Once upon a time, it was hard to find profile information on the wide breadth of characters that fought either alongside or against Captain America; however, that time is long since past. I've significantly reduced the information in the profiles; often, one may find more information at one of these:
Profiles in Courage!
Captain America I - Steve Rogers
The United States government developed a secret process, called the Super Soldier Formula (SSF), which was designed to take normal humans and boost their abilities to the maximum human potential. This project was being by Dr. Emil Erskine (code-named Reinstein), and the first scheduled trial subject is the 4-F Steve Rogers. This test program was called Operation Rebirth.
Rogers had tried to enlist, but was deemed too sickly and frail for military service. However, his willingness to serve is tested when General Phillips offers him a chance to take part in Operation: Rebirth.
However, the morning of the test, rogue General Maxfield Saunders decides to pre-test the SSF on PFC Clinton McIntyre, who was awaiting execution for having murdered his commanding officer. General Saunders steals an incomplete sample of the SSF, and orders McIntyre to drink it. The pre-experiment is a limited success; while McIntyre's strength and damage resistance are increased, the incomplete formula also drives him berserk. Rampaging out from the secret facility, he hits the street and wreaks a tiny bit of chaos before falling over dead, apparantly from heart failure. General Phillips is outraged, and Saunders will hang for murder. McIntyre's body is preserved, presumably for later analysis, and would later be stolen by AIM to become the villain known as Protocide.
Steve Rogers undergoes the SSF treatment, and it is successful - but a Nazi assassin kills Dr. Erskine before Rogers can stop him, and the complete formula is lost! Rogers vows to become a symbol for America, and is issued (in part to counteract the terror and propaganda of the Red Skull) a triangular shield and the original Captain America costume. Under the somewhat dubious cover of PFC Steve Rogers, he is sent to Camp Leigh, where he meets camp-follower Bucky Barnes. Bucky would discover his secret identity, and be allowed (after some serious commando training) to become Captain America's first partner, taking care of some of the dirty work required for successful missions.
PFC Rogers would continually run afoul of Sgt. Duffy, whose distaste for that "screw-up goldbrick Rogers" would make his PFC identity painful. Rogers would also repeatedly encounter secret FBI Agent Betsy Ross, with whom he would have a low-level romantic relationship.
Renegade elements in the American intelligence community would attempt to re-discover the secrets of the Super Soldier Formula (complete with a head scientist code-named "Erskine"), experimenting on black subjects. The only survivor of these experiments, Isaiah Bradley, would don a Captain America costume and fight back, putting an end to those responsible.
Captain America and Bucky would fight through most of the war, either alone or as part of the Invaders, until Baron Zemo attempted to steal an experimental Allied Drone Plane. Zemo launched the plane, to send it to Germany for study, but Captain America and Bucky raced to the plane as it took off, and leaped from a captured motorcycle. Captain America fell back, plunging in the icy water. The SSF reacted with the extreme cold to send Rogers into a state of suspended animation, and the cold currents would eventually freeze him in a block of ice, to be found decades later and revived by the Avengers.
Early after his own return from a period of amnesia, Namor fought the Avengers, and was defeated. Sulking and rampaging in the ice of the North Atlantic, he came upon a group of natives worshipping a figure caught in a block of ice and hurled the ice-block into the ocean, where the warm currents of the Gulf stream began to melt it.
The Avengers (who were searching for Namor after his attacks), recovered the reviving figure from inside the ice, and Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, returned. Captain America would become a key member of the Avengers, and awarded founder status (replacing the Hulk). He spent much of his free time angsting about Bucky's death, and he met and fell in love with Sharon Carter (S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13), the younger sister of an espionage agent he had known romantically during World War II. He became good friends with Nick Fury, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
After a short partnership with Rick Jones, Captain America would begin a long partnership and friendship with Sam Wilson, the high-flying Falcon.
After Captain America and the Falcon brought down the plans of the Secret Empire, Cap discovered that the conspiracy had reached to the top of the White House, and that "a high government official" (read between the lines - the President) was behind the entire plot.
When confronted with his crimes, the President.. err... the high government official committed suicide. The government covered the suicide with a different scandal, replacing the retired President with an actor (although they were never explicit, this is the Marvel explanation for Watergate and the resignation of President Nixon). Steve became disenchanted with his role as Captain America, and became Nomad, Man Without A Country.
While Steve adventured in his Nomad identity, fighting yet another plot to take over the world from Roxxon Oil and Madame Hydra, several people tried to take the identity of Captain America. The last of these, a young man named Roscoe, was killed by the Red Skull for the impersonation; the feelings of responsibility for his death and the realization that he represented the American ideals, not the American government, drove Steve back into action as Captain America.
As the results of manipulation from an agent of the Red Skull, the U.S. Government Commission on Superhuman Activity exerted their influence, and attempted to make Captain America their own operative. Steve refused, and they demanded that he return the shield and uniform under their contention that the identity is government property.
The Commission appoints John Walker (formerly the Super-Patriot) as the new Captain America. Steve adopts the identity of the Captain, with a Wakandan vibranium shield supplied by the Black Panther. John Walker will be joined by Battlestar as his partner, but eventually resign as Captain America following his mental breakdown (caused by the pressure of living up to being Captain America and the death of his parents at the hands of the Watchdogs). Faced with a scandal, the Commission changes its collective mind about the wisdom of having anyone but Steve in the identity of Captain America, and gives him back the shield and mantle.
Captain America noticed some increasing periods of weakness and stiffness, and goes for an examination, with startling results - the Super-Soldier formula which created him started degrading; Steve Rogers' body started failing. While Hank Pym searched for a cure, Captain America starts making plans for his mission to survive him.
Knowing he has little time left, he arranges for a battle-vest and some technological tools to assist him as he becomes weaker and weaker. He sets up the Captain America Hotline to operate in the event of his demise, and recruits Free Spirit and Jack Flagg to carry on with his mission when he finally falls - as he does against the Serpent Society, paralyzed!
Faced with paralysis, Cap had Tony Stark design an armored exo-skeleton for his use, and began to train Jack Flagg and Free Spirit as potential heirs to his legacy. Finally, he suffers his final collapse... but his body disappears! He is mourned by the world, as befits a living legend who lives no more.
Steve is soon revived by his old enemy, the Red Skull, and is surprised to find that Sharon Carter is still alive. The three of them thwart a plan of Hitler's from beyond the grave (and the Cosmic Cube), but in co-operating with the Red Skull in assaulting a U.S. Army base, he falls unders suspicion; when plans which only he and the President know about are leaked to Moldavia, Steve is summoned to the President of the United States, who revokes his costume and citizenship, exiling him. After defeating the Machinesmith and saving the President, Steve is re-instated as Captain America just in time to lead the Avengers against the mutant menace known as Onslaught.
