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Reading List: The Ten Essential Captain America Stories

Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

The original Captain America was the creation of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, first appearing in March 1941's Captain America Comics #1 from Timely Comics, the company that would later become Marvel Comics. The book made waves from day one by featuring the title character punching Adolf Hitler over a year before the United States declared war on the Axis powers.

Since that time, Captain America has had an illustrious career as the Avengers' most famous leader, but also as something like the moral center of the Marvel universe. We've picked ten of the very best Captain America stories by some of his many notable creative teams.

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Comics Alliance Rates The Avengers Hunks [Love & Sex Week]

Marvel Comics / Marvel Studios
Marvel Comics / Marvel Studios

The 1989 Avengers West Coast Annual featured an unusual short story by Mark Waid and then-newcomer Amanda Conner called "Rate The Hunks," in which Wasp and She-Hulk offered their expert assessment on the sex appeal of their male Avengers colleagues. Almost thirty years later, we've assembled our own experts to repeat the exercise, with an updated twist.

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Captain America and Falcon Mix It Up With Iron Man and War Machine in Hot Toys’ New Artist Mix Series

Hot Toys
Hot Toys

Hey it's another comic book movie and that means it's time for even more Artist Mix figures from Hot Toys. The offshoot line kicked off last year with Avengers: Age of Ultron, and has since covered Batman V Superman, but now it's come full circle back to Marvel again with Captain America: Civil War. Of course, that means it's time for another Iron Man and Captain America figure because those are the two guys who do the thing in the movie. Fortunately, there's also going to be a Falcon and a War Machine to balance the scales juuuuuuust a bit. Not too much though. Don't want to take too much of the spotlight away from Iron Man and Cap.

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The Replacements: Steve Rogers And The Legacy Of Captain America

Replacements-CaptainAmerica

Since the dawn of the Silver Age, legacy characters have been a staple of superhero fiction, and having a new character step into a well-loved role can open up new opportunities for writers and artists to tell different kinds of stories. In this new feature, I’ll be looking back at some of the notable and not-so-notable heroes and villains that have assumed some of the most iconic mantles in the superhero genre.

For our first installment, we’re looking at the legacy of Captain America, and the men who have carried the flag in Steve Rogers’ stead. From America’s wartime shame to Steve’s very best friend, there have perhaps been more people to wield the shield than you may have realized, and not all of them have been as virtuous and upstanding as the man himself.

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It’s Time to Cut Hot Toys a Check for Its New Civil War Falcon Figure

Hot Toys
Hot Toys

Falcon is the man. Dude gets some serious chiding about his running from a superhero hopped up on TRT, HGH and any number of other substances deemed illegal for use by the Olympics, the USADA, the NSAC, the Sokovia Accords and people who think sports were better when people didn't have to wear helmets. And for what? Because he couldn't keep up with a morning jog? It was basically the Marvel movie version of "Do you even lift bro?" Yet Sam Wilson still opened his door to Steve Rogers when he needed a place to crash, and even helped him overthrow a HYDRA insurgency within SHIELD in spite of how rude Captain America was to him. Falcon is the man.

While he's gotten a figure from Hot Toys before, this latest version is much closer to the comic character we've all come to know and love since his arrival decades ago. The more realistic, militarized version worked well for a debut in Captain America: The Winter Solider, but the revamped model with red highlights helps separate him from the drab gunmetal of enlisted characters like War Machine. While it's not quite as rocking as his current comic look, the Captain America: Civil War Falcon still manages to have a signature look that gives him a bit more personality on the crowded battlefield.

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Captain Marvel, Spider-Gwen Lead the Charge for New Marvel Funko Pops

Funko
Funko

The greatest challenge the world faces today is the overpopulation of Funko Pops. Soon we will all be outnumbered by the little plastic caricatures, and there will be no one left to stop the invading masses of collectible characters. But that's a problem for tomorrow's children's children to solve. I'll be dead by then, and right now there's a lot of Funko figures to collect.

Funko officially revealed the release window for the next wave of Marvel Pops, a few of which were teased during Toy Fair last month. Finally, Captain Marvel will be able to rally the baby bobblehead version of the Carol Corps. The unmasked version being the default means there's plenty of room for a helmeted variant down the line, too. She'll be joined by Marvel's newest leading lady du jour, Spider-Gwen. The world needs more Captain Marvel and Spider-Gwen figures. It's a plain and simple fact, and one only a handful of companies seem to recognize.

