Steve Rogers once tried wearing a cape, and found out first hand in the most embarrassing way possible that the accessory isn’t meant for everyone.
Although many heroes have no problem adding the accessory to the design of their outfits, Captain America’s costume has never had a cape. However, after he gave up the shield for the first time, Steve Rogers decided to try something new.
Although he gave up the iconic mantle because of a disagreement with the American government, Steve Rogers still felt the need to be a hero as only he could. After taking a brief respite from operating as a superhero, Steve returned to the life in 1974’s Captain America #180 by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, and Tom Orzechowski. Now calling himself Nomad, Steve created a new identity and costume for himself, adding for the first time a cape to his ensemble. Unfortunately, one of the world’s greatest heroes learned the hard way that capes are not for everyone.
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Steve had become disillusioned with the United States Government after discovering the Marvel Universe’s equivalent of the Watergate Scandal, that a high-ranking member of the government was in fact the leader of a terrorist organization called the Secret Empire. As a result, he abandoned the role of Captain America, no longer feeling like he could represent a country that had lost its way in such a terrible fashion.
But he soon realized that he couldn’t live without being a hero. Steve began designing a new costume, choosing a more somber design to represent where he was personally. But his major mistake was spending more time trying to settle on a new look rather than ensuring the functionality of the design. Steve added the cape simply because he liked the way other heroes looked in capes.
Steve decided to become the Nomad, taking its meaning of a man without a country to represent what he felt at the time. And he got a chance to debut his new alter ego when the Serpent Society kidnapped a man off the street. Leaping through the rooftops of Washington D.C. like the Marvel Universe’s Batman, Nomad intercepted them in a theater that was, ironically enough, playing a documentary about his glory days as Captain America.
But Steve vastly underestimated how impractical a cape can be, especially for someone who has never worn one before. The fight was going well until Nomad needed to pursue the Serpent Squad. He was actually taunting them about how they had met before, but was cut off when he stepped on his own cape, tripping and falling on his face in the process, stunning himself. This allowed the Serpent Squad to get away with their captive and with Madame Hydra saying she always knew she’d see someone trip over their cape one day.
Regardless, Steve got back up and immediately ripped off the cape, admitting that wearing it was a mistake. Still, the whole fiasco was just one more lesson why capes can be impractical for a superhero to wear, at least without years of experience.
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