The MCU helped to make Captain America one of the biggest cinematic heroes of the 21st, the character has obviously had a long history in the comics. Many of the greatest Captain America storylines from the comics have even gone on to inspire the MCU movies and their adaptation of the character.
Ranker has highlighted some of the very best stories featuring the star-spangled hero throughout Marvel’s history. from the well-known titles to the hidden gems, these comics explore the struggles, triumphs, and complexities of Captain America and what makes him so special.
10 Captain America: White
Though Captain America managed to fit surprisingly well into modern stories, his time during World War II was very important for his journey. “Captain America: White” looks back at one of those early adventures in a thrilling way.
The story finds Cap and his allies attempting to stop Red Skull as he invades France. It is a story that highlights some of Cap’s greatest traits as a hero while also admitting some flaws. But at its center, it is a story about his friendship with Bucky Barnes.
9 Death Of The Dream
Captain America may not have been the most popular of Marvel’s heroes, but as the MCU showed, he stood out as something all other heroes aspire to even in a universe filled with superheroes.
“Death of the Dream” touches on these elements of Cap’s legacy as it takes place in the aftermath of “Civil War” as Cap is arrested and subsequently assassinated. It shows that even in his darkest moments, Cap was an inspiring hero. It also explores the void left by him and the heroes who attempted to live up to his immense legacy.
8 Under Siege
Though “Under Siege” is actually an Avengers story, Captain America’s role in it allows for some of the character’s best moments in the comics. It deals with Baron Zemo assembling a huge new team of the Masters of Evil to take out the Avengers while also targeting Cap with some particularly personal torture.
It is hard to turn a team like the Avengers into the underdogs, but they are really given quite a beating in this story. However, that only leads to the epic moment of Cap leading his team into the final battle.
7 The Strange Death Of Captain America
There have been many times in the comics where Captain America was thought to be dead. “The Strange Death of Captain America” begins with the world dealing with not only the supposed death of the hero but also the revelation that Steve Rogers might not have been Cap all along.
The story is filled with art that gives it a somewhat surreal feel as it focuses on Rick Jones coming to terms with this loss. But it all leads to an exciting climax that may be predictable but is also so much fun.
6 The Death Of The Red Skull
Though Captain America has faced a lot of memorable villains in the comics, without a doubt, his archnemesis is Red Skull. They share a long history together, going back to World War II and Cap’s origins. But “The Death of the Red Skull” sets up their final confrontation.
In a compelling depiction of the villain, Red Skull is shown to be an older man who seeks to finally get revenge on Cap before his time is up. In order to do that, he attempts to push the hero to the point that he will kill Red Skull. It is a great battle between these two as well as an ideal test for a hero like Cap.
5 Man Without A Country
A common theme that has been explored in the more recent Captain America stories, and something the MCU has touched on as well, is Cap as an outlaw. Though he was created as a government agent, he sometimes finds himself at odds with those in power.
“Man Without a Country” finds Red Skull stealing Cap’s memories and using them to frame him for treasonous acts. This results in Cap being exiled from the United States and forced to operate as a rogue hero.
4 War & Remembrance
From the longevity of the comics to the character’s own journey, Captain America is a hero who has played important roles in both the past and more modern times. “War & Remembrance” is an exciting balance of those two aspects as it feels like an old-school adventure while also examining the iconic status of Cap.
The story finds Cap facing off with a number of dastardly villains, such as Batroc and Baron Strucker. It also sees him reunited with characters from his past, like ally Union Jack and the villainous Baron Blood. The story even explores the idea of Cap running for president.
3 Operation Rebirth
Captain America has faced off with Red Skull countless times in the comics, but “Operation Rebirth” had a lot of fun teaming these two characters up as unlikely allies. The story finds Cap once again frozen in time only to be awoken by the Red Skull so he can help the villain stop Adolf Hitler from conquering the world.
The wild story feels like an homage to those earlier war stories from the first Captain America comics. It also delves into the romance between Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter in an interesting way.
2 Captain America No More
Fans had to deal with the retirement of Captain America in Avengers: Endgame, but he had given up his shield many times in the comics before then. The most memorable instance was in “Captain America No More” which sees Steve Rogers stepping away from Captain America only to be replaced by the more violent John Walker.
Having another character wielding the famous shield is a great way of exploring how special of a hero Steve Rogers is. The story also examines the idea of Rogers continuing to be a hero even if he isn’t Captain America anymore.
1 The Winter Soldier
There are many fans who consider Captain America: The Winter Soldier to be one of the best MCU movies to date, so it’s not surprising the comic that inspired it is also highly acclaimed. It tells the story of the mysterious Soviet assassin known as the Winter Soldier emerging only for Cap to discover it is his brainwashed friend, Bucky Barnes.
Fans might not realize that Bucky was not a popular character at the time in the comics. He was introduced years ago as Cap’s kid sidekick, but this comic reinvented him as a tragic counterpart to Steve Rogers. It also presented Cap’s most personal conflict.
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