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Heroes and Allies
Steve Rogers/Captain America
Rejected by the army during World War II but still intent on serving his country, Steve Rogers volunteered for a Super Soldier project that would give him increased physical capabilities greater than those of all but the mightiest human athletes. It worked, and once given a uniform and shield, he became a patriotic symbol in his fight against the Axis powers before disappearing mysteriously. Flash forward many decades, and a new generation of superheroes found him frozen in suspended animation. Once thawed he became a member, and later leader, of the Avengers.
- 10-Minute Retirement:
- Cap famously abandoned his identity in the 1970s after finding out the identity of the Secret Empire's leadernote and continued to operate as the Nomad.
- He also gave up the identity in the 80s when the U.S. Government tried to force Cap to work as a government-sanctioned operative. He was able to continue superheroics by donning a black costume and changing his name to "The Captain," since it turned out that the government owned the rights to his original name and shield.
- After he came Back from the Dead before Siege, he refused to take up the shield full-time, instead letting Bucky Barnes continue as Captain America until his Faking the Dead during Fear Itself
- When his Super Soldier Serum is deactivated, he gives the identity and shield to The Falcon as he's been rendered an old man. When Kobik restores Steve to full, he tells Sam to keep using the name and the shield, though he'll be back in the saddle as well, missing the adventure of it all.
- A Father to His Men: Any team he gets put in charge he treats like his family, possibly because of his late Sidekick Bucky.
- All American Face
- All-Loving Hero: He's the Marvel counterpart of Superman, after all. At one point Magneto tried to erase his mind of all prejudice towards Mutants. Problem for Magneto: Captain America has no prejudice towards anybody.
- All Your Powers Combined: A Badass Normal version of this. Anyone who knows about athletes can tell you that not every physique is suited to every type of athletic performance. Marathon runners are not sprinters, sprinters are not weightlifters, weightlifters are not pole vaulters, and so on. However, Cap can do it all thanks to his Super Soldier Serum that gives him the peak of human ability in all of these things at once.
- The Artifact: Steve's secret identity rarely ever served much purpose, as he had no consistent civilian supporting cast; he had one pretty much because it was assumed all superheroes should have one. Done away with in 2002, and it hasn't really impacted the comics much at all.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Not for nothing is Cap considered the leader of the Marvel Superhero community. When he speaks, Gods listen.
- During the first Secret War, when the Beyonder had sent a large group of heroes and villains to Battleworld so that they could fight each other, the heroes were all gathered together and Cap was focusing the discussion on who should be in charge. He worked his way through almost all the other team leaders present (Reed Richards, the Wasp, Professor X, even the Hulk, who at the time had Banner's personality in control), trying to get one of them to step up, but all of them had some reason why they could not lead such a large team (in fairness to the Hulk, he just shrugged and said to let Cap give the orders). The way the scene is set up, it's perfectly obvious to almost everyone that Cap should be in charge. Professor X even cuts the knot and suggests it. Wolverine, who at the time was still in his jerkass personality, immediately objected and said Cap was the least of them and he wouldn't follow him (remember, at this time, Wolverine had almost no dealings with Cap and lacked the enormous respect he has for Cap now). Cue Thor, who up to this point had stayed in the background and out of the discussion, to immediately step up and make it very clear that not only was he perfectly willing to follow orders from Cap, but to also get the message across that there wasn't anyone else there that he was going to let take command over Captain America. That ended the entire discussion. Even Wolverine shut up and went along after that.
- Awesome Mccoolname: A bit understated, but Steve Rogers. Does that sound like a character John Wayne would play, or does that sound like a character John Wayne would play?
- Badass Normal: Borderline example — there's a reason his Super Serum was so sought after. Technically it doesn't push any of his abilities to a "superhuman" level, but few if any humans have every single athletic ability at peak potential all at once (speed plus stamina plus strength, etc). Thus, he is quite capable of holding his own with people who have more impressive superpowers. In real life, athletes have to make tradeoffs between strength, endurance, agility etc. and also different body types are better suited to different athletic disciplines - the very best sprinters are large and muscular whereas the best long distance runners are short and skinny. Demonstrated by decathletes who have to train for ten different events - they are not as good at them as those athletes who specialise in them. Cap doesn't have these limitations; he can sprint 100m in 9.75 seconds, run a marathon in two hours, bench press 500kg, and perform Olympic-level feats of gymnastic ability.
- Battle Couple: With Sharon or Rachel/Diamondback
- Berserk Button: The Nazis are still a sore point for him decades after World War II. Justified in that, unlike the real world, Nazism in the present-day Marvel Universe isn't just underground political movements and street gangs.
- Becoming the Mask: Meta level. In part because he has no real secret identity, Cap and Steve are pretty much synonymous (and everyone knows it). Any other Captain in Marvel tends to get called by something else.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Cap is one of the friendliest, most easygoing guys you'll ever meet. Granted, once you piss him off...
- Big Good: Mainly for The Avengers, but also the Marvel Universe as a whole. Any superhero worthy of the title in the Marvel U will defer to Cap, no exceptions. He's SO MUCH a Big Good that he's actually been able to lift Thor's hammer.
- Boy Next Door: Sweet, sincere, honest and well mannered.
- Brainwashed and Crazy:
- Happened to him on one unfortunate instance, courtesy of Dr. Faustus and the Grand Director. He even wielded a swastika-adorned version of his shield.note
- In a second instance, when restoring Steve to physical and mental perfection, Korbik* rewrote his past so that he believes himself to be a deep-cover Hydra agent, as a result of her own brainwashing by the Red Skull.
- Blue Is Heroic: Despite being supposed to represent the American flag, blue is by far the most prominent color in his costume, invoking this trope.
- Brooklyn Rage: Subverted on the "rage" part as he's the nicest, most polite guy from Brooklyn you'll ever meet. Except if he finds out you're trying to kill people or bully the innocent, at which point he's gonna use all his strength and skills to stop you. And he'll still try to talk you out of it with a polite lecture even as he's beating the crap out of you.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": The letter "A" is emblazoned on his mask and is an iconic part of Cap's outfit.
- The Cape: He is probably Marvel's best capeless Cape. Cap makes it clear on numerous occasions that he doesn't stand for America as a nation specifically, but for "the Dream", to the point where he's willing to fight and die for his beliefs against his own government.
- Captain Geographic: of America.
- Captain Patriotic: Though he's a man of the American Dream, rather than the American government.
- Captain Superhero: He might not be the first, but he's one of the most famous. However, he is one of the few who have actually earned the title of Captain.
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority: This is the essential modernization of Cap in the 1970s. Rogers became so disillusioned by the American establishment and the abuse of the US Government that he eventually gave up being Cap for a while in favor of Nomad, the man without a country. Eventually, he realized that he could champion America's ideals as Cap, giving him the liberty to butt heads with the US Government when necessary.
- Crazy-Prepared: Captain America has spent a lot of time analyzing the data files the Avengers have compiled on all the major supervillains. No matter who he faces, chances are Cap already has a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
- Dating Catwoman: Diamondback, who reformed in part because of his influence.
- Depending on the Artist: The trend in recent years of depicting Cap (Steve Rogers' suit, anyway) with scale armor (see the current page pic), a look that debuted in the 1990s Sentinel of Liberty miniseries that retold his origin. Historically, Cap's shirt was said to have been made of "synthetic chainmail", which wouldn't have such an obviously scaly look (and was usually drawn as though he was wearing normal superhero tights).
- Depending on the Writer: Exactly how strong and tough Steve is compared to regular guys depends on the writing. He's never depicted as being strong enough to throw cars around or anything like that (even agility-based Spider-Man is stronger than him), but if the writer is generous, with great effort he can bend weak steel, heal from injuries in days that would have most guys laid up for months (and heal in months what would take most guys years, or never) and run at the speed of a sprinter for the duration of a marathon runner...but again, the extent of this depends on the writer. Many claim "it's not superpowers, really", but isn't having the body of an omni-athlete without needing to train excessively a power of its own?
- Determinator: If anything Cap has can be likened to an actual super power, it's his absolute refusal to give up. Even friggin' Thanos has seen this firsthand◊.
- Expansion Pack Past: He's probably had more adventures in World War II than there were days in the war; there's a tendency for stories involving him to feature a one or two-page flashback to some World War II event to contrast with whatever's happening in the present. Famous World War II events (D-Day, for example), have been retold frequently with conflicting information about what he was doing then.
- Cap's new Marvel NOW! ongoing series appears to do this for his past prior to becoming the Super-Soldier, showing the hardships Steve and his family had to go through in 1930s America.
- Face–Heel Turn: Captain America was accused of doing one during Operation Rebirth (teaming up with the Red Skull, though the two were teaming up to stop Hitler), leading to him being briefly exiled from the US.
- The Fettered:
If you can't tell the Captain what you're damn well up to, then don't damn well get up to it at all!
- Cap is completely loyal to the cause of good, his morals and his ideals. This is a great thing for everyone, cause he is indisputably the moral center of the Marvel Universe. Any hero who wants to do the right thing just needs to follow Cap's example.
- Parodied in "The Ballad of Captain America's Disapproving Face" by the Murder Ballads.
- Fights Like a Normal: He's basically a Badass Normal cranked Up to Eleven via Super Serum.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: The basis for Cap's re-introduction into the modern era.
- This got worse in the Dimension Z arc. Although Steve was missing from his home dimension for only 30 minutes, he lived there for 12 years — Word of God states that he spent longer in Dimension Z than he has spent in the present day since thawing out.
- Folk Hero
- Genius Bruiser: Part of what makes Cap so formidable: he backs up his physique and fighting ability with a sharp tactical mind and leadership skills. There's a reason he's been the Avengers' leader since the day he joined.
