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Essential Series Vol 1 Captain America 2
Essential Series Vol 1 #Captain America 2
Published
January, 2002


Appearing in "The Weakest Link"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #103.

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Synopsis for "The Weakest Link"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #103.

Steve Rogers takes Agent 13 out on a date for dinner and dancing and learns that her real name is Sharon Carter. However, their date is crashed by an attack made by minions of the Red Skull, who incapacitate Steve and capture Sharon taking her away. When reporting in to their master, the Red Skull is furious that they did not recognize his hated enemy in his civilian guise, however tells them that it doesn't matter as Captain America shall soon come to them. As Sharon is taken to Exile Island, the Red Skull and his minions the Exiles decide to have some entertainment by forcing two of their slaves to fight each other. When they refuse, the Red Skull threatens them with a tiny device that strikes them full of fear and so they battle in order to avoid an ever worse torture. The Red Skull and his Exiles then begin to plan their trap for Captain America.

The red-white-and-blue Avenger has wasted no time in going after the Red Skull and gets air lifted by a SHIELD agent out to the ocean near Exile Island. With a high tech breathing device designed by Tony Stark, Cap dives into the ocean below intent on swimming to the island and dealing with his arch-nemesis alone. Cap is soon caught up in one of the island's defenses: electronically controlled sea-weed that tangles up anything that comes into its proximity. However, Cap has prepared for such a trap and detonates a hidden charge in his glove in order to blast free. However, this alerts the soldiers on Exile Island of Cap's approach. When they go out in a motorboat to capture him, he easily subdues the villains and then rides the craft to the island's shore. Smashing the boat into the battlements set up to defend the island, jumping out of the boat just as it explodes destroying the cannons.

The soldiers of the Red Skull swarm Captain America, however he refuses to go down without a fight. Ultimately, he is pistol whipped from behind knocking him out. With Cap unconscious, the Red Skull places a strip of nuclear tape, which is connected to a device that will allow the Red Skull to cause Captain America a great deal of pain. The Red Skull hopes to make Captain America do his bidding and tosses the Star-Spangled Avenger into a holding cell next to where Sharon Carter has been held prisoner. Red Skull then returns to his fellow Exiles to monitor the cell, and General Ching attempts to make an attempt to usurp leadership of the Exiles from the Skull but is stopped by Gruning.

Down below, when Cap revives Sharon tells him that she was waiting for him to arrive before she attempted to escape. With a special SHIELD glass cutter hidden under her fingernail she cuts through the plexi-glass between their cells and uses a micro-blow torch to melt through the door so they can escape from their cell. Captain America and Sharon make a run for the Island's runway, fighting off all the soldiers who come to stop them. This is going according to the Red Skull's plan and he throws himself in the battle and lets Captain America defeat him in hand-to-hand combat so as to make a convincing show of preventing them from escaping. Cap easily bests the Red Skull and he and Sharon escape in an aircraft. As Captain America flies away, Red Skull is recovered by Gruning, and the Nazi warrior laughs at how thanks to the nuclear tape and his detonator he can reach Captain America anywhere in the world.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "Slave of the Skull!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #104.

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Synopsis for "Slave of the Skull!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #104.

Continued from last issue...

Following his escape with Sharon Carter from Exile Island, Captain America is asked by SHIELD to test out their newest model of Life Model Decoys. Despite the improvements, Captain America manages to defeat them with some effort. Nick Fury is impressed by the display and orders the defeated LMD's back to the labs to have their memories wiped clean for a new mission. Cap has been plagued by a series of steadily worsening headaches and so he goes to see the SHIELD physician to find out what's going on. As Cap takes off his uniform shirt he is suddenly struck by an unbearable migrane, the product of the nuclear tape that the Red Skull placed on his neck[1]. The Red Skull has activated the detonator device on Exile Island to cause this pain and then makes direct contact with SHIELD. He tells them that he has placed the nuclear tape on the back of Captain America's neck and that in doing so he has made Cap his slave. He cautions anyone from attempting to remove the special tape as doing so would activate the timer on a bomb planted somewhere in Washington D.C. by one of the Skull's spies.

As his first command, the Red Skull orders Captain America to return to Exile Island immediately. Hearing this plan, Gruning fears that this sort of brash action was what made the Nazi's lose World War II, however the Red Skull believes it's because Adolf Hitler never listened to him and is confident that he will be able to crush Captain America once and for all. He then meets with the other Exiles to tell them what is about to happen. Each of them are happy to be working on ending the life of Captain America. The Exiles' hatred and honest and open desires to replace him as leader of the group makes him grin, knowing that the best way to find a common front in a winning army is hatred.

Back at SHIELD headquarters, the doctor confirms Red Skull's findings, which upset Sharon Carter. Cap tells her that he has no choice but to return to Exile Island, but in the meantime SHIELD can go to Washington and try and locate the bomb in the hopes of disarming it before the Red Skull can set it off. Taking a raft out into the ocean, Captain America is picked up by one of the Red Skull's submarines. Aboard the vessel, the captain of the ship openly mocks Captain America's plight. When Cap is brought before the Red Skull he tries to attack him, however the Skull activates the detonator causing Cap to reel back in pain.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Nick Fury, Sharon and the agents of SHIELD manage to locate the bomb. Finding it too complex for them to disarm, Fury calls out for Tony Stark to come and make an attempt. While back on Exile Island Captain America is forced to battle each of the Exiles. The first to attack is Cadavus and his death chair, which he uses to keep Cap at bay. Then Gruning with his electrified whip, followed by Iron Hand Hauptman. However, by this point Cap has regained his bearing and tosses Hauptman into Gruning. When Krushki tries to use his wrestling moves on Captain America, the Star-Spangled Avenger easily tosses him aside before facing off against Baldini and his weighted scarf. Cap manages to fight himself free, destroys Cadavus's chair, and begins tearing into the Exiles.

With the battle turning in Cap's favor, General Ching offers to shoot Captain America in the back, however the Red Skull opts instead to activate the detonator in the hopes the pain will be so great that Cap will rip off the nuclear tape and detonate the bomb planted in Washington. However when he pushes the detonator's button it does nothing, making him realize that SHIELD must have defused the bomb. Almost as if on cue, SHIELD attacks the island, easily overpowering the Red Skull's troops and sending the Exiles fleeing to safety. Although the Exiles escape, SHIELD secures the island and Sharon is reunited with Cap and removes the nuclear tape.

With the battle over, Captain America plants an American flag on the land and tells the soldiers that so long as those who follow Democracy never lose their resolve, they will always be able to defeat evils like the Nazis.

Appearing in "In the Name of Batroc!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #105.

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Synopsis for "In the Name of Batroc!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #105.

Captain America is invited by a television crew to go over some old footage of his battles during World War II so that he can narrate a television special about his exploits during the war. However, as he watches the old footage of he and Bucky in action, Captain America becomes filled with grief over the death of his sidekick during the war[2]. Comparing this to his love of Sharon Carter, he fears that her life of danger may also lead to her death as well. Walking out of the meeting without committing to anything, Cap loses himself in thought over what to do with Sharon Carter, and decides that with his life of danger he should keep her out of it.

While elsewhere, Batroc the Leaper is hatching another criminal plot and has hired on the Swordsman and Living Laser to aid him on his mission. After commending the Swordsman's skill watching him train and scolds the Living Laser for the reckless use of his laser weapons, he tells them that they are seeking out a weapon that a foreign power has offered to pay them a million dollars to recover. The weapon is a seismo-bomb, a device that the military are now briefing Captain America on. They tell him that their spies have learned that the weapon has been planted somewhere in Manhattan and that it will trigger three earthquakes before finally causing one final gigantic quake. The only lead they have is the location where they captured the enemy spy who planted the weapon.

Captain America goes there and finds that Batroc, the Living Laser, and Swordsman are already searching that area. The Swordsman attacks Cap while Batroc and the Laser go looking for the device. Despite the Swordsman's skills and the high-tech weapons built into his sword, Captain America manages to best him in one-on-one combat. After defeating the Swordsman the first shock wave hits, prompting Captain America to hurry. Cap catches up with Batroc and the Laser and attacks, Batroc leaves the Living Laser to deal with Captain America. Even though the Laser has the advantage of his weapons, Captain America easily smashes them disarming them. When the second shock wave hits, Captain America demands the Laser tell him the location of the bomb otherwise they are all doomed. Realizing that Cap is telling the truth, he gives him the location: hidden under a manhole at a nearby warehouse.

