You’ll all be more than familiar with Chris Evans’s portrayal of Steve Rogers in the MCU. You may not, however, be as aware that in the annals of Marvel publications, there have been several other soldiers who have borne the mantle of Captain America over the years.
The comics make it clear that after Rogers was lost in action, the U.S. government continued to progress a number of Super Soldier programs, which produced several other Captain Americas, all of whom were deeply affected by the role.
Modern day readers of Marvel will be aware that Bucky Barnes filled the role of Cap for a time after his subsequent death at the end of Civil War. The role has also been more recently taken over by Sam Rogers, The Falcon. Both of these are characters who have already been cast and portrayed in the MCU. So below are a list of 5 Caps we are yet to see introduced, and how they could best be bought to life:
5. Frank Castle (Punisher)
In the wake of Crossbones’s apparent murder of Steve Rogers, Frank Castle decided that someone had to make a stand for the American people. Fashioning his traditional uniform into a starred and striped variant, he took on a new Hate Monger down on the Mexican border, and despite victory, found the burden of responsibility too great to bear. This attracted the attention of Bucky Barnes, who the Punisher recognized (after a short fight), was a more appropriate candidate for the role of Captain America.
I’ll take any excuse to get the legend that is Frank Castle onto our screens. That aside, he plays a key role in the Civil War storyline, and when someone eventually does have to pick up the baton in the subsequent films when Chris Evans decides to move on, who better to throw his hat into the ring than the Punisher? Cinematic universe, baby, all the way…
4. Isaiah Bradley (Red, White and Black)
Whilst Steve Rogers was undergoing the treatment and training that would convert him into Cap, a rival project was taking place elsewhere in the U.S., involving 300 African American soldiers.
Bradley was the only survivor of the program, and in the subsequent efforts by the government to kill the survivors and cover up the affair, he escaped to the front, and fought the Germans in a Captain America costume on his own terms.
Becoming a reclusive legend in the postwar years, he is a patriarchal figure to African American heroes such as Luke Cage and Falcon. He is also the grandfather of Eli Bradley, AKA: Patriot.
Given his heroic activities during the war years, and need to keep one step ahead of a government trying to deny his existence, the racial and political questions his character raise would best play out via an encounter with Agent Carter on his return to be US.
3. Frank Simpson (Nuke)
In the mainstream Marvel Universe, Simpson was a damaged product of the Weapon X project, complete with cybernetic enhancements and drug supplements. In the Ultimate variant, however, Simpson was the man chosen to replace Cap during the Vietnam war.
Stalking the jungles of Vietnam, having carved a ragged image of the U.S. flag onto his face, Simpson became disillusioned with the violence and death of the conflict.
This emotionally damaged Captain came to hate all things American and became a rogue, Colonel Kurtz-like figure. Resurfacing after the war, Rogers encountered Simpson trying to sell his blood to foreign aggressors to aid their attempts at replicating his powers.
Nuke would be best presented as a series antagonist in Agents of SHIELD. A shadowy and mysterious secret the organization once tried to hide, who comes back to wreak havoc on the American people.
2. John Walker (U.S. Agent)
In the 1970’s, when Rogers found himself in conflict with the U.S. Govt and temporarily abandoned the role of Captain America, they turned to former soldier turned powered hero Walker as a replacement.
Demonstrating too great a propensity to kill his opponents, Walker struggled with the role, suffering a mental breakdown in the wake of his parents being murdered. With the return of Rogers, Walker adopted the costume role of US Agent, and has remained a regular figure in the marvel universe since. He’s been a member of several incarnations of Avengers, and Omega Flight, before becoming governor of The Raft when we was crippled during the Siege storyline.
With such an emotional journey through a rich and varied backstory, the character of Walker is easily deserving of a supporting role in one of the forthcoming movies, either Civil War or Cap 3. He would be a fitting ally or opponent of any current Captain America.
1. William Burnside (1950’s Cap)
In the post-war years, Rogers-devotee Burnside underwent surgery and treatment to resemble his absent idol. He and his partner Jack Monroe were administered a variant of the super soldier serum, and became the new Cap and Bucky. But the serum was unstable, and when mixed with the paranoia and suspicion of the Anti-communist era, the two become psychotic and delusional, believing everybody they met to be red sympathizers and enemy agents. Following violent confrontations, the two were apprehended and placed into suspended animation. Burnside was later reanimated in the aftermath of Civil War, and began a misguided vendetta against Bucky, who was then acting as the new Cap.
Having been frozen in the 50’s and reanimated in modern day, Burnside could be introduced in either Agent Carter, or indeed Agents of Shield, with either series tracking his descent into madness and confused return to the modern day.
What did you think of the list? Let us know in the comment section at the bottom of the page!