Erik Larsen illuminates Jack Kirby's ability to wrench hearts with a Captain America classic!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

“Picking a favorite issue is pretty much impossible. Jack did everything so well, it’s hard to pick a favorite.”

Erik Larsen sums up how many feel about the King’s work. Between his early days on CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS to his Silver Age co-construction of the Marvel Universe as we know it, Jack Kirby had a hand in releasing some of the most popular characters in all of pop culture. In other words, it’s no small task to pick just one story to talk about.

“If I was to pick a favorite scene by Jack as a writer at Marvel—it’d have to be the sequence in CAPTAIN AMERICA [#206] where The Swine fed a starving prisoner at his table,” Larsen explains. “Absolutely devastating. Powerful stuff, both story and art.”

This particular tale came from Kirby’s last stint on the character, during a time when he wrote and illustrated each issue. At the time, Steve Rogers shared the title with Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon—another Kirby co-creation. Issue #206 saw the creator shifting locations to a Central American jungle nation called Rio de Muerte, where a ruthless commander named Hector Santiago—dubbed “The Swine”—used prisoners for slave labor.

“The scenes with The Swine were just powerful and impactful,” Larsen recalls. “You felt the pain. You felt the prisoners’ plight. Yeah, the fights were explosive and the characters were great—there’s so much there—but Jack was able to tear out your heart. I think fans tend to overlook what a terrific writer Jack could be.”

Captain America (1968) #206

Captain America (1968) #206

  • Published: February 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
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Thanks to a botched kidnapping and ensuing plane crash, Steve Rogers wound up in close proximity to Rio de Muerte. After the Swine’s stooges found and attacked him, Santiago tried to shoot Cap, but ultimately stood no match for Steve’s ingenuity—and shield.

Intending to escape and get out of the jungle, The Sentinel of Liberty had a realization when he saw Santiago’s captives. Alongside Cap, readers witnessed the gruesome torture that The Swine put his prisoners through in attempts to make them divulge military secrets.

In issue #208, Steve fought off a Man-Fish monster before being trapped by the Swine’s goons. Intending to torture Cap with a flamethrower, Santiago soon found himself betrayed by his own cousin Donna Maria. Tossing her into the torture chamber with Rogers, Hector looked to set them both on fire, when the creature returned and made short work of the villain. In short, one of the worst bad guys around got what he deserved in classic Kirby fashion.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Steve Rogers hasn’t always been a paragon of virtue—take a look back!

With CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #17 cutting just a little deeper into our hearts on May 24, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with some of the Star-Spangled Avenger’s less heroic moments. It will be hard to compare to the sheer cringeworthy-ness of Secret Empire, what with the general taking over the world because you’re a Hydra sleeper agent vibes, but we’ll try.

Civil War (2006) #1

Civil War (2006) #1

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Let’s just say it first because you were all thinking it anyway: Civil War. Some of you may have been Team Cap and others Team Iron Man, but whatever your allegiance I think we can all admit that Cap maybe should have just swallowed his pride, sat down with Tony and worked that baggage out—or as the Internet likes to call it, #adulting—instead of passive aggressively forming a secret alliance to try and overthrow everyone at the expense of fellow heroes, civilians and a lot of what I can only imagine to be really expensive buildings and machinery. I’m sure construction companies made a killing afterward but that’s beside the point.

Captain America (1968) #165

Captain America (1968) #165

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On the opposite end of the spectrum we have CAPTAIN AMERICA #165 where we find out our handsome hero dating two women at the same time. Oh, and they’re related! The horror, the scandal, the indecency! It’s actually not as bad as it sounds; Peggy Carter gets amnesia and forgets that she and Cap broke up but he’s already dating her young great-niece Sharon. He doesn’t want to hurt Peggy, so when faced with having to break her heart he decided to date them both.

Captain America (1968) #372

Captain America (1968) #372

  • Published: July 10, 1990
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 29, 2013
  • Cover Artist: Ron Lim
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Somewhere in the middle of mass destruction and a sitcom plot, we have a 1990s arc, “Streets of Poison, running through CAPTAIN AMERICA #372378, where Captain America has a brief existential crisis regarding his use of the Super Soldier Serum, ending in him aiding the war on drugs. As his first strike, Steve blows up a facility making “ICE.” But the drugs fuse with his super soldier blood thus beginning the seven-issue bender of Steve Rogers where he beats up Daredevil, kisses Diamondback, calls a guy at a club a chicken—clucking sounds and all—and even—gasp!—eats Kingpin’s spaghetti! A truly masterful play that I’m sure is really a long con we just haven’t seen pay off yet.

