Nick Spencer wraps up an epic event with SECRET EMPIRE OMEGA.

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Nick Spencer kickstarted an epic tale starting with CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 last year and this week, he wrapped it all up with SECRET EMPIRE: OMEGA #1 along with artists Andrea Sorrentino and Joe Bennett. 

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before getting to the main event, let’s look at a few of the side stories that found their completion in this issue. First, as Clint Barton wept over Black Widow’s casket, Bucky Barnes found himself in Madripoor looking into the upcoming assassination of a general who aligned himself with Hydra. When the guy gets shot, Barnes thinks that the killer had to be Black Widow.

At the same time, Emma Frost and Hank McCoy talked about the dissolution of the mutant nation New Tian. While McCoy said that the efforts to put forth a solid mutant society would mean a lot to younger generations, Frost regretted that they would never know who their actual queen was.

Meanwhile, we also caught up with one of the more surprising members of HydraCap’s crew: The Punisher. Feeling betrayed and used, Frank Castle decided to make it his mission to burn Hydra to the ground. As Punisher continued his crusade, Nick Fury looked on and said to Control, “He’s ready.”

With those mysterious set-ups out of the way, it’s time to talk about the main confrontation in this issue which came between Steve Rogers and his Cosmic Cube-created copy with the octopus tattoo across his chest. To do so, Cap broke into a jail holding just the one captive.

Inside, he faced the man with his face. HydraCap, still convinced that the reality he understood thanks to Red Skull’s essential brainwashing of Kobik, was the correct one and one still worth fighting for. He also brought to Steve’s attention how quickly people seemed to turn on one another and reach for the power he offered them.

Rogers, while concerned with the damage HydraCap did to his image and reputation, still saw some good in the whole situation, hoping that this whole nasty endeavor would stop some people from blindly following anyone, even himself.

Ultimately, though, the true Captain America believes in the goodness of people and the resilience of his homeland. We’ll see him trying to make up for the mistakes a man with his face made over in MARVEL LEGACY #1 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #695.

The Empire Strikes Back

Upon leaving HydraCap’s cell, Steve Rogers warned his double not to leave his cell, letting him know that he’d be able to spot him no matter the face he wore. As the guards rushed in at the very end, though, one of them whispered something in his ear: “Hail Hydra.” So, while the threat of HydraCap seems low at this point, don’t be surprised if we see him again!

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The war-time hero turns secret agent courtesy of Stan Lee and the King!

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.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed the comic landscape with a quartet of adventurers in 1961. As the decade pushed on, so did they, creating more fantastical super folks than we can count, but in 1963 they introduced the world to a guy who would become one of the most important figures in the Marvel Universe: Nick Fury.

In the midst of the super hero resurgence, Stan and Jack decided to play to both their strengths and launch, of all things, a World War II comic. In a 2005-penned intro to the Marvel Masterworks collection of their run, Lee admitted that he considered these stories some of the best he’d ever written and Jack had ever drawn:

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (1963) #1

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (1963) #1

  • Published: May 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

“Maybe I relate to them so much because ‘King’ Kirby and I both served in World War II,” Lee wrote. “Jack was a fightin’ infantryman with the Third Army and I was attached to the Signal Corps. We were both discharged in 1945 after three years of service. And I know I don’t haveta tell you, it’s an experience you never forget.”

SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS not only gave the world tough talking Fury, but also his band of misfits, including Dum Dum Duggan, Gabriel Jones, Dino Manelli, Izzy Cohen, Junior Juniper, and Rebel Ralston. Lee said that he took pride in the diversity of the cast, which accurately reflected their experiences during the war.

Of course, Nick Fury wouldn’t stay in the 40s forever. In FANTASTIC FOUR #21, he made his first appearance in the modern day, meeting up with Reed Richards who had actually appeared as a pre-Mr. Fantastic scientist in SGT. FURY #3. Not yet sporting his now-iconic eye patch, Fury worked on a case for the CIA at the time. In the next two years, Nick lost an eye and became the head of the Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law Enforcement Division—or more simply S.H.I.E.L.D.—as seen in 1965’s STRANGE TALES #135.