Steve, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and myriad others sacrifice themselves in battle to allow the assembled X-teams to defeat Onslaught. As far as the Marvel Universe knows, they have all died. Once again the world mourns his loss. However, this was just the beginning of one of the strangest mysteries in Cap's history!
When the Avengers and other heroes appeared to have sacrificed themselves during the Onslaught events, they actually found themselves translated to a pocket universe, formed by the powers of an out-of-control Franklin Richards.
This universe translated the physical form of some Avengers, making minor adjustments in some while leaving others untouched; for example, Tony Stark became an adult (his teen self having defeated his adult self who had been corrupted by Kang in The Crossing - don't ask. This is the Captain America site, not the Iron Man site...), and the Wasp had her human form restored (she had been mutated into a hybrid insect-human form to save her life, also detailed in The Crossing).
All of their memories and powers were adjusted in this alternate universe; in this universe Captain America had been placed into suspended animation by Presidental order following the nuclear bombing of Japan. Thawed out and mentally conditioned for the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he had recently had false memories installed and was living as Steve Rogers, with an LMD wife. Even more strange, this version of the Super-Soldier Formula was able to pass its vitality along via an oral blood transfusion, and seemed to include some sort of supra-normal healing ability. He took on a new Bucky, a female sidekick.
This universe was unstable, and the Avengers eventually returned to the regular Marvel Universe, while the pocket universe's Earth was translated from its unstable pocket reality to a diametrically-opposed orbit the normal Earth, and was henceforth referred to as "Counter-Earth".
Once he returned to the normal Earth, he and the Avengers took up their normal roles. Later, Captain America would again be announced to have died in the line of duty, and the world mourns him yet again. The reason for this has yet to be revealed, but after the 9/11 terrorist tragedy he again takes up the mantle of Captain America, and reveals his identity to the world.
Nothing could have prepared Captain America for Avengers Dissassembled - when the Scarlet Witch's mutant reality-warping powers went out of control, his universe was - sometimes quite literally - shattered. The aftermath left the Avengers disbanded, Hawkeye, Ant Man, and Vision dead or destroyed, and the Scarlet Witch - who had manufactured a romantic relationship with Captain America on a whim - taken by Magneto to Professor Xavier.
After the summary disbanding of the Avengers, Captain America begins to work with SHIELD again; they provide him with logistical support and Sharon Carter as a liaison. During this time, he discovers that Bucky Barnes survived the blast of the drone plane, was taken by the Soviets, and changed into the assassin know to SHIELD as the Winter Soldier. Captain America uses the Cosmic Cube to restore the Winter Soldier's memories and remove the Soviet brainwashing. During the search for the Winter Soldier, Captain America and Sharon Carter resume their romantic relationship.
When Tony Stark gathers a new set of "New" Avengers under his control, Captain America reluctantly rejoins the team, with reservations. When Stark helps the federal government pass the Super Hero Registration Act (SHRA), requiring the mandatory registration and draft of all super-powered people, Captain America resigns from Stark's Avengers and organizes the Anti-Registration faction and resistance movement, using resources stockpiled by Nick Fury, who had anticipated such a need. Taking the identity of "Brett Hendrick", whose cover employment is as a mall security guard, Captain America leads the resistance, ultimately surrendering to the authorities after defeating Iron Man. Captain America is detained by the federal government, and assassinated by the machinations of the Red Skull as he is taken to the courthouse for the first day of his trial for his actions under the SHRA.
Two years after the death of Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter locates the agent to whom she gave the gun she used to kill Steve Rogers, under the Red Skull's mind control. She uses a hypnotic device on the agent, finding out where he put the gun. She approaches and recruits the New Avengers, still on the run and living in the shadows, and led by Bucky Barnes, in his role as Captain America.
Apparently the gun that Sharon used to administer the fatal shooting was technology put together by Dr. Doom, and it didn't kill Steve Rogers, but "froze him within space and time". While held captive by the Red Skull, Sharon was used as part of a device to retrieve Rogers. When she damaged the machine, Steve became "unstuck", and now drifts along the timestream. Meanwhile, we get to see where Steve Rogers has been travelling; he's been drifting along his own personal timeline; he appears on D-Day, his mother's death, and then back in D-Day with Bucky from that time. When Osborn tries to recruit Crossbones and Sinthia for a job, Rogers appears at the point of time where he is subjected to the Super Soldier serum by Dr. Erskine. Bucky and the Black Widow are captured by Osborne, who advises Natasha to find Sharon Carter and order her to surrender, before Osborne kills Bucky. Rogers moves forward along the timestream, to where the Inuit found his "capsicle" self, and then moves forward to the Kree-Skrull War, where he attempts to leave a note for Vision.
Bucky is rescued by the Falcon, but not before Sharon has turned herself in. Sinthia and Crossbones locate the Red Skull's robot form, and take him to Latveria so that he could be given a living body - Steve Rogers'. A fearson battle ensues, with Sinthia scarred with the face of a Red Skull, Crossbones captured, and the Red Skull - banished to a then-destroyed robotic shell - destroyed.
Because that always works, right?
After the seige of Asgard, Norman Osborn is imprisoned, the SHRA repealed, and Steve Rogers offered a new role as the head of the American superhuman security. Rogers re-establishes the Avengers teams and the Avengers Academy, and takes personal command of the Secret Avengers, a covert operations team.
Captain America II - The Spirit Of 1776
When the original Captain America and Bucky disappeared, Harry Truman approached William Naisland about taking over the role until the original Captain America returned.
He accepted, become the second person to take the costume. He served through the completion of the war as part of the Invaders, with Fred Davis (who had once before substituted as Bucky to foil the Red Skull) as the replacement Bucky. After the war he and Bucky served as a member of the All-Winners Squad.
In 1946 he was killed in action battling an evil android named Adam II in an attempt to prevent the assassination of a Boston congressional candidate, John Kennedy.
Captain America III - The Patriot
Captain America II was found dying by Jeff Mace, the Patriot of the Liberty Legion. Jeff took the costume and shield, continuing the legacy, and defeated Adam II, saving a then-Senator John F. Kennedy. Mace continued in the role of Captain America as a member of the All-Winners Squad and retired as Captain America in the early 1950's.
Fred Davis was sidelined in the early 1950's by a gunshot wound, and replaced by Betsy Ross, who adopted the costumed identity of Golden Girl I for a short while as Captain America's partner. For many years he was believed retired, but recent evidence has tied him into a shadowy, secret organization called the Penance Council.
