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.
Fresh from his ordeal in an alternate reality, Cap found himself in Tokyo, Japan in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 and face-to-face with Lady Deathstrike and her band of terrorists. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #2, the unthinkable occurred: fighting HYDRA deep below the ocean, Cap lost his shield to the unforgivable depths.
Back on dry land, our hero continued his battle with HYDRA in CAPTAIN AMERICA #3, ending up in the famous Smithsonian Institution. There, he used a replica of his original World War II-era triangular shield and decided that would be better than no protection at all to continue his good works. Then, in CAPTAIN AMERICA #4, Cap refused to endorse a congressman named Bolt after a tussle with Batroc, a decision that would haunt him in the months to come.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #8 to fend off an assault by the militaristic Kree race, Cap returned to his roots in Brooklyn in CAPTAIN AMERICA #9 and received a new energy shield from Sharon Carter and the tech guys at S.H.I.E.L.D. It didn’t feel like his original, but he decided to make due with it for the duration.
After Cap’s stand-off with USAgent in CAPTAIN AMERICA #10, the powerful, otherworldly Nightmare tried to subvert the American Dream in CAPTAIN AMERICA #11 and #12, leading our hero into the demon’s realm and a confrontation with a looming nuclear devastation. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #13, Cap attempted to help Congressman Bolt without interfering in the democratic process, a salve to soothe the damage done to the man by the Skrull.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #15. Iron Man returned Cap’s original shield to him, yet in pieces. The Skull wanted nothing less than the entire world under his thumb in CAPTAIN AMERICA #16, prompting the alien Watcher to tell our hero that the only way around the problem would be to kill the villain. So, that’s just what Cap did in CAPTAIN AMERICA #17, only to stand helpless as the Avengers’ former foe Korvac swooped in and snatched up the Skull’s Cube power for himself.
The Star-Spangled Avenger bested Korvac at every turn in the time stream in CAPTAIN AMERICA #18, and when the master baddie returned them to the moment just before Cap killed the Red Skull, Steve Rogers refused to repeat the act for a second time in CAPTAIN AMERICA #19.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #20 lead to the discovery of a vibranium virus caused by Cap’s shield in CAPTAIN AMERICA #21. The sound-based criminal Klaw escaped from his vibranium jail cell in CAPTAIN AMERICA #22, but when he faced off against Cap, his only success lay in inadvertently repairing the hero’s famous shield.
Steve ended up his year undercover in a prison in CAPTAIN AMERICA #23, then in a pitched battle against HYDRA, Crossbones, and the Absorbing Man in CAPTAIN AMERICA #24 to stop the unholy alliance from setting off a bomb in Manhattan.