Captain America goes there only to be attacked by Batroc the Leaper. As they fight, Captain America is more than a match for Batroc, however their fight is interrupted when the third tremor hits, popping the manhole cover out of the ground leaving an open passage to the seismo-bomb. When Cap explains that the bomb is about to explode, Batroc admits that he did not expect this turn of events and flees in order to save his own life. Captain America dives down into the sewer and finds the briefcase containing the bomb, and pushes its deactivation device just seconds before the bomb can go off, saving the city with just seconds to spare.

Appearing in "Cap Goes Wild!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #106.

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Synopsis for "Cap Goes Wild!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #106.

SHIELD HQ is attacked by a number of costumed Asian spies who have stolen the plans for the latest prototype model of the Life Model Decoy for what they call Operation: Replica. Captain America springs into action to try and stop them, however despite his best efforts, the spies manage to escape with the plans. Captain America is picked up by a SHIELD agent who drives him back to the hotel where he is currently staying in his civilian guise of Steve Rogers. There, Cap changes out of his uniform and is shown some startling footage: Infinity Productions, a film company out in Hollywood is working on a Captain America film and they have put together a shocking scene where Cap shoots an unarmed and surrendering soldier. Appalled at this misrepresentation of his character, Captain America agrees to go to Hollywood to try and straighten things out, as the film would project a poor image of Cap.

Meanwhile, in China, Chairman Mao personally oversees the fruition of Operation: Replica. Using the stolen plans from SHIELD they have built a machine that will allow them to create their own Life Model Decoys. Their first attempt, and part of their plot is in creating a replica of Captain America, with an LMD double of the Star-Spangled Avenger that is faster and stronger than the genuine article. They intend the replica to ruin Captain America's good name. With the LMD completed they place it in a shipping container and mail it out of the country.

Its destination: Infinity Studios in Hollywood, where owner Cyril Lucas has sold out his country to the Communists so that he has money to get much needed surgery for his brother and also fund his latest science fiction epic. When Cyril's brother Willie learns about what his brother has done, he is horrified and doesn't think betraying his country is worth getting the surgery he needs to survive. He begs his brother to call off the deal, however when his contacts get in touch with him he agrees to follow through with the plan, and soon the crate containing the LMD of Captain America is delivered to them.

When Captain America arrives on the set of Infinity Studios sometime later, he is attacked by the Captain America LMD. He is easily overpowered at first and when it looks like he is about to lose, a guilt stricken Willie tries to go to his aid. The LMD easily batters Willie aside much to his brother's horror, however it gives Captain America a chance to fight back. As the battle rages on, suddenly the LMD begins to glow and quickly flees the scene. He doesn't get very far, as after mashing through the studio wall he collapses. Cap is visited by a SHIELD agent that was watching the battle and points out that there was some flaw in the new LMD prototypes, insuring that the Communists won't use it again due to its flawed nature. With the battle over the two men go looking for Cyril and Willie to arrest them for treason.

However, justice would be served in a different, more tragic way: Cyril would find the body of his brother, killed from the impact when the Captain America LMD threw him aside. Lamenting the death of his brother, he realizes that betraying his country was not worth the price he has paid. Just then a door opens, and a gun points toward him, issuing him the price he must pay for failure: Death!

Appearing in "If the Past Be Not Dead--"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #107.

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Synopsis for "If the Past Be Not Dead--"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #107.

Captain America has been haunted by the same dream night after night: That he is being chased by demonic looking Nazi soldiers until he stumbles upon the grave of his old sidekick Bucky Barnes. Bucky would appear before him and accuse him of failing to rescue him and letting him die. Cap wakes up from this dream screaming and wondering how long he will have to endure the guilt he feels over the death of his sidekick. He decides to call his newly hired psychiatrist Dr. Faustus to tell him that he has had the same dream again. Upon hearing this, Faustus tells Steve to come to his office that afternoon at 2. Faustus is not who he seems, as he is a man who is trying to drive Captain America insane on purpose in order to be the one man who is able to defeat the Star-Spangled Avenger. To this end, he has had his minion Ferret (who has been posing as a bellhop at the hotel Captain America has been staying at) to slip him drugs that cause him to have his horrible dreams. This time, he hands him an extra-potent batch of pills, that Faustus informs will finally push Captain America over the edge.

That afternoon, as Steve Rogers walks toward his appointed session with Dr. Faustus, his mind dwells on how since he was rescued from the glacier he was trapped in[4] he's felt like a man disconnected from time and that the 20 years he has been in suspended animation since the war seem like ages and wonders if he will truly fit in. His thoughts are interrupted when he spots a woman he thinks is Sharon Carter but when he goes to her he finds that he has been mistaken. The woman calls a police officer out of fear of Cap's irrational behavior, as Cap gets a hold of himself he looks up at the officer and is horrified to find that the cop has the visage of the Red Skull. He flees the scene, more determined to see Dr. Faustus than ever -- unaware that these are just two minions of Faustus wearing life-like masks in order to further push Cap to the point of insanity.

At his session, Steve is asked to lay down on Faustus's couch and close his eyes and talk about the things he sees. However when he opens his eyes again he appears to be in a Nazi dungeon and is being grappled by a number of Nazi soldiers. One Nazi comes up to him with his gun and begins to shoot Cap point blank in the face. This is apparently another hallucination and when reality snaps back it is merely Faustus shining a penlight into his eyes. Faustus concludes that Cap is a very sick man and tells him to return to his hotel room and rest and that he will be sending new medication to him to deal with the dreams.

When Cap leaves, a wall flips around in Faustus' office revealing the Nazi dungeon set and another group of loyal followers, whom he commends for their exemplary work in driving Captain America to the brink. Back at his hotel room, Captain America practices his fighting skills by grappling with a SHIELD plastoid that has been loaned to him. His session ends just as Ferret arrives to drop off the medication, and the seemingly desperate Captain America eagerly takes it and downs it all without a single question. That night, Cap finds sleep hard to come by and when he looks in the mirror he's horrified to find that he has aged rapidly into an elderly man. Even shocking still Bucky -- seemingly back from the dead -- has appeared in his room and tells him that they have to stop some enemy agents. Despite Cap's protests that he is too old to fight, Bucky convinces him to ride a motorcycle to the enemies' location.

This of course is yet another ruse prepared by Faustus and at that very moment he and his men are putting the final touches on a replica of the drone-plane hangar on the day when Bucky died during World War II. When Cap arrives, history seemingly repeats itself again leaving Faustus to believe that Captain America has finally been shattered. However, when he and his minions go to inspect their work, Cap suddenly jumps to his feat and fights off all of Faustus' minions with ease. Peeling off a mask that made him look old, Captain America tells Faustus that he saw through his plan and pretended to take the medication. Faustus then challenges Cap to one-on-one fist fight. Captain America is more than happy to oblige and knocks down Faustus with a single punch.

Appearing in "The Snares of the Trapster!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #108.

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Synopsis for "The Snares of the Trapster!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #108.

Captain America is in another exercise training, using his shield to deflect explosive missiles when he is visited by a SHIELD agent and asked to complete another mission for the spy agency. Captain America initially refuses, tired of being a hero and wanting to have a normal life with the woman he loves. The SHIELD agent tells Cap that his mission involves rescuing Sharon Carter, who has been captured. Upon hearing the name of the woman he loves, Cap changes his tone and demands to know what's happened. The SHIELD agent tells Cap he doesn't know, but provides him with a homing device that allow Captain America to track her to where she is being held in the city.

Unknown to Captain America, Sharon is the prisoner of the Trapster, who has captured Sharon to try and get information out of her regarding Project Fireball. Sharon refuses, even though the Trapster has her pasted to a table and threatens her with his paste gun if she doesn't reveal the information he needs to provide to his employers.

Meanwhile, Captain America tracks Sharon's signal to a section of the city that is being torn down for urban renewal, and finds the entrance to the Trapster's lair hidden behind some rubble of a partially demolished building. Suspecting a trap, Cap smashes open the door and just narrowly avoids a jet of paste meant to trap intruders. Believing that there might be more paste on the steps, Cap makes a jump for it and realize that whoever set these traps anticipated this as he grabs a pipe suspended over the stairs and find that it has been coated with paste.

