My grandfather, Isaiah Bradley, was the first Captain America… Sort of.
He and a lot of other Black Soldiers were Early test subjects of the experiment that ended up creating the super-soldier serum
And when all the other test subjects died, Granddad took an early Cap Uniform and went AWOL to stop the Germans from making their own super-soldier.
For that he was court-martialed and locked away in Leavenworth while the U.S. Army covered up the whole scandal.
When he was finally exonerated in the 60s, So much damage had been done…from the experiments and the punishment.
Most days he barely says two words…
It’s because of my grandfather that I became a Young Avenger. But it’s hard sometimes, to be a black kid carrying a name like “Patriot”. I remember talking to Captain America about that before he died and he explained what Patriotism meant to him.
It wasn’t about blindly supporting your government. It was about knowing what your country could be…And trying to lead it there through your example.
And holding it accountable when it failed. I remember he said:
Captain America: There’s nothing patriotic about corruption or cover-ups…or defending them. But exposing them, well, that takes a Hero.
Man, now that he’s gone…I really hate how much I resented him for what was done to my grampa.
Here’s the story of Isaiah Bradley that was mentioned in this post.
Eli was always cold towards Captain America and rightfully so. Horrible things were done to his grandfather and many other black soldiers in order to make Steve what he was.
BUT WHAT IS THIS?!
I AM FEELING ALL THE FEELS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!
EARLY MORNING FEELS.
The history of Eli Bradley and his family legacy (with the Super Soldier Serum) is one of the bravest, most complex expressions of pre-modern military rationale regarding race I could think of. It, sadly, makes sense that they’d test the serum on conscripts they deemed less valuable. Its an amazing story though, and Patriot? One of the best things to come of it.