So you think you’re a Captain America fan, huh? The new movie’s out and suddenly everyone and their mother knows all about Super-Soldier serums, Bucky Barnes, the Red Skull and Dr. Erskine. Well, I’m happy to see the Star-Spangled Avenger’s mug (and shield!) plastered all over the place from donuts to gum promotions. But I’ve been a Cap fan since the 3rd Grade. I suffered through the rubber-ears, straight-to-DVD Matt Salinger Captain America movie. I read and collected well over 100 issues of a painful Mark Gruenwald run (yes, there were some great storylines smattered through, but overall definitely not Cap’s finest moments) on Marvel’s Captain America series, Cap-Wolf and all. And I”m here to tell you that I’m not just a Cap fan, but I’m a way bigger Captain America fan than you are. And here’s 10 things to prove it.
Remember board games? I think Toys R Us still sells a few besides the latest crappy-TV-sitcom-version of Monopoly. But the ’70s, hoo boy, was that a decade of board games. Or bored games if you want to be a bit more accurate. There were wayyyy too many comic book-themed games out, most of which consisted of a board, colored playing pieces and, if you’re lucky, a spinner. Last one to the finish line wins! Yeah, the most exciting twist was always a “Sub-Mariner forgot his lunch. Swim back to start” type of space. Well, the Star-Spangled Avenger was no different. And as boring and crappy as the Captain America game is (even though it features the Falcon and the Avengers!), I’m proud to say that I still own a copy. I’m not proud to say that my 6-year-old son easily kicked my ass in it last time we played.
Drink Up, the Lead Paint’s Fine
And speaking of the glorious ’70s… remember when Burger King and McDonald’s were offering all those awesome Star Wars glasses but kept doing recalls because of lead paint? Well, they weren’t the only ones. Plenty of other stores jumped on the collectible glasses bandwagon. Like 7-11 for instance who put out this Captain America glass, recreating the cover to issue #190 of his original series.
Custom Captain America Shield
Working at Wizard magazine certainly had its perks. Free comics being one of the better ones. But an insane network of geek resources was just as good. For one of my birthdays, my good buddy and former Wizard Editor-in-Chief Pat McCallum commissioned someone in the midwest to create a custom-built Captain America shield for me out of fiberglass. The thing is a work of art. It’s big. It’s heavy. And it has huge leather straps. Not sure if it can stop bullets or not, but it sits proudly in my office as I type this!
Take a Shot
Shh… nobody tell Marvel, since I’m betting this one’s not so officially licensed. But nothing’s more American than tossing back a swig of Jack Daniels with your very own Captain America shot glass.
My Mona Lisa
Another perk of having worked at Wizard magazine was working with so many talented comic book professionals. I headed up a column called “Basic Training” where every month a different comic artist would do a “How to Draw” column on a specific topic. My Holy Grail was finally landing a “How to Draw Group Shots” column from the insanely talented (and incredibly super awesome nice guy) George Perez. He’s easily one of my favorite comic artists and getting to work with him on a column that included Captain America and the Avengers was just, well, a geek’s dream come true. When the column was done and I had sent the artwork back to George, I called to thank him and actually ask if I could buy the one piece he did of Captain America because I loved it so much. George refused. And instead, signed the artwork and sent it back to me for free.
Burn, Baby, Burn
When your college girlfriend takes a candle-making class and she knows you’re a monstrous comic book geek (and yet, still continues to date you), you find yourself the proud owner of a Captain America Shield candle.
What’s in the Box?
Thanks to that Captain America flick hitting theaters now, there’s a battalion of Cap action figures swarming shelves right now. But no matter how articulated or shiny they are, none, as in none, will be cooler than the Mego Captain America and his super-cool Captain Americar. Sure, Cap fans will still have their Mego Cap, but only true fans will have the Americar AND the box it came in.
There’s a Little Cap in all of Us
Okay, any real Cap fan could buy these. But only a true Super-Soldier would buy these AND wear them in an attempt to make his wife weak in the knees. [NOTE: Results may vary.]
If you’re a huge Captain America fan, you will accept nothing short of perfection on your 30th birthday. Such as this amazingly, awesome (and fantabulicious!) Captain America’s shield cake my wife painstakingly made for me a number of years ago. No, I didn’t try throwing it.
Cold, Hard Facts
Did YOU have a Captain America ice sculpture at your wedding? Did you? Yeah, didn’t think so. Game. Set. And match.