|Played by Dani|
Battle for New York, Marvel's The Avengers
Not all of Steve’s talents originated from a lab. There are quite a few reasons as to why he is so frequently lauded as a leader by his fellow soldiers and citizens; among these is his talent as a strategist. Whether it be quick adaptation to new surroundings, instant surveys of new territories for potential threats, or leading an assault with regard to weak points and possible maneuvers, Steve has developed a reliable intuition and cunning mind. When it seemed as though entering the service would never become a possibility, he began to immerse himself in texts regarding military strategy and tactics, and once he had been accepted into the army, his books made the journey along with him to basic training. Steve is as dedicated to the intellectual aspects of military warfare as he is to the combative aspects, and although it is possible that the serum enhanced his capability to make decisive, strategic decisions, it would be an insult to his analytical mind and initiative to give a vial of goo all the credit.
Naturally, the most undeniably effective asset Steve possesses is his body. Chosen from a select group of voluntary candidates, Steve was subjected to an experimental treatment that would turn him into a “super soldier”: a man with enhanced senses, musculature, and endurance, and the perfect weapon for the Allies. The combination of a chemical serum and a hefty dose of “Vita-Rays” have made Steve Rogers exactly that. He can run faster, jump further, climb higher, and lift heavier items than any normal man, and his stamina exceeds that of twenty. Steve was also the only volunteer to undergo this treatment; the formula for the serum was lost just after he became the first success, and scientists to this day have failed to replicate the same astonishing results. In his world, he is quite unique.
However, all of the serum and rays in the world could not make him completely invulnerable. As a human, although the perfect physical example of one, Steve is vulnerable to anything any other human is. He can suffer cuts, bruises, and burns, be rendered unconscious, and will die if shot in the heart. He does, however, recover from injuries much faster than the average human, as the serum was designed to supercharge his metabolism, allowing for the constant regeneration and adaptation of his cells. Accordingly, he is far less likely to suffer from normal, degenerative diseases such as heart failure or arthritis. One arguably negative side effect of the serum is Steve’s resistance to inebriation; it is impossible for him to become drunk due to the sheer speed of his metabolic rate.
In addition to his physical prowess and knowledge of strategy, Steve has one other trick, but rather than being up his sleeve, it is clutched quite obviously in his hand: his shield. Made from vibranium, an extremely rare element that absorbs all vibration and is stronger than steel, the shield acts as Steve’s primary defense: blocking bullets, deflecting blades, and dissipating energy blasts. Given the amount of practice he has had handling it, he has also become able to wield it as an offensive weapon by throwing it with power and precision. He typically uses it in this manner as a method of causing blunt trauma or creating a distraction, as he cannot always rely on retrieving it quickly once it has left his hand during a close-combat fight.
What defines Steve the most, of the many aspects of his character, is his intense loyalty, dedication, and desire to serve his country and fellow citizens. He is oblivious the nobility of his character; rather than consciously strive to be an idol for others, he simply acts how he thinks every decent person should act. When war came to America, he did not want to serve in the army for glory or honor, but because it was the right thing to do for his country at the time. Appropriately, Steve does not expect any sort of reward for his efforts besides the safety of his fellow soldiers and countrymen. He just wants to do what’s right.
Steve does not actively hate anyone, nor does he harbor grudges well. Generally, he can see the good in everyone, even if it is buried beneath a tremendous ego or a web of secrets. He will not, however, stand for bullies, and will defend himself and others to the death against them. From his teen years into his early twenties, he would often get into fist fights solely because he continually stood up for himself; his philosophy is centered around not giving up and never running away. This idea, combined with his general stubbornness and candidness with nearly everyone he meets, has gotten Steve into quite a few sticky situations, Fortunately, through his own fortitude and the help of a friend or two, he has developed a teflon-like skin - trouble doesn’t stick to him for too long.
