Marvel’s Avengers Gets Shirtless Captain America

Captain America standing bare-chested on top of of a building.

Screenshot: Square Enix

Marvel’s Avengers never seems to catch a break, but maybe a new half-naked Captain America can change that. Crystal Dynamics announced today that the comic book loot brawler’s marketplace now has a new skin featuring Steve Rogers in the flesh, because if you can’t beat the competition, try getting horny.

“Bask in the summer heat with the American Dream Outfit for Captain America,” the studio tweeted out today alongside a clip of the stiff-nipped Avenger sporting jet-black aviators and working on his tan. The skin is roughly $9 and drops alongside a white outfit for Black Widow, seemingly tied to the new Marvel movie releasing tomorrow, along with a handful of volcano-themed outfits. Bring on the Marvel’s Avengers renaissance.

Internet love horny, and whether it was explicitly the strategy or not, it’s not unheard of for live service games to try and spice things up by reflecting sex through weird, distorted meme prisms. There was that Christmas where Overwatch fans wanted Widowmaker to step on them thanks to a new emote. And remember Fortnite’s pec-flexing beef cake kitty cat, Meowscles? What the fuck was that about? And while bananas being naked may have been played for laughs in federal court earlier this year in the Epic v. Apple antitrust lawsuit, you cannot convince me there isn’t something extremely sexual going on with Peely.

All of the new Marvel's Avengers outfits added to its in-game marketplace today.

Screenshot: Square Enix

Of course, there is plenty of precedent for sexy Captain America, including in Marvel’s Avengers main campaign. It was also exactly a decade ago that Marvel’s cinematic lense gawked at a ripped Chris Evans as he transformed into a juiced Nazi-punching super soldier. But Chris Evans isn’t actually in the Marvel’s Avengers video game. A narrowly offbrand facsimile of the Hollywood star is, and the new shirtless skin almost looks more like Mortal Kombat’s Johnny Cage cosplaying as the first Avenger, which is to say the whole thing exudes extremely weird “why are you mowing the lawn without a shirt on dad” vibes.

Or maybe the new sexy “American Dream” Captain America is just part of the character’s ongoing subversion of the actual American Dream. Real heroes don’t fight to protect the US’s deep seated hierarchies. They take their clothes off for hefty microtransactions to pad quarterly earnings.

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