Early Life

Johann Shmidt is the leader of Hydra, a terrorist group derived from the Nazis. He was powered by an early and unstable version of the Super-Soldier Serum, and adopted the identity of Red Skull.

Since then, he has battled Captain America and his fellow heroes for years, without ever achieve his goals of global domination.

At some point, he was believed to have died. Disappearing from the public eye for a long period of time.

The Avengers Protocol, Part 1

Dying from his failing Super-Soldier Serum, Red Skull asked help from M.O.D.O.C. in order to transfer his mind into Captain America's body, where the formula had been successful.

Red Skull Avengers Assemble

Red Skull in his Hydra uniform

Attacking him with a bunch of Hydra minions, he managed to teleport and imprison him, but was attacked by Iron Man who witnessed what he thought to be Cap's death. He subsequently reassembled the Avengers and attacked the Hydra base. Red Skull had managed to take place in Cap's body, but the process was inverted, only for M.O.D.O.C. to rip the Iron Man Armor and the Arc Reactor from Tony Stark and transfer them to Red Skull, making him the Iron Skull. The two villains then retreated, with Stark left for dead.[1]

The Avengers Protocol, Part 2

In order to achieve his victory upon the Avengers, Iron Skull wanted to destroy both their members, resources and public image. He infiltrated the Avengers Mansion. There he planted a bomb on the mansion reactor, and infected the Avengers with microbots sending aggressiveness stimulation's, making them battle each others in front of the civilians and media. Stark managed to nullify the microbots actions using concentrated EMP beams, and rallied the team around his lead to defeat and force to retreat Iron Skull.

Angered by his failure, Skull called to the Avengers' old foes, Doctor Doom, Dracula and Attuma, to join him in his Cabal, as an evil counterpart to the Avengers. Those communications were also caught by Stark and his teammates, aware that Skull would seek for revenge.[2]

The Serpent of Doom

The Iron Skull tries to contact Doctor Doom again to recruit him to his Cabal but he refuses, which led Doom to be an enemy of the Cabal, as a result.. [3]

Blood Feud

Red Skull contacts Dracula telling him of the properties of the Super-Soldier Serum which leads to a fight with the Avengers. In his defeat the Skull visits him at Castle Dracula and offered him a position in his Cabal.[4]

Hyperion and Attuma

The rest of the Cabal finally forms, with Attuma joining in. They tried to destroy the Avengers, by using their own battle methods against them. They failed, but succeeded at one part of their plans----rescue Hyperion from S.H.I.E.L.D., and have him join the Cabal. Together, they attempted to kill Doom and steal the Tesseract, as of which they succeeded partially.

Betrayal and brief career as the Cosmic Skull

The Skull has found the Cosmic Cube and attempted to rule all dimensions, but ended up betraying the Cabal and being humiliated by the Avengers. He briefly became the Cosmic Skull, but lost his armor to M.O.D.O.C., and was flung to another dimension, where he met his true boss, Thanos.[5]

Escape from Thanos

The Red Skull betrayed Thanos and escaped back to Earth. However, he was followed by Thanos' droids, and crashed in Brazil. The Avengers investigated the scene, and found a mentally-unbalanced Red Skull with a Infinity Stone, which he had stolen from the Mad Titan. He was imprisoned by the Avengers to get more information about Thanos. When Black Widow and Hawkeye interrogated him, his only response to them was that "He [would] rise".[6] The rest of his Cabal members would break up as a result.[7]

The Avengers used the carvings the Red Skull made in his cell to locate the Time Stone. The arrival of said stone create temporal anomalies, like the appearance of dinosaurs, robots from the future, or Hydra battalions from WWII which wrecked havoc in Manhattan. In the middle of the chaos, the Red Skull escaped his cell, and tried to get the Time Stone, which had been attached to Tony Stark's arc reactor, and caused him to de-age.

Once the Red Skull got hold of a kid Tony Stark, a pulse from the Time Stone barely de-aged the Skull, reverting his mind to a normal state. Captain America fought the Skull to save Tony, who soon managed to put on an adjusted Iron Man armor for his young body. Tony attacked the Skull with a repulsor ray which blasted the villain out of the tower, the Skull was then caught by one of the pterodactyls which had been brought to the present by the stone, defeating him, but ultimately messing up their chances of information on how to stop Thanos.[8]

While in Monster Island, he kidnapped his old nemesis and revealed that he made a deal with Dormammu to have the courage and power to cloak himself from Thanos, using an impenetrable force field via spear, unaware that Thanos was actually defeated by the Avengers earlier and was imprisoned by the Nova Corps. When Hawkeye and Ant-Man intervened, the field was activated, but with the help of Fin Fang Foom, the Avengers were able to destroy the field and defeat Red Skull at the same time. He was then arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D.[9]


Super-Soldier Serum: Once he was injected with a prototype variant of the Super Soldier Serum, he mutated into a red-colored skull-like being & gained superhuman physical & mental abilities.

  • Enhanced Strength: The serum allowed his strength to be enhanced to the very peak of human potential, allowing him to military press around 800 pounds. He can hand-to-hand combat with Captain America, and there are times, he can overpower him.
  • Enhanced Healing: The serum allowed the Red Skull to resist and heal from injury and disease at a far more superior rate than any ordinary human.
  • Enhanced Reflexes: The serum allowed him to possess reaction time superior to any Olympic athlete that has ever competed.


Strategic Genius: Shmidt is a master of political, military, and subversive strategy, as well as a brilliant planner and organizer.

Hand-to-Hand Combatant: The Red Skull was a fine hand to hand combatant


Formerly the Red Skull had became insane after working with Thanos, he also was reliant on stolen Iron Man Armor to maintain life.


Formerly a Hydra/Nazi-shaped and customized version of the stolen Iron Man Armor


Hydra Submarine


Formerly the Cosmic Cube.

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