Strange Tales (1951) #135

Strange Tales (1951) #135

  • Published: August 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Beyond evolving Fury into Marvel’s number one spy—and also its first and last line of defense against any number of threats—Kirby and Lee also introduced concepts like The Helicarrier, Hydra, Life Model Decoys, Zodiac, the ESP Division, and A.I.M., among many others. Just try and think of a long-running Marvel comic that hasn’t featured one of those elements—it’s no small task!

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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Two of the Fantastic Four tie the knot, Hulk fights Thor, plus more!

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on and witness the work that made him comic book royalty.

Even a casual Marvel reader in 1965 might’ve believed that Jack Kirby worked on every single issue of every single title the House of Ideas published that year. The truth of it stands as something less than that, but Marvel editor and writer Stan Lee knew a good thing and ensured Jack’s presence across the line in varied ways, and with a concentration where the Kirby touch would bring comic book gold.

First and foremost, Lee and Kirby’s flagship book remained Jack’s true focus at the midpoint of the 1960s. In FANTASTIC FOUR #32, after a battle with the strange android Dragon Man, Reed Richards received the answer he’d hoped for from his marriage proposal to Sue Storm, setting up one of the true monumental moments in comic history: the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 that summer.

Not to rest on their laurels, Stan and Jack also introduced the Frightful Four in FANTASTIC FOUR #36, brought Daredevil in for a guest-spot in FANTASTIC FOUR #39, and following Gorgon’s introduction in FANTASTIC FOUR #44, unveiled their next big idea, the incredible Inhumans, in FANTASTIC FOUR #45 to round out the year.

Over in Thor’s universe, Jack illustrated one of the greatest clashes of comics, the Thor-Hulk match fans clamored for, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, as well as designing a villain for the ages, Absorbing Man, for JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114. In addition, Jack’s images of the robotic Destroyer impressed fans in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118, but perhaps the real stand-out moment of the year in Thor’s world came in the introduction of Greek demi-god Hercules into the ongoing drama in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1.

Jack’s penciling duties for 1965 also extended into Captain America’s solo series in TALES OF SUSPENSE. For the first part of the year he produced covers and simple layouts for others to follow, but for his and Stan’s powerful team-up between Cap and Nick Fury in TALES OF SUSPENSE #78, he provided full interior art. From there, the duo planted dynamite under Cap’s world with the return of The Red Skull in TALES OF SUSPENSE #79, and the amazing Cosmic Cube saga beginning in TALES OF SUSPENSE #80.

Speaking of Nick Fury, Jack’s visions of technological wonders expanded exponentially when he and Stan promoted the sergeant into their newest concept, S.H.I.E.L.D., in the landmark STRANGE TALES #135. For the next several issues of the mag, Jack would do layouts and covers, helping guide his former World War II star into the Swingin’ Sixties.

Jack relinquished penciling chores on AVENGERS in 1965, but also helped out with layouts and covers, same as with SGT. FURY and TALES TO ASTONISH. Over in UNCANNY X-MEN he worked to illustrate the memorable meeting of the young mutants and the Avengers to fruition in X-MEN #9, and introduce the savage Ka-Zar in X-MEN #10.

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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The secret agent comes in from the cold for an evaluation!

The client, who goes by Nick Fury or Nick Fury Jr. in some circles and previously was known as Marcus Johnson, is an adult male in above average physical fitness. Although he lost one of his eyes in an incident of torture, he seems to have no long-term physical consequences from the incident beyond that loss. Additionally, he reports no further physical concerns stemming from it. The psychological toll of the incident and the series of events that have cascaded from that moment have not yet been properly accounted for, in the opinion of this writer.

In brief, as noted above, the client was known as Marcus Johnson. He, in fact, had identified as that for most of his life. However, it was revealed to him that he was actually born as Nicholas Fury Jr, the son of the former S.H.I.E.L.D. Director (amongst other accomplishments). He found this out while under attack by a series of super villains and various mercenary types and just after the death of his mother.

During this tightly packed series of episodes—each one being significant enough to change one’s perspective on their own life—Fury also met his biological father, a man he had no awareness of being related to. However, their meeting was short-lived, marked by violent confrontations with many who wished one or both of them dead, and Fury almost immediately went into hiding after and has been rumored to either have died, to be living in exile, or even, according to one particularly far-fetched sounding story, have taken up the role of some kind of cosmic nearly omniscient monitor.