The Trapster takes this moment to reveal himself and attempt to attack Captain America, but Cap shows him that even though his hands are stuck he's far from helpless. Smashing the pipe free, Captain America manages to fight off the Trapster, and get on the defensive. When the Trapster brings the roof down in front of Cap, blocking his way, the Avenger manages to free his hands. Before he can figure out what to do next, a trap door opens and Captain America falls on a spinning cylinder covered in the Trapsters paste. The Trapster then activates a device that causes the cylinder to spin at a great speed and tells Sharon that Captain America will be destroy if she continues to refuse to talk. Before the Trapster can do anything more his control panel suddenly short circuits and explodes.

Furious at this sudden setback, he goes down to check and see what happened to Captain America to find that the hero broke free. Cap gets the jump on the Trapster and beats him into submission. With his foe sprawled on the floor, Cap demands that he tell him where Sharon is, however the Trapster kicks a switch that drops a cylinder around Cap and it fills up to his neck with paste, trapping him.

He explains to Cap that he has been trying to collect information on Project Fireball for his employer, the Red Skull so that they can sabotage it. When the Trapster attempts to dispose of Captain America by spraying him with a chemical, it instead causes the paste trapping Cap to become brittle and break. Captain America then beats the Trapster into submission again, knocking him under a vat that ironically covers him in his own paste.

When Cap rushes up to the Trapster's control room he is surprised to find that the girl pasted to the table is not really Sharon Carter at all, but a Life Model Decoy of her. The Real Sharon comes out of the shadows and reveals that she allowed the Trapster to capture the LMD that was programmed to act just like her, and that while Cap was fighting him she was the one making sure all of his traps were sabotaged. With the mission over and Sharon save, the two lovers embrace.

Appearing in "The Hero That Was!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #109.

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  • Humans (Main story and flashback)

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Synopsis for "The Hero That Was!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #109.

Captain America has a visit from Nick Fury, and tells the SHIELD operative an old war story from 1944, in which he and Bucky worked together to take down a Nazi coastal gun control unit so that Allied Forces could launch another beach assault in the war effort. This story once more leads Cap into his lamentations over Bucky's death, and how guilt ridden he is that he managed to outlive his young partner. Fury is not that sympathetic about Bucky's loss and points out that Captain America at least still has his youth and fighting spirit and that even back during World War II he made Fury's Howling Commandos look like amateurs in battle. Captain America explains to Nick that in order for Captain America to live, it had to come at the sacrifice of Steve Rogers, and begins telling the tale of how he became Captain America:

In the early days of World War II, before America got involved in the war, frail Steven Rogers attempted to apply for the military. However, he would not pass his physical, and he would be rejected when he would attempt to volunteer. Overhearing this conversation was a military Colonel, who would offer him the chance to test a new experiment that might make him fit for joining the army and fighting in the war.

As Steve Rogers was led away, off America's shores a Nazi submarine would get past America's sea mine defense and release a spy who was about to infiltrate the secret experiment called Operation: Rebirth. Under absolute secrecy, Steve Rogers is taken to an antique shop which was really a front for the secret operation and eventually he would meet the scientist behind the super-soldier serum: Professor Reinstein. Before an audience of military brass (and the Nazi spy), Rogers would be injected with the serum and then exposed to Vita-Rays that would speed up the process of transforming Steve Rogers from a frail young man into that of man at the peak of human perfection. After the experiment Reinstein would be shot by the Nazi spy and in his death the secret behind the serum would be lost. Steve would then attack and ultimately kill the Nazi spy in stopping him from assassinating him as well.

With America's only super-soldier, the US army would set up Steve as Captain America and have him fight crime in America until the United States officially entered World War II. They would set Steve up under the command of Sgt. Duffy, and under orders of the War Department, Steve was to keep his double identity a secret. To cover for this, Steve would act as a first class bungler when not operating as Captain America. Steve would make fast friends with Bucky Barnes, his platoon's mascot who's father was killed in the line of duty. It would be Bucky who would first learn Captain America's true identity and use that information to force Cap to allow Bucky to be his sidekick.

Cap finishes up his story that by the wars end Bucky's luck ran out and he died. With his story done, Steve thanks Nick for letting him get things off his chest. As Fury walks out the door to go and resume his work at SHIELD, he tells Cap that losses like that are hard to forget, but recommends that Steve go out there and get have a few laughs. With Fury gone, Steve considers that perhaps after all these years, he's forgotten how to.

Appearing in "No Longer Alone!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #110.

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Synopsis for "No Longer Alone!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #110.

While out walking in his civilian identity, Steve Rogers pauses to light a pipe and looks at a poster advertising a charity appearance for Captain America. His thoughts about his troubled life are cut short by sudden pounding as the Hulk smashes through the wall as he passes by in another one of his rampages through New York City. Steve changes into Captain America and goes after the Green Goliath to try and stop him from hurting someone. When the Hulk is knocked down by a barrage of military gun fire, Captain America tries to approach the brute, but is distracted by the passionate cries of Rick Jones. Rick tries to tell Cap that the Hulk isn't a threat, and when the Hulk tries to escape with the boy, he only succeeds in injuring him when trying to fight off Cap and the military. The Hulk then bounds away leaving the injured Jones with Captain America.

Cap takes his one-time sidekick back to Avengers Mansion to recover, and as Rick sleeps Cap once more broods about how easily people in his life can be injured. His thoughts are distracted by footsteps behind him and he turns to find that Rick is up and about and wearing Bucky's uniform. Rick asks to be Cap's sidekick once more and to be the new Bucky. Cap at first cannot stand to have someone else wear the uniform much less the risk of losing their lives as his sidekick. Rick feels rejected which causes Captain America to change his mind and when the alarm in Avengers Mansion goes off, he takes him out on their first patrol together as the new Captain America and Bucky team.

Descending into the sewers under Avengers Mansion they find that the Hydra army is down there with their new leader, Madame Hydra. As the battle rages, Captain America continues to fear for Rick's safety, and when Rick thinks he's doing the right thing, Cap has to pull some fast moves to prevent him from getting harmed. Deciding that this battle is too much for the novice Rick, he orders him to retreat. Cap is then attacked by a Hydra soldier wearing a power vest and seemingly defeated. Unknown to Madame Hydra and the others, Captain America defeated the soldier in the power vest and put on his uniform to get close enough to Madame Hydra.

Seeing what appears to be Cap's demise, Rick would run back into the fray, spoiling Cap's surprise attack when he has to blow his cover to save Rick once more. Madame Hydra manages to capture Rick and pushes him over a ledge, forcing Cap to go to his rescue while she escapes. In the aftermath of the battle, Captain America tells Bucky that in the future he will have to learn to follow his orders without question, but tells him that he fought like a man in battle. Rick thinks to himself that while he may not muster up to be as good as the original Bucky, he won't stop trying.

Appearing in "Tomorrow You Live, Tonight I Die!!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #111.

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Synopsis for "Tomorrow You Live, Tonight I Die!!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #111.

While waiting to meet Nick Fury at a carnival, Captain America spends a moment to get his fortune out of a fortune telling machine, which reads "tomorrow you live, tonight I die!". This fortune would prove ominous when Cap realizes he's walked into a trap by Hydra who attack him with guns blazing. Seeking cover, Captain America comes to realize how much danger there is in his life and how easy it is for his enemies can reach him because his true identity is public knowledge. As he fights off his attackers he demands to know who Madame Hydra is, but none of the Hydra assassins talk. He fights the Hydra agents into retreat, and Cap decides to go looking for Rick to make sure he's okay.

While at Hydra headquarters, the leader of the attack on Captain America is brought before Madam Hydra who kills him for his failure, by exposing him to a hallucinogenic drug. Meanwhile, at Avengers Mansion, Cap and Rick go through a training session. While Rick does well, Captain America goes through a routine to show him how to maximize his effectiveness in acrobatic fighting. While this was meant to be instructional, Rick takes it as a failure and once more gets down on himself for not being as good as the original Bucky. Later, Rick goes to the door when the doorbell is rang and find an envelop addressed to Captain America marked urgent. With Cap currently out of the mansion, Rick decides to open it to see what the message is about. This turns out to be a Hydra trap and Rick inhales a dose of hallucinogenics. Rick has a hallucination where he is being judged by Bucky himself, however Rick tries to show that he's worthy of the title and that Bucky is dead. When the Hydra agents burst inside the mansion they find Rick instead of Cap knocked out. They decide to take the boy hostage so that Madam Hydra doesn't punish them by at least brining her a hostage that will draw Captain America to her instead.

