By Jim Beard
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.
Russian General Lukin placed the dreaded Cosmic Cube in his Winter Soldier’s hand for safe-keeping in CAPTAIN AMERICA #13, while Cap and the Falcon raided an A.I.M. warehouse and ended up in the crosshairs of the former Bucky. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #14, our hero found himself in direct physical confrontation with his former partner and used the Cube to open up his old friend’s submerged memories. When Bucky realized his true self, he crushed the Cube and disappeared in the burst of light that followed.
Crossbones tortured Sin, the Red Skull’s daughter, in CAPTAIN AMERICA #15, trying to reawaken her true, evil self. Afterwards, the two caroused on a killing spree in CAPTAIN AMERICA #16 while Cap and Sharon Carter searched for Bucky and entertained a plea for aid from A.I.M. agents. The criminal organization of scientists didn’t care for being targeted by Crossbones and Sin, so in CAPTAIN AMERICA #17, Cap and Sharon took the fight directly to the two killers.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #18 and there met up with his old comrade Spitfire and the latest Union Jack. Bucky, too, traveled to England, on a search for Lukin, but Cap found only an old foe, Master Man, waiting for him at the London docks.
A mind-fused Lukin and Red Skull set off explosives in a freighter on which Cap and Master Man battled in CAPTAIN AMERICA #19, but the Nazi villain escaped and while the American hero and Spitfire rejoined the search for Bucky. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #20, the former Winter Soldier attempted to kill Lukin for brainwashing him, but became distracted by Cap’s new struggle with Master Man, this time high above England’s Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Red Skull/Lukin hybrid reactivated another of the old Sleeper robots and in CAPTAIN AMERICA #21 it rampaged across the city. A three-way fight erupted: Cap and Bucky versus the Sleeper, Spitfire and Union Jack versus Master Man, and Sharon Carter versus Crossbones and Sin. After the dust cleared, Bucky demanded a new robotic arm from S.H.I.E.L.D. to replace the one he lost during the battle.
CIVIL WAR #1, the death of school children during a fight between the New Warriors and a group of villains threw the super hero community into disarray. Captain America disagreed with his old friend Iron Man over Tony Stark’s proposed federal Super Hero Registration Act, going underground to prove his point. In CIVIL WAR #2, he organized a covert movement of heroes against Iron Man, and in CIVIL WAR #3 pitched his team into battle against Stark’s forces.
Sharon Carter tried to convince Cap to give himself up in CAPTAIN AMERICA #22, but found she couldn’t betray him to Iron Man. To make matter worse for her, Cap’s mind-altering enemy Dr. Faustus revealed himself to the Red Skull as Sharon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. therapist.
In CIVIL WAR #4, a false Thor interrupted a fight between Cap’s team and Stark’s, and in the process killed Goliath. Cap forged an alliance with the Punisher in CIVIL WAR #5, then commanded a raid on a prison set up by Iron Man to house super hero “undesirables.”
CAPTAIN AMERICA #23 to reprogram a Life Model Decoy to act as Fury’s eyes and ears during the civil war, and the Red Skull traveling to far-off Latveria to confer with its monarch, Doctor Doom.
Read more CAPTAIN AMERICA (2005) on Marvel Unlimited!