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CAPTAIN AMERICA 101: RED, WHITE AND KABLOOEY

Learn who's who in 'Captain America: The First Avenger' before the movie maneuvers into theaters

By Jeff Michael Vice
Special to MSN Movies

Are you sick of comic books and superheroes yet? It would be understandable if you were. This year has already seen the release of several movies based on comics properties. In addition to the under-the-radar adaptations "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" and "Priest," there has been a trio of would-be summer blockbusters based on existing Marvel and DC Comics characters and properties.

The mixed box-office results so far seem to indicate that audiences are losing interest in "cape and tights" movies. To be fair, both "Thor" and "X-Men: First Class" were very entertaining and should have been far more profitable than they were. "Green Lantern," on the other hand? Not so much.

"Captain America: The First Avenger," which hits theaters on July 22, appears to be offering something a little different, as it takes place largely during World War II. (We say "largely" because the film will obviously have to transport its title hero to modern days, at least if he's going to co-star in next summer's "Avengers" movie.)

The movie was directed by Joe Johnston, who has made cinematic period pieces before, including his 1991 adaptation of "The Rocketeer," and the Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle "October Sky" (1999).

Johnson does have a lead actor, Chris Evans, who's been good in some otherwise comics-based duds. Evans played The Human Torch in the "Fantastic Four" movies, and was part of 2010's "The Losers," which was based on the comic book from DC/Vertigo.

"Captain America" also has one of the best, most exciting trailers out there. And it's rumored that early audience test screenings were very positive. So maybe it's a good thing that a sequel is already in the works.

For those who are unfamiliar with the characters, or those who need a refresher course, we present to you this guide on all-things Captain America.

('Captain America: The First Avenger'/Paramount)

 
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