?Fact: Comics are published in many countries besides the U,S.A. Fact: Comics from American publishers like Marvel and DC are published in other countries for the enjoyment of foreign people. Fact: Despite this, no one named Captain Mexico has ever been accepted into the Avengers or the Justice League (hell, I don’t think they’ve even tried). Fact: Even in places with an incredibly robust native comic industry, like Japan and its manga, there’s no one named Tokyo Lad bearing the rising sun on his chest.
So why do American comics churn out so many American-themed superheroes? Enh, who knows. It’s almost the 4th of July, and we’d rather celebrate the many, many superheroes who have slapped the stars and stripes on themselves and
gone out to fight crime. They love parading their nation’s colors in
front of criminals, and they make sure that the stars and bars are the
last thing the perp sees before being beaten into oblivion. We salute these brave men and women the best way we know how — with a list on the internet.
10) U.S. Agent
?Despite being tougher and willing to do almost anything for his country, U.S. Agent will always be recognized as being a few steps below Captain America on the popularity meter, mostly because he’s a douche to everyone. It happens, Agent, and we love you for who you are.
9) Super Patriot
?In all respects, Super Patriot lives up to his name. He started out as a guinea pig for Nazi experiments (always a sure way to get super powers), and battled them through WWII, then kept the franchise going after he had his arms and legs torn off by a shark man. Just like how America doesn’t stop going after you do things to it like bomb Pearl Harbor, Super Patriot isn’t going to stop fighting for us, even if he’s a torso with a ripped up hamburger face.
8) The Shield
?It makes sense that Archie comics would put out an American-themed superhero. After all, Archie himself is truly the real American hero, and if you slapped his face on the American flag, most of the country would be OK with that. But the Shield was part of Archie’s superhero line, and he more or less dripped patriotism all over the page. He’s now living at DC these days, teaming up with the JSA and gearing up for his own team book.
7) Uncle Sam
?No pretense here, this dude is America. He’s the living embodiment of the country and he chooses to spend his time battling this country’s various threats. Made-up threats like super villains, not anything big like flag burning or trailer home meth production, but threats nonetheless. If it’s punchable, he and his Freedom Fighters will fight it for America. New series coming out in September too!
6) Mr. America
?Mr. America’s one of those neat characters that you know has a cool story to tell, but since he’s part of a team book he’s only going to get maybe a few panels an issue. Luckily, he’s been showing up more and more in the pages of JSA, taking a more active role in the team. Mr. America’s a legacy hero, with the original starting out fighting Nazis in WWII, then his relative inheriting the mantle and then passing it to the current Mr. America. He also wears a shirt that buttons up the front.
5) Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy
?Another great legacy hero! The first Star-Spangled Kid from WWII was really just a kid, with an adult sidekick. Sending kids to fight Nazis was standard operating procedure for America back in those days. He ended up joining Infinity, Inc. and kicking the bucket. But his sidekick Stripesy survived, and reluctantly passed his equipment to Courtney Whitmore, his own stepdaughter. She’s part of the JSA too, as the fan-favorite hero Stargirl.
4) Fighting Yank
?Golden Age means public domain! Fighting Yank originally appeared in 1941, which means that any writer who wants to can use him in their books. He’s appeared in Alan Moore’s Tom Strong comics and the current Project Superheroes. The best part about Fighting Yank? He’s haunted by the Spirit of America, a ghost from the American Revolution who gets on him when he’s not being useful enough. Basically, he’s haunted by the spirit of my dad.
3) Iron Patriot/American Son
?I’m lumping them in together, since there’s just enough evil and just enough good in both to make sort of one whole good person and one whole bad person. Norman Osborn thought he was doing good for America while being a scuzzbag, while American Son (a product of Norman’s sick mind) is off smashing stuff in his own limited series. I guess that in Norman’s way of thinking, if you’re working for the American government, you need to paint your stuff like a flag. But hey, he was doing it all for his country.
2) American Maid
?Crime fighting and house cleaners go together like boats and hos. Armed with a tiara and stiletto heels that she uses as projectiles, American Maid cleans up The City in the pages of The Tick and on the TV show of the same name. In an entire world of incompetent superheroes (including the Tick), American Maid is the only competent hero out there. It’s why she got included in the live-action version of The Tick, except they called her Captain Liberty, which is much less cool than making her an angry maid.
1) Captain America
?He’s…like, a part of the U.S.A. at this point. Our Olympic athletes could walk out with a banner showing nothing but his face and every country would be like, “Oh, that’s America. Cool.” Like many other Golden Age heroes, he started out fighting Nazis in the ’40s then moved on to fighting aliens in the ’80s, and now fights Nazis again because they didn’t get them all the first time. He’s great at what he does, though, and now you have two of them to read about.