Nonetheless, Fury felt motivated and/or inspired by his genetics to follow in his father’s footsteps and, alongside his best friend Phil Coulson, joined S.H.I.E.L.D. He seemed to be a natural for the work, using his military service, strong tactical mind, and natural charisma to adapt and excel despite a relative lack of training in spycraft.

Unfortunately, S.H.I.E.L.D. quickly proved to be a disappointing experience as the client was betrayed and nearly killed while on a mission by his team, a group of HYDRA infiltrators masquerading as S.H.I.E.L.D.

Now the client is operating solo and underground, looking to do what he describes as “the work of S.H.I.E.L.D., the work they should do,” in a freelance capacity.

The client, in session, seems resistant to the idea of admitting to vulnerability, perhaps understandable given the norms of the spy community and the existing pressures of masculinity. However, the amount of upheaval he has experienced in his life over the past year or so is undeniably disruptive. Even if the client would not quality for a formal PTSD diagnosis, his life has been so altered that it seems impossible that he would not be experiencing any kind of ramifications from those experiences.

Additionally, he showed up in my office of his own accord as I have reminded him. While he might be strong, while he might be traumatized, he nonetheless felt the need to seek out psychological counseling and/or support which means that neither he nor I should simply hand wave at what he has experienced as of late.

Through contacts, I have been able to acquire his S.H.I.E.L.D. mental health records done by Doctors James Robinson and ACO. They can be found in his file here on August 2 in the file marked NICK FURY #5.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who would never suggest he has experience in spycraft, but, you know…wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

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Peter David's epic run continues as we tour the Hulk's incredible history!

For over 50 years, the Incredible Hulk has been smashing his way through the Marvel Universe and into the hearts of fans. Whether you’ve discovered the tale of Bruce Banner and his other self through comics, TV, or film, get the whole story here…

Incredible Hulk (1962) #425

Incredible Hulk (1962) #425

  • Published: January 10, 1995
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 26, 2014
  • Cover Artist: Liam Sharp
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When the Eternal Knight assailed the Mount in INCREDIBLE HULK #425, the Hulk transformed into the Savage Banner when Pantheon member Achilles accidentally shot Betty during a fight with Ulysses. Achilles and Agamemnon both died during the attack, forcing the Knights to end their siege.

Doc Samson tried to treat the Savage Banner in INCREDIBLE HULK #426, but when Betty agreed to live and not ascend to Heaven, she and Bruce escaped to run away together, leaving a grieving Pantheon determined to hunt the Hulk down. Six months later, Betty and the Hulk resurfaced in a small town in Florida with new lives in INCREDIBLE HULK #427. Unfortunately, a mystery surrounding disappearing children arose, prompting the Hulk to search for them in the swamps. The path led to a deranged killer in INCREDIBLE HULK #428, as well as an encounter with the empathy-eating Man-Thing.

The town’s Police Chief Largo grew more suspicious of Betty’s “husband” in INCREDIBLE HULK #429 and when the death of a local girl during an anti-abortion rally brought the ire of the Hulk, the chief clashed directly with the green genius. The girl’s father, Hulk’s old foe Speedfreek, also ran afoul of the Jade Giant, dealing him a serious slash across the abdomen in INCREDIBLE HULK #430.

Incredible Hulk (1962) #431

Incredible Hulk (1962) #431

  • Published: July 10, 1995
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: June 02, 2014
  • Cover Artist: Liam Sharp
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When the Abomination turned up living with homeless people in the sewers of New York in INCREDIBLE HULK #431, the Hulk arrived to investigate and throw down with his former foe in INCREDIBLE HULK #432. Later, the Hulk agreed to travel to the Norse underworld of Hel in THOR #488 to retrieve the thunder god, but instead he entered into a battle with him in THOR #489 that almost leveled Hela’s dark kingdom.

Back on Earth, the Hulk intervened in a disagreement between the Punisher and S.H.I.E.L.D. in INCREDIBLE HULK #433, and afterward attended the funeral of presumed-dead Nick Fury in INCREDIBLE HULK #434. The strangeness continued in INCREDIBLE HULK #435 when the green giant found himself on the opposing baseball team to that of the super villain Rhino.

