While we’ve known for a while that Derek Luke is part of the cast of Marvel Studio’s Captain America: The First Avenger, there has been no word until today as to what his actual role is. Well, in what should be no real surprise to those who are familiar with the stories of Captain America’s World War Two adventures that Luke will be playing the part of Gabriel Jones, a member of the elite Army unit known as the Howling Commandos.
This won’t be the first time that Luke has cinematically fought in World War Two. He appeared in Spike Lee’s Miracle At St. Anna in 2008.
Joining him in the commandos are Neal McDonough as Dum-Dum Dugan. In the comics, Jones was the confidant of the Commandos commander Nick Fury. It has already been confirmed that Samuel L Jackson, who has played Fury in Marvel Studio’s two Iron Man films, will not be in Captain America, so it remains to be seen what Jones’s role in the group will be.
While it is fairly anachronistic for an African-American soldier to be part of an integrated combat unit during World War Two, you have to keep in mind that the Howling Commandos were created by Stan lee in the 1960s, and he wasn’t above sliding a little bit of social message into his comics from time to time.