How much worse can things get? Find out May 24 in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #17 written by Nick Spencer with art by Andres Guinaldo.

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The Avengers, Excalibur, Deathlok, Captain America and more cross the Panther's path!

For 50 years, the Black Panther has stood at the forefront on the Marvel Universe. As we count down to a vision of T’Challa on the big screen coming soon, take a look back at five decades’ worth of comic book adventures…

The Black Panther clashed with the Coal Tiger, his exact duplicate from another reality, in AVENGERS #356, part of an ongoing struggle between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and their new foes, the alternate-Earth-hopping Gatherers.

Not long after, T’Challa played host to a small contingent of Avengers and Excalibur members to discuss toxic waste disposal in EXCALIBUR #59. The gathering brought forth the menace of Icon, a bio-chemist with the ability to transmute his body into wood, in EXCALIBUR #60.

Captain America (1968) #415

Captain America (1968) #415

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After aiding the Fantastic Four in another dust-up with his old enemy Klaw in FANTASTIC FOUR UNLIMITED #1, the Panther hired the cyborg Deathlok to provide cyber-security for Wakanda in DEATHLOK #22. Moses Magnum sent his agent Phreak and others to invade the small country, but when that attack fell apart, he dispatched Killjoy to assassinate T’Challa in DEATHLOK #23. The cyber warrior blocked Killjoy’s assignment in DEATHLOK #24, and joined forces with the Panther in DEATHLOK #25 to bring down Magnum once and for all.

When the Panther welcomed friend Captain America to Wakanda in CAPTAIN AMERICA #414, he opened the nation up to an invasion by the Dinosaur-Men. During the fracas, he also discovered illegal vibranium mining and fought Ka-Zar in CAPTAIN AMERICA #415, as well as fell into the middle of a war between the High Technician and A.I.M. in CAPTAIN AMERICA #416, and held back the onslaught of A.I.M.’s use of the giant Terminus’ corpse as an attack vehicle in CAPTAIN AMERICA #417.

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Black Panther heads to the Savage Land with the Star-Spangled Avenger!

Read through some of T’Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

What happens when another nation reveals they also have the one extra-terrestrial element your country’s economy, advanced technology and sovereignty comes from? T’Challa answered that in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA #414417 by Mark Gruenwald and Rik Levins.

Part of a much larger Cap story featuring Diamondback, Shang-Chi, Falcon and various attacks on and by A.I.M., this part of the arc features Captain America, Falcon and Diamondback heading to Wakanda for Black Panther’s wedding, but by the time they get there, the festivities have been canceled!

T’Challa, distracted by the plunging stock prices of the Wakandan-held Vibranium Exports, welcomed Cap’s arrival. Before long, the entire gang flew off to figure out what’s going on in the Savage Land. There, they discovered an A.I.M. factory attempting to convert the seemingly useless Antarctic Vibranium into something useful. Along the way, Black Panther also faced off against a brainwashed Ka-Zar.

Captain America (1968) #414

Captain America (1968) #414

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The High Technician revealed himself as the one behind the the A.I.M. expedition as well as the creation of human-like dinosaur creatures. He and his mind-warping accomplice seemed like a decent enough challenge until the massive Terminus showed up! The huge alien robot previously destroyed the machines keeping the Savage Land’s homeostasis now found itself controlled by an A.I.M. scientist directly tapped into the thing’s controls.

While T’Challa confronted the man driving the behemoth, Captain America and a back-to-his-senses Ka-Zar developed a plan that led the huge robot to accidentally plunge its hand into a pile of Anti-Metal which soon disintegrated most of the structure.

Black Panther survived thanks to a safety foam inside the cockpit. Though he offered for Cap to take the injured Diamondback to Wakanda for treatment, he vowed to stick around the Savage Land and help the locals weed out anymore A.I.M. insurgents intent on stealing the Antarctic Vibranium, which he also realized rightfully belong to the people there.

SECRETS OF WAKANDA 

This storyline introduced the concept of Antarctic Vibranium, also known as Anti-Metal. Unlike the Wakandan variety which absorbs sound, this version actually destroys other metals it comes in contact with thanks to an impurity. Though T’Challa chose not to interfere with the people of the Savage Land’s production and sale of their version of the metal, he has used some of it to build claws for his costume. As revealed in the 2006 DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON series, Misty Knight’s bionic arm also partially consists of Anti-Metal, making it even more powerful.