As they are leaving, Captain America returns to the mansion and spotting the envelope he detects traces of the narcotic used in it. Rushing outside he attacks the Hydra agents just as they are about to load Rick into their getaway car. However, the Hydra agents manage to get away, and when Cap grabs one of them for questioning he's shocked when the agents of Hydra kill one of their own men. With Rick their hostage, Cap laments that none of this would have happened if people didn't know his true identity.

At Hydra headquarters, Rick is brought before Madam Hydra, who believes that Captain America will go back to the carnival where they attacked him earlier to search for clues. She then orders Rick be locked up, but he manages to escape and flee to the carnival to try and warn Captain America. Cap meanwhile is already there searching for clues when he is attacked by Hydra's Mankiller robot. During the fight, the robot tries to blow up Cap with missiles that are loaded in it's chest. Cap lunges at the robot and blocks it's launches with his shield causing a backfire that destroys the machine.

As a Hydra ambush starts setting up to shoot Cap, Rick arrives and warns Captain America of the danger. Suddenly, Cap makes a jump for the water as the Hydra agents open fire on him. To all witnessing it, it appears that all the bullets strike Captain America as he lands in the water. Hydra retreats as the police arrive on the scene, and when they go searching the water for a body, all the find are Captain America's bullet riddled uniform and a lifelike mask with the likeness of Steve Rogers. With this discovery, the police conclude that Captain America was never really Steve Rogers at all.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "Lest We Forget!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #112.

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Synopsis for "Lest We Forget!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #112.

Continued from last issue...

Following an attack by Hydra at a carnival, Captain America's bullet riddled uniform is pulled out of the water leaving everyone to believe that Captain America is dead. At Avengers Mansion, Iron Man arrives home to the tragic phone call. Once he has been told the sad news, he goes to the secret records of the Avengers and prepares a final statement to close the file on Captain America.

Talking of Captain America's exploits during World War II, Iron Man fondly recalls how Cap and his partner Bucky frequently clashed against the Red Skull, and one story in particular when Cap and Bucky foiled the Red Skulls plot to use a giant power drill. He also recalls his clashes with villains such as the Butterfly[5], the original Circus of Crime[6], the Unholy Legion of Beggars[7], White Death[8], and the Toadman[9]. Iron Man next recounts the time during the final days of World War II when Captain America and Bucky attempted to stop Baron Zemo from launching a drone plane to attack England. Although they would succeed in their mission the resulting explosion would seemingly kill Bucky, and send Cap into the freezing waters below where he would end up in suspended animation until recent times when his body would be recovered by the Sub-Mariner[10].

Iron Man would remark about how upon Cap's return as America's premiere hero, he would forge alliances with SHIELD, making friends with both Nick Fury and falling in love with Sharon Carter[11]. He would clash with new menaces such as AIM And MODOK[12], the Fourth Sleeper[13], Batroc the Leaper[11], the Tumbler[14], the Swordsman, the Living Laser[15], the Red Skull's Exiles[16], the Trapster[17] and lastly Dr. Faustus[18]. He notes them all and that Cap fought valiantly until the the end when he was seemingly killed by agents of Hydra. With his recording done, Iron Man salutes a picture of Captain America, wishes his friend to rest in peace and vows to avenge his death.

Appearing in "The Strange Death of Captain America"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #113.

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Synopsis for "The Strange Death of Captain America"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #113.

With the supposed death of Captain America and the discovery of a life like mast baring the face of Steve Rogers, the public is not only mourning the loss of America's greatest hero, but wondering just who was the man behind the mask.

Watching a special on Captain America's death on television, Madame Hydra and her minions celebrate their victory by burning the file they have on Captain America. The fire brings back memories in the mind of Madam Hydra, how how in her war torn European country her family was killed and half her face horribly scared by fire. Driven by a struggle to survive, the young girl would work her way up to becoming Madame Hydra, the highest ranking Hydra official in the Manhattan area. However, despite her climb to power, she still cannot bring herself to look at the side of her face that was burned all those years ago, and smashes a mirror when she attempts to do so.

At Avengers Mansion, Rick tries to come to terms with the death of Cap, as he pours over newspaper headlines about the tragedy. With the Avengers waiting for him, he leaves the papers to tell them exactly what happened the night Captain America died[19]. After he is finished explaining, the Avengers prepare to leave to participate at Captain America's funeral. Rick, however, can't bring himself to go and stays behind at the mansion. At the church, the Avengers and agents of SHIELD are on hand while Nick Fury delivers a eulogy for the Star-Spangled Avenger. As the service goes on, Rick decides that he has to go to the church and pay his respects and say goodbye no matter how much it might hurt. As the service ends, only Nick Fury and the Avengers remain behind getting ready to move the coffin to the cemetery. Before they can, it suddenly springs open and sprays them with knock out gas. Agents of Hydra then come out of hiding and places all the Avengers and Nick Fury into coffins and bring them out to the cemetery in order to bury them alive.

This is witnessed by Rick who tails them to the cemetery where, much to his surprise, Captain America -- alive and well -- rides in on his motorcycle and attacks the Hydra agents. Rick joins the battle, and Madam Hydra appears ordering her minions to kill both men. However, they are no match for Cap's fighting spirit and so Madame Hydra arms some hunter missiles and fires it at them. Cap and Rick dive into an open grave and dodge the oncoming missiles. As Madam Hydra flees toward a mausoleum, the missiles turn back and strike it seemingly killing her in the explosion.

With the battle over, Rick is overjoyed by Cap's resurrection. Captain America explains that he had tricked Hydra into thinking that they had killed him with an inflatable dummy, and that he had planted the fake Steve Rogers mask to make everyone think that Captain America was someone else in order for him to keep his identity secret. Cap then unmasks, puts on a hat and trench coat and walks away telling Rick that his true identity must remain secret.

Appearing in "The Man Behind the Mask!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #114.

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Synopsis for "The Man Behind the Mask!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #114.

Having convinced the American public that Steve Rogers was just as false identity, Captain America walks the streets of Manhattan trying to figure out where to go next with his life. He begins to realize that his true identity is that of Captain America, and his civilian guise is what feels more like an alter ego. As he strolls up to Avengers Mansion, Cap pauses for a moment and decides that he must seek out some normalcy in his life instead of staying with the Avengers. He is spotted by the Black Panther and Goliath who discuss Cap's reluctance to go to them for help, deciding that the man is entitled to his own privacy.

Deciding to check on Sharon Carter, Steve changes into his Captain America costume, deciding even S.H.I.E.L.D. is not to know what his secret identity is. He goes to the barber shop that is a front for SHIELD HQ and gets an audience with Nick Fury. Fury tells Cap that Sharon was on a mission to investigate AIM activity. Just then Sharon calls in and reports that this cell of AIM is about to move and that she can't wait for reinforces before signing off. When Cap notes that the girl looked sullen, Nick tells Cap that she still thinks he's dead. Worried for the safety of his love, Captain America demands that they move out and help her before it's too late.

Sharon meanwhile get the drop on the AIM soldiers and tells them to surrender to her. They don't give up so easily and she is forced to try to fight them on her own. Realizing that Sharon doesn't have any reinforcements, the AIM commander orders that they release their robot the Walking Stiletto. Before this robot can attack Sharon, Captain America and Rick Jones arrive to rescue her. Rick and Cap try their best to stop the machine and Sharon even lends a helping hand. Finally, Captain America deduces that it's weak point is in the neck area and tosses his shield there. His theory proves correct and the robot is destroyed, however the AIM goons get away. With the battle over, Captain America asks Sharon to give up her life of danger to pursue a relationship with him and asks her to leave SHIELD. When Sharon refuses, Cap decides to never ask again and walks away, rejected.

Cap decides to try and forge a new life, and after dying his hair and using make-up to alter his features he attempts to find a hotel that will admit him. With no identification what-so-ever, this proves to be a hard thing to accomplish indeed, and ultimately Cap has to settle for staying in a slummy hotel in a bad neighborhood. In his room, he laments about his lot and life and wonders if he has to spend the rest of his life being a symbolic fighting machine or if he will ever get to live a normal life. This question goes unanswered as just then the Red Skull materializes in his room. He shows Captain America that he has at last recovered the Cosmic Cube and that now he once more has the power to do anything his imagination desires.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "Now Begins the Nightmare!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #115.