The U.S. Army found Betty and Bruce’s Florida home in INCREDIBLE HULK #436 and took Betty hostage to lure her “husband” into a trap. The Savage Banner appeared once more and fell easily into said trap, unaware of the onrushing menace of new foe Omnibus…

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T'Challa gets mysteriously recruited on a mission to find the Watcher's killer!

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

As one of the most intelligent and powerful individuals in the Marvel Universe, it came as no surprise when a mysterious individual called on the Black Panther to help figure out who killed The Watcher in ORIGINAL SIN #1 by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. While the Avengers ran around trying to uncover why anyone desired to not only murder the cosmic being but also steal his eyes, T’Challa and others headed out in small groups to do the very same.

Teamed with Emma Frost and Scott “Ant-Man” Lang, Black Panther piloted a craft towards the Earth’s center that ultimately lead them to a graveyard of horrible monsters, all seemingly shot with gamma-irradiated bullets from the same weapon. At this point, T’Challa wondered if The Watcher died because he’d seen the identity of the shooter.

Understanding that someone might be pulling their strings, Black Panther guided the craft straight up through the Earth’s crust into space where they meet with their fellow agents Punisher, Doctor Strange, Winter Soldier, Gamora, and Moon Knight.

Eventually these heroes came to understand why they’d been selected and by whom. Nick Fury, who had been secretly protecting the Earth from alien, subterranean, and supernatural threats in secret, needed to find a replacement because the Infinity Formula that kept him young stopped working.

Original Sin (2014) #1

Original Sin (2014) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After Fury revealed these details, T’Challa continued to ask the same question of his would-be predecessor: who killed The Watcher? After several attempts at uncovering the answer, Black Panther and his companions attacked Fury and his assembled L.M.D.s, resulting in an all-out brawl.

Even though he remained understandably upset at Fury, Black Panther still leaped to the ever-aging spy’s defense against his Mindless One attackers as a way to make the eye-patched soldier “answer for his crimes.””

As answers came to light and battles ended, the heroes developed a better understanding of what Fury had been secretly up to all of these years and what ultimately happened to The Watcher. However, since Fury’s successor never fully revealed him or herself to the group, Black Panther and Doctor Strange agreed that the responsibility should pass on along with the seemingly dead super spy.

T’Challa remained uncertain about all that, though. His last line in the last issue resounded with irony: “Then let us hope that it is actually dead.”

Secrets of Wakanda

When we first saw T’Challa in ORIGINAL SIN #1, he’s sitting in Necropolis, otherwise known as the Wakandan City of the Dead. Writer Jonathan Hickman introduced the locale in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #607 and #608. At that time, T’Challa’s sister Shuri had taken over the mantle of Black Panther. The FF traveled to Wakanda by invitation, but soon found themselves attacked by reanimated corpses. T’Challa revealed the place to Reed Richards, noting that he’d never traveled there before. “This is where Black Panthers are laid to rest,” he informed Reed before heading in.

Next, the king of Wakanda stands toe to toe against invading Super Skrulls as Jason Aaron and Jefte Pallo bring Secret Invasion to BLACK PANTHER #39-41.

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Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale bring their colorful style to Steve Rogers and Bucky!

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!

Few collaborators get to the heart of iconic characters like writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale. After co-creating a series of moving stories in DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, SPIDER-MAN: BLUE, and HULK: GRAY the dynamic duo joined forces to tackle the Sentinel of Liberty in the CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE limited series.

Set mainly during World War II, this story focuses primarily on how deeply connected Steve Rogers felt to his young partner James Buchanan Barnes. Taking many of its cues from the classic stories of the Golden and Silver Ages, WHITE posits a time when Steve brings Bucky under his wing after the young man wanders into his tent as he changes into his Cap costume.

From there, the two train and eventually head over to Europe to fight the evil Axis powers alongside the likes of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos and a French Resistance group led by Marilyne “The Gypsy” called Cirque de la Revolution. Marilyne proves incredibly proficient in taking on the Nazis, including Red Skull and Baron Von Strucker.

In the process of saving Paris from the Nazi scourge, Bucky runs off to confront the Skull, which leads to a quick and fairly easy capture of the hero. Luckily, Steve rolls right in and makes short work of the villain before saving his pal.

