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.
2007 will forever be stamped as the year the great hero fell to an assassin’s bullets and left an unsuspecting world to ponder the loss and mourn his passing.
The so-called “civil war” between Earth’s heroes continued to rage in CAPTAIN AMERICA #24. Cap infiltrated a HYDRA fortress, discovered that Nick Fury helped from behind the scenes, and fought on unaware of the Red Skull’s plans coming to fruition. Dark days lay ahead.
In desperate battle with his former friend Iron Man in CIVIL WAR #7, Cap looked around himself and realized the great toll that fell upon the innocent from the conflict. After cracking Stark’s armor with his mighty shield, Steve Rogers threw it down and surrendered.
Under arrest, Cap’s transportation to a court house for a hearing in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 ended in unthinkable tragedy. Shot by a sniper from atop a nearby rooftop, the Sentinel of Liberty died while being rushed to a hospital, Sharon Carter by his side.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #26 brought two wakes for Steve Rogers, one through official channels and the other held by Cap’s underground allies. Still reeling from her betrayal of Steve, Sharon Carter quit S.H.I.E.L.D. while Bucky Barnes swore he’d kill Tony Stark, the man he held responsible for Cap’s demise.
Cap’s friend Wolverine refused to believe the news in FALLEN SON #1 until proven otherwise, while in FALLEN SON #3, Tony Stark offered the role of a new Captain America to Hawkeye. A funeral for the hero in FALLEN SON #5 ended with Stark submerging the body in the cold Arctic sea, intending it to be Steve Rogers’ last resting place.
After Hawkeye’s refusal of the role, Stark announced there’d be no replacement in CAPTAIN AMERICA #27. Bucky wanted Steve’s real shield, not the fake one placed in a museum, and had to fight the Black Widow to retrieve it.
Rescued by his cronies in CAPTAIN AMERICA #29, Crossbones enjoyed the chaos he’d created, while the Black Widow went after Bucky, who finally caught up to Russian mastermind Lukin. Crossbones delivered a beat down to the Winter Soldier in CAPTAIN AMERICA #30 and Lukin donned a mask to fully become the Red Skull. When Bucky protested too strongly, the Skull activated a Russian “shutdown code,” effectively silencing Cap’s partner.
Dr. Faustus attempted to brainwash Bucky in CAPTAIN AMERICA #31, and then instructed the Winter Soldier to shoot and kill Sharon Carter.