- Gentle Giant: Steve is this trope even with his costume on.
- The Good Captain: Was actually a Captain in the US Army before getting frozen and being listed as MIA.
- Good Counterpart: Rogers was given the whole Captain America persona specifically in part to counter the terrifying propaganda value of Germany's Red Skull.
- Good Is Not Dumb: So very much.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Along with Innocent Blue Eyes, befitting of one of the purest people in the Marvel Universe.
- The Hero: He's The Leader of The Avengers and the Big Good of the Marvel Universe.
- Ideal Hero: Let's face it, Cap is the embodiment of Good in the Marvel U.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: A rare sight, but at the end of the first issue of the Age of Ultron storyline, we see Cap slumped against the wall, looking utterly hopeless and emotionally defeated for the first time, since ever.
- He's Back: The appropriately-titled Captain America: Reborn, dealing with Steve's return to the land of the living.
- Holier Than Thou: Captain America's Black and White Morality can come across as this to other characters and readers in a morally grey situations. The "Incursions" storyline has the entire multiverse at risk and the only way to save two colliding universes is to destroy the Earth of one and if not done everyone in both universes dies. Despite all other possible options explored and failed Captain America insist this is not acceptable and waste resources pursuing the characters who were more willing to pursue this option to buy Earth time instead of trying to find a better solution.
- Honor Before Reason: Even as the world becomes more hateful, dark, and cynical, Steve Rogers refuses to lower himself to the standards of "normality."
- Human Popsicle: Fortunately, Rogers' enhancements from Project Rebirth are a great rationale to make that still seem believable.
- Humble Hero: Part of the point of him. He wasn't anything too special before he got the Super Soldier Serum, and he's pointed out he wasn't supposed to be unique, just the first of many. His humility is one of the reasons he's the embodiment of the American Dream: he's a nobody who became a somebody, and he's eternally thankful for it. Perhaps best summed up by the following exchange from Captain America: The First Avenger:Red Skull: What makes you so special?Cap: Nothin'. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn.
- I Call It "Vera": Some stories indicate that, in Cap's head, the shield is actually named "Shield".
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Cap can do anything with his shield besides make it stand up and bark.
- Improbable Weapon User: Cap's shield, which he uses as not only a shield against weapons fire, but as a throwing weapon itself.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: There is a reason why Steve's the moral center of the Marvel Universe. He's so noble, he's one of the few beings ever to be able to lift Thor's hammer with no effort.
- Inspector Javert: Steve turns into this in X-23: Target X. He feels personally responsible for all the killings X-23 has carried out because she slipped his grasp after her field test by masquerading as a wounded survivor. He reveals he's been tracking her down ever since (approximately six years) and is obsessed with bringing her to justice. He's driven to the point where he completely ignores Matt Murdock's attempts to warn him that S.H.I.E.L.D. won't care really about justice, but instead will use her as a weapon the same way she was used by the Facility. Before he can actually turn her over, however, he recognizes the truth of this and that Laura was as much a victim as the people she killed, and lets her go.
- The Irish Diaspora: Steve is Irish-American.
- Just One Man: No single other hero has caused so many enemy commanders to scream out "kill him you fools, he's only one man!"
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Cap's shield is unbreakable and invincible. It also serves for both offense and defense, since Cap can throw it to attack his enemies from long range or beat them with it in close combat. Its unique alloy even makes it able to damage enemies that might otherwise be immune to physical harm-the iron in it is harmful to demons, the vibranium causes pain to energy-based creatures, etc.
- Made of Indestructium: His shield is made of vibranium, proto-adamantium and an unknown third component. Not even regular adamantium can cut it.
- After its destruction upon hitting the God of Fear, Iron Man has repaired it using mystical Asgardian metal Uru, making it even more durable.
- Magnetic Hero: Captain America is so well-respected by the superhero community that they usually follow his lead whether he's their official leader or not. This is because he's both incredibly competent despite not having superpowers and because they trust him to always be true to the right ideals. It comes to a point that when he fails them, the whole community gets demoralized (ex. in Civil War.)
- Military Superhero: Emphasis on both words. Cap started out as a Super Soldier (and actually ranked officer, the Captain is both his moniker and actual army rank) for the United States Army. He actually did the jump in D-Day with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, and fought the frontlines against the Nazis. Yet back then, he was already a paragon of virtue and heroism. Being unfrozen in the present only confirmed that honest and selfless asskicking is NEVER out of style.
- More Than Mind Control: In Captain America: Steve Rogers #2, it's revealed Red Skull used Kobik, a girl created from a cosmic cube, to rewrite Steve's memories to make him believe he's been an agent of HYDRA all along.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Roger Stern gave this to Captain America, in order to handwave various conflicting backstories for Captain America, past and future, in terms of having Cap's memory damaged due to him being frozen alive.
- My Greatest Failure: Losing the Civil War X-Over, as hell on earth broke out afterwards.
- Well before that, there was his failure to save Bucky from dying in WWII. Well, until it was revealed that Bucky didn't exactly bite the bullet that time...
- In the Ultimate Universe, his guilt over being partially responsible for Peter Parker's senseless death during the Death of Spider-Man storyline led Cap to quit from being a hero. However, the Nimrod Sentinels' attack on the U.S. and subsequent dividing of the nation has led to Cap returning to the Ultimates to defend the fragmented America from collapsing even further.
- He spent as much as eight years personally hunting X-23 down after her first assassination, because he mistakenly let her go when she disguised herself as a survivor of her own rampage. He subsequently blamed himself for all of her subsequent killings (of which there were lots). It pushes him into full-blown Inspector Javert territory.
- Nazi Hunter: Cap hunted them during the war and has had to sniff them out after being unfrozen, since many of his enemies are Nazis. This includes the Red Skull.
- The 1950's version of Captain America also hunted former Nazis. He also sought out Dirty Communists, and anyone who didn't fit his moral or political perspective, which was largely why he was so dangerous.
- Nice Guy: Under the uniform, he is still a kind and polite gentleman and the picture of the wholesome 1930's boy next door.
- Old Hero, New Pals: After being defrosted and having new adventures apart of the Avengers, this trope was reinforced by the fact that he had already lost his supporting cast in the meantime.
- One-Man Army: OK, sometimes Cap brings along a partner or a friend. But it's not like he needs to....
- Paper-Thin Disguise: For a while, Cap disguised himself as a hero known as The Captain. The costume looked identical to his normal Captain America costume except for darker colors and a slightly different chest-insignia. He even threw a shield around that also had a slight color-change. Here is a cover depicting both costumes.◊ This costume somehow fooled everyone, including his allies on The Avengers. The costume would later be worn by the USAgent.
- The Paragon: It's pretty much a given that in all of comic books, regardless of companies, the only characters who are bigger paragons than Captain America are Superman and DC's Captain Marvel. See the page quotes. They're his promise to himself that he'll use his abilities only in pursuit of a future better than the present.
- Platonic Life Partners: He's pretty much this with most of the female Avengers he works with, with special mention to Wasp (with exception to the Ultimate universe counterparts who dated briefly) and Carol Danvers. He's also decent enough friends with Black Widow, but they're much closer friends in the films.
- Precision Guided Shield: Needs no explanation.
- Primary-Color Champion: Well, his costume is based on the American flag.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: The most extreme example in Marvel Comics period. Fans and even Writers often lampshade this by saying If Cap agrees with it, it's ok. It even goes as far as condemning torture or mass murder. See also You Remind Me of X below.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Frozen in 1945, woken up... about twelve years before now.
- Sixth Ranger: Cap famously joined The Avengers in the fourth issue of the team's eponymous comic.
- The Spymaster: Served as one in the Nick Fury mold after coming back from his death following Civil War, as "head of National Security". He operated without the shield and his iconic costume, and under his real name, as Bucky was already serving as Cap. It didn't stick.
- The Stateless: In the aftermath of the Secret Empire (a conspiracy to take control of the United States led by a thinly-veiled version of then-president Richard Nixon), Steve lost faith in his country and abandoned his identity as Captain America, adopting the persona "Nomad".
- The Strategist: There's a reason why any hero worth their weight will defer authority to Cap when the world's about to break.
- Strawman Political: As might be expected of a character intended to embody what is best about a nation. Writers either tend to use him as a mouthpiece for what they personally think America should be (616 Captain America is usually used for this), or as a voodoo doll for everything they see wrong with America (Ultimate universe Captain America is usually used for this). Needless to say that character consistency usually isn't a priority for these writers.
- Super Reflexes: Captain America doesn't dodge bullets, he blocks them with his mighty shield. Yet somehow, even when surrounded on all sides by gun-wielding Mooks, the shield always seems to be in the right place. This even applies when he is mindcontrolled chemically, an early story set in World War II had him under the influence of such a chemical by the Red Skull, but when he is taken before Adolf Hitler and the Fuehrer takes a swing at him, Cap reflexively blocks it with his shield, a body function that the Red Skull can't suppress.
- Super Soldier: He began as the first of what was to be an army of super-soldiers, but after he was altered the creator was killed and the process was never successfully duplicated. This was eventually retconned to be part of the Weapon Plus program. Has a good claim on being the Trope Namer.
- Technical Pacifist:
- Some writers have gone out of their way to say that Captain America has never taken a life, even during World War II. This would ultimately be debunked by Mark Gruenwald, who had Captain America kill an agent of ULTIMATIUM in order to stop the goon from killing innocent hostages. It has also been stated that he had killed during WW2. That said, Steve prefers not to and would like to avoid it if possible.
- Handled beautifully in the movie: when asked by Dr. Erskine if he wants to enlist to kill Nazis, Steve Rogers answers that he doesn't want to kill anybody... but that he dislikes bullies of all stripes and wants to stand up for the little guy. He's subsequently shown to go in guns blazing in many missions, but hey, he's doing it to save the world, a valid reason if there ever was one.
