While everyone knows Captain America is a hero, there’s always been a grain of truth to Tony Stark‘s MCU insult that, “everything special about you came out of a bottle.” Steve was given a peak human physique by science, including perfect reflexes and even enhanced mental acuity. He may be uniquely self-sacrificing and scrappy, but Steve Rogers was essentially just handed the tools he needs to be a hero… at least that’s how it seemed.


In Free Comic Book Day: Avengers/X-Men #1‘s ‘Controlled Demolition’ by Gerry Duggan, Javier GarrĂ³n, Morry Hollowell, and Travis Lanham, agents of the mutant-hating group Orchis attack Captain America after their explosive device throws him from Brooklyn Bridge into the East River. The narration explains that Captain America has been America’s best soldier for two centuries, but that it’s not due to his powers. The comic claims, “His success is mostly skill, a little science, but it’s also timing and luck.” The delineation between Steve Rogers’ skill and his powers is fascinating, especially since it’s stated as fact rather than a character’s opinion.

Related: Captain America’s Super-Immune System Is His Most Extreme Power

Captain America’s Skill Is More Important Than His Powers

captain america skill

This revelation suggests that Steve is so effective not because he has super soldier powers, but because those powers have allowed him to work at acquiring an unprecedented level of skill as a fighter and tactician. It’s common knowledge that Steve Rogers’ spirit is the most important aspect of his heroism. Tales of Suspense #63 (1965), by Stan Lee and Don Heck, says that Steve Rogers was chosen to be Captain America because of “his courage, his intelligence, and his willingness to risk death for his country” – something the movies also depict. However, this new perspective is different – the narration confirms that Captain America is so successful because of the skills he has trained to develop, not the power he was given by science (no matter how heroically he wields it.)

Captain America Is More Than a Lab Rat

captain america skill level

Indeed, Captain America trains constantly, regularly engaging in combat drills and world-class athleticism – he even secretly holds several world record feats he’s never disclosed to the public. It’s always been easy to read Cap’s training as just maintaining the abilities science gave him – keeping the ‘equipment’ created by the super soldier serum in tip-top condition. However, this issue suggests that anyone else given the same powers would have died long ago – the super soldier powers just allow Steve to tap his own full potential, which is actually what makes him Marvel’s greatest hero – at least according to Marvel itself.

Steve Rogers’ heroism and will power have never been in doubt, and he’s always been the best person the Super Soldier Program could have entrusted with powers. However, Free Comic Book Day: Avengers/X-Men #1 confirms that Steve has gone further than that, and that contrary to Tony‘s jibes, his powers are actually overrated – it’s really Captain America‘s skill that makes him so unbeatable, and that’s something he earned by himself.

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