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Synopsis for "Now Begins the Nightmare!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #115.

Continued from last issue...

The Red Skull, once more wielding the Cosmic Cube, has materialized in the hotel room recently rented out by Captain America. Facing a frightened Captain America in his street clothes, the Skull wills the cube to modify Cap's clothing into his uniform so that he can crush his enemy in the appearance he knows him in. Captain America takes an attempt at attacking the Skull, however he the former Nazi is only toying with him and allows him to punch an illusion before blasting Cap in the back. He decides to torment Captain America for a little bit before utterly destroying him, but first he explains how he managed to regain the Cosmic Cube: He explains that after the Cube disappeared[20], it was unearthed when a volcano erupted in the Mediterranean and was recovered by a poor fisherman. Discovering the Cube's power, the fisherman used it to make the people of his island all wealthy. When reports of the Cube's resurfacing reached Exile Island, the Skull would order his minions to recover it. With the Cube back in his hands, the Skull would refuse to share in the power of the Cube with his fellow Exiles, he would torture them instead before teleporting off to get revenge against Captain America. With his explanation complete, the Red Skull would then use the Cosmic Cube to transport Cap away top some alien world.

Meanwhile, at SHIELD headquarters, Rick Jones is looking for Captain America and asks Sharon Carter if she has seen him. Although Sharon is busy with testing a new SHIELD weapon, she tells him that he hasn't seen Captain America since she rejected his request that she leave SHIELD. Rick next goes to Avengers Mansion and find that neither Jarvis nor Yellowjacket has seen him neither. Remembering the resources he has, Rick gets in touch with his old gang of Ham radio enthusiasts the Teen Brigade and asks them all to keep a look out for Captain America and report back any sightings. However despite all of this, Rick can't help but shake the idea that Captain America is abandoning him as a sidekick because Cap thinks he doesn't have what it takes to replace Bucky.

Elsewhere, the Red Skull continues to use the Cosmic Cube in ways to drive Captain America mad, hurtling the hero from plane of existence to different worlds. Ultimately he shrinks Cap down and terrorizes him back in his hotel room until he finally decides to come up with the ultimate revenge scheme ever: Searching Cap's mind for the person who means the most to the Avenger, the Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to teleport Sharon Carter in the room. Then, in the ultimate jest to make his revenge complete, the Red Skull uses the Cube to switch bodies with Captain America. Seeing Steve as the Red Skull, she seeks protection from the Skull in Cap's body. When Cap tries to explain to Sharon what's happened all she can believe is that the Red Skull has gone mad.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "Far Worse Than Death!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #116.

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Synopsis for "Far Worse Than Death!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #116.

Continued from last issue....

As the ultimate revenge, the Red Skull has used the Cosmic Cube to swap bodies. Teleporting Sharon Carter to them, she seeks comfort from Cap's greatest enemy, while Cap's warnings are dismissed as the ravings of a madman. After convincing Sharon that the "Red Skull" is utterly mad, "Captain America" sees her to the door, and tells her he's going to double back to make sure his foe is turned over to the law. However, the Red Skull is, in reality, going to continue to use the Cosmic Cube to imperil the Star-Spangled Avenger.

Using the Cube, the Red Skull transports Captain America outside a government testing lab. Spotted by security, Captain America is shot at, with no way of proving he is not the Red Skull, Cap flees for his life. To further implicate Captain America, the Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to cause an explosion that the "Red Skull" gets blamed for. When the guards capture the "Red Skull", cap fights free and flees the scene, stealing an automobile in order to get away. The Red Skull, satisfied that Captain America will be utterly destroyed decides to see what it's like living in the boots of his oldest enemy. Heading towards the police station, the Red Skull is disgusted by the shows of respect and adoration people show for him, wondering why Captain America doesn't use his power to crush those who worship him into subservience. Arriving at the police station, "Captain America" is told of the "Red Skull's" bombing of the research lab. The Skull secretly uses the Cosmic Cube to tip the police off as to where Captain America is fleeing.

Sure enough, Cap finds himself in a high speed chase with the police and it is only with his superior driving skills does he manage to escape the chase and all police roadblocks. As the "Red Skull's" police chase hits the news the Avengers learn about it, and Rick Jones decides to go and find "Captain America" to see if he can help as a side kick. With the help of the Teen Brigade, Rick finds "Captain America" and offers to help him capture the "Skull". Much to Rick's shock, "Cap" refuses his aid and tells the young man to get lost. Rick complies, walking away thinking that all his insecurities about not measuring up to the original bucky were true.

Resuming his watch over his foe, the Red Skull is amused to see Captain America making his way through the security at Avengers Mansion. His presence does not go undetected and the Avengers soon face the "Red Skull" in battle. Not believing the "Red Skull's" claims that he is really Captain America, the Avengers attempt to over power him. Although Cap gives a good fight he is ultimately captured. The Red Skull gets the ultimate jest when Sharon Carter comes to the Mansion looking for Captain America. The Red Skull then uses the Cosmic Cube to take control of Sharon and send her to kill Captain America. When she can't bring herself to do it, and resists the Cosmic Cube's influence, the Red Skull comes up with an even better idea: He has Captain America transported to Exile Island in the hopes that his minions in the Exiles will kill Captain America thinking that they are finally getting revenge against the Skull for his previous treachery against them.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "The Coming of...The Falcon!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #117.

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Synopsis for "The Coming of...The Falcon!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #117.

Continued from last issue....

The Red Skull has used the Cosmic Cube to switch bodies with his hated enemy Captain America. In an attempt of final revenge, he has Captain America teleported to Exile Island in the hope that his former minions, the Exiles will kill Captain America over the Red Skull's most recent betrayal of them. As Captain America tries to find cover, the Red Skull pores over the Cosmic Cube watching the events unfold with eager eyes. When the Exiles walk the beach bemoaning the fact that the Red Skull stranded them on the island, Captain America tries to hide in a tree, however the Red Skull uses the Cosmic Cube to break his cover, forcing him to have to fight the Exiles.

While Captain America has the superior fighting skills, he is not used to fighting in the Red Skull's body and is soon overpowered by the group attack. Amused and believing that Captain America will meet his end, the Red Skull decides that he's seen enough and decides to amuse himself by parading around as Captain America some more. This proves to be the Red Skull's mistake, as Captain America gets the aid of an unlikely ally: A falcon that seems to be trained to fight, and defends him. With the Exiles distracted by the bird, Captain America manages to make a break for it and hide out in the jungle. There, he realizes that the whole time the Red Skull has been wearing a mask, and decides to take it off to help disguise himself better. Not willing to bank on the possibility that the Exiles have not seen the Red Skull's true face, Cap uses clay from the ground to crudely disguise his features as extra cover.

Meanwhile, back in the States, the Red Skull walks around as Captain America, and although he is disgusted by the fame and adoration Captain America is receiving from the masses, he takes a moment to revel in it. While letting adoring fans gaze upon him at a fancy hotel. However, the Skull gets tired of the constant questions from the press and orders them to go away. He then decides to begin the next phase of his plot: Ruining Captain America's good name so that when his true body is found dead, nobody will mourn his passing. The Red Skull's use of the Cosmic Cube has not gone unnoticed, as at the secret headquarters of Advanced Idea Mechanics, the scientists there have detected their inventions use, and report their findings to their leader MODOK, who is still alive and well.

Back on Exile Island, the falcon -- named Redwing -- returns to his master, who set it upon the Exiles to save the man whom they were attacking. Having finished his disguise, Captain America spots the young African-American and thanks him for his help. The young man introduces himself as Sam Wilson, a native of Harlem. He tells Captain America that he is nuts about birds, and went from training pigeons from Harlem rooftops to acquiring his hawk Redwing and training him. He explains to Captain America that he answered an ad in the newspaper looking for workers on this Haitian island for an employer seeking to learn falconry, unaware that he was entering into the employ of the Exiles. Upon learning of the Exiles and their backgrounds, Sam instead decided to help the local population who have been enslaved by the Exiles and has been trying to convince them to revolt against the group of fascists.

Inspired by Sam's desire for revolution, Captain America offers to help and explains to Sam the importance of a Mask and Costume as a symbol. As the Exiles continue to search for the "Red Skull", the locals make him a new costume. When it is complete, Sam emerges in his costume as the islands new champion: The Falcon.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "The Falcon Fights On!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #118.

