Who knew you had so much in common with Captain America? Talking to Box Office Magazine, director Joe Johnston dropped some knowledge about the plot of the Captain America movie. Yeah, we already knew it was a period film, but did you know that Captain America goes AWOL? It’s all part of how Cap proves himself a hero, according to Johnston.

The great thing about Captain America is he’s a super hero without any super powers. Which is why this story, among the hundreds of super hero stories, appealed to me the most. He can’t fly, he can’t see through walls, he can’t do any of that stuff. He’s an every man who’s been given this amazing gift of transformation into the perfect specimen—the pinnacle of human perfection. How does that affect him? What does that mean for him emotionally and psychologically? He was this 98-pound weakling, he was this wimp, and he’s transformed instantly into this Adonis. You’d think he got everything he wanted. Well, he didn’t get everything he wanted. The rules change at that point and his life gets even more complicated and dire. For me, that’s the interesting part of the story. It’s got some great action sequences in it and some incredible stuff that we’ve never seen before. But at the heart of it, it’s a story about this kid who all he wants to do is fit in. This thing happens and he still doesn’t fit in. And he has to prove himself a hero—essentially go AWOL to save a friend. Eventually at the very end, I don’t want to give away to much, but he does fit in. But it’s the journey of getting him there that’s interesting. And it’s a lot of fun.

So it’s about Captain America trying to fit in? Is this going to be a ‘Nobody in the Army trusts this new goofball Captain America’ story or a ‘Steve Rogers may have the body of a hero, but now he has to get the mentality of a hero’ story? If I remember correctly Fabian Nicieza and Kevin Maguire’s Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty miniseries in the 90s touched on a lot of this; unfortunately this comic appears to have disappeared out of the internet’s databanks (there’s record of regular monthly title of the same name, though). I’ve ordered a set of the miniseries from eBay so next time this shit runs I’ll have insight!

People are already talking about emo and stuff like that, which is truly a sign that the internet has fallen on hard times in terms of thinkers. You need a character to have internal conflict and room for growth; probably the hardest thing about Captain America in terms of writing is that he is so sure of himself, so rock steady and so much a conscious role model. The movie needs to find a psychological in, and the story of a 98 pound weakling learning to be a hero sounds about right to me