- We have so little say over who lives or dies. We can try to shield them...fight fire with fire...keep them at a safe distance...and pray they are somehow impervious to injury...but for those who defend our freedoms by constantly putting themselves in harm's way...harm will find them...sooner or later.
Appearing in "Old Soldiers Never Die..."
- All Winners Squad
- Future Man (Death)
- Madame Death (Death)
- Zombies (Illusion)
- Nazis (Referenced)
- Allies (Referenced)
- New York Times Journalists (Cameo)
- Daily Bugle Journalists (Cameo)
- Neptune (Invoked)
- Otto Binder (Mentioned)
- Captain America (William Nasland) (Mentioned) (Deceased)
- Blonde Phantom (Louise Grant) (Mentioned)
- Golden Girl (Betty Ross) (Mentioned)
- Kraken (Invoked)
- The President (Mentioned)
- God (Invoked)
- The Devil (Invoked)
- Baron Heinrich Zemo (Mentioned)
- Winston Churchill (Referenced)
- Leland Baxter (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- United States of America (Year 1946)
- Alps, Italy, Europe (Mentioned)
- Canada (Mentioned)
- Berlin, Germany, Europe (Mentioned)
- Atlantis (Mentioned)
- Egypt (Mentioned)
- North Sea (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Old Soldiers Never Die..."
The year is 1946. The threats of Nazi Gerany have been defeated. However, the world is still in peril, so a super-team has formed - the All-Winners Squad! We see them in action against a time-traveler called Future Man, who threatens to summon his army across time and conquer present-day Earth. However, a happy accident on the part of Captain America destroys his machinery, and Future Man, his paramour Madame Death, and his timeship, and sent careening through time.
The heroes escape, and are met by the press. Cap seems uncomfortable with them, since he is the second man to wear the mask but must pretend to be the first. Miss America deflects probing questions by setting ap up as the hero of the piece and implying a relationship between her and him.
A week later, the All-Winners Squad is at their HQ in the Flatiron Building. They think that the current Captain will do well, but is being beaten by having to measure up to the original. Miss America and the Whizzer are going for a night out in their secret identities.
As they walk, the Whizzer says he is having trouble seperating Miss America's feelings for Captain America from Madeline's feelings for him. Miss America waves it away as part of the act, but the Whizzer is worried that one day, he won't be jealous any more.
The two meet a soldier, who kisses Madeline, then explains that he is returned from the Pacific. As he tells them about the horrors of the battlefield, he turns into a zombie, and starts exhibiting murderous PTSD, repeating "You die, I live."
More zombies appear from exploions around Times Square, and the heroes rush to action. The Wizzer moves all the civilians to Rockefeller Plaza while the rest of the team fight the zombies. The Whizzer tries to help his teammates, but is stopped by a forcefield.
Within the forcefield, the All-Winners Squad is confronted by the original Captain America and Bucky. They explain that if they can find someone to take their place in the afterlife, they can return to life. The team is shocked by this, but the current Cap offers his life in exchange for his predecessor's.
Toro, however, is not so trusting, and sees a woman in the shadows. As he hits her, all the zombies stop moving at once. She is revealed as Madame Death. She explains that Future Man was able to use some of the ship's technology to prevent their fall through time, and then started rebuilding the ship. Over the course of a few years, he filled her in on certain parts of ghistory as he knew it - including the "death" of Steve Rogers. Contracting a fatal illness, Future Man died in the past, leaving Madame Death to return to the present and gain revenge.
Toro tries to destroy what he assumes is her qweapon, but she planned for this - it is the weapon, but it is both flameproof and heat-activated. As the device explodes, the forcefield breaks down. Cap shields Bucky, Human Torch and Toro melt the shrapnel before it hits them, and Sub-Mariner is naturlly shrapnel-proof... but Miss America is not so lucky... until the Whizzer saves her. Madame Death is killed by her own bomb, and dies thinking of her love.
The next day, the All-Winners Squad decide that they should move their headquarters to avoid future collateral damage. Cap mentions that he knows a new building which would be ideal, and whose owner made his money selling paper to the comics industry. They call a press conference to detract attention from reports of undead soldiers. One of the reporters mentions the alleged "relationship" between Miss America and Captain America, which leads Miss America to sweep the Whizzer off his feet and kiss him. Cap, no longer the centre of attention, thankfully slinks away. Namor catches up with him,. and commends him for his bravery, noting that such an act is worthy of the mantle of Captain America.
The stpry ends with Jeff Mace, the civilian identity of Captain America, writing a piece on the events of the week. On the desk in front of him is a letter from Leland Baxter, saying that he would be proud to accept the All-Winners Squad into his newly-constructed Baxter Building.
Captain America and Bucky…the Human Torch and Toro…the Sub-Mariner…Miss America…the Whizzer…THE ALL-WINNERS SQUAD! It's 1946 and World War 2 is over, but the memory of those lost in the War haunts everyone— especially when Times Square is overrun by undead soldiers wanting their lives back! And leading this tattered battalion are the two casualties the All-Winners Squad can't fight— the original Captain America and Bucky! Plus: a surprise romance that has all the tabloids a-twitter! "Old Soldiers Never Die…" by Karl Kesel (MARVEL APES) and Steve Uy (AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE) Buy Bonds! And this comic!
- The main story retcons the ending to the story of All Winners Comics #21 which featured the battle between the All-Winners Squad, Future Man and Madame Death. In the original story, the heroes change the dials and cause Future Man's time ship to hurtle backward in time. The recton tells a different story in which the villains are hurtled back in time thanks to a miss throw from Captain America's Shield, playing up the difficulty that Jeff Mace faced filling the role of Captain America.
- Also reprints "Winners All", a prose story originally printed in All Winners Comics #2 and "Captain America: The Four Trials of Justice", originally printed in All Winners Comics #12.
Links and References
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