Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T-Shirts

by Andy on July 14, 2011

captain america header graphic 6 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Travis, who designs and prints movie t-shirt at Found Item Clothing asked me if he could help contribute to the blog by writing a list, and of course I said yes, he’s written loads of great shirt lists (and other posts) over at It Goes to 11 and knows a lot about tees. This list was meant to be 10 items but Travis couldn’t stop himself and ended up with a great list of 26 Captain America t-shirts, now that’s the HYA spirit!

Marvel continues to churn out live-action film adaptions for its A-list characters. Thor debuted (to mixed reviews) in May, followed later in the same month by X-Men: First Class, which effectively rebooted the mutant franchise with a Cold War-flavored prequel that explored the Magneto and Professor X backstory (and subsequent schism).

Both, however, are likely to be overshadowed by Captain America: The First Avenger, which opens later this month (July 22nd, to be exact) and will provide the last bridge in the run up to next summer’s looming behemoth, The Avengers. (That film will pull together the team’s core members — the Hulk, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Thor, Nick Fury, and Captain America (natch) — for what promises to be an epic exercise in comic book filmmaking.)

To mark Cap’s big screen arrival, then, we’ve compiled a list of 25 26 topical tees that reference the character in some manner. As with all of our t-shirt compilations, we’ve tried to strike a balance; featured below are new designs, vintage cuts, licensed products, bootlegged spoofs, eBay deadstock, and the like.

These tees, mind you, are ranked in no particular order. Price and link included after the image…

1. The 8-bit meme shows no sign of abating. Pictured here, along with Cap, are three foundational members of The Avengers roster: Thor, Iron Man, Hulk.

captain america avengers 8 bit shirt e1310246059425 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Available for $25 at Mighty Fine, an L.A.-based imprint that pairs impeccable production values with clever graphics pulled from film, television, and comicdom.

2. Our second design parodies the Angry Birds phenomenon.

captain america angry heroes shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$24.94 at Buy this t-shirt at RedBubble.

3. Avengers assembled, with their leader at the fore. The composition of the team — Captain Marvel, anyone? — suggests that the art was purloined from a mid-’80s issue of the comic, but the tee itself was printed by Junk Food Clothing in a distressed fashion to lend it that vintage quality.

captain america avengers junk food shirt 2 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$30 at Buy this t-shirt at 80sTees.

4. An example of the increasingly popular costume print trend, only applied in this instance to a sweatshirt (hide those arms, yo…).

captain america costume hoodie Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Note the detailing on the hood, which reproduces the eye holes from Cap’s mask and his so-called Eagle ears (but strangely eschews the “A”).

captain america costume hoodie detail Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$60 at 80stees.

5. The quote can be attributed to Dwight E. Eisenhower, the celebrated military leader and 34th President of the United States, but the tee’s origins are otherwise murky (a story arc, perhaps?). Anyone with insights on this should chime in below…

captain america descended in blood shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Sourced via an image search on Flickr.

6. Dirty Harry’s signature catchphrase, repurposed here in tribute (we think) to Cap’s teenage sidekick, Bucky.

captain america do you feel bucky shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$23.94 at Redbubble.

7. Given that Captain America’s powers were acquired by way of a “super soldier serum,” one thinks this next design smacks of personal hypocrisy. Included here for the throwback art (dig that boombox there on the right) and the wink-wink, nudge-nudge copy on the product page.

captain america drugs shirt e1310246624272 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$25 at Mighty Fine.

8. On a related note, our next design is a timely reminder that there’s more than one “America.” Hegemony is such a fickle muse…

captain america latin america shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$20 from the culture jammers at Buy this t-shirt at Headline Shirts.

9. Here’s Cap as the pitchman for Marvel Con 1976, which seems only apropos given the year’s historical significance (t’was America’s bicentennial anniversary). We’d like to think that this was probably a genuine design from back in the day, and reprinted of late to ca$h in on its retro properties.

captain america marvel wants you comic con shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$27.99 at Superhero Stuff.

10. A bit of self-awareness here, with original art from Kerry Gammill, Thomas Florimonte Jr., and Martin Thomas, noted Marvel contributors all.

captain america paper heroes shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Found at Flickr.

11. No list of Captain America tees would be complete without one featuring his arch foil, the Red Skull.

captain america red skull shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$21.99 at Superhero Stuff.

12. Shrink-wrapped deadstock — a ringer, no less — from 1975…

captain america ringer shirt 1 e1310246911850 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Listed on eBay and likely sold before this goes to post.

13. Cap’s (fictional) microbrewery reworks the Fosters logo to clever effect (and calls into question his message from shirt #7).

captain america rogers ale shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$24.94 at Redbubble.

Cap tip (pun totally intended, booyah): Shirtoid, a growing archive of tees inspired by geek and sci-fi culture.

14. A new design from Mighty Fine (one of several in fact), conceived in homage to the iconic work of the celebrated graphic stylist, Saul Bass.

captain america saul bass shirt e1310247019393 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$25 at Mighty Fine.

15. The iconic Arm & Hammer trademark gets reworked here as a Cap & Thor mash-up.

captain america shield hammer shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$24.94 at Redbubble.

16. But where, pretell, are the red boots?

 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$25 at Mighty Fine.

17. A montage of spandexed superstars, in this case quite literally.

captain america superstars shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$24.94 at Redbubble.

18. These colors don’t run.

captain america triple star shirt2 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$25 on eBay.

19. A well-executed spoof that acknowledges the United States’ neighbors to the north.

captain canada shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$20 at Buy this t-shirt at Busted Tees.

20. A throwback sketch of our hero, complete with stoic countenance.

distressed captain america shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$15.95 at Superhero Stuff.

21. Cap’s shield, fractured. Embedded within are pulpy images borrowed from the comic strip.

captain america fractured shield Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$25 at Mighty Fine.

22. An artifact from the ’70s, complete with notebook paper. The artwork is thought to be that of Jack Kirby, one of Marvel’s most famed illustrators, writers and editors from the era.

captain america iron on transfer shirt e1310333197450 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Currently $8.99 on eBay.

23. Nerd alert: this next shirt is an out of print design from a 2007 promotion exclusive to comic book retailers.

captain america lives forever shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Currently $10 on eBay.

24. Distributed at the 2010 Comic Con to build awareness for the film’s panel, this Camp Lehigh tee is also out of print swag with a clever twist.

We can’t decode the reference with total certainity, but Camp Lehigh, according to comic book lore, was the setting for Cap’s first encounter with his sidekick, Bucky. We also believe that its on-screen counterpart houses the experimental research program that turns Steve Rogers (Captain America’s civilian identity) into his titular, alter-ego.

captain america camp lehigh shirt Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

The detailing, along with the olive drab tone, is clearly designed to convey an Army-issued authenticity (and it does so rather effectively).

captain america camp lehigh shirt detail Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Back detail:

captain america camp lehigh shirt back Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

Currently $24.83 on eBay.

25. This last design, the punningly titled “Fighting Crime Doesn’t Pay,” imagines what might happen if our superheroes lost their livelihoods.

captain america bad heroes Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$20 at Buy this t-shirt at Threadless.

26. Lastly, the original cover art from the inaugural issue of Secret Wars, Marvel’s massive crossover event, which places the Captain front and center.

captain america secret wars shirt1 e1310350922820 Stars & Bars: 26 Captain America T Shirts

$19.50 at Amazon.

Thanks for reading this post and props to Andy for providing us with the forum. List your faves below!

Watch the trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger below!

Thanks again for the post Travis, you’re welcome to post any time!

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