He has distinctly simplistic and wholesome notions about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, but is not narrow-minded. Rather, he is attached to these ideas not just because he not grew up with them, but because in the face of war and destruction caused by man in the ‘40s, they are comforting. He enjoys simple pleasures such as watching baseball games, catching a movie, drawing, and reading. Steve is a romantic at heart, but when the world seems to become too much to bear, his optimism can fade just like any normal man’s. Ultimately, his idealism draws on the quality of the people around him and the degrees of humanity they display. Although he is not naive enough to believe that people always act in the the name of the greater good, he still believes that anyone can change the world if they just take a stand.
For the majority of his life, Steve’s awkward physique made social interaction with women an afterthought; he never believed any girl would be interested in him so long as he needed a footstool to gaze into their eyes. Naturally, after undergoing the physical changes induced by the serum, Steve was perceived quite differently by women, but perceived no differently by himself. The residual self-image and lack of confidence he has often makes it difficult to talk with girls in general, but particularly to those he finds attractive. Steve is charming and has a slightly self-deprecating sense of humor, but this is rarely seen by those who don’t take the time to get to know him. The fame “Captain America” has granted him has made true friendship rare, and genuine, romantic relationships even more so.
Steve can also be a bit too serious. This characteristic stems from his past as a physically weaker man; in order to be taken seriously in spite of his size and stature, he had to show others he was not a pushover. During his service with the military, he also experienced a handful of tragedies that still haunt him to this day - he is a veteran, after all. It is quite difficult for him to see the lighter side of things in the midst of a serious or life-threatening situation, as he has seen too many to let down his guard. Although he has been able to relax at times with good company, there is still a degree of stiffness to his posture and attitude. Jokes have definitely never been his forte; if he does or says something humorous, it is often unintentional. He has been known to make a few wisecracks at his enemies, but this is a new and still-developing habit.
Steve’s overall appearance is best described by the word simple. He has tan skin with no tattoos or piercings; his hair is a sandy shade of blonde, kept in a neat and conservative cut; his face is always clean shaven and healthy. Even the clothes he wears are always very simple and unadorned - khaki pants, simple t-shirts, and plaid button-ups. His appearance deeply reflects traditional Americana taste. He has cool blue eyes and thick eyebrows, both of which enhance his typically serious facade. He carries himself confidently and purposefully.
Physically, Steve is, forgiving the pun, a hulk of a man. At about 6’2” and 240 pounds of what is mostly muscle, he now towers over the scrawny physique he previously had. His chest is broad and plump with muscle, his waist trim and tight. Although his appearance was incredibly surprising to those who had known him before his transformation, his now-developed body suits him remarkably well; if you hadn’t known him before, you’d have little reason to think he hadn’t been six feet since grade school.
Steve Rogers was not born to do great things. Fortunately, he did not acknowledge this fact at all.
As far as origins go, Steve came from rather humble circumstances. His father was a soldier, a member of the 107th infantry who succumbed to mustard gas during the first World War when Steve was just a child; in his teens, his mother, a nurse charged with tending to patients with tuberculosis, died shortly after being diagnosed with the disease herself. On top of these tragedies, Steve was trouble. Rather, his health was trouble. From asthma to scarlet fever, high blood pressure to cardiovascular issues, he suffered from an extensive range of general illnesses that seemed to guarantee him little more in life than a low-stress job in a tiny office somewhere. Accordingly, Steve spent most of his time pre-occupying himself with scholarly and artistic pursuits, such as reading and drawing; in school, he began to draw and write comic books as a form of escapism his body could not afford him in other hobbies. It was from this sheltered existence that his desire to become something greater emerged. He developed a rather strong sense of right and wrong - a sense that was often nearly beat out of him by the many bullies he encountered in life. In addition to his poor health, Steve never quite filled out the way boys his age did. His best friend, James “Bucky” Barnes, was the epitome of what he wanted to be: a handsome and charming man that he literally paled in comparison to. In spite of this tension, they became as close as brothers, Bucky helping Steve out of some tight spots and brutal fights.
