With recent films like Captain America 2, Judge Dredd and Man of Steel I've been inspired to get back into reading them. My favourite comic book character has pretty much always been Captain America. For starters he is an absolute badass: fast, strong and a brilliant strategist, but then he is also a really nice guy, who always does the right thing.
People might say he's too 'American' and jingoistic but that's unfair. He stands for America's core values: Liberty, truth, justice, values every sane human being should hold dear. Sure America might not act on these values with great success all the time but that doesn't mean they aren't great values.
So to get myself back into reading comics I picked up The Definitive Captain America: Reloaded. It's the second Definitive Captain America and features a choice selection of stories from the early days up to the present days in terms of comic books and story arcs. Interestingly not all of the stories feature Captain America, this is to show how he can influence and inspire people and, although it's a tad heavy handed, it does the trick.
The earlier stories are pretty campy by today's standards but it's interesting to see how such an iconic character was presented back then and you get to see Falcon's origin story which is cool.
My personal favourite moments are seeing the struggle to find out who will take over the mantle of Captain America and, for sheer badassery, the Captain America/Kang the Conqueror fist fight. Captain America creates a giant space projection of himself and punches a giant space projection of a universe conquering madman right in the face. Surely this represents the zenith of mankind's creative power.
It's a really good collection of stories that gives a good view of who Captain America is, what he stands for and why he's such a badass. This has well and truly got my interest in comics ramped up again and is a great intro to the character.