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: The Cap's Signature Move and also one of the most iconic examples in fiction, making him the trope's patron saint.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Has died a couple times but always gets better.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He has his moments. Whether it's justified or completely out of character the fans will never agree on.
- Underestimating Badassery: There are villains who dismiss Cap as a "glorified acrobat." One gang with that assumption tried invading the Avengers Mansion with just him inside on monitor duty. They soon learn what dealing with a One-Man Army really is like as they barely subdue him with a lucky grazing shot, then get their butts kicked thoroughly when he revives and breaks out of his bonds for Round two.
- Undying Loyalty: Easily inspires this on all the superhero community, but it's also a defining trait of his. He'll never leave a man behind.
- Weak, but Skilled: Steve's power level, which is set at "the peak of human physical potential" pales in comparison to those of many of the enemies he's defeated, yet he manages to beat them through his keen tactical ability and sheer force of will.
- Weapon of Choice: His "mighty shield".
- World's Best Warrior: Has the distinct honor of being considered The Best Warrior in the Omniverse! Captain America is the superhero that all other heroes respect in combat ability, tactics, and leadership.
James Buchanan Barnes
Kid Sidekick during World War II, when he was known as 'Bucky'. He was apparently killed shortly before Steve was frozen in suspended animation, but was recently revealed to have been captured, near death, by the Soviets. Equipped with a cybernetic arm and Brainwashed into becoming the assassin known as the Winter Soldier, he played the role of a villain until Steve brought him back to his senses and had him reform. With the apparent death of Steve, Bucky took the mantle of Captain America with the blessing of Tony Stark. See his page for more info.
See his page for more info.
See her page for more info.
The Falcon (Sam "Snap" Wilson)Sam Wilson was a social worker before he was a super hero. After witnessing unspeakable acts of gang violence, he took up the codename "The Falcon" and fights to keep the streets safe. See his page for more info.
Nomad (Jack Monroe)Originally selected to be the Bucky to the Captain America of the 1950s, Monroe and his partner spent decades in suspended animation after the incomplete Super-Soldier Serum formula they used caused them to become unstable. After being cured, he adopted Rogers' former short-lived identity of Nomad.
- Bullet Proof Vest: As Nomad he wore a Kevlar-lined jacket, later reduced to a vest.
- Civvie Spandex: When he went vigilante, he gradually ditched his superhero costume in favor of a Badass Longcoat.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: During his time with Vagabond.
- Darker and Edgier: Went from costumed hero to urban vigilante in a story published in late 1989.
- Deadly Disc: Small, yellow weighted throwing discs, which were also the weapons used by Rogers as Nomad.
- Face–Heel Turn: One of several former partners of Cap to become a Scourge of the Underworld.
- Human Popsicle: Several times.
- Jerk Ass: Although he was no longer crazed by the incomplete serum, he was still not easy to get along with, especially when Vagabond was his girlfriend.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Saved an abandoned baby girl and adopted her, naming her "Bucky".
- Killed Off for Real: It's later revealed he was killed by the Winter Soldier.
- Naďve Newcomer: Nomad's girlfriend Vagabond, who was little more than the Tagalong Kid during Rogers' time as The Captain.
- Shotguns Are Just Better/Sawed-Off Shotgun: During his vigilante period. Though he mostly used it for intimidation, and usually used blanks.
- Superheroes Wear Capes: When he first adopted the Nomad identity, he also adopted the original Nomad costume, which included a cape (which hadn't exactly worked out for Rogers). He soon ditched that look for a more practical jacket.
- With Friends Like These...: He really didn't get along with Demolition Man.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
Demolition Man (Dennis Dunphy)A former unlimited-class pro wrestler who befriended the Thing, Dunphy first teamed up with Rogers to investigate the Power Broker, the man who gave him his augmented strength.
- Alliterative Name: His real name as well as Demolition Dunphy
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": D actually. He deliberately duplicated Daredevil's original costume (though with a knock-off of Wolverine's mask).
- Crazy Homeless People: Ended up as one after he had seemingly met (what was then believed to have been) Bucky's fate at the hands of Flag-Smasher.
- Drugs Are Bad: They gave him his powers, but messed him up bad.
- History Repeats: Was thought lost after being stuck on a plane that exploded, much like Cap and Bucky's fate toward the end of World War II. In Dunphy's case, though, he was found living among the Inuit, but suffering from Trauma-Induced Amnesia.
- Hollywood Heart Attack
- Killed Off for Real: after he became the latest Scourge of the Underworld and fought Cap, Sharon shot him.
- The Pig Pen: After coming back from his time with the Inuit, he lived among a group of homeless called the Zero People, and hygiene became less of a priority. The rest of the Avengers noticed.
- Psycho Serum: But not by choice after the first time.
- Something Person
- Super Strength
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
U.S. Agent (John Walker)As the Super-Patriot, John Walker called out Captain America for his ideals being behind the times. After the Commission on Superhuman Activities forced Rogers to step down, they selected Walker as the new Captain America. After Rogers was restored to the role, Walker was kept on by the government as U.S. Agent.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost his left arm and leg during "Siege".
- Anti-Hero Substitute: For Steve Rogers
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Refused to believe Hercules and his pantheon are gods, to their faces. Somehow he came out of that one alive...
- Costume Copycat: His iconic black U.S. Agent costume is actually the design Rogers used as "The Captain" while Walker was Captain America. Though one of his more recent costumes as the Agent more directly mimicked the classic Cap outfit.
- Divergent Character Evolution: He began as a Darker and Edgier Captain America Expy, wearing Rogers' old "Captain" costume, but some time later Tony Stark made him a battle armor that shot energy shields.
- Jerkass: He became less of this in Force Works. Later writers ignored this, and keep writing him as a jerkass.
- Faking the Dead: Because his identity had been made public, the government set him up to be "killed" after publicly turning the position of Captain America back to Rogers, and "resurrected" him as U.S. Agent.
- Legacy Character: To Captain America, before his Divergent Character Evolution.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he found out that Left-Winger and Right-Winger committed suicide as the result of the massive burns he'd inflicted on them.
- Nineties Antihero
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Once infiltrated a hate-group called the Watchdogs, who were violently against gays, blacks, single mothers, foreigners and the like, and to his horror realises he had some of the same opinions as them.
- Sanity Slippage: After his parents were shot to death in front of him. He eventually recovered.
- Secret Identity: After being "killed", as U.S. Agent the government gave him the new identity of "Jack Daniels". Yes, they went there.
- Smug Super: As Super-Patriot. And in general.
- Super Soldier
- Super Strength
- Unskilled, but Strong: He does not have anything approaching Steve Rogers' fighting ability, but he is so much stronger and tougher that most of their early encounters left Rogers barely holding his own.
- Unstoppable Rage: Got him into trouble as Captain America, first when he beat Professor Power to a bloody pulp, and then later when the Watchdogs killed his parents, he went full berzerker on them. Of course, this went along with "John Smith"'s plan to tarnish the image of Captain America.
- We Used to Be Friends: Left-Winger and Right-Winger, former members of the Bold Urban Commandos (along with Battlestar) who worked with Walker as the Super-Patriot. The Commission didn't bring them on, only wanting one partner for Captain America, so they upstaged them at their public debut, revealing Walker's Secret Identity. When this got Walker's parents killed, he beat them mercilessly and abandoned them in a burning refinery.
Battlestar / Lemar HoskinsJohn Walker's friend and partner, and a former member of the Bold Urban Commandos. Went by the title of Bucky originally.
- Book Dumb: Starts out this way, but he takes night classes while not fighting crime and soon earns his GED.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: As Battlestar he received a replica of Cap's original triangular shield and was trained in its use by Taskmaster himself.
- Nice Guy: One of the few people able to be in the same room as John Walker for more than five minutes without wanting to hit him.
- Put on a Bus: In the late nineties, he stopped appearing with any regularity. He still shows up now and then, hanging around in the background.
- Super Strength
- Unfortunate Name: When he first partnered with Walker!Cap, he wore the name and costume of Rogers!Cap's old sidekick (then presumed dead) as a tribute to him. In real life, Marvel got a lot of angry mail from readers pointing out that the name "Bucky" had unfortunate implications note , and that since Hoskins and Walker were long-time friends and had undergone the Power Broker's augmentation treatment together, he should be presented as a partner rather than a mere "sidekick". Writer Mark Gruenwald (who was born in mostly-white Oshkosh, Wisconsin and genuinely unaware of the naming issue) quickly agreed, and lampshaded the changes by having an African-American guard at the Vault outline the readers' arguments to Hoskins and convince him to request a new name and costume from the government.
AKA: Rachel Leighton
A former member of the Serpent Society, Diamondback is a villainess-turned-hero, a SHIELD operative, and the former girlfriend of Captain America.
- Action Girl: A pretty capable fighter.
- Badass Normal: No actual powers, but a capable athlete with access to SHIELD's state of the art arsenal.
- Dating Catwoman: How her relationship with Captain America started out.
- Domino Mask
- Heel–Face Turn: A lengthy one that took years. It's not until the end of Civil War and Siege that she's able to fully complete her turn around.
- High-Heel–Face Turn: There were other factors involved, but in the end Rachel's relationship with Captain America is the catalyst for her turnaround.
- Hired Guns
- Improbable Weapon User: Diamonds.
- Love Redeems
- Love Triangle: In Ed Brubaker's run she was still crushing on Captain America, who was seeing Sharon Carter at the time. Being a professional, she kept it to herself.
- Meaningful Name: As a member of the Serpent Society she (weirdly) threw poisoned diamonds at her victims.
