Appearing in 1st story
- Bucky (James Barnes) (Only in flashback)
- All-Winners Squad (Only in flashback)
- Patriot (Jeff Mace) (Only in flashback)
- Edwin Jarvis (Only in flashback)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. (Only in flashback)
- Falcon (Sam Wilson) (Only in flashback)
- Avengers (Only in flashback)
- Red Skull (Johann Shmidt) (Only in flashback)
- Serpent Squad (Only in flashback)
- Joseph Rogers (Mentioned)
- Sarah Rogers (Only in flashback)
- Adolf Hitler (Photo) (Only in flashback)
- Jack Kirby (Only in flashback)
- Joe Simon (Only in flashback)
- Abraham Erskine (Only in flashback)
- President Harry S. Truman (Only in flashback)
- United States of America
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Bucky's Uniform (Only in flashback)
- Patriot's Uniform (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for 1st story
A stranger arrives at a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. hospital to visit a patient. One of the nurses says that the patient has become responsive.
Six weeks ago, a Captain America impersonator was fighting a group of thugs mugging a train. The real Captain America enters the fray, stopping the impostor from beating one of the thugs to death. Shocked, the impostor tries to run away but is hit by a truck.
In the present, the visitor is revealed to be Steve while the patient is William Burnside, the Captain America from the 1950s. Steve has come to talk about William, since William is both his biggest fan and his dark reflection.
Steve remembers his childhood back on the 1920s. He was constantly afraid that he would lose his mother. He wanted be strong and help his community. That's why he tried to join the Army over and over again.
Steve also found an old Captain America comic among William's mementos. At first, Cap and Bucky weren't fond of comics, believing them to be cheap propaganda. But after Pearl Harbor, everything changed. Cap realized he was more than just propaganda. For the men and women of America, he was a symbol of hope. And that scared him. Cap had never been a leader, he was scared that he would disappoint others. He only wanted to do the right thing.
When he was frozen, Cap thought his mission would end with him. What he did not know, however, is that others would come and take his mission upon themselves. He did not realize his symbol was still needed.
When he awakened, Steve became aware of William's time as Captain America. When he found out about William, Steve realized that William had lost everything trying to be him. During their fight, Steve was shocked to know what his legacy had done to William. He also understood that the mission of being Captain America encompassed far more than he had originally realized.
At first, Steve thought he could end the mission by walking away. But when he tried this, an innocent civilian took up the mantle of Captain America and was killed. Steve understood that if he didn't wear the uniform, someone else invariably would.
Now, Steve understands that though the mission itself will never end, it has ended for William. Last week, a casket supposedly containing William's body was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full honors. Giving a final salute to William, Steve says tells him that his mission is over and it is time for him to rest. Tomorrow, William will be moved to another hospital so that he can heal. Steve says that William doesn't have to be Captain America anymore. For as long as Steve can, he will carry that burden.
Shortly afterwards, Steve gets on his motorcycle and drives away.
END OF AN ERA!
• Steve Epting returns for the grand finale of Ed Brubaker’s EPIC RUN on Captain America, and the end of an era!