The Evolution of Captain America’s Costume | Yellow Spandex #13 | NowThis Nerd

The Evolution of Captain America’s Costume | Yellow Spandex #13 | NowThis Nerd

Hey guys, I’m Dev, and on the road to ‘Infinity War,’ an Avenger has to look their best. Especially when they’re the living, breathing embodiment of the American flag. I had some ideas about the uniform. No matter who wields the shield, Captain America is bigger than a superhero, he’s a symbol, and his uniform is one of the most enduring comic book costumes ever created. So tight! But the confidence! I can feel the righteousness surging! Today, we’re gonna take a look at how his outfit evolved with the times, and see how Marvel turned wartime propaganda into big-time profit. Let’s talk about Captain America: Stars, Stripes and Spandex In 1940, World War II had been raging on for a year, but the United States had yet to get involved. Before Pearl Harbor, most Americans turned a blind eye to the atrocities happening overseas. Even worse, a lot of not-very-fine people were straight-up Nazi-sympathizers, who marched in the streets and had packed rallies at MSG. The comics industry shied away from politics for the most part, but that didn’t sit right with two Jewish cartoonists named Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. They knew what was happening to their friends and relatives in Europe, and together, they created a character who would embody the American dream, and fight for freedom regardless of the political climate. And it all started in the Comics. The most defining aspect of Cap’s costume is just how little it’s changed throughout the years. Today’s Captain America doesn’t look too different from Joe Simon’s original sketch, with one big, round, Vibranium exception. Cap might be the most famous patriotic superhero ever, but he wasn’t the first. The Archie Comics group beat him to newstands with their character the Shield, and they thought Cap’s weapon of choice looked a little too close for comfort. I hear you’re kind of attached? I took the liberty of coming up with some options. So for issue two, Kirby and Simon came up with the iconic round buckler, added a little more neck protection, and finalized the design that would last for decades. Artists added their own flair over the years, like John Cassaday’s scaly armor, or Rob Liefeld’s… unique anatomy, But his most radical redesign came just before his heel turn to HYDRA, and even though it’s a lot more subdued than the classic red white and blue, it’s still undeniably Cap. His costume is just like Old Glory itself, you can add a star or two, but it never strays too far from the iconic imagery, at least, when Steve Rogers is wearing it. With that, let’s look at some Alternate Attires Freedom prevails! During the Watergate scandal in the ‘70s, Marvel introduced their own corrupt government conspiracy. Mister President! Thanks! Turns out, the president was in cahoots with a supervillain ring called the Secret Empire, not to be confused with last year’s awful storyline. Once he learned the truth, Steve Rogers could no longer rep the red white and blue, so he took up the mantle of Nomad, complete with a brand-new blue and yellow uniform with a plunging neckline, a super deep V, I would say, and a cape that damn near got him killed, because these heroes, they don’t listen to Edna. Oh, he had a great look! The cape and the boots! NO CAPE! You gotta listen to Edna! because life imitates art, KO! WIN! Good work, soldier! Yes, I know, I’ve read the papers. Big McLargehuge! Smoke Manmuscle! Beat Punchbeef! Hack Blowfist! Blast Crunkknuckle! With the movie ‘Batman’ setting box office records faster than you can say ‘holy cash register,’ Hollywood is scrambling to bring more comic book characters to life on the screen. [??????????] Don’t leave me out here!!! What are you doing? Wait a minute! What are you doing?! I’ll give him a little credit, when is this, the ’40s? ’70, ’79? This is 1990. 1990? Okay, it’s bad. Shit! Language! ’cause it looks kinda cartooney. I mean, it’s fine, but, you take what you get. We all dream. So do drugs, kids! Do P.E.D.s, super steroids… Put yourself in a machine, get jacked up on juice… Just say yes! Then, in the ‘80s, after Ronald Reagan was transformed into a hideous snake monster, Cap handed in his shield for a black-and-red outfit, that should be familiar to anyone who’s played ‘Marvel vs. Capcom.’ Bucky Barnes took up the mantle after Steve was briefly killed in the aftermath of the Civil War, and he wore a shiny black Alex Ross-designed costume that made sense for a Cap with red in his ledger. Most recently, another sidekick answered the call of duty in 2014, when an aging Steve passed the shield to Sam Wilson, who added a patriotic paint-job to his Falcon flight suit. Now, in the movies, it’s mostly been Steve Rogers wearing the stars and bars, although Chris Evans’ contract situation being what it is, Infinity War and its secret sequel might be the last time we see classic Cap in action. So before we say goodbye, possibly, let’s look at Silver Screen Steve. Cap was the first Marvel character to make the leap to live action, with a self-titled 1944 serial. It played fast and loose with Cap’s origins, changing him to a district attorney named Grant Gardner, who fought an evil museum curator with a superweapon called the ‘Vibrator.’ The costume is spot on, though! at least in the movie itself, The colors on the poster are all wrong, but seeing as the film was black-and-white, nobody seemed to care too much. 30 years later, Cap exploded onto the small screen with two made-for-TV movies in 1979, played by the none other than the dude from ‘Space Mutiny.’ What was his name again? Around this time, another daredevil decked in red, white,
and blue had captured the imagination of the country: Evel Knievel. And Cap takes some obvious cues from the ‘70s stuntman, including his badass rocket bike. As for the costumes, the second movie is a little more comic accurate, but that still doesn’t excuse the big motorcycle helmet, and clear, wobbly plastic shield. I can’t rightfully hate on these movies too much, after all, it came out ten years before a certain caped crusader changed the way we think about cinematic superheroes, and inspired a new Captain America movie for the ‘90s. Starring Matt Salinjer, the son of ‘Catcher in the Rye’ author J.D. Salinjer, this direct-to-video movie has a lot of problems, from the Italian Red Skull, to Cap’s obsession with stealing people’s cars. but to their credit, the suit is pretty accurate. Maybe too accurate. It looks awkward and extremely uncomfortable, and those cheesy rubber ears sewn into the mask aren’t doing Salinger any favors. I’m sure he tried his best, but for me, we didn’t get to see the true Captain America on screen until The Marvel Cinematic Universe. But before the MCU, there was ‘The Ultimates.’ Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s alternate-universe Avengers
offered a very different vision of Captain America. And while the MCU adapted the classic Cap’s idealistic personality, they based his look on the militaristic uniforms worn by his Ultimate counterpart. Look, I love the little head wings as much as the next guy, and i’m sure they’re aerodynamic or whatever, but Ultimate Cap’s streamlined helmet-mask seems way more practical for the battlefield, and the big screen. I love how his look evolves over the course of ‘The First Avenger,’ from his Golden Age-style USO outfit, to the improvised field uniform, and finally the upgraded carbon polymer costume courtesy of Howard Stark. The next year brought us the first ‘Avengers’ movie, and for everything it gets right, they really dropped the ball on Cap’s costume. Well, Agent Coulson dropped the ball, but his heart was in the right place. The colors are just a little too bright, like it kinda looked like a set costume and they forgot to un-hide all the VFX layers, AND! The mask gives Grant Gustin a run for his money in the ‘superheroes with giant bulbous heads’ department. It looks kind of dated next to the tactical uniforms of Hawkeye and Black Widow, but hey, sometimes people might just need a little old-fashioned. Just like in ‘Winter Soldier,’ where Cap starts out in this dark Stealth suit inspired by the ‘Steve Rogers: Super Soldier’ costume from the comics. But after SHIELD implodes, a fugitive Cap swipes his dusty old WWII uniform from the Smithsonian. And he can just do that because he hasn’t aged or lost any muscle mass in 70 years! ‘Age of Ultron’ found a happy medium between the two, it keeps the same style as the SHIELD uniform, but added Cap’s patriotic flair. In ‘Infinity War,’ Cap seems to be wearing a tattered, desaturated version of the ‘Civil War’ costume, and a triangular shield that looks like a throwback to his very first design. It might be the last outfit Steve Rogers ever wears, judging from rumors, but then again, it’s hard to keep a good Avenger down. Or Falcon or Bucky could just go ‘I’ll take this’ as soon as he dies. All-in-all, when it comes to Cap, only one thing is for certain: No matter who’s got the bigass ‘A’ on their forehead, ‘If you’re gonna fight a war, you’ve got to wear a uniform.’ CTA Hey guys thanks for watching. Do you think Cap is gonna die in Infinity War? And if so, who do you want to see replace him? Falcon or Bucky or the Winter Soldier or the White Wolf… Or someone else entirely! Let me know in the comments, And as always, Please subscribe to NTN.

