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Captain America 101: A Crash Course In The Terminology and Characters
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Week of Geek: Captain America: The First Avenger

The world loves superhero movies. For every release, it seems that audiences can’t wait to see the next superhero flick. And see it you will. Because if there’s one thing that people love more than the average movie, it’s Harry Potter. But now that Harry Potter’s done, you have time for more superhero movies! Yay! But, if you’re anything like the rest of the world’s population, based on sales, you probably don’t read a lot of comics and you might be a little confused by the convoluted plot lines and science fiction elements you see in these films. It may be a little tough for the average moviegoer, but that’s why I’m here!

So, in honor of this week’s Captain America: The First Avenger, I’m going to take the time to sit down with each and every one of you in a feature I like to call Captain America 101 to discuss some of the characters and terminology that you’ll be seeing in this weekend’s #1 movie, that is, unless the world decides to see Harry Potter again, but I digress.

Let’s get to it, soldier!

TERMINOLOGY

SHIELD

S.H.I.E.L.D.
Whether it’s the Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division, the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate, or the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Directorate, one thing remains the same, S.H.I.E.L.D. is the government force within the Marvel Universe that hides behind the scenes and protects the country from Super Crime. Led by the dominating Nick Fury, who we’ll get to later, S.H.I.E.L.D. will keep the U.S. safe.

HYDRA

HYDRA
In comics, HYDRA doesn’t stand for anything except for global terrorism. Based on the mythical Hydra, if you cut off one head, two more will grow in its place. It just so happens, that’s also the motto of the top secret terror organization. In the Captain America movie, however, they’re basically Nazis. HYDRA has been in plenty of shady situations, but in comics, the Nazis were the Nazis. Nothing is as bad as the Nazis. But movie Marvel U is obviously going to be different. So, when you go see this movie, remember HYDRA = NAZIS. Think about that when you’re buying merchandise or going to Baskin Robbins.

Super Soldier Serum
The next level of performance enhancing drugs. In 2011, Steve Rogers could never play professional sports. But if he wanted to work some indie wrestling shows, he’d be the toast of the town!

Cap

Cap
A clothing accessory that covers the bald spot on your head.

THE MAIN CHARACTERS

Captain America

Captain America
Steve freakin’ Rogers, ladies and gentlemen. He’s the man, the myth, the legend of Marvel Comics. Back in the 1940s in the war against true evil, Steve Rogers was America’s gleaming beacon of hope in a dark world. He was the inspiration for countless imaginary soldiers who decided to stop whining and fight for their freedom. Once a scrawny kid from Brooklyn, Rogers made his way through the U.S. Armed Forces by way of his heart. His physical attributes led him nowhere until he was introduced to the world of experimental pharmaceuticals. With a little help from the U.S. Government, Steve Rogers was enhanced by the Super Soldier Serum. He’s the hero of this story, so if you’re looking for The Nomad or some knockoff like Grant Gardner, well soldier, you’re going to be sorely mistaken when you go see this one.

Peggy

Peggy Carter
A freedom fighter with the French Resistance during World War II, and she was a top notch bad ass. She fought the evil Nazis on her own without the help of drugs, and even inspired her yet-to-be-born niece, Sharon, to become a bad ass in her own right. Her niece ultimately becomes a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the rough and tough Agent 13, but in this movie, I’m willing to bet Peggy is going to be the object of Cap’s affection. Because this is a movie. Movie aside, she’s awesome.

Bucky

James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes
Captain America’s partner. He’s the gun-toting Robin to Steve Rogers’ shield toting Batman. In the comics, Bucky’s determination surpassed World War II’s age restrictions. He became the symbol for young America to combat the evil Hitler youth. He’s ultra-skilled in breaking through enemy lines and assassinating evil, but don’t get too attached to Bucky. If the comics are any indication of his fate, Bucky will probably die and come back to life 47 times before The Avengers comes out in 2012.

Red Skull

Johann Schmidt/Red Skull
He’s one of the Nazi Party’s answer to superheroics. He’s super evil and is one of the ultimate forces within the Axis Powers. He wants nothing more than to erase the world of anyone he deems unfit. He’s simply and truly evil. I mean, he’s even killed dogs! This guy is straight up bad news, folks. And look at his no skinned bloody face! That’s gross! Evil! Evil! Evil! He’s a Nazi! Stop him! How else are you supposed to react to a Nazi?

Nick Fury

Nick Fury
He’s got one eye and leads S.H.I.E.L.D. to victory. Every time.

Tony Stark

Iron Man/Tony Stark
I don’t even think he’s even in this movie, but look at that dude! Pimpin’ ain’t easy, Tony.

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