- Captain America continues to embody the values of compassion and selflessness, even in a bleak future where he long since retired from his superhero career. He volunteers, protects others, and is a true champion of the people, much like Mister Rogers.
- Iron Man’s son, James, labels Steve as “Mr. Rogers” in an attempt to portray him as old and outdated, when really, the comparison between the two is apt.
- The nickname “Mr. Rogers” used by James to insult Captain America actually connects two genuine humanitarians, Captain America and Fred Rogers, who shared similar values and principles.
Contains spoilers for Avengers: Twilight #1!!
Captain America has long been a symbol of justice and morality, but not everyone appreciates his commitment to standing up for his beliefs. In a world of forcibly-retired superheroes, Iron Man’s son, James, leads the charge against him. He brands Steve with the nickname “Mr. Rogers” in an attempt to insult him, but instead correctly ties him to one of the most compassionate figures in recent history.
Avengers: Twilight #1 – written by Chip Zdarsky and Ralph Macchio, with art by Daniel Acuña, Walt Simonson, Gregory Wright, Cory Petit and John Workman – introduces a dark future timeline where Marvel’s superheroes were forced to retire. Steve Rogers has grown old without his super-soldier serum, but the country’s descent into fascism convinces him to step up once again – drawing the ire of Tony Stark’s son.
James attempts to silence Steve by painting him as a harmless and inconsequential champion of the old ways, by nicknaming him “Mr. Rogers,” after the beloved Fred McFeely Rogers.
Captain America Embodies the Values of Mister Rogers
Even in this bleak future, where he was forced to give up his shield and super-soldier serum, Steve Rogers still finds ways to make a difference. As Avengers: Twilight #1 establishes, he does volunteer work for the food bank, and Veteran’s Center and even ran for office, though he wasn’t elected. More critically, he doesn’t hesitate to put himself on the line to protect a group of teenagers being harassed by the Iron Cops. All the qualities that made him Captain America still exist, and they’re perfectly in line with the man behind that “Mr. Rogers” nickname – Fred Rogers.
While he is perhaps best known for his children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred McFeely Rogers was a true champion of the people. He gave an incredibly compelling speech to the Senate in favor of funding children’s educational entertainment, and used his platform to teach children about heavy topics like grief. He was also a major anti-war advocate, encouraging people to “look for the helpers” in conflict. Fred Rogers would, no doubt, consider Captain America to be one of those helpers. The nickname James meant as an insult instead ties together two great, genuine humanitarians.
Iron Man’s Son Doesn’t Understand Captain America’s Appeal
James Stark seems to have inherited few of his parents’ good qualities. He uses his resources to plunge the world further into fascism and attempts to drag down one hero who has already proved he’s capable of making a difference. Steve has a gift for communicating with people, and a proven willingness to make sacrifices to improve their lives, solely because it’s the right thing to do. James’ actions helped spur him to tap into that again. Iron Man’s son fundamentally misunderstands both Captain America and Fred Rogers, and it will inevitably cost him his power.
Avengers: Twlight #1 is available now from Marvel Comics
AVENGERS: TWILIGHT #1 (2024)