- Odd Friendship: With her SHIELD partner, Dum-Dum Dugan.
- Only in It for the Money: Was only out for the cash when she signed on with the Serpent Society.
- Poisoned Weapons: Favoured them when a member of the Serpent Society.
- Spy Catsuit
- Villainous Crush: Had a thing for Captain America long before she switched sides.
- Working with the Ex: As an agent of SHIELD she regularly has to work with Captain America, even when they aren't together.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Pink, dyed such to match her original costume. Her natural hair color is brown, which she sticks with as an agent of SHIELD.
Free Spirit / Catchy Webster
A young college student brainwashed and altered into being a super-soldier by Suspiria
- Brainwashed and Crazy: As a graduate student Cathy Webster participates in an unsanctioned psychology experiment involving subliminal recordings. She is subliminally programmed to hate all men, and her body is subjected to "mutagenic radiation".
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Hasn't appeared since the nineties.She has now made a return in 2016.
- I Love Nuclear Power: How she got her super-powers, from "mutagenic radiation".
- Straw Feminist: What Suspiria brainwashed her into. Once the programming wears off, she stops being one.
- Super Soldier: Like Captain America, Cathy has been augmented to peak human conditioning. She has reached a high level of martial prowess, including basic acrobatics and street fighting techniques, from training sessions with Captain America and Jack Flag.
Jack Flag / Jack Harrison
A young man from Arizona inspired by Captain America to become a vigilante himself, eventually managing to get superpowers and training from his idol. Later on, wound up getting imprisoned for violation of the Superhuman Registration Act. And crippled, as well. He then wound up with a really weird bunch of cosmic heroes. And for the record, he hates "cosmic stuff".
- Ascended Extra: Appeared far more often in the second volume of Guardians of the Galaxy than he ever did in Captain America.
- Ascended Fanboy: Of Captain America. This is also part of what gets him into trouble during his appearance in Thunderbolts, since he refused to sign up for the SRA on the grounds that Captain America would, meaning he got into some serious trouble for not being registers.
- Badass Normal: What he started out as.
- Empowered Badass Normal: After accidentally ingesting some of Mr. Hyde's formula, he became super-humanly strong, fast and durable.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Was on the receiving end of one from Mr. Hyde, though he survived thanks to gaining superpowers.
- Put on a Bus: Disappeared from the title in the mid-90s, reappeared in Thunderbolts only to get beaten up, crippled, beaten up again and thrown in prison.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Red, white, and blue hair. Dyed, and only when he's in costume.
Ian Rogers / NomadAKA: Leopold ZolaSteve's and Sharon's adopted son. Created by Arnim Zola, Steve rescued him as a baby and raised him in Dimension Z as his own.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Clashes with Sam because of this.
- Dead Guy Junior: Named after Steve's grandfather.
- Determinator: The major life lesson Steve imparted on him.
- Happily Adopted: Dimensional separations aside.
- No-One Could Survive That: Because Zola created him from a kind of bio-gel, he can reconstitute his body from it. When Sharon shot him as a child, he fell into a vat of the stuff and survived. As an adult, he keeps a supply of the gel in his suit— which allowed him to survive having his throat slashed by Baron Zemo.
AKA: Brock Rumlow
Brock Rumlow was a petty thug and hit man, the lowest trash imaginable. Then he was recruited by the Red Skull, and became even worse. A frequent enemy of Captain America, he was the man that shot Steve Rogers at the end of Civil War. A huge fan of the Red Skull, Crossbones is near as bad as his boss, and is utterly devoted to whatever Neo-Nazi cause the Skull and his daughter are embracing this week.
- Ascended Fanboy: A particularly ghoulish version of this trope, Crossbones was in fact a huge fan of the Red Skull before his idol offered him a job.
- Axe Crazy: Crossbones is a threat to everyone around him, and takes joy in hurting others.
- Badass Normal: A good enough fighter to keep up with Captain America, despite his lack of superhuman powers.
- Averted for a bit while he was a member of The Thunderbolts, gaining some sort of energy beam power from inhaling corrupted Terrigen Mists. It appears to have been only temporary, however.
- Bald of Evil: Sometimes.
- Cool Mask: Crossbones' skull mask apes his employer's face.
- The Dragon: To the Red Skull. The Skull is the brains, while Crossbones acts as the physical threat.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: Wants a fascist dystopia ruled by Sin and The Red Skull.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Clearly cares about Sin, going to great lengths to keep her safe. There's also his obsessive loyalty to the Skull to take into consideration.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Possibly. It's hard to tell, due to the fact that it's written, not spoken, but Crossbones seems to have some issues with the way the Red Skull raised Sin.
- Evil Counterpart: Thematically, one could argue that Crossbones is similar to Bucky or Nomad in that they're both devoted sidekicks to the Skull and Captain America, respectively.
- Evil Versus Oblivion: He helps the heroes defeat Sin upon learning she is planning to use the the Serpent's hammers to destroy the world instead of only terrorizing it.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Just another angry street kid who ended up enrolling in Taskmaster's school for supervillains. He got a job with the fake Red Skull, who sent him to attack Arnim Zola and the real Red Skull. He impressed the latter, and the rest, as the cliche goes, is history.
- Guns Akimbo: Regularly.
- Heel–Face Turn: A forced one as a member of the Thunderbolts. He went back to being evil as soon as possible.
- Hero Killer: For the Badass Normal set. If Crossbones shows up it's time for you to start running. Taken to an unusually literal level when he fired the shot that killed Captain America.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards The Red Skull. He initially worked for Albert Malik, the Communist Red Skull, only to defect to the original when he found out he was following a fake.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Crossbones doesn't have much of a rein on his temper. Though compared to his girlfriend he's downright stable.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The huge guy to Sin's tiny girl.
- Knife Nut: Prefers knives at close range.
- Lightning Bruiser: As big and as fast as you can get without superhuman powers.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Expresses the sentiment that Humans Are Bastards and deserve to be oppressed on account of that.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Averted for once. Crossbones is every bit as strong as his huge physique and heavily muscled frame would indicate.
- Obviously Evil: Just look at his costume.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Horrifically inverted when the Red Skull is feeling depressed and Crossbones tries to cheer him up by reminding him of all his evil accomplishments.
- Professional Killer: Became a hitman after graduating from Taskmaster's academy.
- Sadist: Like Sin and The Red Skull himself, Crossbones derives far too much pleasure from killing and hurting others.
- Skeleton Motif: Wears a skull mask and bone patterns on his costume.
- The Social Darwinist: Shares his boss' belief that the strong have a right to prey on the weak.
- Teens Are Monsters: Got his start as a street gang leader.
- Those Wacky Nazis: A Neo-Nazi skinhead before he met up with The Red Skull.
- Villainous Friendship: Type III with The Red Skull. The Skull might not see Crossbones as anything other than useful muscle, but Crossbones worships the ground The Skull walks on, and has a full blown Freak Out when he dies.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Red Skull.
- Unholy Matrimony: They aren't married, but Crossbones and Sin have a thing for each other.
- Villainous Valour: Has twice stood his ground in fights with Wolverine, who outclasses him in just about every respect.
Madame Hydra / Viper
Madame Hydra / Viper
AKA: Ophelia Sarkkissian
One of the leading figures in the terrorist organization HYDRA and a notorious international terrorist, Madame Hydra, alias Viper, is an Ax-Crazy psychopath and a nihilistic lunatic who frequently engages in attempted mass murder schemes that have no obvious benefit. She is associated with the Serpent Squad.
- Axe Crazy: Of all the things that she is, she is not sane.
- Arch-Enemy: To Spider-Woman.
- Badass Normal: Like many Captain America villains she possesses no superhuman powers.
- The Baroness: Trope Codifier. The Baroness is inspired from her.
- Big Bad: As the current head of Hydra she counts whenever they are involved.
- Dark Action Girl: Really dark.
- Dating Catwoman: She is Wolverine's ex-wife; she blackmailed him into it, and in turn he got the divorce by refusing to give her medical treatment otherwise. It's implied she had started to develop real feelings for him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She may have cared about Wolverine at some point, and she definitely had feelings for the Silver Samurai.
- I Have Many Names: Madame Hydra; Viper; dozens of aliases.
- Jerkass: The C-word would actually be the most accurate to describe her attitude and general behaviour.
- Kick the Dog: Prone to it.
- Legacy Character: The first Viper was a man; then Madame Hydra killed him and stole the name.
- Manipulative Bitch: She knows how to manipulate people.
- Nebulous Evil Organization: Usually associated with HYDRA, hence Madame Hydra.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Big time.
- Orphanage of Fear: Raised in one.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Her default hairstyle.
- Psycho for Hire: When working for somebody else. It says something when ever the Red freaking Skull thinks you're too unstable.
- Really 700 Years Old: She may or may not have been granted a supernatural lifespan by the demon Chthon, and have originally been a woman who died in 1931.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: If she's not fighting Cap she's probably fighting Wolverine, though she's tangled with most of Marvel's other heroes by now, and once believed she was the mother of the first Spider-Woman.
- Sadist: A psychological and physical sadist, who enjoys hurting people for the hell of it. Noticing a trend with Cap's rogues?
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Wears all green.
- The Sociopath: Has most of the requirements for Antisocial Personality Disorder.
- Spy Catsuit: Often.
Sin / Red Skull IV
AKA: Synthia Schmidt
The daughter of the Red Skull and a washerwoman who died in childbirth, who follows in her father's footsteps. Synthia Schmidt was raised by the Skull himself and one of his loyal henchmen, Susan Scarbo (AKA Mother Night, his occasional lover), and trained and educated to be his aide and successor; the old-fashioned Skull had desired a male heir, and was originally very disappointed with his daughter, but she has since proved herself enough to earn his grudging respect. She is just as demented as her dad, if not indeed even more so, typically running the Serpent Squad on his behalf, and has been romantically involved with Crossbones. As of Ed Brubaker's run she has been disfigured, and taken over her father's role as The Red Skull.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: Took up her father's identity after he died.
