Captain America has no superhuman powers, but through the Super-Soldier Serum and “Vita-Ray” treatment, he is transformed and his strength, endurance, agility, speed, reflexes, durability, and healing are at the zenith of natural human potential. Rogers’ body regularly replenishes the super-soldier serum; it does not wear off.
Tactician and field commander
Rogers’ battle experience and training make him an expert tactician and an excellent field commander, with his teammates frequently deferring to his orders in battle. Thor has stated that Rogers is one of the very few humans he will take orders from and follow “through the gates of Hades”. Rogers’ reflexes and senses are extraordinarily keen. He has blended Boxing, Judo, Karate, Jujutsu, Kickboxing, and gymnastics into his own unique fighting style and is a master of multiple martial arts. Years of practice with his near-indestructible shield make him able to aim and throw it with almost unerring accuracy. His skill with his shield is such that he can attack multiple targets in succession with a single throw or even cause a boomerang-like return from a throw to attack an enemy from behind. In canon, he is regarded by other skilled fighters as one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the Marvel Universe, limited only by his human physique. Although the super-soldier serum is an important part of his strength, Rogers has shown himself still sufficiently capable against stronger opponents, even when the serum has been deactivated reverting him to his pre-Captain America physique.
Rogers has vast U.S. military knowledge and is often shown to be familiar with ongoing, classified Defense Department operations. He is an expert in combat strategy, survival, acrobatics, parkour, military strategy, piloting, and demolitions. Despite his high profile as one of the world’s most popular and recognizable superheroes, Rogers has a broad understanding of the espionage community, largely through his ongoing relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D.
The formula enhances all of his metabolic functions and prevents the build-up of fatigue poisons in his muscles, giving him endurance far in excess of an ordinary human being. This accounts for many of his extraordinary feats, including bench pressing 1,200 pounds (540 kg) and running a mile (1.6 km) in 73 seconds (49 mph/78 kph, nearly twice the maximum speed achieved by the best human sprinters). Furthermore, his enhancements are the reason why he was able to survive being frozen in suspended animation for decades. He is highly resistant to hypnosis or gases that could limit his focus. The secrets of creating a super-soldier were lost with the death of its creator, Dr. Abraham Erskine. In the ensuing decades there have been numerous attempts to recreate Erskine’s treatment, only to have them end in failure. Even worse, the attempts have instead often created psychopathic supervillains of which Captain America’s 1950s imitator and Nuke are the most notorious examples.
Weapons and equipment
Captain America has used multiple shields throughout his history, the most prevalent of which is a nigh-indestructible disc-shaped shield made from an experimental alloy of steel and the fictional vibranium. The shield was cast by American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain, who was contracted by the U.S. government, from orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to create an impenetrable substance to use for tanks during World War II. This alloy was created by accident and never duplicated, although efforts to reverse-engineer it resulted in the discovery of adamantium.
Captain America often uses his shield as an offensive throwing weapon. The first instance of Captain America’s trademark ricocheting shield-toss occurs in Stan Lee‘s first comics writing, the two-page text story “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge” in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941). The legacy of the shield among other comics characters includes the time-traveling mutant superhero Cabletelling Captain America that his shield still exists in one of the possible futures; Cable carries it into battle and brandishes it as a symbol.
When without his trademark shield, Captain America sometimes uses other shields made from less durable metals such as steel, or even a photonic energy shield designed to mimic a vibranium matrix. Rogers, having relinquished his regular shield to Barnes, carried a variant of the energy shield which can be used with either arm, and used to either block attacks or as an improvised offensive weapon able to cut through metal with relative ease. Much like his Vibranium shield, the energy shield can be thrown, including ricocheting off multiple surfaces and returning to his hand.
Captain America’s uniform is made of a fire-retardant material, and he wears a lightweight, bulletproof duralumin scale armor beneath his uniform for added protection. Originally, Rogers’ mask was a separate piece of material, but an early engagement had it dislodged, thus almost exposing his identity. To prevent a recurrence of the situation, Rogers modified the mask with connecting material to his uniform, an added benefit of which was extending his armor to cover his previously exposed neck. As a member of the Avengers, Rogers has an Avengers priority card, which serves as a communications device.
Captain America has used a custom specialized motorcycle, modified by the S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons laboratory, as well as a custom-built battle van, constructed by the WakandaDesign Group with the ability to change its color for disguise purposes (red, white and blue), and fitted to store and conceal the custom motorcycle in its rear section with a frame that allows Rogers to launch from the vehicle riding it.