100 Replies to “The Evolution of Captain America’s Costume | Yellow Spandex #13 | NowThis Nerd”

  1. Thanks for watching, nerds! Yellow Spandex is back as we rev up for 'Infinity War,' so let us know which Marvel character you want us to cover next!

  2. His avengers suit is honestly my favorite because it is so comic acurate but unlike 1990, looks like someting you can fight supervillians in.

  3. I predict that if Cap bites it in Infinity War, Hawkeye will be the new cap. This is precisely why Hawkeye isn't in any of the promotional material. Best. Twist. Ever. Also, they will CGI a moustache on Jeremy Renner, just because. And it will look horrible.

  4. I think falcon taking up the mantle would be neat with bucky morphing into white wolf. I'd like to see them both team up for their own movie

  5. I hope that if cap dies then Spider Man would take up the uniform. I know that there's no evidence and that Spider Man is leaning more to the Iron Spider side of things, but at least it would make for one really awesome looking costume.

  6. If anyone replaces Cap in the films, I think it’ll have to be Falcon, I think Bucky has redeemed himself but not enough to dawn the red white and blues.

  7. Came off Infinity War, not giving any spoilers because it seems almost everyone has watched it already ✌

  8. Makes me think….. what if Avengers 4 ends with Cap going back in time, living his life, keeping Shield from being infested by Hydra, forming an early Avengers team with Pym, Janet, and whoever else, then he becomes director of Shield in the new modern timeline. He would've recruited Sam and made him the new Captain America while he also would've known to save Bucky from the Hydra nutts.

  9. "Bucly, or falcon, or the winter soldier, or white wolf" might wanna throw James Barnes into that mix too.

  10. He definitely said the same person 3 times at the end. In the mcu Bucky, Winter Soldier and White Wolf are all the same person 😂; though honsetly the guy should just pick a name already.

  11. Eh wrong. The suit from the museum is just a replica of his original suit. That one was damaged when he went under ice

  12. As a U.S. Army vet, Captain America is the mist awesome hero ever…but the 616 version sux compared to the ultimate version…

  13. The stars and bars is the nickname for the first national flag of the Confederacy. Come to think of it, an alternate reality Cap'n Confederacy would be pretty cool.

  14. I do like the avengers suit for Captain America. Not necessarily the look, it could have certainly looked better. But the costume looks really bright, like Cap's stage costume that he wears with the singing ladies. And since Coulson made it he probably based it on the look of his vintage Captain America cards or the old stage costume.

  15. Spoilers
    "Or Falcon and Bucky could just go, 'I'll take this' as soon as he dies…"
    Yeah, about that…

  16. I'm jealous of Cap, I've always wanted to be injected with blue Gatorade

  17. I like the Ultimate Captain America suit as it still has the scales and fits the modernization of that comic line. I’m a fan of the grey parts and the stars on his shoulders. The First Avenger suit was based on it. I also like the Marvel Now suit as it combines “the Avengers” suit with the classic one.

  18. ..and the costume you show as '
    "caps black costume"as The Captain, is not shown.. you show the costume from the capcom game.

  19. I remember there was a person that looked like Cap, but he was in all black and I'm pretty sure his name was Agent something.

  20. I'd love to see Bucky take over as Cap. Falcon is an established hero in his own right at this point in the MCU, while all Bucky's done is die in WWII, be evil for a few decades, and hide in Wakanda. He's not known, and could easily step in to fill Steve's shoes. Plus the mask and costume could help hide his identity as the guy who terrorized D.C. a few years back.

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