Over seven decades ago, history occurred with the debut of Captain America in 1941. 70 years later, Steve Rogers and his star-spangled alter ego have grown to iconic status, remaining a mainstay of the Marvel Universe while also expanding into the realms of television, film and more.
On April 4, 2014, the Sentinel of Liberty returns to the big screen in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" from Marvel Studios. As the countdown to Chris Evans picking up the shield once more heats up, we present the definitive comics history of Cap, from his debut to the modern day.
Still trapped in the frightening Land of Nowhere in CAPTAIN AMERICA #4, Cap depended on his network of friends to stop the mysterious Bravo’s plan to merge it with the real world. After their victory in CAPTAIN AMERICA #5, those same friends could only stand by helplessly as their ally suffered through nightmares of losing his strength and endurance.
A new Serpent Squad struck in CAPTAIN AMERICA #6 while Madbombs exploded around the country, a situation the Squad attempted to take advantage of in CAPTAIN AMERICA #7. Cap and Sharon Carter triumphed over the snakes in CAPTAIN AMERICA #8, but our hero’s nightmares came true when his strength disappeared for real, leaving Agent 13 to hunt for the Madbomber herself.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #9, but with Cap too frail to rush into action, the Falcon took on an escaped Bravo and his new HYDRA alone. Finally, Tony Stark developed a cure for Steve Rogers in CAPTAIN AMERICA #10, just in time to help the Falcon, who fell under the shattering weight of a Madbomb.
The deaths of super villains signaled the appearance of a new Scourge in CAPTAIN AMERICA #11, and Cap began to suspect that the Avengers’ former governmental liaison Henry Peter Gyrich knew more than he let on in CAPTAIN AMERICA #12. When the masked assassin hunted down former criminal the Porcupine in CAPTAIN AMERICA #13, Cap unmasked him as his old friend D-Man in CAPTAIN AMERICA #14.
A violent group called the Discordians attacked U.S. landmarks in CAPTAIN AMERICA #15, and a robot posing as a public figure raised the question of Cap’s obsolescence that divided the populace. More robots joined into spread the unnatural hatred in CAPTAIN AMERICA #16, prompting the Avengers to address the problem in CAPTAIN AMERICA #17. Ultimately, our hero faced off against the instigators, Bravo and Queen Hydra, in CAPTAIN AMERICA #18.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #19, Steve Rogers ended his year by visiting the 1950’s Captain America in the hospital and regaled him with the story of his exciting life.
Cap celebrated his 90th birthday in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 by first fighting the eco-terrorists known as the Green Skull, and then being whisked away by a strange subway car to Arnim Zola’s otherworldly Dimension Z. There, after undergoing a procedure by Zola, the Sentinel of Liberty escaped his foe’s clutches in CAPTAIN AMERICA #2 and fell into the hands of the Phrox, the dominant species of the dimension. With him came Zola’s young son, Ian, but the badly wounded hero could only worry over his adversary’s insertion of alien technology in his body in CAPTAIN AMERICA #3.
11 years passed in Dimension Z as Cap and Ian remained on the run from Zola in CAPTAIN AMERICA #4, and the Zola himself developed his own Captain America mutate. Ian’s sister, Jet Black, contemplated revenge on our hero for what she believed to be her brother’s murder. Resisting the overwhelming of Zola’s mind on his own, Cap battled Jet Black in CAPTAIN AMERICA #5, lost Ian to his father, and then destroyed Zola’s implant.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #6, while Ian’s “reeducation” continued. Our hero defeated his mutate clone in CAPTAIN AMERICA #7, and with the help of a confused Jet Black, discovered the fortress to be a gigantic battleship, poised to invade the real world. Zola set the now-powerful Ian against his surrogate father in CAPTAIN AMERICA #8, but Jet Black turned on her true father to help the Star-Spangled Avenger. When Ian stood over a downed Cap and began to come out of his brainwashing, he fell from a shot from Sharon Carter.
In CAPTAIN AMERICA #9, Sharon explained to Steve that he’d only been gone 30 minutes, though in Dimension Z it seemed to be years to Cap. In final battle with Zola—with help from Jet Black—the hero escaped the dimension in CAPTAIN AMERICA #10, leaving it behind to crash and burn. Unfortunately, that escape came to fruition through the sacrifice of Sharon Carter’s life.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #11, while the new threat of Nuke rose up to challenge him in Eastern Europe. With Jet Black and old compatriots like the Falcon at his side in CAPTAIN AMERICA #12, the eternal Sentinel of Liberty took up his shield once more and faced the future as America’s greatest hero.