- Arch-Enemy: To Sharon Carter. They both have very good reasons to hate each other, though most readers will agree that Sin "started" it.
- Ax-Crazy: Dear God. Like father, like daughter, if the random cross-country massacre with her equally Ax-Crazy boyfriend didn't clue you in that she is very mentally unwell.
- Abusive Dad: As Sin says herself, the only parental thing the Red Skull did for her was give her a name. Though to some extent, this varies with the writing, as does the degree of her resentment against him.
- Ascended Extra: The character who would become Sin was originally an incredibly forgettable generic straw villain from the early Comics Dark Age, with a completely different name, costume, power set, and indeed, personality and appearance. She was reused once, in a goofy plotline that involved Captain America de-aging into a teenager, then never again for some decades. But Ed Brubaker wrote her into his plots (and substantially rewrote the character while at it), and from then on she's been a somewhat major villain.
- Badass Normal: Naturally, In the Blood for a child of the Red Skull.
- Big Damn Kiss: With Crossbones, when she went with the team that rescued him out of SHIELD custody. Made "villainous" by the fact that her team had shot their way through a small army of SHIELD Red Shirts on the way, and she literally still had their blood on her hands.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Was brainwashed by SHIELD into forgetting who she really was.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Though sometimes she's more interested in showing the old man up.
- Dark Action Girl/Faux Action Girl: Sin's very good at shooting up civilians, police officers, and other red shirts. How well she handles herself when confronted with trained opponents like Captain America, the Winter Soldier, or even Sharon Carter seems to vary from issue to issue, something Winter Soldier called her out on in Brubaker's run.
- Depending on the Artist: She's been drawn as everything from a dark-haired, vaguely Asian-looking waif to a Celtic-appearing Fiery Redhead (as illustrated here). The latter model stuck through the Brubaker run, and seems to be the "canon" one for the time being.
- Dragon Ascendant: Following her father's apparent death, she took on the Red Skull identity.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Crossbones, of course. Also her father, though this is not demonstrated with the same consistency.
- Evil Red Head: Bright red hair, totally insane.
- Friendship Moment: With the Red Skull, when his mind was trapped in one of Arnim Zola's armatures. He's horrified that she should even see him like this, but she soothes him and gives him a new red skull mask to put on over the robot body's "face." She and Crossbones promise him that they'll fix it all and get him a real human body again.
- Girls Need Role Models: Presumably averted, as she's a very bad role model to take after.
- Guns Akimbo: Typically charges into battle with two pistols.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Sin will explode at the drop of a hat, which typically results in a lot of civilian casualties.
- Hero Killer: It looked like she killed Bucky in "Fear Itself". Turns out she almost did, but Cap faked his death.
- Hidden Depths: Brubaker flip-flops on it. The original character created way back in the 1980s was just a raving lunatic; Brubaker's version seemed to have more depth when introduced, but was then mostly written as a generic Stupid Evil villain who eventually got captured by H.A.M.M.E.R. and Gitmo'd. However, when she cuts a deal with Osborn and is released in the Captain America Reborn miniseries, she's much smarter and less randomly angry/violent and has more personality again. Maybe prison was good for her?
- Hot-Blooded: She often has no impulse control whatsoever.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The tiny girl to Crossbones' huge guy.
- Idiot Ball: Very often in the Death of Captain America arc. Less often in at least some subsequent appearances.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Specialises in this.
- Kick the Dog: Her brutalization of Sharon Carter was definitely this, as was her and Crossbones' crosscountry murder spree prior to it. The way she enjoys watching the possessed Captain America beating up Sharon is far subtler, but certainly also qualifies.
- Knife Nut: Her favourite weapon.
- Lack of Empathy: Subverted, in that she does show some empathy, but only for her friends and family. For anyone else, she might as well be playing the trope totally straight.
- Legacy Character: Took up her father's identity as the Red Skull
- Master of Disguise: Not to the extent her father does it, but good enough by most standards.
- The Mentally Ill: Sin's a psychopathic madwoman with borderline suicidal urges and a hell of a father complex. She's been institutionalised on at least one occasion because of this.
- Mood-Swinger: To a bipolar degree, switching between manic joy, rage, and depression.
- Moral Myopia: It's probable that she isn't a complete psychopath, since she does seem to genuinely care about at least some people (notably, her father and Crossbones). However, her moral in-group would appear quite small; she doesn't give much of a damn about the sheeple, and even less about anyone who actively tries to get in her friends' way.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Sin" encapsulates everything about her pretty well.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: One possible interpretation. Sin can act pretty random, but depending on the story, it often turns out that her "stupid" villainy serves some useful purpose. For example, the "pointless" killing spree with Crossbones mentioned previously? It turned out to be part of a ploy to lure out and capture the SHIELD case officer they needed to interrogate for vital information. Her idea, and it worked.
- One-Man Army: Man-and-Girl army with Crossbones in some stories. She easily defeats hordes of Mooks, but seems to have much more trouble with named characters.
- Parental Substitute: Mother Night was a maternal example to Sin (we never see her biological mother). Though considering how the Skull treated her, Mother Night was her only parental figure.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Like her father, she's fairly slightly built, but much stronger than she looks.
- Psycho for Hire: When Sin isn't working for herself, she's usually shooting people to pieces on behalf of her father.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: Sin comes off like a sadistic teenager, which she pretty much is.
- Sadist: Even moreso than her father or Crossbones. For Sin hurting people is her raison d'etre.
- Skull for a Head: Lost her face after the events of Captain America: Reborn.
- Smug Snake: Due to her taunting of the helpless Sharon Carter.
- The Sociopath: Gives the impression of a low-functioning one, with little to no empathy, no impulse control, violent mood swings, and an inability to plan ahead.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Literally, in this case. Precisely how weirdly spelled her name is has varied over the years; the variant "Sinthea" is common online, and has apparently appeared in some older ancillary material. "Synthia" seems to be the version used nowadays, however.
- Also, her German-American last name. The correct spelling is "Schmidt," but it's often misspelled "Shmidt," sometimes even in official materials.
- Split Personality Takeover: A nightmarish example. SHIELD had brainwashed Sin into believing she was the innocent Nice Girl Erica Holstein, who then got kidnapped by Crossbones and forcibly deprogrammed. You could argue it was wrong to "change" Sin that way, that "Erica" was a lie and that she should be given back "her own" life, and her friends and family were certainly glad to have her back, but it's absolutely horrible to read from "Erica's" POV how she's first tortured and abused by a maniac, and then slowly begins to realize that she is, for all intents and purposes, dying, and soon she'll be another person, with a monster wearing her face.
- Symbol Swearing: She isn't the only one who does it in Brubaker's stories, but she seems to get a disproportionate amount of it.
- Teens Are Monsters: Mentally Sin's still the teenager she was aged past.
- Thicker Than Water: In Captain America Reborn she's shown to respect and care about her father, even though they haven't always agreed on everything in previous stories. Red Skull is nicer to her than in the previous storyline, too.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Depending on the Writer. Sometimes Sin shares her father's vision for the world. Other times she seems more interested in causing general chaos and anarchy.
- Took a Level in Badass: Her Faux Action Girl days seem to be behind her since she became Red Skull IV.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Played with. The Skull is memetically ugly, because he wears a grotesque mask; under it, he is in fact quite handsome, and Sin actually resembles him somewhat closely. She's still more attractive than he is, though, for the obvious reasons.
- Unholy Matrimony: A common-law example, with Crossbones.
- Underestimating Badassery: Her enemies tend to dismiss Sin as a shallow Stupid Evil girl who's maybe an above-average fighter and little else. Sometimes they're right, but there's surprisingly much method to her madness, with apparently random For the Evulz villainy often actually serving a non-obvious but completely rational purpose. There are some signs that she might even be playing up her "psychotic girl" act on purpose in order to keep invoking this.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Towards her father.
- Younger Than They Look: She was aged to adulthood when she was a girl, which also gave her psychic powers. She was aged further to an old woman, then de-aged again to a young adult, losing her powers in the process.
Serpent SquadA group of Snake-themed mercenaries led and founded by the first Viper, until he was murdered and replaced by Madame Hydra, who took over the group. Since then the leadership has changed hands from time to time, but she is still associated with the team. The most notable sometime member is Sin.
Machinesmith (Samuel "Starr" Saxon)
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: He became Tony Stark's assistant for a while, but returned to his villainous ways shortly after The Crossing.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: At one point, Machinesmith wanted to end his cybernetic existence, but found that he'd installed safeguards against it, so devised an elaborate Suicide by Cop plan to have Captain America do it instead. It didn't stick.
- Robot Hair: He had Big Ol' Eyebrows and mutton chops that both basically are spikes on his robotic body.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: As Mister Fear, he was an enemy of Daredevil, but after turning into Machinesmith, he became mostly a Captain America foe.
AKA: Karl Morgenthau
The son of a Swiss diplomat who was murdered by xenophobic Latverians. He becomes an anarchist who hates the idea of nations, believing that they cause hatred and violence. He has since died and been succeeded by a second Flag-Smasher, who has clashed with Spider-Man and Nomad among others.
- Badass Normal: A capable athlete, and master of shotokan karate-do. Though when compared to some of Cap's other enemies, he seems a bit lacking in this department.
- The Cowl: Comes with cowl and cape.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Stopped one of his own plans when he discovered it was being funded by the Red Skull.
