He may not have had the box office punch of fellow Golden Age heroes Superman and Batman, but things are finally looking-up for the Second World War's most iconic comic book character.
The newly released film Captain America: The First Avenger has earned overwhelming critical praise and arrives on the back of an estimated 210 million comics sold. So why is this red, white and blue champion - originally created to drum-up anti-Nazi sentiment prior to the US's entry into the war - still striking a chord with audiences today?
The set-up is, frankly, rather corny. Captain America begins life as a sickly but spirited Brooklynite, Steve Rogers, who is given a chance to serve his country after receiving an experimental super-soldier serum. But despite starting out as a one-note character, Cap's colossal 71-year career has seen more twists and turns than perhaps any of his crime-fighting rivals.
With that, here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Captain America:
Dreamt-up by Jewish-American comics writers Joe Simon and Jack Kirby - both morally outraged by the actions of Nazi Germany - Captain America Comics #1 arrived on newsstands in December, 1940, with a cover depicting the hero knocking-out the Führer.
With his trademark suit, bullet-proof shield and teenage sidekick Bucky Barnes, he was every inch the patriotic hero. The comic sold a million copies and in less than a year, the US had declared war."The opponents to the war were all quite well organised. We wanted to have our say, too," said Simon years later.Unsurprisingly, Captain A's popularity waned after the Nazis were defeated. The comic was cancelled in 1954.
After being revived by Marvel Comics' most famous talent, Stan Lee, in 1963 (with the character unthawed from the Arctic ice), Captain America was quickly made the leader of heroic supergroup, The Avengers.
He fought everyone from communists and home-grown terrorists, but fans in the post-Vietnam era became divided about the hero's unwavering support for US foreign policy.
"All the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on and giving speeches on the street corner against the George W Bush administration, and all the really right-wing fans all want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam Hussein," comics writer Ed Brubaker told the New York Daily News.
Like Superman's love interest, Lois Lane, and Batman's trusty butler, Alfred, Captain America would be nothing without his supporting cast. Most notably, Bucky Barnes: a plucky teenager in the original comics, he is re-imagined as fully grown US soldier (played by Sebastian Stan) in Captain America: The First Avenger.
The character is best remembered by fans for his death (depicted in a 1968 issue of The Avengers) and it is considered Cap's most formative moment. The hero is also assisted in the movie by feisty British agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), grizzled US colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and creator of the super-soldier serum, Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci).
A musclebound hero draped in a nation's flag was evidently too appealing a proposition for many comics publishers to ignore. After the success of Captain America, a slew of international characters were created who were sworn to protect the values of their homelands.
These included Union Flag-wearing Captain Britain (endowed with extraordinary powers by the magician Merlyn) and Captain Canuck, the star of a 1975 comic set in the "distant year 1993 when Canada has become the most powerful country in the world".
There was also China's Collective Man, Japan's Sunfire and even Saudi Arabia-based hero, Arabian Knight.
He's already appeared in four (terrible) movies
The world's first comic-to-film adaptation, 1944's Captain America, bears little resemblance to the original text, aside from the famous costume. The story sees district attorney Grant Gardner wearing the outfit, but armed with a gun rather than the trademark shield. Rather than Nazis, Cap fights an evil museum curator, The Scarab.