By CAROLINE WESTBROOK
Shielding the pack: Chris Evans stars in the title role of Captain America, who is famous for his patriotic shield
In recent years a whole host of Marvel Comics heroes - from Spiderman and X-Men through to Fantastic Four and Iron Man - have been brought to life on the big screen.
And on Sunday comic book fans had their first glimpse of the latest character to join their ranks - World War II super-soldier Captain America.
A sneak peek of forthcoming blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger - starring Chris Evans as the eponymous hero - was screened during yesterday's Super Bowl game.
And although the clip runs for less than a minute, it gave moviegoers a taste of what they can expect when the finished film hits screens in the summer.
Set in 1942, Captain America: The First Avenger sees the title character begin life as Steve Rogers, a sickly young man who is deemed physically unfit to fight in the U.S Army during World War II.
Instead he volunteers for the top-secret military operation Project: Rebirth, and is transformed into the superhero - who has to defend his country against Nazi villain The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), who has plans for world domination.
Weakling: The superhero begins life as Steve Rogers, who is deemed physically unfit to enlist in the U.S Army during World War II
Big experiment: Rogers proves to be the perfect person to take part in a special army project
The film also features Oscar-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones as army chief Colonel Chester Phillips, while British actress Hayley Atwell supplies love interest as freedom fighter Peggy Foster.
Other co-stars include Sebastian Stan - who is currently starring in Black Swan - as Captain America's sidekick 'Bucky' Barnes and British actor Dominic Cooper, who plays Howard Stark, father of Marvel character Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.
It is directed by Joe Johnston, whose previous credits include Jumanji, Jurassic Park III and 2010 thriller The Wolfman, as well as another World War II set superhero film, 1990's The Rocketeer.
Life-changing: Our hero is given a chance at military heroism when he takes part in the mysterious Project: Rebirth
Pumping up: The preview sees Rogers being transformed in a special machine which turns him into the ultimate super-soldier
The film has taken a while to reach the screen, and was originally planned for a 2008 release but fell victim to the Writer's Guild Of America Strike which began the previous year.
And despite having an all-American hero, it was shot largely in the UK, with key scenes filmed in Wales, while other parts were shot in North Manchester, in locations which also housed the 2004 film Alfie and the recent Sherlock Holmes film.
Other sequences were shot at Liverpool's Albert Dock.
What a transformation: Rogers appears somewhat shocked when he realises the effects of the experiment for the first time
It's not the first time that Evans - who was seen most recently in 2010's Scott PIlgrim vs The World - has played a Marvel character on film.
He also starred as Johnny Storm in the 2005 adaptation of Marvel comic Fantastic Four, and reprised the role in the 2007 sequel 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.
Evans is also set to play the role of Captain American once again in the 2012 Marvel adaptation The Avengers.
Army chief: Co-stars in the blockbuster include Oscar-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones, who plays Colonel Chester Phillips
He recently told Empire Magazine that he thought Captain America was 'the ideal human'.
'My character Steve’s managed to overcome all the shortcomings he’s had in life and he does what’s good and what he believes is right,' Evans said.
Director Johnston added that despite its setting the film 'would not feel like a war movie'.
Female lead: British actress Hayley Atwelll provides love interest for Captain America as freedom fighter Peggy Carter
'It’s funny where it needs to be and emotional where it needs to be and serious and full of action,” he explained.
Captain America: The First Avenger, which will be in 3-D, is released in the U.K on July 29, one week after it debuts in the U.S.
Blockbuster potential: The film is due to open this summer and could well be one of the biggest box office hits of the year
Captain America The First Avenger Official Trailer (2011 Movie)
source: dailymail [endtext]