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Synopsis for "The Falcon Fights On!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #118.

Continued from last issue...

The Exiles continue their search of Exile Island for the Red Skull, unaware that their former leader has used the Cosmic Cube to switch bodies with his hated foe Captain America, or that Cap has trained Sam Wilson how to fight and provided him the identity of the Falcon. The Red Skull, still in Captain America's body watches through the Cosmic Cube as his Exiles still seek out his hated enemy. The Red Skull is furious at this bungling until he realizes that Captain America must have realized that he is wearing a Red Skull mask and took it off and that the reason why the Exiles have not found him yet is because the Red Skull never showed his minions his real face. However, the Red Skull rationalizes that there is no way off the island and decides to let his Exiles to continue their hunt unaided in the hopes that they will ultimately destroy Captain America without his help.

The Exiles spot Redwing, the Falcon's pet falcon and attempt to shoot the bird out of the sky, but miss. The shots alert Cap and Falcon of the Exiles approach and they prepare for their enemies by continuing Falcon's fight training. Falcon feels right at home in learning how to fight, reminding him of all the street gangs he used to fight with when he was back home in Harlem.

Meanwhile, the Red Skull has decided to rest before checking back on Captain America, however his sleep is disturbed when he gets a call from the hotel's front desk. The hotel clerk tells "Captain America" that a throng of his loyal fans have showed up wanting to see him. When one of Cap's admirers learns what room "Cap" is staying in, he leads the horde of eager fans up the stairs to meet their favorite super-hero. Using this as an opportunity to smear Captain America's good name, the Red Skull uses the power of the Cosmic Cube to avoid his enemies fans and then runs out on them, leaving them upset that their "hero" had run out on them. While at Avengers Mansion, Rick Jones laments over being rejected by "Captain America", little realizing it was really the Red Skull posing as his mentor. Ripping up his Bucky mask, Rick decides to leave and try to find his own way[21].

While at the secret headquarters of Advanced Idea Mechanics, the scientists are working hard at creating a device that will allow them to prevent the Cosmic Cube from being used by other parties and return the device to their clutches. Creating a crystalline sphere that will do the job, the AIM scientists prepare phase three of their recovery operation.

Back on Exile Island, Captain America and the Falcon are ready to face the Exiles and get the drop on the group. While they are out numbered, Cap and the Falcon have the element of surprise against their foes, and as the Red Skull watches in frustration as they manage to hold their own against his minions. The tide of the battle are turned full in Cap and Falcon's favor when the locals, inspired by the two heroes join in the battle staging a full out revolution against the Exiles. The locals manage to drive the Exiles into fleeing from the scene. The Red Skull, furious at Captain America's continued survival decides the time for Captain America to die is soon at hand. On the island, the Falcon thanks Cap for all his help, Captain America however is grim as he senses that the Red Skull is watching him and is preparing for the final battle.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "Now Falls the Skull!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #119.

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Synopsis for "Now Falls the Skull!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #119.

Continued from last issue...

Having become fed up of attempting to kill Captain America by proxy using the Cosmic Cube to manipulate others to do his bidding, the Red Skull changes back to his normal form and teleports himself to Berchtesgaden, a castle he owns in Germany. Deciding to combat Captain America up front, he transports Cap, Falcon and his bird Redwing from Exile Island to face him. When Captain America realizes what's going on, he tells the Red Skull to leave Falcon out of it, however the Skull wants revenge against him as well for his battle against the Exiles on Exile Island. When Redwing attempts to attack the Red Skull, he uses the Cosmic Cube to capture the bird in a cage.

When Falcon attempts to attack the Red Skull, the Skull uses the Cube to strike him down. Then, deciding that it is time to kill his hated foe, the Skull uses the Cube to change Captain America back to his normal form. When the Falcon sees the transformation he is shocked to learn that the man who trained him how to fight and help him become a hero is none other than Captain America himself. Captain America and the Falcon attempt to attack the Red Skull, however he uses the Cosmic Cube to deflect their attacks and then flood the room with water. In the deluge, Falcon suddenly dives under water while Cap struggles to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, at the headquarters of Advanced Idea Mechanics, MODOK is informed that the device to recapture the Cosmic Cube has been completed. MODOK muses over how he managed to cheat death after his last encounter with Captain America[22]. How he survived the explosion of the AIM submarine by creating a mental force-field around him to protect himself from the blast, then using telepathy to call AIM scientists that were still loyal to him to recover him from the ocean.

Back at Berchtesgaden, the Red Skull transports himself, Captain America and Falcon to a desert to continue their fight. As the two heroes continue to try and fight off the Red Skull, he continues to use the Cosmic Cube to his advantage. However, when the Red Skull tried to drown them, the Falcon used the rushing waters as a distraction to free Redwing from his cage, and the bird attacks the Skull long enough for Captain America to knock the Cosmic Cube from his hands. As the Red Skull struggles to recapture the Cube, AIM activates their Cathode device to destroy the Cube. Even as the Cube begins to melt, the Skull attempts to use it one last time. Instead of destroying his hated enemies, the Red Skull seemingly disintegrates himself. With the threat of the Red Skull ended, Captain America and Falcon consider their victory was helped by fate, unaware of AIM's involvement and walk off into the sunset.

Appearing in "Crack-Up on Campus!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #120.

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Synopsis for "Crack-Up on Campus!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #120.

Following their battle with the Red Skull, Captain America and the Falcon have returned to America. Accompanying Falcon back to his native Harlem, Captain America bids him farewell, and wishes him luck with his new career fighting crime in the troubled part of New York City. Finally back in his own body, Cap decides the first thing he needs to do is speak with Sharon Carter. He considers the fact that Sharon has turned down his offer at a relationship because she is unable to give up her job working for the spy agency SHIELD, however the Star-Spangled Avenger has come up with a compromise. Heading to the barber shop which is secretly a front for SHIELD's headquarters, Captain America seeks an audience with Nick Fury.

He demands to see Sharon, however Fury tells him that she has been busy pouring herself into her work since Captain America and her broke up and is away on a mission. He offers the fatigued Captain America to sit on a newly developed SHIELD Slumber Seat. Cap complies and the device is activated, it refreshes Cap, however he is unaware that Fury had implanted in his mind to apply for a physical education teachers position at Manning University. That night, in his hotel room, Cap comes across the classified ad and decides to apply for the job.

The next day he arrives at the university and witnesses a rather animated student protest led by Mart Baker. When Renown expert on atomic equations, Professor Paul Fosgrave, attempts to leave a nearby building, Barker entices his protest into violence toward Fosgrave. Steve steps in the way and stops the fight, and upon learning who he rescued introduces himself as Roger Stevens. Later while meeting with the dean of the school, he learns about Mart and how as of recently he has become more of a rabble rouser and becoming more extreme with his protests leading the Dean to fear that there might be a full out riot someday soon.

It proves to happen sooner, as some of the other members of the student union not sold over to Baker's extreme views tries to talk him out of enticing violence. This leads out to a full out fight between the two factions of students, prompting Steve to bolt off and change into Captain America in order to try and stop the fight. Unknown to Captain America this entire chain of events has been manipulated by MODOK and his minions at Advanced Idea Mechanics as a part of a plot to steal Professor Fosgrave's most recent atomic equations for their own personal exploitation. As the battle rages on, some A.I.M. agents posing as students run into the school and attempt to kidnap Fosgrave. When Captain America sees that one of the fake students is carrying a high tech weapon he realizes AIM's involvement and rushes up to stop them from capturing the noted scientist. Behind him is Mart Baker, having also seen the high tech weapon and realizing that he's been used as a dupe.

Chasing the A.I.M. agents to the roof of the school, Captain America and Baker work together to bring one of the goons down, however the other manages to board his miniature helicopter and attempt to escape with Fosgrave. Taking the other agents gun, Captain America blasts the rotor of the chopper with it and catches Fosgrave as he falls. With the two A.I.M. agents rounded up and turned over the authorities, Fosgrove and Baker make a truce and Baker agrees to be more assertive in his protests. Later, Captain America returns to SHIELD HQ where Nick Fury commends him for a job well done. When Fury asks Cap why he didn't take the job as a gym teacher at the university, Cap quips that he's it's "too tough for an old codger" like him.

