In theory, Captain America really couldn’t be more American.
There’s his name, for one. Not to mention the comic book hero parades around clad in a red, white and blue star-spangled rendition of his namesake’s flag. But now that Captain America: Civil War is in theatres, we wanted to set the record straight: hidden beneath all that rootin’-tootin’ Americana, is one giant, polite maple leaf.
That’s right, Captain America was actually Canadian. At least, the real one was. Before we can explain all that though, we need to give some background on the iconic character’s story (trust us, this is going to freak you out).
Captain America, AKA Steven Rogers was born in the 1920s. Contrary to the heroic figure you’re likely picturing, Rogers was actually a small, frail, fine arts student. But when Hitler rose to power in the 1930s, Rogers joined the army and became a test subject for a “super-soldier” project, which came in the form of an inoculation that gave him his powers. The earlier comic books focus on him fighting the Nazis, the Japanese and other forces that threatened the Allies during WWII. The first portion of his story ends with Captain America being frozen in “suspended animation” off the coast of Newfoundland at the end of the war in 1945.
That’s the story of the fictional Steven Rogers. But thanks to the folks at Ancestry.ca, we were able to dig up details on a Canadian man with the same name who lived a very similar life.
The real Stephen Rogers was born in England and immigrated to Ontario in 1911 at the age of 13. As an adult, he wasn’t a very large man either–Rogers stood at 5’3 in height and had a 33-inch girth. Much like his comic book counterpart, he also joined the military to fight the Germans with the 75th Battalion, only this Rogers did it in WWI. And while we can’t say that he received any super-soldier serum unfortunately, his military records indicate that he was willing to receive vaccinations and inoculations. The Canadian Rogers also met his end near the end of the war, only he was killed in action in 1917.
Now, if you’re very familiar with the Captain America series, you’d know the superhero had a right-hand man named “Falcon” AKA Sam Wilson, who fought alongside him in WWII. Interestingly, Canadian records accessed through Ancestry.ca show that a man born in Nova Scotia named Sam Wilson would’ve also been fighting in the battles of WWI. Whether or not he fought directly alongside Canada’s Stephen Rogers remains a mystery, but it certainly is an interesting coincidence.
So there you have it, Canadians could very well descend from the likes of superhero lineage. Which certainly isn’t surprising, when you consider how awesome we all are.
Canadian Avengers, assemble!