It was 77 years ago, on December 20, 1940, that Captain America made his debut, punching Adolf Hitler on the cover of Captain America Comics #1.
His arrival came at the zenith of the golden age of superheroes: Superman debuted in 1938, Batman in 1939 and Wonder Woman earlier in 1940. Arriving in the ominous shadow of fascism, Cap and these other early superheroes didn’t fight super-powered villains. Not yet, at least. At that point in history, they existed solely to defend Western democracy against Axis enemies and similarly villainous, anti-freedom monsters.
Captain American and his contemporaries thus created a contemporary template for what it means to be an American, what American values represent and how we must always be vigilant against their erosion. In short, they taught lessons that remain imperative today.
That said, perhaps Captain America should be on required reading lists?