- Man in White
- Meaningful Name
- Omniglot: Speaks English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Esperanto. The French, German, and Italian might be justified by growing up in Switzerland.
- Patriotic Fervor: Inverted. Flag-Smasher hates patriotism, and wants to bring about an end to the era of nations.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: Categorically refused Cap's offer of redemption, determined to stay the course until the end.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Thinks that a world without nations or divisions will be a perfect place to live, and will do anything to make that dream a reality.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants to abolish nations and bring peace to the world, but he would kill anyone for the cause.
- Western Terrorists: Operates as the leader of terrorist group ULTIMATUM, striking out at symbols of nationalism.
Baron Heinrich Zemo
Baron Heinrich Zemo
Cap's archenemy from the Silver Age, created in a retcon. Heinrich Zemo was a Nazi scientist who created an adhesive that was nearly impossible to dissolve. In a tussle with Captain America, his purple hood was glued to his face by his invention and he swore vengeance, eventually being the cause of Bucky's "death." Zemo survived the war and became active when he learned that Cap was back, coming into conflict with the Avengers and even forming the first Masters of Evil. Heinrich was eventually killed in battle, with his son Helmut succeeding him as Baron Zemo.
- Archenemy: Was Captain America's during the first twenty issues of Avengers, and his actions continue to inform those of Captain America, Bucky, and his son, Helmut, to this day. His team, the Masters of Evil, were, and continue to be, the archenemies of the Avengers.
- Aristocrats Are Evil
- Badass Bookworm: For a guy who spent most of his life in a laboratory, Zemo's a pretty capable fighter.
- Badass Normal: Zemo possessed no superhuman abilities, yet he could not only match Captain America in a fistfight, but led a group that included The Black Knight, The Enchantress, The Executioner, The Melter, and The Radioactive Man.
- The Big Bad: Of the original Masters of Evil and any storyline involving them.
- Cool Mask: His purple mask is quite cool. Good thing too, seeing as it is glued to his face.
- Emperor Scientist: Downplayed. Heinrich was the emperor all right, but of a tiny kingdom deep in the South American jungles.
- Evil Genius: To the point where even the Enchantress and the Executioner have to respect his intelligence.
- Evil Overlord: Of a stretch of South American jungle
- Evilutionary Biologist: Hitler might have been disdainful of experiments to increase human potential, but Zemo was not, as evidenced by his creation of Wonder Man.
- Fur and Loathing: Became part of his costume after his exile to the jungle.
- High-Class Glass: Zemo: Born Better reveals that he used to sport one before the mask got glued to his face.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Buried in a rockslide that was caused by his own gun misfiring.
- In the Blood: Arrogance and a penchant towards treating others as the lowest forms of life are definitely in the Zemo blood. Heinrich's interest in human experimentation actually began with his father, who conducted similar experiments during WWI.
- Killed Off for Real: Died in a rockslide during a battle with Captain America.
- Mad Scientist: Was one of Hitler's top scientists, and had no issues with experimenting on political prisoners.
- Nazi Nobleman: The twelfth Baron Zemo, and a high-ranking member of the Nazi hierarchy, second only to The Red Skull. He combines his belief in his own innate superiority with Nazi Master Race theory.
- Remember the New Guy: Baron Zemo was a Nazi leader who fought against Captain America during World War II. However, his first appearance was in 1964, long after World War II ended. He was retroactively added as one of Captain America's major World War II enemies.
- Purple Is Powerful: Signifies his status as king of a jungle tribe in this case.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For the Red Skull before it was decided to bring the Skull into the present day.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: His death rays, Adhesive X, and other discoveries were far beyond what the real Nazi Germany was capable of.
- Revenge: Motivated by a need to avenge himself on Captain America, who he blames for gluing his mask to his face.
- The Rival: He and The Red Skull were rivals for Hitler's favour, control over other Nazi superhumans, and the title of Captain America's archenemy.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Wears purple in contrast to Cap's blue and red.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He appeared in the sixth issue of the Avengers and was killed off in the twentieth. His actions continue to influence Cap, Bucky, and his son, Helmut, to this day.
- Those Wacky Nazis
Baron Helmut Zemo
Baron Helmut Zemo
The son of Heinrich Zemo, Helmut got his start trying to avenge his father's death at the hands of Captain America. He's since gone on to be a fairly major player in the Marvelverse, founding the second Masters of Evil, and the Thunderbolts, and walking the line between Well-Intentioned Extremist and out and out villain.
- Anti-Villain: Sometimes verges on this, though it's a case of Depending on the Writer.
- Arch-Enemy: After his father's death, he takes this role to Captain America and leads the Masters of Evil after inheriting the title.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He's a baron after all, and believes his aristocratic heritage entitles him to rule.
- Avenging the Villain: Helmut's original motive was to kill Captain America because he killed his father.
- Badass Normal: Has no powers, but regularly fights the likes of Captain America and the Avengers. He usually has a contingency that will allow him to deal with his opponent's plans anyway; it's only when these contingencies fail (as happened during his battle with Moonstone at the end of the initial run on Thunderbolts) that he's in trouble.
- The Big Bad: Of his fare share of arcs, particularly those involving the Masters of Evil.
- Calling the Old Man Out: During his trip back in time, he ran into his father while the latter was gleefully doing mad science for the Nazis. Helmut had long since discarded any Nazi prejudices he had once had, and was fuming watching his father put down other races, the handicapped, etc. Finally he had enough and started beating the hell out of him while giving a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Quite the sign of Character Development for the guy who started out worshiping and avenging his father's memory.
- The Chessmaster: Zemo has a plan for everything, and lays them out months in advance.
- Cool Mask: Wears a tighter fitting version of his father's mask.
- The Cynic: Has a generally negative view of humanity.
- Daddy Issues
- Even Evil Has Standards: Arranged the death of one of his ancestors during a time-travel jaunt, after he found out the man was a rapist and a mass-murderer who did it all For the Evulz. He later clashed with another ancestor when he thought he was harassing a girl (the two were actually in love, and he quickly apologised).
- Evil Genius
- Freudian Excuse: Raised by his father to believe in his inherent superiority.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Hideously disfigured beneath his mask.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Cannot make up his mind which side he is supposed to be on. He even once took a bullet for Cap despite being his sworn enemy.
- In the Blood: The arrogance and the drive for control certainly are.
- The Leader: Of the Masters of Evil and the Thunderbolts.
- Manipulative Bastard: Zemo's very good at getting other people to do what he wants, playing on their emotions and desires.
- Master Swordsman: Zemo's dueled the likes of Captain America and survived several decades worth of warfare on a time travel jaunt.
- Nazi Nobleman: Started out as one, though he's moved away from fascism in recent years. Nowadays his goals align more with Dirty Communists.
- Noble Demon
- Purple Is Powerful: Signifies his aristocratic leanings.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Purple, to oppose Cap's blue and red.
- Take Over the World: He insists it's to save it. Some people (like Songbird) aren't convinced.
- There Are No Therapists: This guy is seriously messed up and would probably have turned out differently if he got professional help.
- Unlucky Thirteen: He's the thirteenth Baron Zemo.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At this point Helmut's goal is to take over the world to make it a better place. That doesn't mean that he's not an Axe Crazy terrorist who's willing to perform some truly heinous actions for the sake of the "greater good."
Zemo: I would never have hurt a world I worked so hard to save.
- Taken to the highest extreme possible. When he actually did have the power to implement whatever change he might have wanted, Songbird shut him down with the intention of killing him out of not trusting him. What were what he believed could have been his last words?
- Western Terrorists
- Worthy Opponent: Sometimes sees Captain America this way, and definitely sees Sharon Carter this way.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: He's good at incorporating the gambits of others into his plans, as evidenced by his deft manipulation of Moonstone when they were both members of the Thunderbolts.
A Nazi biochemist, Arnim Zola survived the war by transplanting his consciousness into a robotic shell. He is a regular associate of The Red Skull.
- Evilutionary Biologist: His specialty.
- Evil Genius
- For Science!: His main motive. He even explicitly invokes this trope word-for-word in Thunderbolts.
- Mobile-Suit Human
- Mad Scientist
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Usually purple and orange.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Used to work for the Nazi as a biochemist before he turned himself into a cyborg.
- TV Head Robot
- Would Hurt a Child: In Thunderbolts, he hired mercenaries to kidnap orphan children and bring them to his lab, where he would torture and experiment on them, turning the large majority of them into monsters.
AKA: Johann Fennhoff
An Austrian psychiatrist and hypnotist, Johann Fennhoff is a Neo-Nazi and regular associate of Arnim Zola and The Red Skull, battling Captain America independently, and on their behalf. A poor combatant, he relies on his Compelling Voice to make others do his fighting for him.
- Beard of Evil
- Compelling Voice: Can force people to do what he wants with just a vocal command.
- Evil Genius: Played this role in Red Skull's organization along with Zola.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Like most villains Faustus finds the Red Skull vile. When he realizes the Skull is going to kill him for his failures in one of his plots he helps Sharon Carter escape and comments he would not leave anything he cares about in the Skull's custody regarding the Skull's plans for Sharon's child.
- Fat Bastard
- Herr Doctor
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
- Mind Rape: His specialty.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast
- Pet the Dog: His release and mind wipe of Sharon Carter, which helped bring down the Red Skull's organisation, and moved her past her trauma.
- Psycho Psychologist
- The Starscream: Was more willing to defy the Red Skull then anyone else in his organization.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Not as committed as Zola or The Skull, but still prone to these sentiments.
