Subjected to a Nazi version of the Super-Soldier Serum, Johann Schmidt became the epitome of the Aryan dream, a perfect Nazi counterpart to Captain America. When the two finally came face-to-face, the battle was fierce until Captain America blindly used his shield as a weapon, landing a blow that would have killed a normal man, but merely ripped a chunk of Schmidt's face off, revealing a reddened skull beneath. Whispered behind his back, Schmidt eventually took the name his troops gave him: Red Skull.

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