Captain America: Civil War opens this week in America and is expected to be a record-breaking box office extravaganza for Marvel and Disney. But if one Reddit user’s calculations are correct, Cap doesn’t really need the money, since the U.S. government already owes him more than $3 million in back pay. According to anon33249038, the legendary super-soldier has been in the Army for 66 years and is still only a captain, largely because he spent most of that time in suspended animation. That doesn’t say much for his career trajectory, but the Army still owes him his salary for those six-plus decades. There are also living expenses and inflation to consider. At the time he was frozen, Captain America was an officer with specialized training in skills like parachuting. So on top of his base salary of $313.50 per quarter (in 1945 dollars), he deserves $100 a quarter more, plus $82.50 a quarter for living expenses. Then, one must assume that the Army gave him the biannual pay increases to which he was entitled. It begins to add up. Yes, sir, Steve Rogers could be looking at quite a payout when Uncle Sam decides to cough up the money.
But don’t start envying Captain America any time soon. “After doing this calculation,” says anon33249038, “the saddest part to me is that [his back pay] is still ridiculously low for the danger that he and all other American soldiers, past and present, put themselves in.” In Cap’s case, he has faced a ridiculous amount of peril, terrestrial and otherwise, since being thawed out in 2011. Enough for several movies, in fact. His services should be worth way more than a mere $3,154,619.52. He should at least get a taste of the merchandising rights. Then again, Reddit user Rob_T_Firefly points out, “This slacker showed up to work 66 years late acting like he still has a job. The nerve of that guy.”