Captain America's Original Training Regimen Shows He Used to be a Jerk

While Captain America is known for being a hero who represents all that is good and just in the world by way of his incorruptible moral compass, his original training regimen shows that he actually used to be a pretty major jerk.

Steve Rogers became Captain America after he enlisted in the military during World War II despite not being able to meet the physical requirements necessary to be an effective soldier. However, he more than made up for his physical shortcomings with his indomitable spirit and his unshakable drive to do what is right in any given situation. Steve’s inherently heroic nature made him the perfect candidate for the Super Soldier Program, and he was injected with a serum that gave him heightened strength, speed, and brain function–transforming him into the perfect soldier by making his body match his spirit. From the very beginning, Captain America’s good nature was his defining quality, though his unwitting training partners during the early days of the Avengers would likely argue the opposite is true.

Related: Sam Wilson Confirms What Every Captain America Shares & It's Perfect

In Avengers #7 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, fans are given a glimpse at how the Avengers train for combat, including Captain America’s morally gray process for staying in shape. In the issue, Captain America pays a group of professional wrestlers to attack him all at once, with their manager warning him that any normal man would be crushed by their combined strength and telling him that fighting all of these men at once isn’t a good idea. Captain America vaguely assures them that he’ll be fine and launches right into the fighting session. As anyone who knows what Captain America is capable of could rightly assume, these fighters were no match for Captain America and he easily defeated them. When Cap says he hopes for a better fight next time, one of the wrestlers replies, “You kiddin’??? If we want any more action, we’ll get it in the ring–where it’s safe!

The wrestlers’ reaction to being brutally bested by Captain America implies that they didn’t know he had heightened abilities, so Captain America gave them the beating of a lifetime without first warning them what they were getting themselves into. Captain America put these fighters in danger by asking to spar with them under false pretenses, which is actually uncharacteristically villainous for Captain America. This form of training has been adopted by villains in future Marvel Comics storylines, with the Kingpin being a prime example of fighting multiple people at once and uncaringly injuring them just to stay in shape or give himself an ego boost by proving he can take on a number of fighters simultaneously even though he is obviously out of their league.

Captain America’s training as shown in this issue is inherently mean-natured as it plays on the now villainous trope of ‘beating up a bunch of guys as training everyday’ and putting them in very real danger of injury as opposed to a normal workout regimen or sparring with other super powered individuals–proving that Captain America’s original training regimen made him a huge jerk.

Next: Marvel’s First Avengers vs X-Men Happened Decades Before Fans Thought

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