After his retirement as Captain America, Jeff Mace married Betsy Ross.
Captain America IV - The Grand Director
The man who would become Captain America IV was eleven when the first Captain America was created. Throughout the war years he idolized Captain America, and was shocked to learn of his supposed death in 1946. He became a historian specializing in WWII, and he discovered that the notes and files of a Nazi spy, Major Kerfoot, contained the original Super-Soldier formula. He revealed his discovery to certain high officials in the US government, and made a deal whereby he would become the new Captain America, and act as a symbol in the Korean War. As a civilian, Steve Rogers taught high school, where he befriended Jack Munroe, who shared his adoration of the wartime duo of Captain America and Bucky.
Because they had taken the Super-Soldier formula without the radiation treatment, both "Steve" and Jack went slowly insane, brutalizing anyone they thought might be a communist. Captured by the FBI, they were placed in suspended animation. They would be awakened in modern times, where they would challenge Captain America and the Falcon. Under the control of Dr. Faustus, this CA would become the neo-Nazi leader called the Grand Director, and would commit suicide.
Jack Munroe would eventually be cured by SHIELD, and become the hero known as Nomad (and later, the Scourge). However, the alternate treatment he had taken, in combination with later SHIELD treatments and nanobot infections, eventually would become a fatally degenerative condition. However, before the condition would kill him, Jack would be assassinated by the Winter Soldier as part of a plot against Captain America.
The Captain and Captain America VI
The Commission appoints John Walker (formerly the Super-Patriot) as the new Captain America. Steve adopts the identity of the Captain, with a Wakandan vibranium shield supplied by the Black Panther. John Walker will be joined by Battlestar as his partner, but eventually resign as Captain America following his mental breakdown (caused by the pressure of living up to being Captain America and the death of his parents at the hands of the Watchdogs). Faced with a scandal, the Commission changes its collective mind about the wisdom of having anyone but Steve in the identity of Captain America, and gives him back the shield and mantle. After a faked assassination, Walker will return as the government-sponsored hero USAgent.
Captain America VII -- Bucky, the Winter Soldier
Following his assassination, Tony Stark and the Black Widow (and presumably, a great many others, off-camera) hunt Captain America's murderers. The Winter Soldier decides that Tony Stark is ultimately responsible for Captain America's death, and so he begins to make plans to kill him in retribution. Stark confronts the Winter Soldier, showing him a letter from Steve Rogers, in which he directs Stark to continue the Captain America legacy. Stark convinces a reluctant Winter Soldier to become the new Captain America, independant of SHIELD and the SHRA.
The Red Skull tries to set up a third-party candidate through which he'll control the country after his puppet is elected, turning the United States into a police state ruled by the power behind the throne. His plan to put his mind in the unborn child of Captain America and Sharon Carter is foiled when the Red Skull's daughter Sinthia attacks the pregnant ex-SHIELD agent, causing her to miscarry the child.
Following the Skrull Invasion of the Marvel Universe, Norman Osborn has been put in charge of SHIELD (which he has renamed HAMMER), and who is staffed by former SHIELD and HYDRA agents, functioning as a "secret police".
Two years after the death of Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter locates the agent to whom she gave the gun she used to kill Steve Rogers, under the Red Skull's mind control. She uses a hypnotic device on the agent, finding out where he put the gun. She approaches and recruits the New Avengers, still on the run and living in the shadows, and led by Bucky Barnes as Captain America.
Apparently the gun that Sharon used to administer the fatal shooting was technology put together by Dr. Doom, and it didn't kill Steve Rogers, but "froze him within space and time". While held captive by the Red Skull, Sharon was used as part of a device to retrieve Rogers. When she damaged the machine, Steve became "unstuck", and now drifts along the timestream.
Meanwhile, we get to see where Steve Rogers has been travelling; he's been drifting along his own personal timeline; he appears on D-Day, his mother's death, and then back in D-Day with Bucky from that time.
When Osborn tries to recruit Crossbones and Sinthia for a job, Rogers appears at the point of time where he is subjected to the Super Soldier serum by Dr. Erskine. Bucky and the Black Widow are captured by Osborne, who advises Natasha to find Sharon Carter and order her to surrender, before Osborne kills Bucky.
Rogers moves forward along the timestream, to where the Inuit found his "capsicle" self, and then moves forward to the Kree-Skrull War, where he attempts to leave a note for Vision.
Bucky is rescued by the Falcon, but not before Sharon has turned herself in. Sinthia and Crossbones locate the Red Skull's robot form, and take him to Latveria so that he could be given a living body.
Friends and Allies
Since his awakening by the Avengers, Captain America has had several partners and close allies. From the Avengers to the Invaders, Captain America has fought the good fight alongside some of the best!
Sam Wilson is the son of a dedicated and influential minister in Harlem who died trying to stop a street fight. Sam idolized his father and tried to emulate his selfless humanitarianism after his death. But when his mother was killed by a mugger two years later, Sam's grief and anger consumed him. Severely depressed, Sam Wilson's personality changed. No longer was he a concerned community volunteer, but a self-serving racketeer who called himself "Snap". En route from a mob assignment in Rio de Janeiro, Wilson's plane crashed on the Caribbean Island run by the Exiles, and band of professional killers who were accomplices of the Red Skull. The Skull used the powers of the Cosmic Cube to transform "Snap" back into Sam, in order to use him as a pawn against Captain America, who was at that time trapped on the island. The Skull reasoned that Wilson's former idealism would appeal to the Captain enough that he would train him as a partner. Then, at some later date, the Skull could use him against his enemy if his current attack failed.
Wilson had always had a remarkable talent for handling birds, especially the Redwing, a hunting falcon that he acquired in Rio. The Skull used the Cosmic Cube to strengthen their rapport into a permanent supernormal mental link, giving Wilson yet another qualification for being Captain America's partner. With the Captain's assistance and training, Wilson defeated the Exiles and assumed the costumed identity of the Falcon. Returning to Harlem, Wilson's "Snap" identity remained submerged until some years later when he recalled his criminal past while undergoing shock therapy at SHIELD headquarters. Later still, Wilson underwent an identity crisis while running for Congress and came to terms with his ignominious past.
The Falcon had been solely a rooftop-swinging athlete until the Black Panther, king of the African nation of Wakanda, provided him with Wakandan technology that enabled him to fly. The Falcon was one of the heroes sacrificed in the Onslaught Saga, but has since returned to fight the good fight alongside Captain America!
