Chris Evans as Captain America

“O Captain, My Captain (America)!” Thanks, Chris Evans

In the summer of 2011, “Captain America: The First Avenger” dropped onto movie screens around the world. I, as a die-hard fan of the character, came away not only validated in my faith in the casting of Chris Evans as Cap, but ecstatic at the potential for his future appearances. Not going to lie. Made me feel good that most people came away thinking he’d done well, too.

Yesterday, Chris Evans just about broke Twitter. No, that’s not hyperbole.

If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you know what I mean.

Upon wrapping his portion of reshoots for the still-untitled “Avengers 4,” Evans posted to social media a farewell to the role that sounded pretty official.

As are we, the fans of the MCU, of Marvel Comics, and of the character he brought to life with such compelling charisma and humanity. 

I vividly remember in 2010 when Marvel Studios announced Evans’s casting.

Much was made of his repeated refusals at first to take on the role. Also, some hardcore fans argued that Evans had already played Johnny Storm/Human Torch in Fox’s “Fantastic Four” films, and they just couldn’t see him as the Star-Spangled Avenger.

Safe to say he proved the doubters wrong.

Keeping the faith

The argument came very close to home for me. At the time I was hosting the “Prime Time Geek” podcast, and the argument over Evans’s fitness for the role took up quite a bit of airtime.

For the record, I defended the choice. I respected Evans’s hesitance and his introspective approach to the long-term commitment the role demanded.

Those debating the other side thought him “too frat-boyish” and “too lightweight” to carry the shield. Those arguments, though lighthearted at first, eventually got pretty ugly, as nerdcore arguments at times do.

Of course, the opinions of podcast hosts, especially in 2010, didn’t matter much. Director Joe Johnston, at the helm for “Captain America: The First Avenger,” wanted him. Eventually, he got him, Evans’s reservations and all.

A year later, in the summer of 2011, “First Avenger” dropped onto movie screens around the world. I, as a die-hard fan of the character, came away not only validated in my faith in Evans, but ecstatic at the potential for his future appearances as Cap.

Not going to lie. Made me feel good that most people came away thinking he’d done well, too.

Winter of our content

“Avengers” blew our collective minds in 2012, of course. But it was 2013’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” that I believe sold the last of the doubters.

Maybe it was that first mission on the S.H.I.E.L.D. ship, and the fight with Batroc. Or maybe it was that elevator fight.

For me, this moment was the most compelling.

There are many, many other memorable moments Evans has brought to life as Cap through the years, of course. Great fight scenes, arguments with other characters, moments of humor as the man perpetually out of time.

No doubt he’s got a few more left for us to enjoy in his final performance coming next year. By all accounts, Cap has a huge role in “Avengers 4,” compared to the secondary role he played in “Infinity War.”

But I daresay this moment, his delivery of this speech, will be what I as a fan treasure the most.

Call it, Cap – one last time

I said it yesterday in a Tweet back to Evans. I’ll say it again here.

Thank you for your work this past decade. Thank you for bringing Steve Rogers to life in a way we fans will never forget.

And though, o Captain, my Captain, our fearful trip may nearly be done, to paraphrase Walt Whitman, I say this with much conviction.

We’re with you until the end of the line.

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