Everyone knows Captain America is actually Steve Rogers, a 90-pound weakling who was transformed by the Super-Soldier Serum. The real secret is that he’s a comic geek!? Not even the Watcher saw this coming.
Avenging Spider-Man #5 opens with a comic within a comic, called Liberty Bonds. The one page comic was written and drawn by Steve Rogers before he became Captain America, but is eerily prophetic. It tells the story of a paperboy named Roger Stevens, who transforms into Sir Spangled, The Human Tank, and his dog, Liberty Bonds. Together they stop Nazis from selling counterfeit Liberty Bonds to undermine the war effort.
The Avengers have a good laugh when they see the comic in the newspaper. Captain America is clearly embarrassed, and not just because of the not-so subtle use of the phrase “Liberty Bonds” in every other sentence. He throws the comic in the garbage but retrieves it when no one’s looking.
Peter Parker believes Rogers to be a kindred spirit. “I was a science nerd, which isn’t the same as a comic geek, but the Venn diagrams definitely have some overlap,” Peter tells him. “All I’m saying is we probably have a lot in common.” However, Rogers is reluctant to talk about his past.
Peter tries to reawaken Roger’s inner geek by buying back his comic at an auction, but he doesn’t get the reaction he expects. Rogers tells him that he’s grown up since then. “That page was drawn by a kid. A weak, sick kid who thought that was the only way he could help his country… make his mark,” explains Rogers. “That was a future I was saved from. I don’t draw adventures. I’m a soldier. I have them.”
Rogers asks Peter if he still plays with his first chemistry set. Of course, he does but he initially lies out of embarrassment. Peter decides to follow Captain America’s example and throw it away but Rogers stops him. He tells Peter he’s having trouble creating a super hero that isn’t “an insensitive idiot,” and reminds him that he promised to help brainstorm. Peter replies “Oh, right. Heh. Wow, what a jerk I was.” Rogers concedes, “Yeah, one of us was, for sure. Probably not Captain America, though.”
By apologizing as Steve Rogers not Captain America it shows that he’s no longer ashamed of himself. It’s an effective anti-bullying story despite having no actual bullies, just societal cues. This geeky parable is dedicated to the creator of Captain America, Joe Simon, who died in December of last year.