Bucky III/Nomad II/Scourge II (Jack Monroe)
Jack was born December 7th, 1941, in a little town called Clutier in Iowa - Pearl Harbor Day. Unfortunately for Jack, his father was a Nazi sympathizer along with many others in the community. Jack and his sister were beaten whenever they entered the basement; that was where their father kept his Nazi paraphernalia. Unfortunately, one day little Jack brought one of his father's nazi armbands to school for show and tell, sparking an investigation which resulted in Jack unknowingly helping the FBI to arrent Jack's parents and the other nazi sympathizers in the area. Little Jack, horrified that his actions led to his parents' arrest and ultimate death, buried these memories deeply within his subconscious mind.
When he was old enough Jack was enrolled in Lee School For Boys, where he would encounter the "Steve Rogers" who taught history there, and who shared his worship of the WW II hero Captain America. When "Steve Rogers" became the fourth Captain America (having unearthed the notes for an incomplete Super-Soldier treatment in the notebooks of a Nazi spy), he also injected the formula into Jack, allowing him to become the third Bucky. They fought several menaces, including a communist Red Skull imposter, before their incomplete Super-Soldier foruma began to induce a paranoid schizophrenic state. When their actions began to get out-of-hand, they were captured by the FBI and placed in suspended animation tubes.
Decades later they were released by a disgruntled government worker, and attacked Captain America, the Falcon, and Sharon Carter, who defeated them in short order. They were placed in SHIELD custody and suspended animation, until Dr. Faustus managed to get them for 'rehabilitation'. Using brainwashing techniques, he made "Steve Rogers" into the Grand Director, the putative leader of a neo-Nazi hate group; when confronted by the real Captain America, the tried to kill Jack and upon failure committed suicide. Jack went back into SHIELD custody and rehabilitation until cured and released on his own recognizance.
After his release, Jack worked as Captain America's partner in the costumed guise of Nomad. Later he would reject the spandex costume and went out on his own, fighting The Slug, a criminal mastermind whose areas of domination included drugs, weapons, and other vices. While operating on his own he rescued the infant daughter of a teen crack-addict prostitute from a pimp responsible for multiple homocides, adopting her and giving her the name of "Bucky" (the infant had no given name). Nomad and Bucky wandered about the country righting wrongs, becoming allied with a group called the Undergrounders (whose constituency was prostitures, con artists, and petty thieves), and embarks on missions for Giscard Epurer. Epurer finds Bucky's mother and subjects her to forced rehabilitation, training her in the martial arts, and points her at Jack so that she may recover her daughter; Jack gives Bucky back to her, since she seems able to now be in a position to take care of herself and Bucky.
Wandering a bit more, Jack is recovered by Dr. Faustus, who now conditions him to assassinate the Slug so that Faustus may take over his rackets; unfortuately for Dr. Faustus, Jack encounters Captain America, who prevents him from killing either the Slug or Dr. Faustus in retaliation. Faustus is convicted, and sent to a country-club-like prison. Jack breaks into the prison, and kills Dr. Faustus.
Soon thereadfter a child from his nazi-sympathizer home town, Bart Ingrid, becomes a US senator, and hires the assassin Zaran to kill Jack, fearing that Jack will interefere with his plans. Jack defeats Zaran, the super-Nazi named 88 and his super-soilder gun. Taking mental control of the gun, Jack destroys the Nazi armed camp. Unfortunately, Bucky's mother has been acting as a spy within the camp, and is killed in action. As a final strike, Ingrid tries to become a martyr to his cause by setting off an exposive designed to destroy Congress; Jack defeats him, but is knocked unconscious.
Jack's body is replaced with another by a rogue FBI agent, who puts him back into suspended animation, while Bucky is put in Giscard's custody. Some time later, the Committee on Superhuman Activities will find Jack in suspended animation, and a comntrolled Henry Peter Gyrich will "unthaw" Jack, and using nanobot probes take control of him. Arming him with technology confiscated by dozens of villains, Gyrich sends him forth to assassinate the Thunderbolts. After apparently killing Zemo and Jolt, he is defeated, captured, and then freed of the nanobots' influence. Jack helps defeat the rogue CSA operation (Gyrich himself is being controlled - but by whom?), discards his Scourge costume (but keeping the holographic projector), and vanishes into the streets.
Jack was killed by the Winter Soldier as part of the Lukin's plan against Captain America
Rick Jones was orphaned as an adolescent, and at age 16 he ran away from the orphanage in which he had been placed. He survived doing odd jobs and menial work in the southwest USA until he heard some friends daring each other to take a ride out to where a new bomb was to be tested. Rick drove out to the site to find that the others had "chickened out". He was thrown into a ditch by Dr. Banner, the designer of the bomb, who became trapped in the blast instead. Dr. Banner became the Hulk, and Rick became the "perpetual sidekick".
Rick organized the Teen Brigade, a group of ham-radio operator teenagers, to help him track the Hulk's movements. Rick was with the Hulk when he became one of the founding Avengers, and when Captain America was revived from his decades-long sleep, Rick and he immediately developed a strong friendship (partially because of Rick's resemblence to Buck Barnes).
Rick held hopes of becoming a full-fledged Avenger and Captain America's partner, but such hopes never materialized. He assisted the Avengers, Captain America, and the Hulk with various missions and adventures. Ultimately dissatisfied with his life, Rick stumbled onto a cavern which held an abandoned Kree base. Inside the Kree base he found a set of Nega-bands. When he struck the bands together, he could trade places with Captain Mar-Vell, who was imprisoned in the Negative Zone.
For several years Rick and Mar-Vell co-existed in symbiosis, until Mar-Vell freed Rick from the Negative Zone through the portal maintained by Reed Richards. Together they assisted the Avengers in the Kree-Skrull War. Ultimately, Mar-Vell unded up trapped in the Negative Zone again, with the Nega-bands and Rick providing his only freedom.
During a combat with the Super-Adaptoid, Mar-Vell tricked him into copying the Nega-Bands, and forced him to exchange with Rick, thus freeing them both. Mar-Vell and Rick drifted apart, coming to a reconcilliation just before Mar-Vell died from cancer.
Rick has undergone several adventures and plot-complications since then (none of them having to do with Captain America, really), including marriage. He authored a book about super-heroes, and had his own talk-show.
Dennis was one of the professional wrestlers of the Unlimited Weight Class organization, who had undergone the strength enhancement program designed by Dr. Karl Malus and the Power Broker. When Captain America began to investigate, Dennis helped him and eventually adopted a costume as D-Man to pursue crime-fighting full-time, helping the homeless and defending the Night People, who live beneath Manhatten in its sewers.
