In 1964, the Avengers were just beginning as a group. They had vanquished a few foes together, but their infighting had begun almost before the group had been formed. The Hulk, a founding member of the Avengers, had just left the team in the previous issue. This left a pretty large hole in the team’s roster. Luckily, fate found a way to bring a legendary hero to the Avengers.
Captain America hadn’t appeared in a comic book since 1945. Most readers in 1964 had probably never heard of him. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby decided to dust off this classic character and reintroduce him to the masses. Kirby had actually co-created the character in 1940 alongside Joe Simon. Explaining that the good Captain had been frozen in ice for two decades, the scene was set for the Living Legend of World War II to again take up his red, white, and blue shield and fight for the United States. It was a surprisingly effective way to bring back an old character and to keep that character at his peak physical condition. Better yet, it was a wonderful character moment as the Avengers realized who they’d just saved and what he meant for their battle against evil.