The first set photos of Steve Rogers as Captain America from the upcoming big-screen Marvel Studios adaptation, Captain America: The First Avenger, have hit the Internet and it's not Chris Evans. Relax, Chris Evans is still playing Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America), but the set photos, courtesy of TheSuperficial.com, show a different Captain America, Evans' stunt double in padded garb riding a period motorcycle, ready to put his love of country, liberty and freedom ("the American Way" was already taken) to defeat Nazi Germany and its fascist allies.



As you can see, it's not the modern Captain America costume, but if you've seen the early concept photos, director Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III, October Sky, The Rocketeer) wanted a retro look and feel, combining aesthetics, symbolism (e.g., red, white, and blue), and functionality for the World War II era set Captain America: The First Avenger. From what we've heard so far, Steve Rogers will slip into several iterations of the costume, each one getting him closer to the iconic Captain America costume familiar to comic book readers.

The Captain America in the set photos wears a blue helmet with the telltale wings, a red, white, and blue costume, a holstered gun, a utility belt, and brown combat boots to emphasize Captain America as more than a symbol: he's a soldier, fighting with U.S. allies in Europe, some of whom, we've been promised, will join Captain America in costumes of their own, to fight the Nazis and Captain America's soon-to-be-nemesis, the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving). And let's not forget the shield. Captain America isn't Captain America without the red, white, and blue circular shield.

Captain America: The First Avenger arrives in multiplexes everywhere July 22nd, 2011, two months and two days after Marvel Studios kicks off Superhero Summer with Thor: The Mighty Avenger.

Taking into consideration that these set photos shot are by a still photographer, not actual images taken from the film, what do you think of Captain America's costume? Yay, nay, or something in between? Me? Based on the World War II setting, the concept photos I've seen and now the set photos, I'm cautiously optimistic that Joe Johnston will give Captain America the big-screen adaptation he deserves.

And don't forget to head on over to TheSuperficial.com for more set photos.