Reginald Hudlin shifts focus from T’Challa to his sister Shuri in the first six issues of the 2009-launching BLACK PANTHER series with artist Ken Lashley.

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T'Challa and Captain America team against an evil from beyond the grave!

Read through some of T’Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

Black Panther’s creators Jack Kirby and Stan Lee decided to team T’Challa up with none other than Captain America as the latter transferred from TALES OF SUSPENSE on to his first solo series in decades. In the pages of 1968’s TALES OF SUSPENSE #97#99, the Panther sent a remote aircraft to Steve Rogers’ place in an effort to ask the Star-Spangled Avenger for help in pushing back an invasion that had some strange connection to Cap. Curious, the shield-slinger hopped into the jet and flew off to Wakanda.

Once there, Cap found himself pounced on by the Panther as a way to test the new arrival. His identity confirmed by the king, Steve joined T’Challa in an effort to stop a solar heat projector satellite up in space. Unable to pierce the satellite’s force fields, the two heroes headed out to put an end to the unwelcome control complex located on Wakandan soil. The pair faced off against a group of purple-and-white-clad minions who get the drop on them before parting to reveal their master: Baron Zemo!

Tales of Suspense (1959) #98

Tales of Suspense (1959) #98

  • Published: February 10, 1968
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 28, 2007
  • Penciller: Gene Colan
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
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Even though he’s shocked to see the man he witnessed die in AVENGERS #15, Cap helped the Panther fight the villain and his henchmen, but ultimately both owe their lives to an undercover Agent 13 pretending to be Zemo’s confidant Irma Kruhl who saved them in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA #100, which picks up directly after TALES OF SUSPENSE #99. After breaking her cover, Agent 13 assisted Cap and Panther in dismantling Zemo’s horde. T’Challa moved forward to reconnoiter and take out any hidden assailants including a hulking robot called The Destruction.

Cap soon unmasked this Zemo who turned out to be the real one’s pilot. Once revealed as a fake, the faux Baron crumbled. T’Challa offered the minions an opportunity to surrender, pledging they would receive a fair trial. Convinced of the king’s good intentions, the henchfolks agree and head out. With that, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. destroy the satellite, making the world safe again, at least for a moment. 

Secrets of Wakanda

In the last three panels of CAPTAIN AMERICA #100, T’Challa flew Cap and Agent 13 while also fielding a proposition from the Super-Soldier: joining the Avengers! At that point, Steve had left the team in the pages of AVENGERS #47 in order to focus on developing a life for himself. The same month that that the story debuted, Black Panther made his first appearance over in AVENGERS #51 before becoming a full member in the next issue thanks in part to the Panther’s own actions and also a recommendation from Cap. 

Next, Joe Casey and Will Rosado focus on the Black Panther’s earliest days with the greatest protectors of the Marvel Universe in the pages of AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES II from 2007.

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The most prolific Cap writer of them all winds down his historic run!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

After over a decade on CAPTAIN AMERICA, Mark Gruenwald ended his run on the book with issue #443 in 1995. By that point, the writer had developed the Star-Spangled Avenger into a full-time hero who dedicated himself to helping people the world over, but in the last arc, which begins with #438, he needs help himself to carry on his mission.

As covered in the “Fighting Chance” storyline, Cap’s Super-Soldier Serum quit on him, leaving him fully paralyzed. Not content to sit in a hospital bed, he asks Tony Stark to whip him up a suit that allows not only for movement, but also flight, gadgets galore, and even magnetic control over his shield.

Cap tests the new gear out on a mission to stop Flag-Smasher’s latest terrorist activities. Aided by Free Spirit and Jack Flag, he brings in the bad guy and then tells his team what’s going on with his health. Meanwhile, Bernie Rosenthal finds herself once again being held by Super-Patriot who she knows better as her and Steve’s former neighbor Mike Farrel a misguided sort who fell in with the villainous Dead Ringer. Though Mike sees the error of his ways, he soon perishes in conflict against Ringer.

