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.
What began as a tense struggle against his most hated foe, ended with an entire change of scene for Captain America in 1996 and 1997. You could almost say that Cap became a whole new person.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #447. That truce melted down quickly, and by CAPTAIN AMERICA #448, our hero faced his worst memories alone and tried to change them for the better. Ultimately, he escaped the Cube and witnessed what seemed to be the final fate of the Skull.
After a fight with the Zodiac in CAPTAIN AMERICA #449, Cap faced off against the one opponent he couldn’t defeat: the President of the United States. The Prez took away the hero’s citizenship and asked him to leave the country, so Steve Rogers jetted off to England, unsure of his future, in CAPTAIN AMERICA #450 and together with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter, took down the robotic Machinesmith to clear his name in CAPTAIN AMERICA #451 and #452. The President forgave all in CAPTAIN AMERICA #453.
Following a desperate mission to the country of Tap-Kwai to rescue Agent Carter in CAPTAIN AMERICA #454, Cap stood alongside his fellow heroes to confront the menace of Onslaught, but lost his very existence in that struggle’s aftermath. The world he knew disappeared and a new one took its place.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 to the smiles and love of his wife and children, but felt wrong about it. Given the famous shield of the living legend of World War II, Steve’s memories of being Captain America returned. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed his family to be Life Model Decoys in CAPTAIN AMERICA #2, and the Red Skull and his World Party rose up to challenge the hero’s return by ordering the dreaded Crossbones to attack Steve in CAPTAIN AMERICA #3.
Captured and at the mercy of the Skull and Master Man, Cap fought valiantly to save himself and Agent Sam Wilson in CAPTAIN AMERICA #4, unaware that a new Bucky, Rikki Barnes, had also been seized by the villains. While stopping the Skull’s missile launch against America in CAPTAIN AMERICA #5, Wilson took mortal wounds, only to be healed with a transfusion of Cap’s blood.
Cap and Bucky teamed up in CAPTAIN AMERICA #6 to fight the triple threat of M.O.D.O.K., Baron Zemo, and A.I.M., with a little help from a universe-hopping mutant called Cable. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #7, our hero explained his disappointment in the U.S. government to Nick Fury and the President, and resigned from S.H.I.E.L.D.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #8. Upon destroying the group’s Texas fortress, Cap vowed to squash the Serpents wherever he’d find them. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #9, he rooted them out in Hollywood, but discovered that their leader, King Serpent, boasted of a much larger target: the entire country.
In CAPTAIN AMERICA #10, in Washington D.C., Cap gained some help from Sam Wilson, now in the super-powered guise of the Falcon, and fell back in shock when he saw King Serpent revealed as Nick Fury himself. The real Fury showed up in the nick of time to destroy his LMD in CAPTAIN AMERICA #11, and with Cap cut the head off the snakes once and for all.
Cap found little time to rest after that, for in CAPTAIN AMERICA #12, the world-eating Galactus arrived on Earth and found it protected by our hero, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. Cap loaned his famous shield to the star-spanning Silver Surfer, and with it the alien defeated Galactus, but at the cost of his own life. Then, Cap’s new world ended in CAPTAIN AMERICA #13, a “white out” that signified yet another change and a return to his former life on his original Earth.