stevens, Yeoman America, Cap, The Sentinel of Liberty, Star-Spangled Avenger; also has impersonated Crossbones
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Captain America Comics #1 (1941)
Captain America Comics #1 (1941)
Steve Rogers was a scrawny fine arts student growing up during the Great Depression. His alcoholic father died when Steve was a child, and his mother passed away from pneumonia after he graduated high school. In early 1940, appalled at Nazi Germany’s horrific atrocities, Steve attempted to enlist in the army. Failing to pass physical requirements, he was invited to volunteer for Operation: Rebirth, a project intended to enhance US soldiers to the height of physical perfection via the inventions and discoveries of Professor Abraham Erskine. Rogers eagerly accepted and became the first test subject. After injections and ingestion of the "Super Soldier Serum," Rogers was 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. Soon after, Professor Erskine was assassinated by a Nazi operative, leaving Steve the sole beneficiary of Erskine’s genius. Renamed “Project: Rebirth,” variations of the Super-Soldier serum were subsequently tested, under inhuman conditions, on African-American soldiers. The most successful of these was Isaiah Bradley, and Project: Rebirth’s resources were eventually absorbed into a multinational superhuman research project dubbed Weapon Plus.Red Skull (Johann Shmidt). Wearing a costume based on his own design modeled after the American flag, Steve was given a triangular bulletproof shield, a personal sidearm and the codename Captain America, the Sentinel of Liberty. He was also provided a cover identity as a clumsy infantry private at Camp Lehigh in Virginia. His first opponents included the Red Skull himself and Nazi attempts to duplicate Erskine’s serum with their own super soldiers. During a mission to the African nation of Wakanda, “Cap” befriended the nation’s ruler T’Chaka and obtained a sample of the rare metal Vibranium. Subsequent experiments with this metal produced a uniquely indestructible Vibranium-steel alloy disc, which proved impossible to duplicate. The disc was given to Cap as his new shield.
Barely out of his teens himself, Rogers made friends with the army’s camp mascot, teenager James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes. Barnes accidentally learned of Rogers' dual identity and offered to keep the secret if he could become Captain America's sidekick. Rogers agreed, and trained Barnes. Throughout 1941, Cap and Bucky shared many adventures stateside and throughout the world. When the US entered World War II, Cap and Bucky teamed with the android Human Torch, his mutant sidekick Toro, and Namor the ocean-dwelling Sub-Mariner as the Allied force the Invaders.
In the closing days of World War II in early 1945, Cap broke through Nazi troops for his final wartime confrontation with the Red Skull, who was seemingly slain by bombing debris (but lived on in suspended animation). Days later, Cap and Bucky arrived in England too late to prevent brilliant Nazi scientist Baron Zemo from obtaining and launching an experimental drone plane armed explosive device on it. Rogers and Barnes reached the plane, but when Bucky tried to defuse the bomb, it exploded in mid-air. Rogers was hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. The US government presumed both were dead. However, Bucky was secretly retrieved by Soviet operatives, while Cap was recovered by Nazi agent Lyle Dekker, who hoped to exchange bodies with him. Cap escaped Dekker’s base by air, but was shot down and fell back into the ocean. Due to the Super-Soldier serum Captain America survived, entering a state of suspended animation and eventually freezing in solid ice.
Recent events have been tumultuous for Captain America. As the passage of the the Superhuman Registration Act drew near, Maria Hill (the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.) propositioned Rogers and the Avengers to join S.H.I.E.L.D. in enforcing the act. When he refused, Hill had her trained "Superhuman Response Unit" attack him. During the scuffle Rogers avoided being tranquilized and managed to escape by lodging his shield in an aircraft and forcing the pilot to fly him to safety. Soon after, at the Baxter Building the Watcher told the heroes who had gathered there about the Captain's escape. Captain America soon became the de facto leader of the Secret Avengers, heroes fighting against the registration act, much to the consternation of his erstwhile friend Iron Man. While the two made sporadic attempts to reconcile during the Civil War, the clashes between their respective teams became more and more heated, ultimately leading to a pitched battle in the middle of New York City. At the end of the battle, as Cap was about to deliver a finishing blow to Iron Man, he was tackled by several emergency workers. Realizing the damage the war was doing to the city and its civilian population, Captain America unmasked and surrendered as Steve Rogers.