MCU Fans Looked Back on all the Captain Americas and Picked Their Favorites

It took some time for Captain America to catch on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Despite being one of Marvel’s iconic characters, his debut movie, The First Avenger did decent but unspectacular business, with even the first Thor topping it financially. 

Then came Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and that was the turning point not just for the character, but for the MCU as a whole. Now fans are going back and reviewing not just the movies, but the different looks Cap has sported. 

Who else has played Steve Rogers besides Chris Evans?

MCU star Chris Evans
MCU star Chris Evans | Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Chris Evans has become so identified with the role of Steve Rogers it’s easy to forget that there were other Captain Americas before him. Some might say it’s also easy to forget there were other Captain America’s because the prior versions didn’t stick in the cultural memory for very long. 

The very first screen Captain America was Dick Purcell, who played the role in the Captain America serial made in 1944, not long after the character was created in 1940. Serials were short movies of about 10 or 15 minutes that usually ended in a cliffhanger that made audiences eagerly await the next installment. It was this form of movie-making that inspired Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

The next widely seen Captain America didn’t come along until a 1979 TV movie where he was played by Reb Brown, who tried to capitalize on his fame by playing in other superhero vehicles like Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel. Perhaps more magnanimous was the 1990 Captain America movie where he was played by Matt Salinger. The general consensus on this version is that it’s better that most people haven’t seen it. 

What’s the fans’ favorite Captain America suit? 

While Captain America’s costume may not seem to be the most obvious subject of controversy, it has caused some. Many fans consider his early costumes, particularly the one he wore in The Avengers to be cheesy-looking. Avengers: Endgame even made fun of this with jokes about Steve Rogers’ derriere. 

On Reddit, a fan posted a photo of MCU Captain America costumes over the years, with eight different designs, although the first is more or less Rogers’ standard issue World War II uniform. The last is the sleek, muscular look of Avengers: Endgame. A number of fans seemed to favor the classic early look. 

One said: “For me personally I love the WWII suit with the leather jacket from The First Avenger, the stealth suit from The Winter Soldier and the scale mail suit from Endgame.”

Another fan chimed in with: “Yeah the actual soldier outfit was always my favorite, he even uses a gun I love it.”

A number of fans favored Infinity War not so much for the suit but for the beard. One fan remarked: “That beard was a character in its own right! People rightly mourned its passing in Endgame.”

The better the movie, the better the Captain America suit?

If we go by the box office, the further along the Captain America movies go, the better they got. First Avenger made $177 million, Winter Soldier made $260 million and Civil War made $408 million. The audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes are 74 percent for First Avenger, 92 percent for Winter Soldier and 89 percent for Civil War, which some have said is really an Avengers movie in all but name. 

If we go by the number of mentions on the Reddit page on the costumes, then Winter Soldier comes out ahead there too. There’s particular love for the stealth suit, which is the suit he wore in the opening raid on the ship. On balance, it seems as though the suits got better along with the movies themselves.

The general consensus for the worst outfit seems to be the original Avengers one, but even that had one passionate defender, who said: “He looks cheesy, he looks corny and comic booky and out of place, but damn if that isn’t what Captain America is all about. He’s proud to flaunt his colors. He should stand out (at least when he’s not on a stealth mission).”