Batroc the Leaper
Batroc the Leaper
AKA: Georges Batroc
A French costumed mercenary and master of savate, Batroc is a recurring low-level threat, typically found in the employ of greater villains.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: in older comics, his speech was peppered with French phrases, expressions, and curses, often grammatically incorrect (i.e. "nom du chien!" instead of "nom d'un chien"). This is averted in more modern versions, where he often speaks nothing but French, and does so accurately.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
- Badass Beard
- Badass Moustache
- Badass Normal: He's a bit of a joke to many, but Batroc's still capable of giving the likes of Captain America and the Winter Soldier a decent fight.
- Beard of Evil: His goatee.
- Captain Ethnic
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted and defied. Batroc's a lot of things—badly dressed, snobby, in over his head—but cowardly has never been one of them.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Even Evil Has Standards: Turned against Mr. Hyde when he tried to blow up New York City.
- French Jerk: Depending on the Writer. He is generally portrayed as fairly nice (by villain standards), but in some stories he is a real jerk.
- Friendly Enemy: Towards Captain America.
- Graceful Loser: He doesn't appear to resent Cap at all for his many defeats. Not even when Cap costs him one billion dollars.◊
- Gratuitous French: It's recently been revealed the Batroc deliberately plays up his French accent and mannerisms as a form of Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Hired Guns
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain
- Le Parkour: His fighting style
- Noble Demon: Batroc won't hesitate to turn against a client who tries to trick him into committing crimes he would not otherwise have agreed to.
- Punch Clock Villain
- Only Sane Man: his appearance in the "Who Is The Black Panther?" comic has shades of this, as he's one of the people recruited by Ulysses Klaw to conquer Wakanda under the leadership of a religious fanatic. He's entirely willing to do the dirty work, but relentlessly lampshades the moral, logical, and historical flaws in the inspirational speeches behind the invasion and enjoys trolling his less bright colleagues along the way.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Purple and orange.
- Villainous Rescue: Repeatedly saved Captain America from death. One time in particular Cap was going to be killed by a pack of sharks, Batroc grabbed a knife and dived in because he couldn't stand the thought of "so great a fighter dying so ignominiously." He was able to kill a shark, and its bleeding body distracted the pack long enough to let them both escape.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees Cap this way.
Baron Von Strucker
Baron Von Strucker
AKA: Wolfgang von Strucker
The leader (and founder) of the Nebulous Evil Organization HYDRA, and a long-enduring foe of Captain America and Nick Fury since WWII.
- Abusive Parents: He couldn't care less for his children (at one point thanking the man who murdered one of them) and kills one of them himself.
- Archenemy: To Nick Fury.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He was a Nazi Nobleman.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Demonstrated in one story where he spars against seven ninjas armed with swords, at the same time, while he himself is unnarmed and shirtless. It's a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- Badass Boast: In the Secret Warriors miniseries, he gets a Establishing Character Moment/Motive Rant with one of these:Strucker: I am the supreme HYDRA, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, I witnessed the fall of nations, betrayed beliefs and ties of brotherhood abandoned by modern times. Defeat only serves to light within me the flame of my obsession. My desire is eternal.
- Badass Grandpa: Age hasn't made him any less dangerous.
- Bad Boss: Once blew up a base contained several thousand soldiers just to kill a handful of Skrulls.
- Bald of Evil: Bald and evil.
- Big Bad: Was the former head of Hydra before his death and after that Madame Viper took the role.
- Catchphrase: "Hail Hydra!", his organization's motto, is usually his.
- The Chessmaster: In his Secret Warriors incarnation. He was ten steps ahead of everyone but Nick Fury (and even he had his Did Not See That Coming moments)
- Cultured Warrior: Also Wicked Cultured.
- Depending on the Writer: What exactly he did in WWII. While Red Skull is relatively firmly established as an SS counter-intelligence officer of some sort (sometimes veering into scientific experiments), the writers could never quite decide what exactly was Strucker's position in WWII. He's sometimes portrayed as a SS officer conducting megalomaniacal international schemes (image above, most early comics), sometimes as a Wehrmacht officer fighting in the frontlines (Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Super Soldier video game, more recent comics) or a undecided mix of some sort. Writers also tend to flip-flop about his degree of loyalty to Nazi ideals.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: His modern-day goal.Strucker: I do not wish to cleanse the world, I simply want to rule it.
- Diabolical Mastermind: In the present.
- Dueling Scar: He has many from his youth.
- Evil Counterpart: To Nick Fury. They are both manipulative, cunning, Badass, somewhat cold-hearted, WWII veterans who command a major intelligence agency. The difference is they're in opposite sides.
- Evil Is Petty: When it comes to Fury, Strucker is unbelievably petty just to hurt the man.
- Evil Old Folks: He was a young man in WWII.
- Faux Affably Evil: He is charming, calm and soft-spoken while gloating about the downfall of your country.
- Four-Star Badass: Strucker is usually portrayed as being very high-ranking in his War days, but no less implacable.
- Genius Bruiser: Smart and badass.
- Hero Killer: In Secret Warriors. He is both very feared and actually the slayer of Nick Fury's son.
- High-Class Glass: Wears a monocle.
- Killed Off for Real: In Secret Warriors.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: It's hard to find something about him that doesn't show just how rich this guy is.
- Master Swordsman: Quite handy with a sword. It is amusing because he still carries a german longsword in the middle of the 21th century.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker?
- Nazi Nobleman: To a T.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Varies with the writer, but he's commonly portrayed as being more interested in pursuing his own agenda, rather than Hitler's.
- Obviously Evil: A bald, monocle wearing former Nazi with a literal Red Right Hand called Satan's Claw and facial scarring leading a fascist organisation with a symbol shaped like a skull. Yeah.
- The Patriarch: Of the Von Strucker family. Unlike the usual type, he cares very little for his family.
- Red Right Hand: Literally. He also has quite a few scars on his face.
- The Sociopath: Pretty much.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: He's a very restrained man in most occasions.
- The Strategist: The major planner of HYDRA high-command, and back when he was a Nazi, this was his role. Though he was more combat-oriented, unlike Red Skull.
- Villainous Friendship: A type III with Kraken.
- The Von Trope Family: Von Strucker.
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: As a result of writers not deciding his exact position in WWII, he tends to be all over the place in regards of function. His illustrious career for the German nation includes: Fighting in Africa in WWI (which would put him as a officer of the Imperial Army), enacting a scheme to topple the British Monarchy in a 1936 and trying to assassinate an American senator (both of which would put him as an Agent of the German Intelligence), fighting in the frontlines European threatre (which would put him as either a SS officer or a Werhmacht officer, and he's been portrayed as both). This means Baron Wolfgang von Strucker either changes positions like one would change gloves or he managed to amass a truly astounding amount of ranks over several different organizations of the Third Reich.
- Wicked Cultured: Quite a high taste he has.
SuperiaDr. Deidre Wentworth is a superpowered misandrist that originally opposed Captain America with the Femizons, and later went on to join Norman Osborn's second iteration of the Dark Avengers as Ms. Marvel. She is currently the Minister of Education for the Advanced Idea Mechanics.—-
- Amazon Brigade: Superia's group of Femizons was this.
- Bare Your Midriff: Superia's Dark Ms. Marvel costume was this.
- Genius Bruiser: Superia's super strength and the fact that she's a polymath makes her this.
- Hand Blast: Superia is capable of firing sickly green blasts of energy from her fists.
- Hello, Nurse!!
- Lady Land: Superia intended to create one of these, but was foiled by Captain America and Diamondback.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Marvel officially lists her under in the "Homosexual Characters" category.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: She's often referred to as Dr. Wentworth, though its not clear what her doctorate is in.
- Most Common Superpower: Superia is quite busty, and wears a black dress to show it off.
- Statuesque Stunner: Superia is 6'6'' tall. Needless to say, she's a whole lotta woman.
- Straw Feminist: Averted after her reappearance in New Avengers
- Super Strength: Enough to fight Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) to a draw and to knock a large jet out of the sky.
- Super Toughness: Was thought to have been killed by a gunshot from the Red Skull, but managed to take hits from Skaar, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), and Luke Cage.
AKA: Tony MastersHas his own page.
AKA: Alex Gentry, later Roger GockingAlexander Gentry was an engineer who designed weapons for the U.S. government. Inspired by the porcupine and the sharp quills it used as protection, Gentry designed a suit of battle armor covered in sharp quills, many of which housed different kinds of weapons. He considered giving the suit to the government, but then he thought that they would pay him next to nothing for it and decided to use it himself as a costumed supervillain. Calling himself the Porcupine, Gentry started out fighting Ant-Man and proceeded to get his ass kicked again and again and again and again and again and again by heroes ranging from Ant-Man to Iron Man to Captain America. Reduced to a laughingstock in the supervillain community, Gentry tried to sell his battlesuit, but because of his bad reputation no one was interested. Captain America eventually offered to buy the suit if Gentry helped him with a sting operation to capture some members of the Serpent Society. Gentry reluctantly agreed, and was killed in the crossfire. Despite Cap's reassurances, Gentry died convinced that he was a loser, and Cap honored his memory by putting the Porcupine armor on display in the Avengers Mansion.He was replaced by a man called Roger Gocking who proceeded to be just as pathetic as him.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Inverted. Captain America was torn up after Gentry was killed, and he honored his old foe's memory by displaying the Porcupine armor and labelling it as belonging to an Honored Foe of the Avengers.
- Butt Monkey: Brutally lampshaded to the point that Gentry couldn't even sell his armor. The most anyone would offer him for it was a measly twenty dollars. Ouch.
- Combo Platter Powers: Besides being sharp on their own, many of the quills on the Porcupine armor housed a wide variety of weapons ranging from incendiary missiles to glue guns to lasers to hypnotic lights.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Gentry died helping Cap take on the entire Serpent Society at once.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain
- Irony: With the sheer number of weapons Gentry eventually managed to equip the Porcupine armor with, it could probably have been a formidable weapon if the right person was using it. Unfortunately, Gentry was not that person.
