– by Joseph Jammer Medina

2016 has seen a massive change in the Marvel Universe.  Coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of Captain America we have seen a changing of the guard at the lead of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The character of Captain America was introduced in the comic’s universe in 1941 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.  Created as patriotic superhero who would fight the Axis Powers of World War II to create patriotism in the hearts of young men.  Time and time again the character of Steve Rogers has been pushed aside in the comic universe only to see him come back stronger than before.  Captain America comics were discontinued in 1950 as the public had gotten over the end of World War II only to see his character come back to publication by Marvel Comics in 1964. 

Throughout the years Captain America would headline events in the Avengers series but was cast aside in the 80’s and 90’s for bigger super-heroes in the Marvel Comics Universe like Spider-man, X-Men, Hulk, and Deadpool.  It wouldn’t be until Marvel’s massive crossover “Civil War” event in 2006 that we saw Steve Rogers take the lead of the Marvel Comic Universe.  It was shortly lived when at the end of the crossover event Steve Rogers was shot and killed.  The popularity of Steve Rogers would see him come back to life but since has seen his shield taken over by Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson.  Every time we have seen Steve taken away he seems to come back stronger than ever.  Case in point is the new comic series “Captain America: Steve Rogers” blew up the internet when it was revealed Steve Rogers was Hydra.

Transition of Movies: Captain America vs. Iron Man

Since the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man has been the leading character over the series of movie.  Over the path of 8 years when comparing Captain America’s movies versus Iron Man’s movies you can notice that Cap’s franchise has grown considerably over the years where Iron Man movies have plateaued. 

Three years the major discussion when it came to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is how long Marvel could keep Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.  Now that discussion has transitioned over to Chris Evans as Captain America.  The popularity of Chris Evans has increased dramatically after “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and now especially since “Captain America: Civil War”.  What was once assumed that either Sebastian Stan “Winter Soldier” or Anthony Mackie “Falcon” would take over as Captain America just like in the comics would be an easy transition, has turned into a difficult one.  With Captain America movies progressively getting better and better it will not be easy to take Chris Evans as Steve Rogers out of Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Popularity of Captain America in the Media

The 75th Anniversary of Captain America has seen how important Steve Rogers is to the Comic Universe.  Early this year ABC ran an hour long special before an Agents of Shield episode that chronicled the history of Captain America.  IGN.com ran a poll of “The Marvel Universes Cinematic Most Popular Character” which saw Captain America beat out Iron Man, Star Lord, and Spider-man.

Marvel Hasbro has even increased its toy line to feature more Captain American items.  While the likes of Iron Man, Spider-man, and Hulk have consistently had plenty of shelf space at the stores they have had to move over this year for Cap. 

2016 has turned into a great year for Marvel and Captain America.  It is safe to assume that Steve Rogers is here to stay for a while.  The greatest challenge that lies ahead for Marvel is how to keep Chris Evans around for a couple more films.

Source: Marvel, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Hasbro, ABC

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.