Captain America 1979
There’d been an association between all-American hero Steve Rogers and motorcycles in the past, but this aspect was given free rein in a largely-forgotten TV movie incarnation of Marvel’s most famous Captain. In the days before internet-fuelled fan fury and the wonders of CGI, Universal gave the iconic character a laughable contemporary overhaul, putting the hero’s adventures quite literally on wheels.
This version – the son of the original shield wielder – was a product of the groovy Seventies, and his chemically-enhanced physique was removed from the context of wartime. Presumably in keeping with the trend of vehicular-based mayhem generated by the likes of Smokey and the Bandit and Evil Knievel, he utilized a Street Hawk-style multi-purpose bike. When he wasn’t riding around on that, he was parking it inside a converted van. The new Captain America was keen on saving the world, but he wasn’t doing the ozone layer any favours.
Actor and sportsman Reb Brown’s costume was reworked accordingly, with that costumier’s nightmare of the character’s wings resolved by… erm, painting them on a crash helmet. The red and white stripes unfortunately resembled thick braces and the bike’s windscreen could be conveniently detached to take the place of Rogers’ legendary shield. Handy for repelling both bullets and mosquitoes! The reviews were lukewarm and a stupidly-titled sequel (Death Too Soon) appeared. However this take on the Cap vanished over the horizon, never to be seen again.
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