Priscilla was in Kentucky, hitchhiking to Miami to find her brother Phil, when she was picked up by Nomad. She expressed her fears that he had gotten involved with the drug-trade, and Nomad promised to help her, ultimately going undercover within the criminal organization of The Slug. When she didn't hear from Nomad in three weeks, she called Captain America, converned for Jack's safety. Cap and Nomad defeated the Slug, sending his yacht to the bottom of the sea (although the Slug escaped).
Later, she and Jack (now lovers) would show up at D-Man's mansion. Priscilla had adopted her vagabond costume, and wanted to be trained to fight crime; Nomad became very jealous when D-Man began to train her. D-Man, Falcon, Nomad, and Vagabond were to assist Steve Rogers in his Captain identity against the Serpent Society and a Vault breakout. Eventually the relationship between Vagabond and Nomad would end over her more-or-less platonic relationship with D-Man.
Shortly thereafter, Priscilla sought out the Power Broker, so that she might gain enhanced strength. During her visit, the Power Broker was attacked by Scourge - after he survived, he underwent his own treatment, although he knew that it deformed the subject half the time. Unfortunately for him, he was in the bad fifty percent, and his musculature exploded to the point where he could hardly move.
Priscilla was then captured by Karl Malus, the head scientist for the Power Broker - he wanted to betray his boss and take over. However, he needed the Power Broker's files held in a finger-print-locked safe. Giving Priscilla a epidermal mold, he demanded that she get an imprint of the deformed Power Broker's hand. She took the imprint, and double-crossed Malus, rendering him harmless. She then called USAgent, letting him know where to pick up Power Broker and his thugs. She vanished shortly thereafter, and hasn't been seen since.
Jack and his brother Drake were members of Captain America's computer hotline. Inspired by Cap, they put together a vigilante "Citizen's Patrol Group", and tried to fight crime locally; however, some of the criminals found Drake alone, and severely beat him, crippling his legs. When their parents' retirement home was said to be built on a toxic waste dump, they were dispossesed. Drake and Jack discovered that the Serpent Society was behind the fraud which dispossessed their parents, and they came up with a plan. Drake used his technical abilities to build the Boom Box while Jack began weight-lifting, conditioning, and martial arts training twelve hours a day. Clad in his garish costume, Jack began their plan to bring down the Serpent Society.
Jack attempted to infiltrate the Serpent Society, and was set up to fight Mr. Hyde. During the combat, Jack was bathed in chemicals, gaining some level of super-strength and super-healing abilities.
Jack Flagg was considered by Captain America as a potential replacement when Cap's body began to deteriorate. He agreed to continue the fight when Cap "was gone". Crippled by Bullseye while resisting arrest under the SHRA, he taken into custody and severly beaten by the the Swordsman.
Flag is next shown leading the prisoners of the Negative Zone prison against Blaastar's army. Jack uses a wheelchair and states that this is due to the damage Bullseye did to his spine. After escaping with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Jack's spine is repaired by Knowhere's medical staff and he opts to remain on the station rather than return to Earth (where he would be considered a fugitive). He later joins the Guardians as part of 'The Kree Team' during War of Kings.
Cathy Webster was a college student whose shy, reclusive tendencies were adversely affecting both her GPA and her social life (her dorm roomie was an attractive extrovert, of course...). She volunteered for an experiment run by a Dr. Wentworth -- actually Superia in disguise -- and the treatments combined a super-soldier-like energy ray to bring her body up to human maximum while a subliminal conditioning program taught her to hate all men.
Well, the ray worked - she broke her conditioning the first time she went forth on a mission, and helped Captain America against Superia. Cap was impressed with her determination and fighting spirit (which reminded him of his own), and he took her (and shortly thereafter Jack Flag) as a sidekick. She helped him against several enemies, including Baron Zemo II and the Serpent Society, before Cap disappeared into the Franklinverse during Onslaught.
Free Spirit was being considered as a "potential recruit" for the Initiative program, according to Civil War: Battle Damage Report.
Little is known about Diamondback prior to her appearance as a member of the Serpent Society; she fell in with a bad element in her teenage years, eventually finding her way into one of the Taskmaster's training acadamies, and having her equipment made by the weaponsmith known as the Tinkerer.
Her first mission as part of the group was to track down and assassinate MODOK, the renegade leader of AIM. On this mission, she engaged in combat with Captain America and had the opportunity to kill him but failed to exploit this opportunity for reasons yet unrevealed. In a subsequent encounter with the Captain, she refused to help her teammates kill him. Later, she left the Serpent Society entirely so that she could pursue a romantic relationship with Captain America. Their relationship grew serious over time, but has since drifted apart (partially because of a bargain which Diamondback made with Superia to obtain a cure for the recent degeneration of the Super-Soldier formula in Steve's blood, and partially because Steve sacrificed himself during the Onslaught Saga).
After Captain America disappeared she has since aided Siren against the Taskmaster. Recently she was infected with mind-control nanoprobes and sent to steal information from the V-Battallion; in this conflict the ruthless Citizen V fried the nanoprobes in such a way that her central nervous system was severely damaged
She recovered, and was active as part of Captain America's resistance to the SHRA, along with her partners in BAD Girls. Diamondback was shipped to Camp Hammond, as an official recruit for the Initiative. When Norman Osborn assumed control of the Initiative, Diamondback agreed to work for him as a member of the Initiative's new team for the state of Delaware, the Women Warriors.
Bucky II/Fred Davis
Fred Davis had been the bat boy for the New York Yankees, and had aided Bucky in the formation of the Liberty Legion. After the disappearance of the original Captain America and Bucky, Fred was given the chance to take the role as the sidekick to a new Captain America, formerly the adventurer Spirit Of '76. Fred became the Bucky of the late 1940's, and served as a member of the All-Winners Squadron.
Fred was sidelined in the early 1950's by a gunshot wound, and replaced by Golden Girl I. For many years he was believed retired, but recent evidence has tied him into a shadowy, secret organization called the Penance Council.
Golden Girl I
Betsy Ross was the 'girl friend' and periodic romantic interest of Captain America III (Jeff Mace). When Bucky II (Fred Barnes) was sidelined by a gunshot wound, Betsy Ross made herself a costume, got some additional training from Captain America III, and became his sidekick for a short while until he retired. Her ultimate fate is unknown.
Lemar was once a wrestler who was given superhuman strength by the Power Broker. Hoskins became one of the Bold Urban Commandos, known as "the Buckies." They wore variations of the Captain America costume, and were employed by John Walker, the SuperPatriot.
When the federal Commission on SuperHuman Activities eventually selected Walker to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America, was the only Bucky allowed to remain in his employ. Lemar took the identity of Bucky, after the originaly Bucky Barnes, and underwent a rigorous training under the supervision of Dr. Valerie Cooper. In their secret identities, Lemar and John Walker went on missions for the Commission.