Captain America: White (2015) #1

Captain America: White (2015) #1

  • Published: September 16, 2015
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 21, 2016
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Jeph Loeb
  • Cover Artist: Tim Sale
What is Marvel Unlimited?

By the end, Cap earns the respect of Fury, who notes it’s not easy wrapping yourself in the flag and leaping into the spotlight saying, “That’s an impossible task and yer doin’ a pretty good job of it, Rogers.” Even better than that, though? Steve shares his first kiss with the lovely Marilyne much to Bucky’s delight.

A much smaller part of this story takes place after Cap wakes up during the events of AVENGERS #4 and revolves around conversations with Nick Fury, now head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury shows the unthawed soldier a pair of statues at Arlington representing Captain America and Bucky which results in the former coming to a crumbly end thanks to a well thrown shield by the Star-Spangled Avenger himself.

Even though we now live in a world that’s had Bucky running around in good health for over a decade, it’s important to remember how profoundly the assumed death of his best friend weighed on Steve Rogers after he woke up from the deep freeze. You can’t just erase all of the torment and pain, even though you can celebrate the knowledge that it might have been unnecessary.

Cap Declassified

One member of Cirque de la Revolution will probably seem familiar to longtime Cap fans: Olivier, “The Leaper.” Far from a secret, Steve recognizes the French martial art known as savate right off the bat which precedes a full-page ode to Jack Kirby’s silent fight scene between Cap and Batroc from his appearance in TALES OF SUSPENSE #85. As if all that fails to tip the hat, the fatally wounded revolutionary asks Marilyne to watch out for his grandson Georges, otherwise known as the international mercenary Batroc the Leaper.

Next, Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice and Michael Lark chronicle Bucky Barnes’ post-Cap adventures in the pages of WINTER SOLDIER. 

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Stan Lee and Jack Kirby dive into the origin of Steve Rogers!

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!

Even if you’ve read or seen Captain America’s origin recounted in other books—some of which have been covered here in previous Saluting Captain America entries—CAPTAIN AMERICA #109 still stands as a must-read. Not only does it give Jack Kirby a chance to come in and expand on the story he drew in just eight pages back in 1941, but Stan Lee puts his unique stamp by bringing in the bombast we all know and love. More importantly, it hits all the notes that writers and artists have been playing in the almost 50 years since publication.

The issue begins with Steve recounting one of his last adventures with Bucky before the fateful day on Zemo’s island that lead to both of their disappearances. In true Kirby and Lee fashion, it’s a heart-pumping thrill fest filled with evil Nazi guards, giant machinery, and the kind of heroism we’ve come to expect from Captain America.

Back in the present, we see the person Rogers tells his tale to: Nick Fury. The two go on about Cap being frozen and Bucky’s death, but also Steve’s status as a true man out of time who looks like he’s in his 20’s even though he’s been around a lot longer than that. As you might expect, Fury essentially tells Cap he doesn’t have it so bad: “I ain’t about to knock yer hang-up, but there’s plenty’a guys my age who wouldn’t mind bein’ in your shoes!”

From there, Steve flashes back to his scrawnier days when the Army wanted nothing to do with him and he volunteered for the Super-Soldier Serum project. Though that’s all known info at this point, the story expands to cover how the Nazi spies used a submarine to get through the naval mines off of Long Island and how Kruger actually got into the room that saw the birth of Captain America before killing Professor Erskine.

Captain America (1968) #109

Captain America (1968) #109

  • Published: January 10, 1969
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

After the doctor dies in Kruger’s ambush, Steve realizes he will not be the first in an army of Super-Soldiers, but instead the only one. “As long as I live, I’ll dedicate myself to fighting—to destroying the enemies of liberty!” he shouts before knocking the Nazi into some nearby equipment, killing him in the process.

From there, Cap’s memories flow to the time in his life when Bucky stumbled into his tent while he changed into his fighting togs. In this version, Steve decides to bring Bucky on as his partner after the lad suggests a team-up. On that day one of the greatest partnerships in heroism came into being.

Fury offers his condolences for the loss of the young man, noting that watching a friend die remains the hardest thing to get over from the days of war. At the end, the S.H.I.E.L.D. commander suggests Steve have some fun, but the man himself wonders if he still can. Considering the next issue leads to a fight with the Hulk and another attempt by Rick Jones to take over for Bucky, that might just be the case.   

