In March, 1941, a new superhero found his way to comic books, thanks to Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. That hero, Captain America, celebrates his 75th anniversary next year, and in honor of that, ABC plans on airing a one-hour special dedicated to the red, white and blue-clad champion.
The special airs at 8 p.m. EST Jan. 19 on ABC, right before the premiere of Marvel's Agent Carter.
"From his first appearance in 1941 through the 75 years that would follow, Captain America has been one of, if not the most, influential comic book characters ever to be created," wrote ABC in a press release. "Take a look back at the history of this beloved Marvel character and see how his influence continues to have impact today in the original special Marvel's Captain America: 75 Heroic Years."
Captain America is the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a man who agreed to become a test subject for a serum developed by the U.S. government. That serum turned the frail Steve into a superhero who helped Americans (and the world) defeat the Nazis in World War II. However, Steve found himself trapped in ice shortly before the end of the war, later reawakening in the modern day.
Of course, that makes Steve a man out of time, and many of his struggles come from having missed out on so much. He has a strict moral compass, which doesn't often align with the modern world. However, he still embraces his superhero side by becoming a valuable member of a team of superheroes, the Avengers.
Rogers' story wasn't just told in comics, though. He became a box office smash, thanks to Disney and Marvel in 2011 with Captain America: The First Avenger, which told his origin story. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie arrived in 2014,and Captain America: Civil War is set to hit theaters in 2016. He also appeared in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
"Captain America has been the moral compass that has inspired generations to do better and believe in more than themselves," stated ABC. "Whether it be leading The Avengers or fighting for his beliefs, even when it meant taking sides against those closest to him during Marvel's Civil War, 'Cap' has been a beacon of light in the Marvel Universe and a central figure in the vast and dynamic world that Marvel fans know and celebrate today."
ABC's special promises appearances by many from Captain America's long history, including Chris Evans, who currently portrays the character in the mvoies, along with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Chloe Bennet and Clark Gregg. Also expect to see Agent Carter actress Hayley Atwell, as well as Marvel icon Stan Lee.
Finally, Marvel promises an exclusive announcement during the special.