Steve had just finished art school when the Second World War began. Nowhere near content with sitting at home while every able-bodied man prepared to head overseas, he attempted to enlist, failed, and then attempted again. And again, and again. And again. While the people in his life tried to persuade him otherwise, Steve refused to stop trying, and it was during one of these attempts at a fair that he attracted the attention of Dr. Abraham Erskine. The German scientist, who aligned himself with the American government, had been developing a top-secret formula to create “super soldiers” for active duty. By pure coincidence, Erskine had been attending the fair and got his hands on Steve’s file, deeply impressed by the scrappy boy’s multiple efforts to enlist. In Steve, Erskine saw the determination and loyalty fit for the ideal test subject, and finally offered Steve the chance he’d been wanting. With a bump up to an official platoon, Steve began basic training with other potential candidates for the experimental serum. There, he came under the scrutinization of General Chester Phillips, a seasoned and critical leader, and Peggy Carter, a refined and firm British officer. Neither of them believed Steve had the necessary qualities of the ideal test subject until witnessing his spirit, bravery, and ingenuity firsthand during basic training. Erskine’s gut instinct had been right.
Shortly after his induction into boot camp, Steve was finally selected to undergo Erskine’s treatment. The night before the procedure, the doctor informed Steve of one other man who had taken the serum: Johann Schmidt, an occult-obsessed Nazi who led a secret R&D division of the Third Reich called HYDRA. Schmidt, a power hungry individual, demanded use of the serum before its prime and upon injection gained many of the abilities promised. However, one side effect of the premature mixture became excruciatingly clear: Schmidt’s skin disintegrated, leaving a literally blood-red film over his muscle tissue. Since then, he became known as the Red Skull among the Nazi Party - and more widely known as a crazed individual with plans as grand as they were sadistic. Appropriately wary of this revelation, but ready to improve himself, Steve prepared for what might come. The next day, Peggy escorted Steve to a secret base in the heart of New York where the procedure would be performed in front of many top-ranking government officials. Under the supervision of Erskine and Howard Stark, scientific genius, he was given several injections of the serum and dosed with Vita-rays, which would then act on the formula and begin the rapid enhancement of his muscles and senses. The process was immensely painful, but as per usual, he refused to give up.
Emerging from the machine 100 some pounds heavier and a foot taller, Steve Rogers officially became the first, and only, super soldier. However, this scientific triumph and score for the Allies was interrupted by tragedy; mere moments after the success of his project, Dr. Erskine was fatally shot by a HYDRA mole who had infiltrated the secret laboratory. As the agent fled with a vial of the serum, Steve put his new abilities to test by chasing him across several crowded city blocks, drawing the awe and attention of onlookers. He eventually caught the man after an intense firefight, gunshot wound, and submarine chase, but it was for naught; the man did not give up any information, except for one fact. Prior to ingesting a cyanide capsule, the agent warned Steve that HYDRA was far from finished, and that “when one head is cut off, two more grow back”.
After this incident, Steve’s position as the sole, successful subject of the super soldier initiative was called into question. General Phillips wanted to offer him up for laboratory research in an attempt to recreate the formula that had been lost and continue the initiative. However, Steve’s pursuit of the HYDRA agent had garnered a healthy notoriety from the public - and from the government. A senator who’d heard of his heroic chase offered him an opportunity to serve as as a symbol of freedom to encourage the sale of war bonds. The call was up to him - lab rat or dancing monkey - and Steve decided on the latter. From stage shows to propaganda promos, from comic books to photo ops, Steve was paraded across the country as an icon of the war effort, all the while struggling to overcome his disappointment with the way things had turned out. His sole desire had been to serve his country, but he found little satisfaction or merit in his work as a poster boy; it was unjust to become a caricature of men who had done far more for their country than he. After an uncomfortable show for a less than welcoming platoon overseas, Steve learned that the men he had just performed for had been the survivors of the 107th - the very same division his father, and now Bucky, went missing from. From Phillips he discovered that several dozen soldiers had been captured and kept behind enemy lines at a HYDRA research base, about 30 miles away. With the possibility of Bucky’s livelihood in the balance, not to mention the other lives at stake, Steve made the firm decision to embark on a one-man rescue mission of the stranded troops.
