Captain America may not be the first patriotic superhero—that title belongs to the Shield—but he is by far the most enduring and most widely recognized of those wrapped in the red, white, and blue. Probably more than any other character of the last sixty years, the good Captain has been rendered by artists and writers to reflect the mood of the nation. In March 1941, Captain America's creators, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, fashioned his origin after the simplicity of a prewar America: Having been rejected by the army, effete beanpole Steve Rogers volunteers to be a guinea pig for the government's top-secret super soldier serum. One injection from the brilliant Professor Reinstein and the pale army reject is transformed into the steel-jawed, muscle-rippling Captain America, complete with red-white-and-blue costume, winged mask, chain mail shirt, and stars-and-stripes shield. His mission is clear: We shall call you Captain America, Son! Because like you—America shall gain the strength and will to safeguard our shores! Reinstein gets shot and his Nazi assassins soon taste the swift, hard knuckles of the nation's newest hero. In due course, Rogers joins the army, acquires a kid sidekick—plucky regimental mascot Bucky Barnes—and embarks on a career of enthusiastic Nazi-bashing.