Lemar took on the identity of Battlestar after another black man convinced him that Bucky was a demeaning title. When Steve Rogers regained the identity of Captain America, Battlestar left federal employment, and returned to his native Chicago. He has since become a member of Silver Sable's Wild Pack.
Rikki "Bucky" Barnes
In the pocket-universe of Heroes Reborn, Rikki Barnes was a student in Philadelphia who failed to obtain a much-wanted dancing scholarship to Julliard. When her brother joined the World Party, a white-supremist organization headed by Master Man and secretly controlled by the Red Skull, she helped Captain America foil their plots. Adopting the name and costume of Bucky, she fights by his side against Evil, although when it came time for the heroes from the Marvel Universe to leave, she stayed behind.
Following the cataclysms which followed the heroes' departure, she and several of the other residents of the Franklinverse (called the Young Allies) began to rebel against the ruleof Dr. Doom. She currently is leading her team against Dr. Doom in the modern MU.
Project: Rebirth began as a collaboration between US, British and German eugenicists led by Dr. "Josef Reinstein" (real name Dr. Wilfred Nagel), and Dr. Koch. When WW II began, Koch took over the German program and Josef Reinstein took over the American program. Each was attempting to re-create the super soldier serum which had previously turned Steve Rogers into Captain America a year prior to Pearl Harbor. Reinstein's early attempts to refine the formula were tested on African-Americans. Three hundred of these soldiers were taken from Camp Cathcart and subjected to potentially fatal experiments at an undisclosed location in an attempt to re-create the Super Soldier formula. Only five subjects survived the original trials. In the name of secrecy, US soldiers executed the camp's commander and hundreds of black soldiers left behind at Camp Cathcart. The government told the families of the three hundred subjects that their loved ones had died in battle.
The sole survivor of his test group, Bradley stole a spare costume intended for Captain America before he engaged in a suicide mission to destroy the Super-Soldier efforts of the Nazis at the Schwarzebitte concentration camp. There, he was also able to assassinate Koch. The mission ended when the Germans captured Bradley. Nazi interest in the American supersoldier was high; he was even brought before the Führer himself. Bradley was later rescued, only to be court-martialed and imprisoned at Leavenworth around 1943. In 1960, Bradley was pardoned by President Eisenhower and released.
Considered to be the "Black Captain America", Isaiah Bradley became an underground legend among much of the African-American community in the Marvel Universe. A number of the most noted Africans and African-Americans of the twentieth century's last four decades visited Bradley as a sign of respect and, in many cases, hero worship. His visitors have included Malcolm X, Richard Pryor, Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis, Alex Haley, Nelson Mandela, and Colin Powell. Outside the Black community, however, he remains largely unknown. When he arrived as a special guest to the wedding of Storm and the Black Panther, several African-American heroes were awestruck, including Luke Cage (who described him as "the first me"), Goliath (Bill Foster), Monica Rambeau, Triathlon, and the Falcon.
Bring On The Bad Guys!
From Nazis to aliens to super-secret organizations, Captain America defends the world against those who would threaten innocent lives whenever they appear - and whenever they appear, they'll find a large, red-white-and-blue shield about to bonk them on their head!
The Red Skull
The Red Skull was born Johann Schmidt in a southern German village, the son of an illiterate, drunken peasant named Hermann, and his long-suffering wife Martha. Martha died in childbirth, and Hermann tried to drown the newborn Johann, blaming him for the death of his mother, and committed suicide the next morning. The infant was rescued by a local doctor, who delivered the infant to an orphanage.
Johann ran away at age seven, and grew up in and out of prison for petty crimes ranging from vagrancy to theft, constantly beaten and victimized by other thugs. His smouldering anger was given an outlet when he first encountered Hitler; Johann was working as a bell-boy in a hotel in which Hitler was staying. Hitler was in the middle of berating his general staff, and boasted that he could make "this bell-boy" into a more effective Nazi.
Johann was given military training, and made into the perfect S.S. soldier. Upon his presentation to Hitler, however, Hitler grew enraged, screaming that "anyone can make a soldier!". Hitler took Johann in hand for personal training as a special operative, giving him his name and a Red Skull mask.
During the war the Red Skull undertook many different special operations for Hitler, slowly gaining more power within the Third Reich until even Hitler was terrified of his own creation; the Captain America identitiy was originally created to act as a counter to his successes.
With effectively unlimited authority in Nazi Germany, the Red Skull began to build secret bases around the world, and create untraceable fiscal resources. He built a "wolf-pack" of Nazi u-boats whose raids were used to fill the Red Skull's personal finances. Making contingency plans in case of the defeat of Nazi Germany, he established a secret headquarters on a small island (called "Exile Island"), and populated it with several top Nazi leaders, soldiers, and their families.
Near the end of WWII, Captain America located the Red Skull in his own bunker. During the ensuing combat, the Red Skull became trapped in a cave-in; trapped by the rubble but not actually wounded, he was subject to a strange mixture of leaking gasses which sent him into suspended animation.
During the 1950's, Communist powers would create their own Red Skull, who would fight Captain America IV on behalf of the Soviet Union. After his re-animation, the original Red Skull would have the imposter killed in prison.
The Red Skull's bunker was found and excavated by HYDRA, who would revive the Red Skull, who co-operated with them long enough to seize the A.I.M.-developed Cosmic Cube. But whether he used the Cosmic Cube, Sleeper robots, or a horde of nazi thugs, all of his plans were foiled by Captain America.
Eventually, the Red Skull would begin to rapidly age, a delayed effect of the gasses which had preserved him for decades. Capturing Captain America and injecting him with a compound to make him age, he tried to goad Captain America into killing him; instead, he died of old age, and his body was burned.
Unknown to the world, however, Armin Zola had preserved the mind of the Red Skull at death, and transfered his mind into a body cloned from Steve Rogers. Alive again, the Red Skull denounced Nazism as an outdated philosophy, and became determined to destroy America from within, using its own capitalism. The Red Skull created or funded the creation of several different subversive groups, including Ultimatum, the Watchdogs, Scourge, the Resistants, and Power Brokers, Inc. Through his agent on the Commission, he masterminded their investigation and eventual replacement of Steve Rogers as Captain America, leading to John Walker taking up the role; he then began a campaign to cause Walker's breakdown, using Walker's ever-increasing instability and violence to besmirch the reputation of Captain America. During this time, in combat with Steve Rogers as the Captain, he accidentally dosed himself with the Dust of Death, giving him a permanent "red skull" visage.