Help came in the form of Peggy and Howard Stark, who provided an airplane from which Steve, decked in a helmet, shield, and parachute, plunged straight into German territory. He single-handedly snuck into the research base and found the captured men, including Bucky, and released them with the intention of taking Schmidt and his guards by surprise. However, Schmidt was far from surprised; he witnessed the whole incident via security cameras. The fight was hardly fair: a handful of unarmed men versus armored soldiers whose guns were capable of a chaotic amounts destruction, being powered by the Tesseract, an extraordinarily powerful and unearthly power source. Luck was on the 107th’s side, as they began an internal resistance and powered through the fortified stronghold. Meanwhile, Steve and Bucky were interrupted by an escaping Schmidt, who revealed his true face as the Red Skull and warned Steve of his impending victory over the world. He then escaped, leaving Bucky and Steve to burn in the self-destructing fortress.
After a day of no word from Steve or the soldiers, Phillips, Carter, and the rest of the 107th assumed their comrades as missing in action or worse. This, of course, was not the case; after a 30-mile trek through heavily armored German territory, they returned, albeit somewhat worse for the wear. It was Captain America’s first real victory, and it would be the first of many. During his rescue of Bucky, Steve had taken notice of and memorized a map of HYDRA’s other research facilities; with this knowledge, he became the leader of a rag-tag group of soldiers from the 107th, the sole mission of whom was finding the bases and destroying them. Captain America was finally fighting in the name of America, and doing a damned good job, taking out facility after facility right under Schmidt’s nose.
They gained intel as to the whereabouts of HYDRA’s chief scientist, Arnim Zola, and planned to kidnap him from his private train; this turned out to be a very strategic trap. Once Steve and Bucky had climbed aboard, they became immediately engaged in a lengthy firefight with Schmidt’s men until, tragically, Bucky was thrown from the mountainside train. Steve could only watch as his best friend plummeted to his apparent death. Although Zola was eventually kidnapped due to the “Howling Commandos” efforts, Steve mourned the loss of Bucky and was supported by Peggy, one of the few people who had come close to him as Steve, not the Captain. Time would not stand still for the wounded soldier; once Zola revealed the location of the remaining HYDRA base, Steve was forced to put his personal feelings aside and lead one more raid, with the intention of destroying HYDRA once and for all.
The plan was simple: Steve would ride straight into the base and act as a distraction while the rest of the troops would surround the area. This worked well, as Schmidt was determined to have one final showdown with Captain America, the man who had destroyed nearly all of his work and continually interrupted his mission for world conquest. Just as their confrontation became heated, the platoon struck. Under the command of Peggy and Chester, the American soldiers went toe-to-toe with the Germans. Undeterred by this sudden breach, Schmidt abandoned Steve in favor of boarding a plane with dozens jets onboard, each carrying a missile with a U.S. city name on it.
Steve quickly defeated the guards Schmidt had left behind to detain him and hitched a ride from Phillips and Carter to the plane’s hangar, knowing the only way to stop the kamikaze planes was to get onboard and stop them himself. Before he boarded the plane, Peggy gave Steve his first kiss - a kiss for good luck and, unbeknownst to the both of them, a kiss goodbye. It would be the last time they would see each other. Once on the plane, it did not take long for Steve to destroy several of the jets and find the cockpit; inside was Schmidt and the Tesseract. Through a quick series of maneuvers and the aid of his handy shield, Steve reflected a blast that destroyed the Tesseract powered machine. Infuriated by his impending demise, Schmidt took the Tesseract in his hand and, in a terrifying display of its power, was immediately dissolved in a shocking pillar of blue light. The immediate threat gone, Steve took to what was left of the controls of the HYDRA ship, only to find that it was set on a crash-course with New York City. With nowhere to land the vessel between its position and NYC without potential fatalities, he was faced with a decision: risk a landing on land or bury the ship in the ocean.
