Last year we saw a comic Icon step onto the big screen for the second time (lets not mention the first one shall we, we know it happened... lets leave it at that) and it was an excellent outing. Filled with action and adventure, set in the second world war, packed with snippets of cool stuff for the big fans like a shot of the original Human Torch in a display tube or the sign on the taxi door, little gems there for the geeks and Nerds yet its main objective was to win over the audience taking their first step into Cap's world...and it worked. The script was tight, the visuals were excellent, the plot a sound blend of comic folk lore and re imagined Ultimates that delivered on every level. I loved it.
One of things that made it stand the test of the screen was the decision to base the costume on the ultimates version, functional, armoured, bulky, and cool. This made him look cool, dulled the flag and took the sticky out wings off his head, all of which were very good moves, but we have a debate now. A quandary. A niggle that has arisen since The Avengers movie came out. The costume modernisation meant he didn't look as cool.I'd like to address this if I may.
Captain America is an Icon of the comic world, one of the big boys, no doubt, hell he is an Avenger through and through. He's a man that works on a set of rules that transcend the flag he carries and he has always been that man. When the government has put pressure on Steve Rogers in the past we have watched him walk away from the costume and the shield. He stands for a fair playing field, every person judged on what they do and say not the colour of their skin or their country of origin. For me, he is the greatest Avenger. But that's not all he is, he's also a man lost in time.
Captain America 'died' in world war two, he was lost to the world. A legend reborn when he was found encased in ice and rescued. He comes from a world where the Nazi's are still the greatest threat to the world, a world without the Internet, super sonic flight, no man had set foot on the moon and America was an emerging world power rather than the force that they have become by the twenty first century. His world is very different to ours and his costume in world war two reflects the soldier, the warrior, the man who fights and kills on the front line for freedom. That costume represents a time when he needed the hooks for his parachute, the armour to stop bullets, the gun to kill Nazis.
In the Avengers Nick Fury recruits Rogers to be part of his strike force but he doesn't bring him in just because he's a great soldier, not just because he was augmented by the Super Soldier Serum. He wants him in because Captain America is a symbol, not just of American might but of what a person can achieve. Therefore it seems obvious to me that the world war two costume would be a step backwards. Its a symbol of war and firmly lodged in the past. He needed to have something modern, more optimistic, something that looked heroic, not functional.