Of course, the idea of Captain America as “boring” has already been debunked by the $580 million his new movie just made at the box office. What we’re really talking about here isn’t Captain America as a character, but the way we react to blockbuster movie protagonists who aren’t morally ambiguous antiheroes.
In the 21st century, this kind of pure-hearted, optimistic hero is too often seen as childish and shallow, hence why so many people perceive Cap to be a stodgy do-gooder. The assumption is that in order to modernize an old-fashioned hero into a “serious” character, he needs to get darker. In other words, the infamous gritty reboot.
No matter how much time the Captain America films spend on real-world topics like PTSD and surveillance culture, in many people’s eyes they will never be truly respectable until the lead character starts acting like an asshole.
Good article. I was particularly amused by its description of CA:WS as an "F.U." to Man of Steel.
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