The Red Skull began to build an organization of operatives called the Skeleton Crew, headed by Crossbones, and including such others as Cuthroat, Mother Superior, Blackwing, Hobgoblin, the Voice, and Machinesmith. His operatives would fail, and become captured. The Red Skull would again apparently perish, this time disintigrated while trying to obtain (again!) a new Cosmic Cube.
However, the explosion of the Cosmic Cube imbued the Red Skull with its unlimited Cosmic energies, and the Red Skull would eventually re-form, and begin to torment Captain America once more, ultimately falling when Captain America tricks him into apparently distintigrating himself while trying for even more power.
However, the Red Skull didn't remain gone for long. He re-materialized and immediately hatched a plot to steal the SHIELD Helicarrier, which Captain America and SHIELD recaptured.
When in the planning stages of taking revenge on Captain America, the Red Skull was assassinated by Winter Soldier, under orders from the former Soviet general Aleksander Lukin. Using the last ergs of energy from an old, drained Cosmic Cube, the Red Skull attempted to use the Cube to switch bodies with Lukin to survive, but as the Cube was still weak he only managed to transfer his mind into Lukin's body.
When the SHRA divided the superhero community, the Red Skull put yet another nefarious plan into operation. Using Crossbones as a sniper, he arranged to have Captain America as he entered the courthouse in New York City; in the ensuing chaos, Sharon Carter, acting under Faustus' brainwashed control, assassinates Captain America.
Upon the discovery of his identity as Lukin, the Skull fakes his death, and manipulates events to elevate his puppet politician, Gordon Wright, elevated in the public's eye with being credited as "resolving" the Red Skull-manufactured issues, as well as surviving a staged assassination attempt by the Serpent Squad. Once elected, Wright will lead the country directly into a police state secretly controlled by the Red Skull. The Skull also plans to transfer his consciousness into Sharon Carter's unborn child, apparently sired by Steve Rogers himself and potentially having inherited his Project Rebirth enhancements
After the failure of his scheme, Sharon Carter escapes, and shoots Lukin/Red Skull to death; however, Armin Zola had seconds earlier transferred his mind to one of his spare robotic bodies, essentially trapping him in his current robotic form for the time being.
Brock Rumlow grew up a street thug who idolized the Red Skull: "Ever since I was a kid the Red Skull was my idea of the meanest, toughest, coolest bad-guy on the planet. The baddest of the bad." Becoming a mercenary, he was the only survivor of a raid on Armin Zola's fortress, and so impressed the Red Skull that he was taken in for special training.
Crossbones became the Red Skull's chief operative, commanding the Skeleton Crew. However, given the usual temperment of the Red Skull it was perhaps inevitable that he would be eventually be fired, and seek out employment as a mercenary killer/terrorist. His most recent task was an attempt by HYDRA to set off a small nuclear bomb in proximity to the United Nations, a plan which was foiled by Captain America and the Absorbing Man.
He has since been forgiven and taken back into service by the Red Skull, most recently used as the sniper in the assassination plot that killed Steve Rogers. He and the Red Skull's daughter are insanely in love.
The woman who would become Mother Night was originally part of a team with her brother Malachi. The two of them used her powers of mesmerism to attempt a takeover of SHIELD, but they were stopped by Captain America and imprisoned.
At some point the Red Skull recruited her and her brother to act as guardians/trainers of his daughter, Sinthea. Although Sinthea first appeared as Mother Superior, she and her Sisters of Sin were caught and de-aged. After they were liberated from custody, Sinthea and her cohorts were given again into her care, and she adopted the guise of Mother Night. She and her brother then ran a brainwashing camp for teenage runaways, indocrinating them into the ways of hateful violence. This camp was shut down my Captain America, and all of them captured.
However, like most minions of the Red Skull, they didn't remain in captivity for long; Mother Night became the Red Skull's second-in-command, conducting operations at thre Red Skull's orders and recruiting members of the Skeleton Crew. She briefly took Cutthroat as a lover, but he was almost immediately killed in an attempt to assassinate Crossbones. Mother Night was captured by Captain America, but her current status remains unclear.
Seeking an heir, the Red Skull fathered a daughter with a washerwoman. The woman died in childbirth, and the Red Skull almost killed the child, angry that it was a girl. One of his followers, Susan Scarbo, convinced him not to, telling him she would raise the girl herself as her nanny. The Skull agreed and left the girl (now named Synthia) to be raised by Scarbo, who indoctrinated her with the Skull's views as she grew up. The Skull returned when Synthia was a child and put her in a machine that had her acceleratedly aged into adulthood and gave her superhuman powers
As Mother Superior, Synthia became the leader of a group called the "Sisters of Sin"; young orphan girls who were accelerated into adulthood and given powers by the Skull after being indoctrinated by Synthia. The Sisters of Sin would have many run-ins with the Red Skull's nemesis Captain America before being de-aged when they entered a chamber designed to reverse the Skull's aging process to assault Captain America - who had suffered through the Skull's process and had become elderly - while he was using it to return himself to normal, and they were reverted to children at the same time Captain America was restored (she would later claim she was deaged to the wrong age - but whether this is true, and in which direction, is unclear). Later, Synthia's nanny, Susan Scarbo (now calling herself Mother Night), reformed the Sisters of Sin and became their new leader, while the deaged Synthia herself took the name Sister Sin.
She was later captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and taken to their reeducation facility, where they attempted to reprogram her to be a "normal" American girl and gave her false memories to that effect. Later, the Red Skull was assassinated by the Winter Soldier under the orders of Aleksander Lukin, and one of the Skull's henchmen, Crossbones, broke into the facility, kidnapped Synthia, and tortured her to break S.H.I.E.L.D's conditioning. After he succeeded, she entered into a relationship with him, and - with Synthia now calling herself simply Sin - the two went on a killing spree. They later reunited with the Skull, now living inside the mind of General Lukin.
As the first part of the Skull's Master Plan, Sin disguised herself as a nurse after the Civil War while Crossbones sniped Captain America at the courthouse, even though it meant obeying her father and abandoning Crossbones to his fate. Sin then revealed to Sharon Carter that Carter was the one who had killed Cap. Now the leader of a new incarnation of the Serpent Squad, Sin breaks Crossbones out of jail. He is later apprehended again, and Sin wounded, in an attempt to break into the Capitol Building. Sin is later sent to assassinate the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, but is stopped by the new Captain America
When the Red Skull was looking for a personal assassin, he held contest among the assassins who were interested in the job; Cutthroat was the survivor of the contest. He had no super-human abilities, but amazing skills with a knife.