The hits against Steve Rogers keep on coming as he and the Avengers separately decide to attack A.I.M. Island in the “Taking A.I.M.” crossover between CAPTAIN AMERICA #440441 and AVENGERS #387-388 which reveals that Red Skull has also armored up. Filled with Cosmic Cube fragments, Super Adaptoids, M.O.D.O.K., and all manner of other threats and deceptions—not to mention Superia running around with Diamondback dressed up as Snapdragon!—the mission ultimately succeeds, but Cap continues to wonder about his life moving forward.

Captain America (1968) #438

Captain America (1968) #438

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Finally, in issue #443, Black Crow appears to Steve mid-battle and tells the hero that he only has one day to live. Steve thinks about chasing his quarry down, but leaves that work to others. Instead, he passes the hotline duties on to Free Spirit and Jack Flag before a series of interactions with Crossbones, Falcon, his childhood friend Artie, Ram, and even Batroc who he talks with for hours after telling him what’s really going on with his impending death.

Not long after, he retires to his room in Avengers Mansion, lies down and seems to dematerialize, leaving only his armor behind along with one last sad thought: “Despite all my good intentions and constant struggles, the world is still filled with crime, war, injustice and tyranny. Let my epitaph read: ‘He didn’t do enough!’”

We know that Red Skull actually snatched Cap with the help of the equally not-dead Sharon Carter and a Cosmic Cube, but that doesn’t take away from the solemn occasion and final thoughts of one of the greatest heroes feeling like he failed in his last moments.

Cap Declassified

In the letter column of #443, Gruenwald takes some time to say goodbye to CAPTAIN AMERICA. In the process, he reminds us just how impressive his run remains even to this day. He explains that he wrote the character for over 10 years and about 127 issues, which tops everyone else that came before him including Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, J.M. DeMatteis, and Steve Englehart, as well as Ed Brubaker—though he’d come along later. In addition to challenging himself creatively, he also intended to bolster Cap’s rogue’s gallery with the likes of Crossbones, Flag-Smasher, the Watchdogs, the Serpent Society, and others who continue to pester Cap to this day. Sadly, a year after leaving CAPTAIN AMERICA, Mark passed away unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack. His work continues to inspire comic creators and fans to this day, including his enormous contribution to the mythos of Captain America.

Next, the Sentinel of Liberty fights with Magneto over a pair of unique mutants in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #4.

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Legendary creators link up for a brief but breathtaking run!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

Some creative teams leave a huge mark on a book even though they don’t stick around for a long time. Roger Stern and John Byrne’s run on CAPTAIN AMERICA ranks high in that category. This duo created the classic “Cap for President” story from #250. Today we look at a pair of two-parters that featured the Star-Spangled Avenger facing off against some classic villains.

First up, while Steve Rogers pulls an all-niter to take care of some freelance deadlines, Batroc the Leaper breaks Mr. Hyde out of jail. Instead of paying his savior right away, Hyde reveals a different plan that involves holding New York City hostage by threatening to ram the Big Apple with a gas-filled tanker.

The city not only delivers the money, but also another part of the package: Captain America. Though he breaks free and puts up a good fight, our hero eventually falls to the powerful foes who chain him to the front of the boat. Cap uses his huge reserves of strength and willpower to break free and finds an unlikely ally against Mr. Hyde in Batroc after the super-strong villain reveals that he intends to blow up NYC anyway.

Captain America (1968) #251

Captain America (1968) #251

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In the pages of #253 and #254, Stern and Byrne send Cap across the pond to meet with former Invaders Union Jack and Spitfire who fear the return of the vampire Nazi Baron Blood.

Blood nearly turns Cap into a vampire himself, only failing because of our hero’s reinforced costume. Later, Joey Chapman dons his friend’s grandfather’s Union Jack costume to help the Avenger defeat the villain. Though he takes no pride in the action, Cap realizes he must decapitate Baron Blood with his shield before the sun sets on their conflict.

Though their paths had crossed before, Cap’s conflict with Mr. Hyde in the first story directly led to the villain specifically targeting the hero during “Under Siege,” which also happens to be penned by Stern. The creative team also rejuvenated the Union Jack and Baron Blood characters who continue to appear from time to time. With each issue, the creators dug deeper into their lead character while also pushing him and his villains to new places.

Cap Declassified

Going back and reading long-running comics like CAPTAIN AMERICA can seem a bit daunting, especially when the status quo and supporting cast might differ so much from the modern ones. Luckily, creators like Stern and Byrne created easy jumping on points for new readers which translate into crash courses for current readers. #252 includes a back-up story that runs down everyone in Steve’s life from his Brooklyn neighbors to the recently deceased Sharon Carter. Meanwhile, #255, the duo’s last issue together, not only celebrates the hero’s 40th anniversary, but also retells the origins in that classic Stern and Byrne manner.

