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Chris Evans brings "Captain America" to Comic-Con

Actor Chris Evans, who stars in "Captain America: The First Avenger," before a showing of the movie during Comic-Con 2011, July 21, 2011, in San Diego. AP Photo/Gregory Bull

(CBS/AP) SAN DIEGO - "Captain America: The First Avenger," one of summer's big films that stars Chris Evans as the titular hero, made its big debut at Comic-Con with a special screening Thursday.

"I love this movie. I really think we've got something special here," Evans said to the packed theater audience, many wearing Captain America T-shirts (and some in the full costume, with shield). "It's everything a superhero movie should be.

Pictures: Stars at Comic-Con 2011
Pictures: Scenes from Comic-Con 2011

"I can't always be this enthusiastic, because I don't always like my movies."

Fans gathered before dawn for a chance to see the first public showing of the anticipated Marvel movie. They were rewarded for their devotion with free posters, buttons and T-shirts that read "First to see the first Avenger."

"This is what San Diego Comic-Con is all about," said Mark Walters of Dallas, who toted a poster and a T-shirt as he attended his 17th consecutive Comic-Con. "I've been waiting for this movie my whole life. I'm a huge Captain America fan."

Fans' enthusiasm remained constant throughout the action romp, where Evans plays Steve Rogers, a good-hearted but small-statured guy who enlists in the Army and submits himself for an experimental treatment to become a super soldier. Spontaneous applause erupted when Evans first came on screen, when Stan Lee made his requisite cameo and when Samuel L. Jackson appeared as the eye-patch-wearing Nick Fury.

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When the credits rolled, nobody moved. This is Comic-Con, and the fans here know that Marvel movies often end with "Easter eggs" that hint at future films.

This one was a doozy: A teaser trailer for next summer's superhero-packed "The Avengers" showed at the end of "Captain America," providing fans with a first look at the film and all its superstar superheroes in one dazzling, blink-and-you'll-miss-something preview.

"I can't wait for next year!" an elated Robert Garcia said as he left the theater. He had waited since 5 a.m. to attend the "Captain America" screening. "It was worth it just for the trailer."

"Captain America: The First Avenger" hits theaters nationwide tomorrow.