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.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN told the tale of a time-lost Rogers, struggling to return to his rightful place in the universe, but blocked at every turn by his eternal foe the Red Skull. Ultimately, Steve regained his body in the present, but witnessed the rise of a new Red Skull, the villain’s just-as-evil daughter Sin.
The Grand Director, the Cap of the 1950’s, joined with the political criminals called the Watchdogs in CAPTAIN AMERICA #602; Bucky attempted to infiltrate them in CAPTAIN AMERICA #603 while the Falcon fell to the Director’s machinations. Using the vibranium in the high-flying hero’s flight gear, the Grand Director created a bomb to blow up the Hoover Dam and “restore America” in CAPTAIN AMERICA #604, only to be stopped dead in his tracks by Bucky in CAPTAIN AMERICA #605.
In AVENGERS #1, the new Cap joined with Iron Man, Thor, and other champions at the insistence of Steve Rogers to reform Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #606, and responded poorly to Steve Rogers and the Falcon’s concerns over his behavior. After an attack on Falcon by Baron Zemo and an assault on Steve by a new female Beetle in CAPTAIN AMERICA #607, a drugged Bucky stood helpless as Zemo exposed his past life as the brutal Winter Soldier to the world in CAPTAIN AMERICA #608.
Captured by Zemo in CAPTAIN AMERICA #609, Cap found himself strapped to a drone plane by the villain on the island on which he “died” in the 1940’s, forcing him to free himself in CAPTAIN AMERICA #610 and head back to the States to face the music over his past. There, Steve Rogers failed to secure a pardon for his old partner in CAPTAIN AMERICA #611, while Bucky surrendered his freedom to the United Nations forces and awaited his trial. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #612, Falcon and the Black Widow sought out an expert in mind control to explain Bucky’s career as a Russian assassin.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #613 and the woman in question meanwhile escaped from a mental institution where she’d been incarcerated. Incredibly, the Red Skull’s former ally Dr. Faustus testified on Bucky’s behalf in CAPTAIN AMERICA #614, but things turned even darker when Sin nabbed both the Black Widow and the Falcon and threatened to blow up the Statue of Liberty. Racing to stop her and ultimately failing to recapture Sin in CAPTAIN AMERICA #615, Cap later received his sentencing of 20 years in prison, commuted to time served. Unfortunately, the subsequent celebration fell silent when Russian authorities arrived to extradite Bucky back to the Motherland for their own charges against him.
Steve Rogers tried to aid a new Captain America created by the Power Broker to fill the void in CAPTAIN AMERICA #615.1, while Bucky faced of against the former Titanium Man and a host of other problems in a Russian gulag in CAPTAIN AMERICA #616. His situation worsened there in CAPTAIN AMERICA #617 and #618, but the Russian-born Black Widow attempted to clear his name with her former taskmasters. After a battle with the Unicorn in CAPTAIN AMERICA #619, Bucky made his break from the prison with the help of the Widow, and Steve Rogers called in favors with the President of the United States to help his friend’s plight.
FEAR ITSELF #4, Bucky Barnes seemingly fell in battle with a mystically-charged Sin, and Steve Rogers donned the mantle and shield of Captain America once more to avenge his death.
While attending the funeral of his World War II flame Peggy Carter in Paris in CAPTAIN AMERICA #1, Steve dodged bullets from a shooter named Bravo and realized that someone sought Jimmy Jupiter, a war-time ally. Nick Fury explained Jupiter’s power to transport people to his “Land of Nowhere” in CAPTAIN AMERICA #2, while Steve fended off an attack by a returned Ameridroid in CAPTAIN AMERICA #3 and Sharon Carter deflected a new assault by Cap’s recurring nemesis Baron Zemo.