Next, a disillusioned Captain America joins a variety of equally time-displaced heroes to save reality in AVENGERS FOREVER by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco.

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When Steve Rogers quits to forge his own identity, John Walker takes over as the new Star-Spangled Avenger!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

In the classic “Secret Empire” storyline, Captain America becomes disillusioned with his government after realizing that an elected official also served as head of the villainous organization of the same name. What made him leave his post in the pages of Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer, and Tom Morgan’s epic “The Captain” story from CAPTAIN AMERICA #332350? A presidentially-appointed group called the Commission.

In a meeting with said group, they inform Steve that the uniform he wears and shield he carries actually belong to the United States government and that he basically needs to serve their interests in order to continue sporting both. By the end of the issue, he turns them in with a letter that states, “My commitment to the ideals of this country is greater than my commitment to a 40-year old document,” referring to some paperwork signed back when he applied for Operation: Rebirth.

In the wake of this epic decision, the Commission hires John “Super-Patriot” Walker to take on the Captain America identity and Steve Rogers eventually becomes the black-clad Captain, armed with a vibranium shield designed by Black Panther.

Even with scientifically granted super powers, training overseen by Taskmaster, and his pal Lemar taking on the role and costume of Battle Star, Walker eventually succumbs to the pressures of the job which lead him into direct confrontation with the Watchdogs, a racist group that murders his parents. Rogers meanwhile runs afoul of various members of the Serpent Society, the mutant Famine, and even Iron Man during his own time of great conflict in the Armor Wars saga. The long-running story also features Falcon, D-Man, Nomad, Diamondback, and Flag-Smasher.

Captain America (1968) #332

Captain America (1968) #332

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Ultimately, though, several key elements come to light. First, the Commission realizes that Walker’s instability makes him a very poor choice to fill the role of Captain America. Second, a nefarious outside force infiltrates the Commission. And, third, that force turns out to be the Red Skull in a body cloned from Steve Rogers’ DNA!

As the American businessman John Smith, Skull plans on bringing the United States down from the inside. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t plan on accidentally dosing himself with the Dust of Death, a toxin of his own devising that turns the victim’s head into a red skull.

While the Red Skull’s plans ultimately fail, things work out well for Steve Rogers who soon returns to his iconic red, white and blue duds. And the best part? Seeing the huge smile on his face when he looks in the mirror at the end of the story!

If you want to find out more about how Arnim Zola transferred the Red Skull’s consciousness into a clone of Rogers, read the back-up drawn by John Byrne for all that plus a recap of the villain’s long history up to that point.

Cap Declassified

Though relatively short-lived, John Walker’s role as Captain America lead to a longer-lasting one as U.S. Agent. Essentially taking over The Captain’s costume and vibranium shield, the newly minted hero still worked for the Commission, but also served on West Coast Avengers, Force Works, S.T.A.R.S., the New Invaders, Omega Flight and even the Mighty Avengers. During the Siege event, Walker faces another former politically themed super-solder in Nuke. The one-time Captain America fairs poorly and winds up in a wheelchair, missing a few limbs. He then becomes the warden of The Raft during Luke Cage’s tenure leading Thunderbolts and regains his limbs in an alternate universe thanks to the Dark Avenger known as June Covington. Walker might be keeping his head down now, but don’t expect him to do so for long.

Next, Bucky Barnes fights an enemy from his past with the Young Allies in CAPTAIN AMERICA: FOREVER ALLIES by Roger Stern, Nick Dragotta and Marco Santucci.

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The Star-Spangled Avenger faces a vast conspiracy and one of his darkest hours!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

Remember back when Captain America gave up on the Captain America identity to become Nomad? In that post we teased the hows and whys for a future date and here they are! The classic “Secret Empire” storyline ran from CAPTAIN AMERICA #169176 in 1974 thanks to writers Steve Englehart and Mike Friedrich along with artist Sal Buscema.

Originally part of Hydra, the Secret Empire works in the shadows to overthrow the government and garner as much power as possible. Though the group debuts in TALES TO ASTONISH #81, they later mount an incredibly complicated plan that includes tarnishing Cap’s good name, inserting the original Moonstone as a new hero, and even kidnapping a variety of mutants for a mysterious project.

