How Many People Have Been Captain America?

(Last Updated On: March 17, 2021)
Both of them have been Captain America.

With The Falcon and the Winter Soldier kicking off on the 19th you might be wondering how many times Captain America’s patriotic frisbee has been passed around. If you’ve kept up with the MCU the mantle of “Captain America” has already been passed down to the Falcon–which is probably what the show is going to deal with. Anyway comics go back pretty far so we all know that way more than just two people have gotten to throw that striped frisbee around. But how many people have been Captain America?

A Lot of People.

Considering the mess of timelines and universes that is anything related to comics, you really shouldn’t be surprised that there have been a lot of different Marvel faces behind Captain America. The answer to “who gets to be Captain America” is “whoever would be cool with the shield at the time.” This list will only get longer as we go on since the more comics people write the more versions of Captain America there will be. 

Here’s an example planned for 2021; Marvel plans to release a limited series centered around Captain America in June. It’s titled “The United States of Captain America,” and the series looks like it’ll introduce a new version of Captain America with each issue. Though so far, the only new name they’ve put forward is Aaron Fischer–who will also be the first openly gay Captain America. 

If you’re like many, your knowledge surrounding Marvel might not extend too far past what Disney has shown on the silver screen (and now on TV). Let’s lightning round some of the versions that still remain distant from the MCU.

The Lightning Round

There’s William Naslund, who made his debut in 1977. He’s one of the first times the title moved away from Steve Rogers. We can get confusing with more words that are closely tied with America; Jeffrey Mace has picked up Captain America’s shield in the comics. Except he’s also known the Patriot. You might know him from that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D show, where Mace did not become Captain America.

Know the Patriot? Well there’s also the Super Patriot, John Walker who has also picked up the mantle. He’s said to make an appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is a bit of a running theme on this list. Rumored to appear in the show is also Isaiah Bradley who had a very brief stint as Captain America. The super quick summary is Bradley was pumped full of experimental super serum in attempts to recreate the original. He was deployed by the US into Germany where he wore the outfit. 

Speaking of people who spent very short stints as Captain America, we have Roscoe Simons and William Burnside. The latter became Captain America because he was super obsessed with Steve Rogers. Yikes. 

Samantha Wilson has taken the mantle too–you might recognize the name since Sam Wilson (the Falcon) was given the shield in the MCU. She’s not family or something, Samantha Wilson is basically the same character just from a different universe. 

Marvel 2099 brought with it a lot of future versions of Marvel’s characters. Most notably is Spider-Man 2099, but Captain America also made the roster. In 2099, her name is Roberta Mendez. 

More alternate universe Captains America, Danielle Cage. She’s the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, but exists in a continuity unrelated to Steve Rogers. Alternate-universe versions of Peggy Carter (Steve Rogers’ main love interest) and Sharon Rogers (their kid) have also been referred to as Captain America. 

Names that Might Ring some Bells

While not all of these characters took up Captain America’s shield in Marvel’s movies or the shows, they’ve broadly been pushed more into the limelight. 

First is Steve Rogers. Duh. He’s the first Captain America, pumped full of all the super drugs during WWII. He’s an old man in the movies now. 

Bucky Barnes had a pretty long stint as Captain America in comics too. Yeah the Winter Soldier. Most of that time was him trying to redeem himself for all the atrocities he committed as the Winter Soldier. While Barnes is one of the most recognized “alternate” Captains America, the events of Endgame are a good enough indicator that the live-action content isn’t going this direction. Recognized with Barnes is Sam Wilson, you know, the Falcon. 

Ever seen The Punisher? Yeah that guy (Frank Castle) has been Captain America before in alternate universes. 

So the short answer to “how many people have been Captain America” is “at least 16.” We say “at least” because the list is bound to get bigger. 

See if you know which movies Captain America is in here.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.