Full Name: Steven Grant Rogers
Alias: Captain America
Type: Feature Character
Origins: Marvel FC – Age of X continuity
In his own time, Steve Rogers was a scrawny kid who wanted nothing more than to serve his country. He got that wish when he survived the Super-Soldier Serum. He became Captain America, the Star-Spangled Man With The Plan – not just a consummate soldier and leader of men, but a symbol of all his country stood for.
Now? Now he's nobody. The world he was a part of is gone. Everyone he knew is dead. It's time for him to start again, but it's hard to leave an entire life behind…
Steve Rogers. Asthmatic, scrawny, flat-footed Steve Rogers had the heart of a lion somewhere in that pigeon chest. The Serum magnified that, making him the man on the outside that he was on the inside. There's a reason Dr. Erskine picked him, and there's a reason beyond the Serum that he became so famous an icon as Captain America: he really stood for everything good about America. Everything Americans wanted to see themselves as, everything Americans wanted to be seen by the world as, Steve Rogers really was. Brave. Generous. Gentle. Strong. Self-sacrificing. A mighty leader. The champion of the common man.
It was his willingness to sacrifice himself for others that got him into trouble. In order to make certain a devastating payload never reached America's shores, he crashed into a lonely stretch of the north Atlantic. He should have died then – by all rights, he should have been gone in minutes.
Destiny – or maybe Fate – had other ideas.
They discovered him in the twenty-first century, and it wasn't long before tragedy struck the land again. This time, though, it was America's own shores under attack by an enemy in their midst. Some time, at some point, Charles Xavier was killed or disillusioned or for some other reason never started his school. Never scoured the country for talented youngsters to train and raise with his values. As a result, they had no brave leader, no gentle advocate, no eloquent speaker. They had Hank McCoy until he was assassinated in a rally. They could have had Jean Grey, but the girl who never learned to control her powers lost control and destroyed the city of Albany – six hundred thousand citizens – before she was neutralized.
General Frank Castle recruited Captain America among with several others of the finest heroes of the age. They formed the Avengers and were tasked with taking back the country from the invaders within. It wasn't a hatred of mutants that drove most of them, though Dr. Banner's loathing of all mutant-kind was enough for everyone else combined. Their final mission was to find Magneto, the leader of the mutant resistance, and bring him in if he came quietly. That prospect seemed unlikely, and they were given the discretion to shoot to kill.
They found Fortress X and fought their way inside. Perhaps it was confusion. Perhaps it was the fog of war. Perhaps it was the horrible fact that a soldier who kills long enough becomes used to it, even begins to enjoy it. He didn't mean to kill the unarmed woman, but it was his finger that pulled the trigger. He didn't realize she was unarmed, and she didn't realize she was defending a room of mutant children. Mystique's final words touched him, drew him out of that red fog and showed him that his cause was not just. She forced him to realize that he had gone against his own ethics, his own honor, and he called off the mission.
That wasn't to be the end of it, though. Tony Stark – Iron Man, but formerly so grievously wounded and infected with a debilitating virus that he was permanently fused to his suit, that he had renamed himself 'Steel Corpse' – was taken over, overridden, by the suit's own programming. Cap might not want to continue the mission, but Tony wasn't going to be given the option. The suit's emergency override – Castle knew Rogers might not go through with the mission – took over his motor functions and he aimed his own gun at the children. The man still had his mind, though, and he begged Steve to stop him. Steve did the only thing he could. One bullet to the back of Tony's head was all it took.
General Castle still had an ace or two up his sleeve – in particular, the Hulk and a nuke on a suicide charge. Captain America turned to the remaining mutants, inspiring them to fight alongside him and the rest of the Avengers against their common enemy. He did his best. They all did. And because of him, many lived who would have died.
He wasn't among them. When the bomb went off it killed so many, but his enhanced physique meant he was far more durable. It took him longer to die. Before he passed, Legacy – called Rogue in other worlds – came to him, drawing in his essence so that he and his story could be shared with the survivors. So that his memory would live on.
Ironic, that – given that the world itself was not real.
All that happened, every atrocity, every death, every cry of pain was a mass hallucination in the tortured mind of a mutant – Legion, the son of Charles Xavier. But it was a world fully-realized and, for a short time, it existed. Where does a world go when it ends?
Some of it washes ashore in the Endless City. Steve Rogers awoke here, unaccountably alive, unaccountably filled with more memories than his own. Many, even most, are locked away; nevertheless they remain in his mind as the final legacy of a dead world. He remembers what he did, though, and that's enough.