Appearing in "The Coming of the Man-Brute"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #121.

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Synopsis for "The Coming of the Man-Brute"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #121.

Silas X. Cragg is obsesses with Captain America to the point where he sees the hero everywhere he goes. Vowing to destroy the hero, he's spent the better part of the past few years researching everything there is to know about the hero. Knowing his origins inside out and backward, Cragg -- a scientist -- has been able to create a new version of the Super-Soldier serum and intents to subject a human being to see if it works. However, instead of settling for just anyone, he seeks out an angry, and naturally strong individual for the serum in the hopes of creating a super-soldier even stronger than Captain America.

Cragg finds just such a man in a downtrodden part of town, an angry drunk with a lot of strength. He offers the man the opportunity to participate in his experiment, and the man takes up the offer when told it would give him the opportunity to beat Captain America in battle. The man is subjected to Cragg's serum and it is a complete success, with the man being at his physical peak, Cragg believes he has strength that surpasses Captain America himself -- and dubs his creation the Man-Brute. Later, Cragg pays a visit to Avengers Mansion posing as a spokesman for a charity collecting money for a local orphanage. When Captain America is not there to answer the call himself, Cragg leaves a message with his fellow Avengers knowing that Captain America would not turn up the chance to do anything for charity.

When Captain America arrives at the charity gathering he is attacked by the Man-Brute. The public, and the children inside the orphanage believe that the attack is part of the act that Cap has been asked to put on for the children. The fight takes them inside the actual orphanage and Captain America tells the children to seek cover. One of the boys, a child named Robert, realizes that this can't be a show if Cap told them to run for cover and watches as the Man-Brute begins to trounce Captain America in battle. Unable to sit back and let his hero be beat to death, Robert rushes out and tries to stop the Man-Brute. When the Man-Brute sees the boy he suddenly becomes decides to give up the fight and flees, escaping capture.

When he returns to Cragg's lab, Man-Brute tells him that he decided not to kill Captain America because he is a brave man. When he mentions that a young boy helped change his mind, Cragg scoffs at this -- which is the worst mistake he could have ever made -- as the Man-Brute reveals that the boy who stood up to him was his own child. Frightened for his life, Cragg tries to run away and backs into an electrical panel, electrocuting himself to death.

The next day, Captain America is at SHIELD headquarters where he learns about Cragg's death and how he was connected to the creation of the Man-Brute. Captain America recalls that Cragg was a man that he captured and had arrested 15 years prior. As he looks through the files, Fury ask Cap what he's doing and Captain America tells him that a couple pictures caught his eye. These pictures are of his love, Sharon Carter and his former sidekick Rick Jones. Later, Cap heads out into the slum neighborhood to try and learn the identity of the Man-Brute. When the man who is the Man-Brute spots Cap searching the area, he decides to slink out of sight in complete shame.

Appearing in "The Sting of the Scorpion!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #122.

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Synopsis for "The Sting of the Scorpion!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #122.

Captain America is once more brooding over his lot in life, wondering if he is doomed to live as a symbol of the American dream as Captain America, or if he can find a normal life as Steve Rogers. Looking at the world he lives in today he also wonders how he can live in such a vastly different time as a symbol when most people would protest against the government. That people only find it hip to bring down the establishment instead of supporting it. Captain America cannot bring himself to be like them, he maintains to be part of the establishment, but does not see that the rebel set is wrong. However, despite the strange times he lives in, he is determined to defend the democracy and the flag he represents within the letter of the law as he has since he first became Captain America.

Returning to his hotel room he continues to consider that the "establishment" itself was not bad as it brought great people who did great things, like Martin Luther King, and the Kennedy brothers. He comes to the conclusion that above all else, men should learn to love each other. However, thoughts of love gets Steve thinking about Sharon Carter again, and how she cannot settle into a relationship with him while she is in her career as a SHIELD spy. Like a true man of his era, he does not understand why she won't let him protect her.

Going into a fitful sleep, Steve dreams about Sharon being in constant danger and it ends with Sharon being shot by AIM agents, waking him shouting her name. This dream would prove to be prophetic, as at that moment a spy ring is in the middle of yet another operation and their spies have been able to determine that SHIELD and particularly Agent 13, Sharon Carter, is preparing to deal with their operation. The leader, Specs, knows that in order to handle the situation, their best option is to eliminate Sharon, and he has hired a specialist to do the job for them.

Unable to sleep, Captain America decides to go out and get some air and checks out of the hotel. Outside, the Scorpion is out after months of hiding and decides to test out his powers before going on his appointed mission. As fate would have it, he would clash with Steve Rogers. Caught off guard, Steve injures his hand and is felled by the villain. The Scorpion is about to steal his briefcase (unaware that it contains Captain America's shield and costume) when the police begin to arrive, sending the him fleeing into the night.

Getting back to his feet, Steve decides to tackle the Scorpion as Captain America, rushes back to the hotel, checks back into his old room and changes into his costume. Captain America tracks the Scorpion down to Chinatown and sees him get into a car. Hopping into a cab, Captain America orders the driver to follow after it. Up ahead, the Scorpion uses the vehicles monitoring devices to track Sharon Carter and he watches her as she is about to sneak onto a property owned by the spy ring. However, when he goes out to prepare to attack her, he instead is jumped by Captain America. While the Star-Spangled Avenger is busy battling the Scorpion, Sharon sneaks into the compound and is quickly captured by the spy ring. They have her tied up and put in the cellar while they decide what to do with her.

Once he has defeated the Scorpion, Captain America smashes his way in and easily defeats the spy ring, unaware that Sharon is in the building. As SHIELD agents come to clean the place up, Sharon manages to use the sharp edge of a barrel to cut off the gag around to her mouth. She calls out to Captain America to come back, but he has already left. Being driven away from the scene, the cabbie asks:

No Image MaleCabbie
You licked the Scorpion and clobbered a spy ring! So how come you look like you lost your best gal?
Conversation Tail
Captain America Vol 4 27 Textless
Captain America
Lost her? Maybe -- I never had her! Far as I know -- She's forgotten that I exist!
Conversation Tail


Appearing in "Suprema, The Deadliest of the Species!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #123.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Suprema (First appearance)
  • Scarbo (First appearance)
  • Suprema's Gang

Other Characters:

Locations:

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  • Wolverine Jet


Synopsis for "Suprema, The Deadliest of the Species!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #123.

Suprema and Scarbo are two ambitious criminals who hoping to take over the entire underworld rackets. When one of her minions points out that this is no easy task, she shows him that she is skilled in fighting and tells her minions that she is also a practitioner of witchcraft. Taking her minions out in a specially modified truck called the "Wolverine Jet", Suprema drives to the Long Island home of her first target: Aces Wild. Breaking into his home during a poker game, Wilde considers it a joke when Suprema orders him to turn over his operations to her. When he realizes she is serious he orders his men to eliminate her when suddenly, upon looking into her eyes, Wilde changes his tone and signs over his entire criminal operation to her and orders his men to do whatever she tells them. This is but a beginning as Suprema travels all over the New York City area using her seemingly mystical powers to enthrall mobsters all over the city into doing her bidding. Not even the police are able to stop her, as what happens when a long police officer pulls her truck over for speeding, Suprema uses her will to make him let them go.

Meanwhile, at the barber shop that is a front for SHIELD headquarters, Nick Fury and Captain America are practicing fighting maneuvers. After their sparring is done, Cap asks Fury once more where Sharon Carter is. Fury tells him that she is on another mission. He tells Captain America that instead of mooning over the girl he should be asking her to marry him. This cuts deep, as Captain America cannot get Sharon to do just that because she feels it's her duty to remain with SHIELD. Moreover, the insecure Avenger wonders what he a "battle-weary has-been" has to offer her in life.

Elsewhere in the city, Suprema and her minions have secured a vast criminal empire and now are ready to begin the next phase of her plans: To take over SHIELD. Out in their Wolverine Jet, and using a device to detect individuals that have special SHIELD ID tags, Suprema and her men find SHIELD agent Dum Dum Dugan. Approaching Dugan, Suprema uses her powers to enthrall him as well and orders him to take her to Nick Fury. When Dugan takes Suprema and her men to a weapons testing range, she quickly takes control of Fury and the rest of the SHIELD agents on hand. When Suprema attempts to take control of Captain America however, something reflects off his shield and he is unaffected. Fighting both friend and foe, Captain America fights off Scarbo and manages to escape in the Wolverine Jet.