Cap Declassified

One of the staples of the early CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS stories revolved around Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes acting like real screw-ups to cover their super hero identities while on base before the United States joined World War II. Sgt. Michael Duffy always gave Rogers and Barnes a hard time, often yelling at them and sending them off to peel potatoes or clean the latrines, not knowing their true identities. Once the USA officially entered into WWII, though, Cap and Bucky traveled overseas to fight Hitler and his mean head-on. Though Rogers never saw the man again, Bucky did come across his headstone at Arlington National Cemetery in the pages of the YOUNG ALLIES COMICS 70TH ANNIVERSARY one-shot.

Next, discover the origins of James Barnes in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #620-624 by Ed Brubaker, Marc Andreyko, and Chris Samnee.

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Winter Soldier celebrates his first holiday after returning to the land of the living!

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!

As a kid growing up on an army base and then a costumed soldier fighting his way through World War II, Bucky Barnes always loved Christmas. Thanks to the Russians nabbing the memory-less hero and keeping him in suspended animation, setting him free only to murder people as the Winter Soldier, he missed out on a great many of his favorite holidays.

In WINTER SOLDIER: WINTER KILLS by Ed Brubaker and Lee Weeks, he wonders what’s happened to the most wonderful time of the year. Unfrozen and reunited with his memories thanks to Steve Rogers and his use of the Cosmic Cube, Bucky wanders a Civil War-wracked Marvel Universe witnessing gross consumerism from people who all seem to miss the point of the season.

Though he asked to be left undisturbed by Nick Fury on this one day, he still responds to the former Howling Commando’s call which sends him into direct contact with Patriot, Hawkeye, and Vision of the Young Avengers. Fury wants to stop them from attacking a Hydra base that he’s got eyes on. Instead, they get spotted and jump into the fray, destroying the base in the process.

Winter Soldier: Winter Kills (2006) #1

Winter Soldier: Winter Kills (2006) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Later, Bucky bails to visit Jack Monroe’s grave and apologize for reasons that will be explored in a future installment of Saluting Captain America. But, he fails to shake his new Young Avengers pals who know his true identity thanks to Vision’s database. They salute the man who began the tradition of young people fighting the good fight for humanity before leaving him to his evening.

From there, Bucky heads to another grave: that of Toro, his longtime friend and fellow Invader. Another portion of this story looks back to a WWII Christmas in which Barnes helped the young hothead finally ask the girl of his dreams to dance. While the Soldier reminisces, Namor appears to share a moment with Bucky, dropping perfect Namor-isms like, “If you attempt to give me a criss-mass present, I will break your arms” and, “I’m not unhappy that you’re not dead.”

The issue ends with Bucky asking his former teammate to recount the story of Toro’s death which he missed thanks to the aforementioned time in suspended animation. If you’re curious about how that went down, head over to SUB-MARINER #14 and witness the Roy Thomas-penned and Marie Severin-drawn events for yourself.

Cap Declassified

If you’re curious to read a few more stories about Toro, check out AVENGERS/INVADERS in which the Golden Age hero finds himself transported to the modern era. At the end of that series, Bucky uses the Cosmic Cube to bring his friend back from the dead in the modern era. That then leads directly into the 2009-launching series TORCH, which reunites him with his android partner the Human Torch and reveals more connections between the two than previously believed. 

Next, the Super-Soldier Serum betrays its number one proponent in “Fighting Chance” from CAPTAIN AMERICA #425-437 by Mark Gruenwald and Dave Hoover.

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The two make their Tri-Carrier escape in a clip from 'Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6,' airing Sunday!

Spidey does his best to protect the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a clip from “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6”! Check out the clip above and catch a one-hour “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6” event this Sunday at 9:00 AM ET on Disney XD.

Just when Spider-Man thinks his life looks great, Hydra steps in to add a few complications! Now a full-fledged member of S.H.I.E.L.D., Spidey must help his leader Nick Fury flee from a Hydra invasion onboard thier Tri-Carrier. See if Spider-Man and Fury survive the escape by watching the clip above!

Tune in to an all-new “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6” this Sunday at 9:00 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

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