Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


Margaret Case, Ph.D.


Captain America, the Sentinel of Liberty, has been fighting for the protection of American ideals since his Marvel Comics conception in 1941. The character has also been representative of a particular American ideology:The American heroic ideal. Over time, his character has been "retconned" (i.e., updated via retroactive continuity) to keep up with the constantly shifting ideals within a society that both produces and consumes the comic books, movies, and the other cultural productions bearing his name. By examining the original Captain America Comics of the 1940s in contrast to his 21st-century namesake in the film Captain America: the First Avenger (USA, 2011), this thesis reveals not only how his creators infuse the heroic ideal of Captain America into his story, but also how this character recursively contributes new qualities to an ideology that changes with each significant evolution of his character.