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Is compassion essential to heroism? It is in Captain America: The First Avenger, in which the physically weak—yet brave and compassionate— Steve Rogers is chosen by the United States to be injected with a super-soldier serum and sent to take on Hitler. Army scientist Abraham Erskine explains that only the downtrodden can be trusted with great power because they’ve experienced the bitter taste of its misuse. It’s a nifty biblical moral at the heart of a gee-whiz superhero flick. In this case, the meek shall inherit the shield. (Marvel)

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