Written by Paul GiacoppoIn a room full of crystals, a mysterious man examines historical records for the life of Steve Rogers, the man who would later become famous as Captain America. Back during the Second World War the Allies pit their might against HYDRA, then a full-fledged N.G.O. Superpower, and Rogers tried to enlist in the US Army but was denied due to his frail constitution. Not one to give up easily, he ended up volunteering for a secret military experiment that transformed him into the world's first super soldier. Alongside his team of multinational misfits the Howling Commandos, the Cap won many victories and helped turn the tide in the Allies' favor.In the latter days of the war, the Cap was assigned to take down the nerve center of HYDRA's research and development arm along with an additional prize: HYDRA's leader, the Red Skull himself. The inital assault is successful but the inner keep proves more difficult to breach. Fortunately Cap has a man on the inside — his faithful sidekick Bucky Barnes, who was able to infiltrate most of the keep and plots a route to the research labs on the lower levels. Their progress is interrupted by a giant Cyclops that appears out of nowhere and almost unnerves the young Bucky, but it is no match for Captain America's tactical mind. He is able to trick the monster into the moat surrounding the keep and duo press on to HYDRA's science labs.Inside they discover all manner of technological terrors, including chemical weapons, biological weapons, and smart bombs. The Red Skull's real crowner, however, is a menagerie of otherworldly creatures that he has managed to pull from the realms of Norse mythology. The Cap and Bucky have arrived just in time to witness HYDRA's grandest experiment yet; they manage to pull a massive Frost Giant through their portal! While the Mooks are all distracted by their great achievement, the Daring Duo manage to overpower them, reclaim the Cap's shield, and destroy the containment machinery. Mass confusion ensues and they soon find themselves fighting back-to-back against HYDRA soldiers and mythological creatures alike.While Captain America forces the creatures back through the portal, Bucky squares off against a younger (and no less bald) Baron von Strucker. He successfully disarms Strucker and uses his sword to destroy the machine that maintains the portal's power, sending all the monstrosities back to the realms they came from. As the lab comes down around them, the Red Skull decides to make good his escape and Captain America seizes the opportunity to end the threat he poses once and for all. The Cap once again corners the Skull in the cockpit of his rocket ship, or so he thinks, but the Skull reveals that it was yet another trap and ejects over the Arctic leaving the Cap to die. The Cap is prepared to bail but Bucky, who had tagged along, gets his foot caught in the rocket's boarding ladder and can't escape. He apologizes to the Cap, but the First Avenger will have none of it. No One Gets Left Behind.
Bucky: No! I mean, sorry! But the world needs Captain America more than Bucky!The rocket explodes in the sky and the Cap is sent down to his watery grave in the Arctic. The mysterious man from the beginning examines and re-examines the recording but cannot understand how a man who supposedly died in the War could bring about the end of the future. Unless...On a sudden inspiration, the man checks historical records for the 21st Century and finds the solution to his problem. He readies his armies for time jump just as the Earth explodes around him.