Since his creation in 1941, Captain America has represented everything we want our superheroes to be: brave, generous and seemingly indestructible. However, somewhere between Steve Rogers, Captain America's alter ego, and Iron Man Tony Stark, a notorious war-profiteer, superhero ideals changed.
"Marvel's The Avengers" features a group of strong-willed, stubborn superheroes who are forced to work together against their will. They all have different opinions and different ideas on how to take down their nemesis Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Unfortunately, communication is practically non-existent. In the film, they fight -- a lot -- and not with Loki but with with one another.
Superheroes have always been representative of the time from which they came from, so is the plight of the "Avengers" symbolic of America today? Mark Ruffalo, who stars as The Incredible Hulk, believes so.
"I think this movie is really a metaphor for where America is today and where we need to be to move forward," Ruffalo told The Huffington Post at the New York City premiere of "Marvel's The Avengers" Saturday night. "In the end, it's the community working together, without the real egomaniacal leader. It's going to take all of us working together, with all of our strengths. We don't need to dominate to move forward. We need to work together. Everyone has their own strengths and their own talents. We can all benefit from one another."
According to "Avengers" star Clark Gregg, however, the evolution of the superhero -- from crime-fighting role models to troubled men and women unsuccessfully dealing with the burden of saving the world -- can be traced back to Marvel's origins.
"I think it's what Marvel did that changed comics," Gregg, who stars as Agent Phil Coulson, explained to The Huffington Post. "DC had Superman, and he was the All-American hero. Superman and Batman were both from the World World II era of black-and-white superheroes. Then Marvel came in, in the '60s and '70s, and started asking questions about heroism and rescuing people whose job that was. They were the first to ask, 'Who are you to be doing that?' And they explored what a toll it takes on your character. That's always been present in Tony Stark, and you certainly see that in all of them in 'The Avengers.'"
"Marvel's The Avengers" is out in theaters on Friday. Check out HuffPost's full coverage of the anticipated film by clicking here.
PHOTOS: "The Avengers" assemble -- with everyday heroes -- for the film's New York City premiere.