Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics in 1941, Captain America was among the first American comic books intended as an explicit work of patriotic, political propaganda: The cover of the first edition, available months before Pearl Harbor, famously featured the titular costume hero punching out Adolf Hitler. Directed by George Lucas protege Joe Johnston, Captain America: The First Avenger concerns the transformation of one Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), "a 90-pound asthmatic" repeatedly declared unfit to fight in World War II, whose persistence impresses Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), a German scientist working for the U.S. military alongside billionaire inventor/future Iron Man progenitor Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper). Steve is soon chosen for a top-secret military experiment, for which he'll be injected with a serum that, as Colonel Tommy Lee Jones intones, will turn him from a weakling into "a new breed of super soldier" assigned to "personally escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of hell." Not that Hitler — or anything else ripped from real history or recognizable life — is really on the radar of this hokey, hacky, two-hour-plus exercise in franchise transition/price gouging. Captain America assembles a ragtag multi-ethnic band of soldiers to help carry out his elite missions, but there's not so much as a single mention of the ideological divides that plagued the times — and, subsequently, spawned the original anti-Fascist Captain America comics. So what is Captain America fighting for? Nothing more or less than screen time in next spring's The Avengers.