The Star Spangled Avenger got a warm welcome from his fans Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, as they gathered in Prospect Park to mark his 75th anniversary.
A 13-foot bronze statue of the Marvel superhero Captain America, or Cap as he is known, made its debut in the Childrens Corner of the park, right in front of the carousel.
Those who came to the unveiling, many decked out in Captain America related costumes and apparel, say it was a fitting location because he represented the city’s spirit whether he was fighting Nazis or evil aliens.
“He’s a hometown guy,” said Adrian Velez, 40, of the Lower East Side, who came with a homemade Captain America shield and helmet. “He grew up living in the streets like everyone in New York trying to be someone.”
Despite a heavy shower, fans kept lining up to get a picture with the statue and celebrate the hero’s seven decades of adventures.
“Putting the statue in the middle of Brooklyn . . . it gives people hope,” said Nick Terhune, 24, who came from upstate Nyack, in a Cap T-shirt and matching socks. “I can do something incredible too.”
Among the revelers was the family of Joe Simon, the character’s co-creator.
The hero, aka Steve Rogers, was a skinny weakling who changed into a man in peak human condition after he volunteered to take a formula during World War II. An accident kept him frozen in ice until he was thawed in present day.
Fans like Priya Mishrua, 18, of Deer Park on Long Island, said that his values were always humble.
“What’s so amazing about him and what I love about him is how he keeps his values even after he gets so big and strong, you know. I love skinny Steve as much as I love Captain America Steve.
Although the comic book incarnation grew up on the Lower East Side, the movie version, played by Chris Evans, proudly proclaims that he’s “just a kid from Brooklyn,” and that message is displayed on the statue’s pedestal. Marvel editor-in-chief, Axel Alonso, who lives in Brooklyn, called the Captain the quintessential New Yorker.
“What Cap stands for is as important and relevant now as it was in the ’40s,” he said.
The statue will spend a month in the park then move to the Barclays Center and finally go to Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park in October. Although there were a few criticisms from Brooklynites over the statue’s relevancy to the borough’s history, the sculptor, Dave Cortes, called the jeers “silly.”
“I see their point, but it’s not a permanent thing,” he said.