It wasn’t much of a decision; Steve, after an emotional albeit short-lived farewell to Peggy, plunged the ship into the icy North Atlantic waters surrounding Newfoundland. It would be underneath layers and layers of ice and slush that he would remain until a diving crew discovered his frozen body still intact and very much alive. He was excavated from the shipwreck and taken under the custody of S.H.I.E.L.D, where he was kept in stasis until he could be safely, well, thawed out. Under the direction of Nick Fury, Steve was allowed to wake under the carefully constructed guise that it was still 1943, in order not to alarm him with the truth immediately, but it did not fool him for long; within moments of waking, he saw through the artificial environment and escaped the holding cell into bustling Times Square. It was there in the middle of the street that he was informed of the truth: that he had been unconscious for nearly 70 years.
Under loose supervision of Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D, Steve began to adapt to the reality of his situation: that he was living in an era he never dreamed he'd see, that all of the men he'd known during service were dead, and that he was 70 years late for his date with Peggy. He did what he could to keep busy - sightseeing, exploring new technology, and racking up hours at the gym - until Fury called upon him to help save the world by joining a team known as the Avengers. Compelled to serve by his inclination towards justice and defending his country, Steve joined the others already stationed on the helicarrier and finally began to put new names to new faces - Phil Coulson, Dr. Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff. His first task onboard the craft, besides donning his updated stars and stripes, was a mission to take down the recently located fugitive, Loki, who was the cause of the Avengers' assembling.
Riding in with Natasha, Steve arrived just in time to go head-to-head with Loki, only for the fight to be joined by Tony Stark, the son of his old friend Howard; the three combined their efforts and captured Loki, who did not seem to be in a position to resist. In the midst of transporting him back to the helicarrier, a fourth party, who Steve would later learn was Thor, Loki's brother, dragged the captive Asgardian from the plane. After some fighting and misunderstandings, it became clear that Thor was certainly on their side of the cause, although for slightly more personal reasons. With that cleared up, the four of them returned Loki in one piece, although each harboring some doubts about the relative ease with which they were able to find and capture him. On top of that, a dialogue regarding the timing of their assembly arose: why, of all times, now?After some investigating by Tony and Steve, it came to light that the reason they'd not been made aware of the Tesseract's danger until that point in time was because of S.H.I.E.L.D's intention to use its energy to produce WMDs. As troubling as this revelation was, there was not much time for the team to dwell on it; Clint Barton, who had been brainwashed to serve Loki, led an assault on the helicarrier, forcing the Avengers into action. Steve was suddenly forced to pair up with Tony, a challenge in itself, to help fix one of the engines that had been destroyed. They managed to do so, with an immense effort, but returned only to receive tragic news: not only were Thor and Dr. Banner missing from the helicarrier, but Loki had escaped and killed Coulson in the process. The remains of the Avengers were gathered by Fury, who implored them to do whatever it would require to prevent Loki from succeeding and avenge Phil.
Natasha, Clint, Tony, and Steve suited up and headed to New York, where they found a machine capable of creating a wormhole in space on the top of Stark Tower. Upon seeing the waves of alien creatures emerging from said wormhole, the mission became clear: find Loki and close the wormhole, and defend New York City from the Chitauri in the process. Without any fancy suit or Norse powers to carry him elsewhere, Steve stayed close to the ground, fighting where he was needed and giving tactical directions for the containment of the enemy threat to nearby policemen. The others - rather, his teammates - came and went, seeking and giving support when necessary, and it was fighting alongside Thor that Steve caught a blast from an alien's weapon just below his ribs and was knocked to the ground. The pain itself wasn't so bad, and the exhaustion he felt was tolerable, but as he made to stand up, thick black cords erupted from the ground and pulled him downwards, into the earth...
Upon arriving in Pandora, Steve ran into Lady Sif, a close ally of Thor who resided in Asgard.