Take 10

Take 10: Captain America Villains

With the impending return of Steve Rogers, the Secret Cabal looks at Captain America's most dangerous foes!

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. This summer, Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, returns in CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN—but he may not find the world he comes back to so inviting. Sure Cap's allies like the Avengers, the Falcon and his protégé Bucky Barnes will no doubt be overjoyed with Steve's survival, but the Star-Spangled Avenger ha accumulated no shortage of deadly enemies in his lengthy career. As a service to our favorite Sentinel of Liberty, the Secret Cabal compiled this list of the most unsavory villains to cross paths with Captain America. For each entry you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!
 

10. FLAG SMASHER First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #312 (1985 Why He Makes the List: "A different kind of terrorist, Flag Smasher doesn't hate any country, regime or people in particular, he hates them all. Smasher is devoted to tearing down all forms of organized government, and thus he presents a unique conundrum for Cap, often forcing him to ally with would-be enemies for the greater good. With an army of goons called ULTIMATUM at his back and a country to call his own, until Cable took him down for good, Flag Smasher was a danger to the whole world." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: CABLE & DEADPOOL #28—Flag Smasher attempts to dodge an assassination attempt by Deadpool!

9. VIPER Learn More About Her… here First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #110 (1969) Why She Makes the List: "Viper's dark beauty and slinky outfits draw away from the terrifying truth about this unhinged lady: she's an utter nihilist devoted to tearing down all that anybody holds dear. Where Captain America is a beacon of hope and salvation, Viper is his opposite number: a harbinger of doom and despair. On her own, with the Serpent Squad, and as Madame Hydra, Viper has devoted herself to annihilating Steve Rogers and won't quit until she's done." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #181—Viper leads the Serpent Squad against Nomad and the Falcon!

8. BARON BLOOD Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: INVADERS #7 (1976) Why He Makes the List: "You're going to read a great deal about Nazis on this list. They've been a thorn in Cap's side for 70 years. Plus, they're just plain evil. So how do you make a Nazi even MORE EEEEEEEVIL? Turn him into a vampire. Well, to be fair, Baron Blood joined the Nazis after becoming a vampire. Heck, maybe that transition is more evil! Whatever. Baron Blood was such a nasty dude that Cap actually decapitated him. Harsh, but necessary." – Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #254—Cap teams with Union Jack against the undying evil of Baron Blood!

7. ARNIM ZOLA Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #208 (1977) Why He Makes the List: "An early pioneer of human genetic engineering, Arnim Zola combined his scientific mojo with another of his great loves: evil. Joining up with the Nazi all star team of Baron Zemo, Hitler and Red Skull, Zola proceeded to genetically modify the hell out of stuff, clashing with Cap on numerous occasions. The dude who looks like a robot with a TV in his chest has continued his freaky experiments over the years and recently became instrumental in the Red Skull's plot to kill Steve Rogers." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #208—Captain America encounters the bizarre menace of Arnim Zola for the first time!

6. THE SERPENT SOCIETY Learn More About Them… here and here First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #310 (1985) Why They Make the List: "Generally, Captain America prefers to fight his personal battles mano-a-mano, not dragging the Avengers into situations he feels he should handle himself, which is why the Serpent Society present him with quite the conundrum: they're a vast and varied group with an array of sinister talents, but in each of their incarnations, they have invariably been Cap's problem, nobody else's. Whether he's fending off Viper or Sin's more militant Serpent Squads, trying to unravel King Cobra's elaborate schemes, or even romancing Society defect Diamondback, Cap's relationship with these snakes is always complex." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #31 (2002)—The Serpent Society coils around Captain America and their own errant member, Diamondback!

5. BATROC Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: TALES OF SUSPENSE #75 (1966) Why He Makes the List: "He leaps! Oh, how he leaps. But really, there's much more to Batroc than leaping. He kicks! He lives the life of a badass mercenary. And most importantly, he tussles with Captain America(s) and doesn't always get his teeth knocked out. How? Batroc is a master of savate, the French martial art of kickboxing. Even his moustache could kick your butt." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #30 (2002)—As Cap's life unravels, Batroc strikes!

4. DOCTOR FAUSTUS First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #107 (1968) Why He Makes the List: "Captain America defines himself by his undying belief in the American dream and peoples' inherent good, which is why the sinister psychologist known as Doctor Faustus has proven such a demoralizing and frustrating foe for him. Faustus prays on the dark underbelly of otherwise noble psyches, twisting morals and decency into doubt and decay. Faustus is not a muscle man who Cap can punch and get rid of so easily, he's a master manipulator who always knows to stay far enough behind the scenes to avoid Steve Rogers' red glare." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #107—Doctor Faustus launches his first salvo of psychological warfare against Captain America!

