In 2011, Chris Evans traded in the ability to burst into flames for a nearly indestructible shield and switched from one blue bodysuit to another in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Steve Rogers would become the last member of the team we met before Marvel’s The Avengers changed the cinematic world as we know it. Decades before he would become one of the leaders of the Avengers, he was the focus of his own solo film where we got to learn about his origin story and what he did before being frozen in a glacier.
Captain America: The First Avenger also introduced us to Hydra, the origins of S.H.I.E.L.D., James “Bucky” Barnes, and Agent Peggy Carter, now the star of her own television series. Given that’s it’s been four years and six films since we first met the Captain, take this opportunity to look through some of the best lines from Captain America: The First Avenger. The fact that today is July 4th only sweetens the pot.
“Don’t win the war ‘til I get there.” – Steve Rogers
Back when he was still a scrawny, 90-pound runt, Steve Rogers was determined to go to war and serve his country. So much so that he faked his name and attempted to register multiple times (that’s super illegal, by the way). This line is deep in foreshadowing given that, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Steve would go on to play a major role in the Allies winning The Great War.
“Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.” – Dr. Abraham Erskine
Pre-super soldier Steve didn’t have any of the surface-level attributes that you’d look for in a “perfect soldier.” But something he had plenty of was a good heart. Knowing what kind of physical change Steve would be going through, if the experiment went well, Dr. Erskine reminds him to stay true to himself.
“No, I don’t have a procedure tomorrow! Drink it after? I’ll drink it now!” – Dr. Abraham Erskine
Steve wasn’t exactly going under the knife, but it wouldn’t be wise to mix alcohol and a super-soldier serum. But, in hindsight, he probably would’ve taken that drink anyway because, as a result of his transformation, he can no longer get drunk or even catch a buzz. That really should’ve been one of the listed side effects of the procedure.
“I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t like bullies; I don’t care where they’re from.” – Steve Rogers
After being picked on and kicked around his entire life, a normal man would be a little bitter. Luckily, Steve wasn’t normal. His hesitance to kill anyone is what made him stick out most as a candidate to become the perfect soldier.
“Vibranium. It’s stronger than steel and a third the weight. It’s completely vibration absorbent.” – Howard Stark
Luke Skywalker has his light saber. Hawkgirl has her mace. Batman has his utility belt. Captain America? He has his shield. From the genius mind of Howard Stark, Cap is introduced to the tool he’ll use to fight most of his battles. Also, as a Black Panther fan, this made me giggle in a way that I’m a bit embarrassed to admit.
“You don’t have one of those, do you?” – Bucky Barnes
For Bucky, this is a whole lot to take in. Not only is his best friend a foot taller and 125 pounds heavier, but for a second, it seems like there’s a chance he doesn’t have a face. Lucky for him, the super-soldier serum had been improved by the time it was administered to Steve.
Peggy: How do you feel?
One of Captain America’s most memorable moments is seeing him triple in size and quintuple in strength. But all he could grasp in that moment was that he was a lot taller. Can’t blame the guy, though. Did you see him before?
“I’m not kissing you.” – Col. Chester Phillips
Tommy Lee Jones was brought into the movie to fill the role of the stubborn, old authority figure who gains respect for the hero over time. His natural Droopy dog look sold the performance and made funny lines like this even more entertaining.
“I know this neighborhood. I got beat up in that alley. And that parking lot. And behind that diner.” – Steve Rogers
Okay, we get it. You got beat up a lot. But this is so not how you want your first conversation with a woman you love to go – unless you’re trying to go for the vulnerable approach. But, even then, this could be considered overdoing it.
“Yes. I think it works.” – Peggy Carter
There’s no point in having a shield if it can’t stop bullets.
“Fondue is just cheese and bread, my friend… The moment you think you know what’s going on in a woman’s head is the moment your goose is well and truly cooked.” – Howard Stark
Maybe Steve currently has so much tension with Tony Stark because he still isn’t over his dad trying to put the moves on Peggy. If that’s the case, the groundwork for Captain America: Civil War was laid a long, long time ago.
“Let’s go find two more!” – Col. Chester Phillips
The theory is that for every one Hydra agent you get rid of, two more come back. In that case, the best defense is to just chop away as many heads as you can. Just ask Hercules how well that worked out for him.
“Peggy…I’m gonna need a rain check on that dance.” – Steve Rogers
Oh, the heart strings! After finally getting the courage to confess how they’ve always felt for each other, Steve and Peggy have to accept that they won’t get the dance they’ve talked about sharing. With both of them thinking that Steve wouldn’t make it through the crash, this was meant to be a final farewell. But — and spoilers — this isn’t half as heartbreaking as their moment in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
“The game… it’s from May 1941. I know because I was there. Now I’m gonna ask you again. Where am I?” – Steve Rogers
You know, for a worldwide spy organization, you’d think that S.H.I.E.L.D. would be smart enough to play the audio from a baseball game that was played after Steve got frozen. Just to be safe. But, what do I know? I’m no super-spy. I’m just a guy sitting in front of a computer.
Steve Rogers: Trying to get me back in the world?
Nick Fury: Trying to save it…
And now we present you with, [insert drumroll], THE AVENGERS.