More specifically, it stars Bucky Barnes, alongside four other Captains America from the past and future— Steve Rogers, the original Cap, just before he made his debut; John Walker, the substitute Captain America who took up the name U.S.Agent after trading costumes with Steve; Shannon Carter, niece of Peggy and Sharon Carter and next generation's American Dream; and Kiyoshi Morales, Commander A of the 25th Century's United Americas.
Someone is going back through time and various dimensions and removing Steve Rogers' frozen body before he can be revived in the modern day. Tath Ki, an associate of Uatu the Watcher, has been watching it happen and finally intervenes by plucking the Caps from their various points in time and showing them what will happen without Steve to guide the Avengers. Instead, his place is taken by a pair of superheroes called Broad Stripe and Bright Star, two young women who eventually succeed in disbanding the Avengers and subsuming their role with the AmeriCommand, ruling America as a police state where unauthorized mask-wearing will get you chased through the streets for your trouble.
Seeing as how this is the Captain America Corps, the Captains rally the usual crowd of Marvel of heroes to systematically defeat the AmeriCommand and return the frozen Steves to their proper place in space-time.
This series provides examples of:
- Amazon Brigade: Broad Stripe (actually Superia) and Bright Star talk about it. Superia is the leader of the Femizons and they offer membership to Dream.
- Brain in a Jar: Tony Stark's ultimate fate.
- The Captain: In a book starring five of them, Bucky ends up playing this role, with the others all deferring to his leadership (although Walker is reluctant).
- Distaff Counterpart: American Dream.
- Driven to Suicide: Tony Stark's disembodied brain begs Hank Pym to kill him once Broad Stripe is defeated.
- For Want of a Nail: Steve's absence is the first problem. The second is who fills it.
- Good Ol' Boy: U.S. Agent. He gets off on the wrong foot with Dream and Commander A, disparaging them for being, respectively, a girl and half-Hispanic, half-Japanese. Kiyoshi corrects him— he is, actually, one-fourth Hispanic, one-fourth Asian, one-fourth African-American, and one-fourth Nez Perce, while Dream throws his compliments back in his face.U.S. Agent: Nice work!
American Dream: For a girl, right?
U.S. Agent: I didn't say that!
American Dream: You were thinking it.
- Hand Wave: The Watcher dismisses the disappearances of Captain America from various timelines, as the dynamic timeline just makes another universe where that didn't happen. Unfortunately the process Superia used involving a cosmic cube somehow interfered with this process and threatened to unravel the multiverse.
- Hot-Blooded: Agent. Bucky spends much of his time trying to hold him back.
- It's a Wonderful Plot: To a degree. The effect isn't quite the same, because Steve is way, way back at the very beginning of his existence, before he even met Bucky, and has no context to know who any of these people are, but everyone's life is significantly different without him.
- Just Between You and Me: Broad Stripe keeps Tony Stark's brain hooked up just to gloat.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Steve and Walker, being from the past, have their memories of the mission entirely wiped. Kiyoshi and Shannon, in the future, don't, and neither does Bucky in the present. When Bucky meets up with the present Steve, he speculates, based on the look of slow recognition on his face, that Steve's memories of the mission were restored once he reached the same present moment.
- Legacy Character: The book is built more or less on Steve's legacy and its impact, with the added bonus of showing it off to him before he's even really gotten started.
- Out Of Character Is Serious Business: Tath Ki usually speaks in a more Shakespearean From a Certain Point of View manner, so the fact he is blunt and straightforward with Kiyoshi and Bucky tells them that some serious shit is about to hit the proverbial fan.
- Peggy Sue: Superia sends her consciousness back in time, so that her younger self can get the time travel going.
- Ret Gone: What Superia wants to do to Steve. It's easier than usual because most people already believe he's dead when she steals his body.
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Granted to Kiyoshi and Shannon via time and dimensional shenanigans.
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: "Shield slinging" is a skill everyone on this team admires.