3. CROSSBONES Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #359 (1989) Why He Makes the List: "Who's Brock Rumlow, you may question? Brock Rumlow is both one of the greatest civilian names in Marvel Comics history and the villain known as Crossbones. An excellent hand-to-hand fighter trained by Taskmaster, Crossbones is also a master marksman. Need evidence? Crossbones fired and landed the first shot on Captain America in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25, a shot that incited the confusion and panic that allowed Cap's killer to make her move." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #16 (2004)—With the Red Skull dead, Crossbones strikes out on his own!

2. BARON HEINRICH ZEMO & BARON HELMUT ZEMO Learn More About Them… here and here First Appearances: AVENGERS #4 (1964) and CAPTAIN AMERICA #168 (1973) Why They Make the List: "The family that hates Captain America together sticks together—well, in spirit anyways. Heinrich, the original Baron Zemo, dealt Steve Rogers perhaps his most devastating loss, causing the apparent demise of his young partner, Bucky Barnes. While the elder Zemo would fall in battle with Captain America years later, the toll he took on the Star-Spangled Avenger can never be undone, and his son would enthusiastically pick up his mantel not long after. The Zemos are proud, ruthless and, most of all, relentless; Captain America will ever be rid of their curse for long." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS #277—Baron Helmut Zemo's ultimate campaign of revenge against Captain America and the Avengers comes to a head!

1. THE RED SKULL Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #7 (1941) Why He Makes the List: "Many consider Captain America to be the single most decent, honorable hero in the Marvel Universe, so his greatest foe would have to be one evil SOB—and the Red Skull fits the bill. Not only is the Red Skull a card-carrying Nazi, he's been one since the days of World War II, so he's got the market more or less cornered when it comes to hatred and bigotry. While his Fuhrer and his party have long since fallen by the way side, the Skull has not relented in his campaign of terror and dreams to bring the twisted dreams that have defined him to life. And how much does he hate Captain America? He killed him—that's how much." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: TALES OF SUSPENSE #66—The Red Skull encounters Captain America for the first time since the Star-Spangled Avenger's rebirth in the modern age!
 
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Comments

7 comments
The_Hobgoblin
The_Hobgoblin

The red skull is with no doubt number one. He killed Captain America! The one and only Captain America! Awsome list. Keep up the good work.

wyvern9
wyvern9

[quote@x1v9a2 There are three enemies not mentioned that need mentioning...1). The American Government. Cap has had quite a bit of falling out with the government many times, most notably becoming Falcon and then Civil War.2.) The Cosmic Cube. Okay, yeah, I know it's a stretch, but given that the Cosmic Cube and the Skull go hand in hand, and that even without the Skull Cap has dealt with it, makes it a constant thorn in his side.Plus, remember, the Cosmic Cube is also sometimes the shaper of worlds, so perhaps sentience is nto so far fetched.3.) Bucky. Cap has always been plagued by the memory of Bucky. In a psychological sense, I'm not sure Cap ever dealt with it.As a side note, I really liked it when Cap fought Nightmare, when Nightmare was using Cap in his plot to make a nightmare of the American Dream. Maybe the American Dream was the most insidious enemy, blinding Cap to his more arrogant moments by allowing him to hide behind it. Oh well. Those are my thoughts at 2:00 at night.[/quote] All good ideas, but somewhat to exestencial. Aside from needing to put Zola a little higher, this is a great list.

kreemarvel
kreemarvel

[color=seagreen] I love how, during Operation: Galactic Storm, Cap battles a lot of his foes, and we see how Cap thinks of them, in particular of Batroc.Batroc does not like the fact this is an unfair battle and actually aids Cap.If Cap has that idea about him, then it is good he gets so high in this list.I agree Viper should be closer to the top, though.[/color]

The_Owl
The_Owl

What about Iron Man?

x1v9a2
x1v9a2

There are three enemies not mentioned that need mentioning...1). The American Government. Cap has had quite a bit of falling out with the government many times, most notably becoming Falcon and then Civil War.2.) The Cosmic Cube. Okay, yeah, I know it's a stretch, but given that the Cosmic Cube and the Skull go hand in hand, and that even without the Skull Cap has dealt with it, makes it a constant thorn in his side.Plus, remember, the Cosmic Cube is also sometimes the shaper of worlds, so perhaps sentience is nto so far fetched.3.) Bucky. Cap has always been plagued by the memory of Bucky. In a psychological sense, I'm not sure Cap ever dealt with it.As a side note, I really liked it when Cap fought Nightmare, when Nightmare was using Cap in his plot to make a nightmare of the American Dream. Maybe the American Dream was the most insidious enemy, blinding Cap to his more arrogant moments by allowing him to hide behind it. Oh well. Those are my thoughts at 2:00 at night.

Miles_Warren
Miles_Warren

Well obviously Red Skull would be #1 but I think Viper should be slightly higher on the list. Other than that its a great list. :)