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Marvel’s Cinematic Civil War Comes to Lego Marvel’s Avengers This Week

TT Games
TT Games

Earlier this year, TT Games announced the PlayStation platforms would be getting exclusive Lego Marvel's Avengers content based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the game is already packed with most of the Phase Two films, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy were left out of the loop, and it's almost impossible to get any Phase Three content in there before those movies actually arrive. That doesn't mean TT is giving up on including those things entirely though, and it all starts today with a free content pack based on Captain America: Civil War.

The free add-on may not include any new missions, but it will add in nine new character skins for many of the Marvel heroes and villains making an appearance in the upcoming movie sequel. Not only will Iron Man get his new Mark XLVI armor, but Captain America will have a new, unmasked suit to tear around the game. Falcon will also get his revamped costume, as will Scarlet Witch and the Winter Soldier. Besides his new shock baton, I can't quite tell any discernible difference from this War Machine versus the last one. It's all about the spankin' new Black Panther and Agent 13 though.

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20 Great Black Comic Book Characters

Black Comic Featured

It's no secret that white male leads have dominated comic books since --- well forever. In the '60s, Marvel and DC finally started to put a change to that with the addition of super-powered people of color, which led to some of today's biggest names in comics. But it still wasn't enough. Eventually the lack of diversity led to the onset of Milestone Media in the '90s, where Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle crafted several intriguing characters. With an increasingly active black nerd, or blerd, community, new black characters are being created every day --- primarily through independent publishers, though Marvel has also kickstarted a focus on one of its most notable black characters --- but more on that later.

To celebrate Black History Month, ComicsAlliance is running down our list of 20 Great Black Comic Book Characters. Our list considers old staples as well as some new favorites, including a certain katana wielding badass, space explorers and of course, plenty of superheroes.

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Black Widow Makes Her Presence Known in Hasbro’s Captain America: Civil War Figure Line

Hasbro
Hasbro

With the arrival of Captain America: Civil War comes a new wave of tie-in action figures, and Hasbro is making clear its looking to make right with all the Black Widow fans. While there were a few figures of the Soviet spy released in conjunction with Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Widow was in high demand and short supply. Though we've yet to see just what Hasbro's full range of plans for Civil War include, the first sampling revealed ahead of Toy Fair offers a glimpse at a world where Black Widow is no longer lingering in the shadows.

More than a dozen new figures were revealed by Hasbro today (via IGN), including the first ever Black Widow Titan Hero figure. The 12" figure line has predominantly been filled with male characters across Hasbro's Avengers, Spider-Man and Star Wars collections. You can technically count Captain Phasma as the first female to make that leap, but given her lack of defining features, the upcoming Rey 12" unveiled at NYCC last fall (and due this spring) is the one opening new opportunities for Marvel's scarlet-haired secret agent. Given that both have been the center of their own social media campaigns advocating for more female figures, that seems appropriate.

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Civil War Figuarts Will Include Black Widow, Agent 13, and the Worst Chris Evans Figure

Tamashii Nations
Tamashii Nations

There's a new Marvel movie on the horizon, and with that will come a wealth of new action figures based on the successful cinematic universe. Tamashii Nations' SH Figuarts line has been home to a number of the Avengers over the years, but the new Captain America: Civil War line will mark the first time we'll be seeing any of the female heroes join the cast. We've gotten a few Captain Americas and Iron Mans, and a Thor, Hulk and Hulkbuster to boot, but so far Tamashii has been a little light on the ladies. Black Widow was actually teased and shown off in prototype form for the Age of Ultron set (as was Hawkeye), but here we are with no Black Widow (or Hawkeye) to show for it.

Hopefully that changes with the upcoming Civil War line, which Tamashii is already hyping to include not just Black Widow, but also Agent 13 (Sharon Carter), as well as Black Panther, Hawkeye, Falcon, Vision, War Machine and Winter Soldier. Yeah, Iron Man and Captain America will be part of the new series, too, but haven't we seen enough of them? Let's celebrate all the these new guys and girls finally joining the fight.

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