Recognizing Suprema and Scorpo from somewhere before, Captain America pays a visit to the Daily Bugle to dig through their morgue files (much to the chagrin of publisher J. Jonah Jameson) and then rushes to Stark Industries to use Tony Stark's 321 computer. Proving his suspicions correct, Captain America drives back to SHIELD headquarters and is able to free Fury and his men from Suprema's control using devices inside the truck. As Suprema attempts to escape, she is felled by her own trucks knockout gas. With Suprema and her minions all captured, Captain America explains that Suprema and Scarbo used to be notable performers that used to do a hypnotism act and that she managed to boost her hypnotic abilities with an amplifier she wore around her neck. He soon learns that all Suprema wanted was power, and now denied it, she screams to get it back. Captain America walks away from her telling her that what evil men have done in the past in their quest for power.

Appearing in "Stop the Cyborg!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #124.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:


Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "Stop the Cyborg!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #124.

Captain America is attacked by two AIM assassins, however despite the fact that they get the drop on him, Captain America easily defeats them in battle. Both men are disarmed and flee the scene, and when Cap tries to pick up one of their weapons, it dissolves in his hand. At AIM's secret headquarters, MODOK is unimpressed for with this recent failure. He calls one of his assassins to answer for his failed mission, and when the excuse is not good enough, MODOK offers him two options: Either death, or being part of his cyborg project. The AIM assassin chooses the project, and is soon remade into a cybernetic creature (blandly) named the Cyborg. With the transformation a complete success, MODOK sends out the Cyborg to test it's abilities.

Captain America meanwhile, has come to the barber shop that acts as a front for SHIELD headquarters. Going down into the base below, Captain America decides to deal with his current romantic woes with Sharon Carter. Seeing Nick Fury, Captain America demands that Fury take her off of active duty and give her a desk job so that the two of them can pursue a relationship without Cap ever fearing for her safety. Fury decides to agree to these terms and calls in Sharon, who also agrees to make the change and is happy to be able to pursue a relationship with Steve. With Cap and Sharon dealt with, Fury decides to check his security monitors and witnesses the Cyborg robbing a bank.

The Cyborg easily defeats the security guard, smashes open the safe and steal money. Fury calls back Sharon and Cap to witness this bold robbery. When Cap is asked to go out and deal with it, Sharon is eager to go with him when she remembers her promise to him and agrees to stay behind. As Fury and Cap go to track down the Cyborg, Sharon stays behind to work the radio. Meanwhile, the Cyborg brings the stolen money back to MODOK. Impressed by this test, MODOK orders the Cyborg to destroy the money as they do not need it. When Sharon gets a radio call from whom she thinks is Nick Fury, telling her where the Cyborg is located. She imparts this information to Captain America before she realizes that Fury hasn't even left headquarters. Realizing that she has sent Cap into a trap, Sharon rushes out to go and help him.

Sharon arrives there first and is attacked by the Cyborg who easily subdues her. When Captain America arrives moments later, he attempts to battle the Cyborg however he is slowed up due to the number of traps that the house is rigged with. After a struggle, Captain America manages to defeat the Cyborg by ripping a live electrical wire out of the wall and tossing it at his foe, causing him to short circuit and destroy all his mechanical components. When the Cyborg tells him that MODOK has been watching a monitor turns on to reveal Nick Fury, who tells Cap that MODOK fled the scene. When Captain America confronts Sharon about her part in his mission, he thinks that Sharon and Fury lied to him and that Sharon put herself in danger on purpose. Before Sharon can explain things, Cap tells her that he doesn't want to see her anymore and storms off. Watching as the man she loves walks away, Sharon bursts into tears, thinking to herself that she risked her life to save his.

Appearing in "Captured in Vietnam!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #125.

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Other Characters:

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Synopsis for "Captured in Vietnam!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #125.

Upset that his relationship with Sharon Carter has ended over a believed betrayal, Steve Rogers tries to get his mind off Sharon and decides to watch the six o'clock news. The top story of the night is about the disappearance of Dr. Robert Hoskins a medical doctor that has been helping the wounded on both sides of the Vietnam conflict. Realizing that this will agitate both sides into more conflict, Captain America decides to get involved and find Hoskin before it's too late. Using his Avengers ID card, Captain America gets an audience with the director of the Defense Department and arranges to take the next plane into Vietnam.

Flying over the region in a B-52 Bomber, Captain America parachutes into the jungle below, where he changes into his uniform. He soon finds himself in the middle of a firefight between opposing sides and is forced to duck into a ditch to avoid getting shot and the danger to pass. Cap soon realizes that coming to a jungle in his Captain America costume might not have been one of his greatest ideas. Searching the jungle, he spots a trip wire and pretends to fall for it to see who attacks him. To his surprise, he is attacked by a group of Asian men who are not wearing uniforms that belong to either the north or south Vietnamese armies, making him wonder who is behind the kidnapping. Captain America allows himself to be captured to see where they take him. To his surprise, he is taken to a castle that is presently being occupied by Iron Man's old foe the Mandarin. The Mandarin explains to Cap that he captured Hoskin in order to increase the conflict to decimate both sides of the war so that he can take over the region easier.

Captain America breaks free, an manages to fight off the Mandarin's troops and faces off against the Mandarin one-on-one. Although the Mandarin has the superior power of his rings, Captain America is able to deflect the different blasts with his shield. When one of the Mandarin's blasts causes a fire, Captain America uses it's cover to escape and find th dungeon where he frees Hoskin's from his cell. As they are exiting from the castle draw bridge, the Mandarin blocks their path. However, Captain America deflects the Mandarin's ring blast with his shield, causing it to strike one of the drawbridge's chains breaking it and sending the Mandarin into the moat below. Jumping to safety, Captain America and Hoskin manage to get free and he is reunited with the people he's come to help. In the aftermath, Captain America is glad that Hoskin's is back and that his aid can help bring peace to the troubled region. However, Captain America has a bleaker outlook of his tomorrows as he walks in the rain to the the plane that will take him back to America.

Appearing in "The Fate of... the Falcon!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #126.

Featured Characters:

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Other Characters:


Locations:

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Synopsis for "The Fate of... the Falcon!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Captain America #126.

Captain America has decided to venture into Harlem to check on his friend the Falcon when he overhears a news report that the police have the Falcon -- wanted for a crime -- in a tenement building. Believing that his one-time sidekick is innocent, Captain America decides to go and try to see what he can do to help his friend out. As he scales the roof tops trying to find the building he spots the Falcon's bird, Redwing and follows it to the location of the police cordon. Sneaking into the building he finds that the Falcon has been injured.

When Captain America inquires what's going on, the Falcon explains that he was framed by a criminal named Diamond Head, who is the leader of a gang of black supremists that have been trying to take over Harlem. Agreeing to help Falcon clear his name, Cap devises a way to help the Falcon escape. Getting the Falcon to put on his uniform, Captain America exists out the front door and tells the police that he is a hostage and that Captain America helped free him and that he captured the Falcon. When the police go in, they spot "Captain America" leaving the scene, and don't even consider the idea that it's the Falcon in disguise.

Meanwhile, Diamond Head and his minions are going out and roughing up non-blacks who have stores in Harlem, forcing them to pay them protection money to prevent them from being forced out of business. While at the home of Sam Wilson, Captain America and the Falcon go over the information that Sam has gathered in trying to determine the true identity of Diamond Head and the location of his gangs hideout. Searching the records of recently opened businesses, Captain America and Falcon go to check out a warehouse that just recently opened for business. When Cap stakes out the location, he spots criminal Rocky the Lynx, a member of the Maggia near the warehouse. Rocky notes Captain America's entrance to the warehouse and decides to use it to his advantage.

Inside, Captain America is easily over powered by members of Diamond Head's gang, and Diamond Head himself makes an appearance. Before they can shoot Captain America, the Falcon comes out of hiding and fights off the gang members. Cap manages to free himself and knock down Diamond Head. Unmasking the criminal he is surprised to see that it's Rocky the Lynx. As it turns out, the Maggia put up the Diamond Head guise by trying to sweep out other gangs from Harlem so that they can take over the rackets in the area. After the police arrive, take the crooks away and Falcon clears his name, Captain America departs. As he is leaving, Falcon tells him that even though his skin is a different color, he still considers Captain America a brother.

Notes

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