Steve Rogers is a leader of men. He can rally anyone to a common cause by sheer force of personality. He's a friendly guy even when he isn't bucking up the troops, willing to sit down and have a mug of beer with his friends. He isn't the life of the party, exactly: he's an old-school kind of guy, the sort who will reflexively open a door for a lady and pull out her chair, who will refuse to back down from a fight and will stand up to bullying and disrespect. He cares deeply for his friends and teammates, and in return they'll follow him through the gates of hell out of love and trust. He's utterly sincere. Always.
He is truly the best of us. He's everything we want to be. He's not infallible, but his impulse, his instinct, is to do the right thing. And he has a pretty good idea of what that is: a real sense of right and wrong. Even in a world with shades of gray. You put others before yourself. You stop people from getting hurt. You stand up to bullies and you don't back down.
Super Soldier: Steve's as strong, fast, nimble, and enduring as a human could ever be. He isn't *quite* superhuman, but he is at the absolute pinnacle of human capability. He heals a little faster than a person in peak physical condition can and, due to the serum's ability to keep him constantly in fighting trim, he never gets truly fatigued. “Body reading” and such don't really work on him: he doesn't have those miniscule fluctuations of blood pressure, for example, that ordinary humans do. It gives him a marvelous poker face and the ability to be quite unpredictable in a fight. He thinks faster, and though he isn't quite super-intelligent, he's quick on his feet and highly capable of learning. The serum's effect on his natural aging process is currently unclear: to Steve's perspective, it's only been a few years since he took it.
Tactics: One of the finest tactical minds on Earth.
Leadership: He could turn a lot of dispirited enemies around and march them to victory against the oppressor.
Fitness and Fighting: He's an excellent marksman, excellent fighting hand to hand, incredibly physically fit and capable of impressive acrobatic feats. He's also highly adept at throwing that shield of his around, bouncing it off obstacles, and even – if he needs to – using it as a shield.
Training: He's expressive and patient, quite capable of training others in what he can do to the best of their ability to learn.
Soldiering: The aforesaid fighting and tactics are important. He is adept with military equipment, even if it's rather advanced. He's also capable of a little espionage when necessary: when he must deceive, he's good at it, and he can absorb reconnaissance and intelligence very quickly.
Art: He really did want to draw comic books. Steve can draw and paint with accuracy and a typically lighthearted style all his own.
Vibranium Shield: The famous red, white, and blue shield. It's indestructible by any normal (and most abnormal) means and absorbs any blow or blast hitting it without harming the wielder. It's also very aerodynamic and can be thrown to knock people down, to ricochet along the walls, and to return to his hand.
Costume: It does more than just look good – the suit protects Cap against most small arms fire and edged weaponry as well as elemental damage like fire and electricity. Rifles and nastier weapons will still penetrate it, but it's as flexible as cloth.
Reputation: Most everyone, no matter the universe, knows Captain America. They know just what kind of man he is. Heroic types are a lot more likely to trust and work with him for that reason. He does also have the rank of Captain in the US Army even if his world doesn't technically exist.
Willpower: Torture him. Threaten him. He'll still do the right thing. He can hold out a very, very long time – more so than most people – against any kind of torture or brainwashing.
Idealism: He truly believes that people are basically good. He finds the goodness and strength in people and helps them find it in themselves.
Man Out Of Time: He was born almost a hundred years ago. He's still only about thirty. And the world he belonged to doesn't actually exist anymore – and technically never did. He's the only one who knows his history and that of his world. It bears some resemblance in parts to the real world.
PTSD: Or shell-shock. Flashbacks. He's spent his adult life in one war after another and while he may be the perfect soldier, he's not immune to war's effects. It's not crippling, but he does have rough dreams and sketchy moments.
Reputation: Heroes admire him, yes. Bad guys want him dead. Other folks? Well, the American Way is so outdated, isn't it? Many won't look past the color of his uniform and will blame him for everything they don't like about his country.
Idealism: He can seem a little naive. He really believes everyone has a better nature. Mostly everyone. He's more or less given up on Red Skull, say. He is NOT, however, 'Lawful Stupid'. Nevertheless, people will assuredly underestimate him – and he does let his ideals stand in the way of pragmatism. Bring them in alive. Talk if you can avoid fighting. Don't let innocents get hurt.