- Powered Armor
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Started out fighting Hank Pym and the Wasp, moved on to fighting Iron Man, and finally settled down on Captain America's list of regular dance partners.
A mysterious and powerful criminal organization centered in America that employs many supervillains. Though not as well-known as groups like HYDRA or AIM, it's proven to be a dangerous and recurring force that Captain America and company have faced many times. Known for disguising their supervillainy like your average big business.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Run by some execs and politicians of this type.
- Nebulous Evil Organization
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: They were introduced antagonizing Shang-Chi, but Cap has become their usual enemy over time.
- Villain Team-Up: They're known for forming these, which isn't surprising given how many supervillains they hire.
AKA: Susan ScarboOriginally a hypnotist, Susan Scarbo quickly became involved with the Red Skull, both professionally and romantically. Unfortunately, this often meant she was on the receiving end of Red Skull's abuse.
- Dark Mistress: Many stories with her revolve around her being Red Skull's abused lover.
- Extreme Doormat: Red Skull once gave her a severe beating after she failed a mission for him and Mother Night begged him to kill her. Red Skull decided it would be more fun to keep her alive, so he could continue to humilate and abuse her.
- Mad Love: Is completely in love with the Red Skull, despite his horrible abusive attitude towards her.
- Master of Illusion: Her abilities as a hypnotist allow her to project illusions to confuse her enemies with.
- Mind Control: Her main ability as a hypnotist.
- Parental Substitute: After convincing the Red Skull not to kill his own infant daughter, Red Skull tasked Mother Night with raising her as a suitable heir. Its safe to say Mother Night had more of a hand in raising Sin then Red Skull ever did.
Serpent SocietyA team of snake-themed villains founded by the first Sidewinder, Seth Voelker, that regularly battle Captain America and his allies. The roster is constantly shifting. Unlike the Serpent Squad, the Society is usually motivated by financial gain.
- Enemy Civil War: Viper's faction versus Sidewinder's loyalists when she took over the Society so she could turn the population of Washington, D.C. into Snake People.
- Enemy Mine: The Captain and his allies helped Sidewinder's side in the above conflict.
- Hollywood Cyborg: Death Adder.
- Legacy Character: Long after Seth Voelker retired, Gregory Bryan became the new Sidewinder, was given the teleportation powers of the original, and ended up joining the Society.
- Only in It for the Money: The usual motivation for most of the Society's members. Even the Viper's confederates in her coup (except Slither) ended up staying on after she was ousted when they realized she was only in it For the Evulz.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad
- Spiritual Successor: to the Serpent Squad, since Sidewinder had been a member, and there has been a lot of roster overlap over the years.
- Weird Trade Union: Sidewinder (Seth Voelker) started the Serpent Society to provide a stable working environment for his fellow snake-themed villains, with access to better technology and better jobs, and while he led them, Sidewinder's teleportation ability provided a "Get out of Jail Free" Card.
BravoAn early super-soldier operative who spent decades trapped in another dimension known as Nowhere. After being freed he eventually became a villain, vengeful over being removed from his home.
AKA: "Captain America"A devoted fanboy of Captain America, William "Billy" Burnside had his face surgically altered to resemble that of Steve Rogers following Cap's apparent death at the end of WWII. Rediscovering a version of the super soldier serum that granted Rogers his powers, Burnside became the Captain America of the 1950s, complete with his own Bucky, Jack Monroe. Never mentally well to begin with, Burnside was driven around the bend by his use of his unstable variant of the serum, losing his mind and seeing Communists everywhere. Put on ice in the hopes a cure could eventually be found, Burnside broke free during the modern era, where his insanity has made him a tool for many villains, including Doctor Faustus and the far-right Watchdog militia.
- Absent-Minded Professor: An emeritus example. Presumably due to mental damage from the defective super-serum.
- Axe Crazy: Burnside is sometimes portrayed as dangerously insane.
- Badass Bookworm: Before he became Captain America, he was a mild-mannered professor of American history.
- Bad Present: Thinks the current day is this, since present-day society has pretty much destroyed everything he once loved about America.
- Being Evil Sucks: Being a 1950s-era conservative in the 2010s America definitely sucks. From his POV, his country has turned into a madhouse where abortion is publicly funded, white people are discriminated against, and homosexuals are married in Christian churches. The only people who agree with him on the principles that once made America great are fundamentalist know-nothings and present-day fascists and right-wingers, which pains an articulate, sincerely patriotic conservative intellectual like Burnside no end.
- Black and White Morality: Anyone who is with him fighting for the traditional values and people of America is good. Anyone who is against him is one of the Communists, or at least one of their useful idiots.
- Black and White Insanity: Sometimes is/turns into this, especially when Faustus is involved.
- Broken Ace: A successful intellectual and academic, charming and good-looking, with Super Strength and fighting ability... But in the present day, everything and everyone he once loved are gone, he is an enemy of what his country has turned into, and the Psycho Serum he was exposed to is slowly driving him insane.
- Captain Patriotic: More so even than the original Cap.
- Cerebus Retcon: Originally, he was the same character as the "main" Captain America, when his series was briefly revived in the 1950s, but later changes to his post-World War II story invalidated those appearances. A 1970s comic established this Cap as an impostor, thereby returning them into continuity, and also explained how a good person like Cap could have been an anti-Communist by making him brainwashed and insane.
- Commie Nazis: His major villain as Captain America was the Communist version of the Red Skull, the legendary Nazi supervillain, who had joined the Soviets after the war to continue the struggle against American capitalism. (Though a later rewrite established that this Skull, too, was an impostor.)
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: It's pretty obvious that the writers aren't exactly enamored of the 1950s, and they tend to play up the bits of its values they dislike when portraying him.
- Depending on the Writer: How crazy/evil he is varies a lot between different appearances. Is he a genuinely well-intentioned crusader for truth, justice and a slightly old-fashioned American Way, a paranoid Knight Templar, or a downright psychotic crypto-fascist?
- Also, the technobabble for how his powers work, and how different they are from the original Cap's.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Originally, he was meant to be the "real" Captain America, who, like a patriotic citizen, kept fighting the Communist menace in the 1950s after the Nazis were defeated; thus, his characterization did not differ from his in any important respect, except that his main enemies were Reds rather than fascists. However, later writers did not like the idea that Cap had been an anti-Communist, and so rewrote the story to establish his 1950s portrayal as an impostor. Now, he is a literally paranoid right-winger, while the original Cap is usually written as fairly liberal.
- Driven to Villainy: Originally, Burnside was an upstanding history professor who volunteered to serve his country as Captain America after the disappearance of the original. But awakening out of decades of suspended animation in a Bad Present where the Communist conspiracy he denounced in the 1950s appears, in his eyes, to have completely succeeded at subverting America and turning it into what he considers a Cultural-Marxist hellhole, he sees no other option but joining with the Watchdogs in their guerrilla struggle against the corrupt system.
- Dueling Messiahs: Sometimes with the original Cap, over who is the true American Captain Patriotic and whose vision for America is the right one. Roughly speaking, Steve Rogers embodies the liberal conception of what America is (or ought to be), while Burnside represents the conservative/reactionary one.
- Evil Knockoff: Of Cap. Not made to be evil originally, but turned out that way due to a combination of Values Dissonance and Psycho Serum.
- Fictional Political Party: Under Faustus' control, the National Force, a far-right organization which crusaded against Black inner-city crime.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Grew up in the 1930s, and spent long periods in suspended animation from the 1950s on. The cultural shift in American life in the half-century or so since he was last active horrifies him beyond words, to the point that he will sometimes team up with latter-day fascists if they are the only ones fighting this utter nightmare.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: His original personality, which he sometimes still displays.
- Hero-Worshipper: Of the original Cap.
- Mad Scientist: A little bit, as he helped recreate the original Captain America super-soldier process.
- The Mentally Disturbed: Burnside suffers from schizophrenia, among other illnesses, and now genuinely believes himself to be the first Captain America, Steve Rogers.
- Obliviously Evil: He just wants to change America back to the way it was when he was a young man, by getting rid of affirmative action, third-world immigration, feminism, homosexuality, political correctness and so on, and doesn't view this as evil. The methods he uses to do it sometimes are and sometimes aren't, Depending on the Writer; he can be portrayed as anything from an old-fashioned chivalrous white knight to a ranting militia fanatic. Regardless, however, his gullibility makes him supremely careless about whom he'll team up with in his quest for a return to law, order, morality and sanity—For example, in one fairly recent story, one of his allies was the dependable American patriot Red Skull .
- Only Sane Man: Thinks he is this, in a world of madmen who allow public nudity and homosexual marriage.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Attacked Civil Rights protestors for being Communists, and still views non-whites with deep suspicion.
Captain America: A white America is a strong America!
- Increased in one story where he was under the influence of Doctor Faustus, who used him to fight the black gangs in New York. Together with Faustus's More Than Mind Control, his conservatism made him embrace a very "robust" approach to their criminality.
- Putting on the Reich: When brainwashed by Faustus, he led the National Force militia, which displayed some open trappings of neo-Nazism.
- Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: Views these people as "real Americans" and hates just about everything else about modern society.
- Super Strength: He's far, far stronger than the real Captain America, capable of smashing Winter Soldier through two brick walls with a single punch.
- Unwitting Pawn: Repeatedly; most frequently of Doctor Faustus.
AKA: "Red Skull"A Communist agent who took on the identity of the Red Skull in order to form his own spy ring in the fifties, Albert Malik was the nemesis of William Burnside, the then-current Captain America. He was eventually killed by the real Red Skull when the latter reclaimed the title.