Along the way, Falcon and Leila fly off with Black Panther for some technological advancements, the Secret Empire frames the Star-Spangled Avenger for crimes against the very law he vows to protect, and both heroes have a run-in first with Banshee and then Professor X and the original X-Men. Later, Steve and Sam infiltrate the Secret Empire in civilian guises where they come across the plan to siphon brain energy from mutants including Iceman, Beast, Havok, Mastermind and others.

Captain America (1968) #170

Captain America (1968) #170

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Before long, Cap proves more powerful than his Secret Empire captors before taking down their pet hero Moonstone. Feeling victorious, our hero chases down the evil group’s leader Number One and unmasks him. As it turns out, a trusted, high-ranking government official hides under that hood, but also a cowardly one who decides to end his own life instead of facing his crimes.

As the last issue of the saga opens, Steve declares, “Captain America must die!” thinking that he represents a sham. After recounting his origin, he talks with both Thor and Iron Man who encourage their fellow Avenger to stick with it. Even with all that support, he ultimately decides at the end of the issue that his alter ego must indeed perish!

Of course, we know how that turns out as Steve takes a short hero break before creating the Nomad identity and eventually realizing that he’s the only man fit to wield the shield. No matter how corrupt the country’s government might be, he still represents the ideals and the dreams of the people who make up this great nation. With that in mind, what makes him give up the identity in the late 80’s? Come back soon to find out!

Cap Declassified

Even though Sam Wilson joined on as co-headliner with 1971’s CAPTAIN AMERICA #134, he didn’t come into possession of the now-iconic red wings until #170. Instead of turning to some of Cap’s pals in the Avengers, he gets in touch with Black Panther who builds the “incredibly light, but super-strong, glider-wings” that also feature jet tips, solar batteries, and neuro-circuitry for better control. He immediately puts them to good use in saving his girlfriend Leila and helping Cap fight the male Moonstone and the mutant Banshee.

Next, Steve Rogers gives up his well-known secret identity once again in the pages of the epic CAPTAIN AMERICA #332-350 by Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer, Tom Morgan and the gang. 

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Mark Gruenwald and Ron Lim help the Star-Spangled Avenger celebrate 50 years of action!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

Oh to be young again! As we celebrate the 75-year anniversary of Captain America, it seems fitting to look back at what went into the character’s 50th birthday celebration back in 1991.

The story comes from longtime writer Mark Gruenwald and artist Ron Lim who also drew the cover with inks by Jim Lee. The issue itself starts with Cap chasing down the scythe-wielding Father Time who opens up a portal that swallows up first the star-spangled shield, then Time, and finally Cap himself.

In a spiritual successor to Jack Kirby’s BICENTENNIAL BATTLES, Cap finds himself tripping through legendary America meeting a variety of equally iconic characters like Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, John Henry, Paul Bunyan, and even Uncle Sam who explains that Captain America stands on the verge of becoming legendary himself.

Captain America (1968) #383

Captain America (1968) #383

  • Published: March 10, 1991
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 05, 2013
  • Cover Artist: Ron Lim
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Eventually, Cap fights Father Time who claims to be an Elder of the Universe before the two tumble into darkness. When Steve comes to, he’s back in the real world, spots Father Time and smashes him with his shield. As it turns out, Hawkeye’s under the hood and he leads the hero back to Avengers headquarters where everyone celebrates his birthday.

The rest of the issue includes a WWII story that features Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and Bob Petrecca as well as a U.S. Agent tale by Gruenwald, Mark Bagley and Dan Panosian and a Red Skull vignette by Gruenwald and Ron Wilson that stars the Steve Rogers clone Captain America, Arnim Zola, and Doughboy.

Cap Declassified

Anyone who remembers the “Streets of Poison” installment of Saluting Captain America will recall that our hero actually lost his super powers when Hank Pym cleaned out his blood to rid him of the drug Ice. Still, he seems to perform pretty well for a man who grew up during the Great Depression. In CAPTAIN AMERICA #384, Dr. Kincaid explains that the Super-Soldier Serum actually turns out to be a self-replicating virus instead of a drug. Since a few molecules of the virus remained in his system, they eventually reconstituted the serum back in his body.

Next, after celebrating Steve’s half-century mark, head back to a darker time when he felt the need to give up his hero identity after the events of Secret Empire from CAPTAIN AMERICA #169-174 by Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich and Sal Buscema. 

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