He served as member of the Red Skull's Skeleton Crew until they captured Diamondback - who turned out to be Cutthroat's younger sister (he had left the United States following the death of their eldest brother in a gang-related incident, the gang of which was led by Crossbones as a youth). Cutthroat was killed when he tried to assassinate Crossbones in retaliation for Crossbones' killing of his brother.
The person who would become Vermin was picked up off the streets of New York by Baron Zemo II and Arnim Zola, and subjected to a variety of biological procedures which would give him superhuman strength, enhanced senses, and the ability to command animals such as rats and stray dogs (but at the cost of much of his intellect).
Vermin served Zemo for a time, until Zemo decided that his usefulness was at an end. He imprisoned Vermin next to Captain America in a cell, and unleashed two of his powerful mutates against them. Both Captain America and Vermin escaped, and Vermin hid in Zemo's escape craft. Shortly thereafter, Zemo fled, and was savagely attacked by Vermin (although he survived his wounds).
Vermin has tangled with Captain America and Spider-Man since, and when incarcerated spends his time in high-security mental institutions.
Originally a brilliant creator of electronic gadgets and robots, Sam "Star" Saxon would offer his services to the criminal underworld. When one of his operatives was thrwarted by Daredevil, he engaged in an elaborate plot for revenge, disguised as the old Daredevil foe, Mister Fear. Dressed as Mister Fear, Saxon fell from his hover-platform to his death....almost.
He was found by his robot servants, who immediately carried out their contingency instructions, and transfered his mind into a mainframe computer. Saxon grew to hate his semblance of life, but found that he had to obey his own hardwired directives to not destroy himself. Bent on self-destruction, he sought to provoke Captain America into destroying him, explaining his plight as the last of his power failed.
However, obviously there was a backup somewhere...Machinesmith has since worked both for the Red Skull and for his own purposes, although nobody can truly say what those are...
Joseph Silvermane is the son of the Silvermane, the head of the most powerful mafia family of New York. Originally he donned the costume to prove himself to his father, using trained bats, his abilities to glide and fade into shadows, and his own combat abilities against Daredevil.
For some time he worked as a high-powered mercenary, either alone or in partnership with Jack O'Lantern. He and Jack O'Lantern would work together as part of the Red Skull's Skeleton Crew, and most recently as a member of the new Masters of Evil. Freed from prison recently on a technicality, he has returned to his mafia roots in NYC, running the high-tech villain group Heavy Mettle.
The CIA recruited Jason Macendale while he was attending undergraduate class is at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He enlisted in the Marines and became a fighter pilot. Upon discharge from the Marines, Macendale began active service as a field agent in the Asian theater. However, his methods and tactics soon provided to brutal and extreme, too much for his superiors to tolerate. Seeking employment elsewhere, Macendale embarked on a career as an international mercenary. Eventually elevating his craft to a precise science, he adopted distinctive costuming of Jack O'Lantern to help promote his accomplishments to prospective employers.
Jack O'Lantern employs numerous types of custom designed a grenades including anesthetic, lachrymatory, regurgitant gas, smoke, and concussion grenades. Jack O'Lantern where's complete body armor made of metal-covered, multi segment Kevlar panels, incorporating her rigid, articulated shell which can resist a 7 lb. bazooka anti-gun warhead.
Jack O'Lantern's head is covered by a bulletproof helmet with an internal, 3 hour, compressed air supply and is equipped with telescopic infrared image intensifiers for seeing in the dark. The base of the helmet is equipped with a fine network of pin holes which maintained a low temperature flame ("stage-fire": a low density flame used safely on stage to simulate fire) their rings around his head at all times. The air supply cools the interior of the helmet semi-adiabatically through expansion.
Jack O'Lantern is also equipped with wrist blasters, which incorporate high-frequency electric transducers that can deliver a long-range shot (effective range: 35 ft.).
The Serpent Society was the logical successor to the ill-fated Serpent Squad; it was an organization founded by Sidewinder to employ snake-motiff super-villains, and run crime like a business; they took contracts for theft, extortion, assassination, etc., and then dispatched a team to execute the contract. Sidewinder's ability to teleport ensured that even when members were captured, they escaped within hours of their incarceration.
Originally, all of the members were paid a salary plus bonuses, provided with logistical support and equipment, and housed in a secret base. However, the Viper took over the organization as one of her plots, and their base of operations was discovered by Captain America.
Later, Cobra changed his name to King Cobra, and declared himself leader. Establishing a new base in Nevada, they operated there until captured by Captain America and the Avengers. King Cobra has since been seen operating alone, and several of the members (notably Black Mamba, Asp, and Diamondback, who formed the mercenary organization called Bad Girls, Inc.) left after Viper's coup. Anaconda was last seen in the employ of Superia. The others are presumably still in prison.
HYDRA was created by Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker with funds stolen from the Third Reich, just before the final defeat of the Third Reich. Based in the Far East, its oath is taken from the properties of the mythical creature from which it was named:
"Hail Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off one limb and two more will take its place! We serve the Supreme Hydra, as the world shall soon serve us!"
The oath is kind of self-explanatory as to what Hydra's goals are...
Its goal of global domination in place, it began my restricting its membership to men (with the notable exception of Laura Brown, the daughter of the figure-head Imperial Hydra, and Madame Hydra), they were based out of Hydra Island, an artificial island built by Strucker. Early Hydra emphasized secrecy, always wore their maks, and addressed each other by code numbers instead of names. Hydra assembled teams of brilliant scientists in their Advanced Idea Mechanics division, which would ultimately become its own rival organization.
Through the 1950s Hydra began to build up its bases worldwide, stocking them with large amounts of conventional weapons as well as their won advanced weaponry. The United Nations developed SHIELD to combat their subversive actrivities, headed by Nick Fury; they didn't know that in doing so they were pitting Fury against his old wartime foe, Von Strucker.
Captain America, Nick Fury, and SHIELD would defeat numerous Hydra plots, and ultimately destroy Hydra Island, taking with it much of the Hydra organizational structure. The Hydra bases around the world became splinter groups, including the former sub-divisions of A.I.M and the Secret Empire.
Different splinter groups, such as the ones in the NYC area led by Madame Hydra, or the Las Vegas-based group led by the Kingpin, attempted various plots, most of which failed. Recently, most of the splinter groups in the United States have been gathered under the aegis of the new Hydra. Divorced from its fascist roots, the current organization allows women, de-emphasises the secrecy and anonymity of its predecessor, and functions in many ways like a modern corporation, its agents having health benefits, salaries, et cetera. Still a nefarious (no relation) organization, its emphasis is now on amassing economic as well as temporal and political power.
AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is an organization of brilliant scientists and their hirelings dedicated to the acquisition of power and the overthrow of all governments by technological means.
AIM began as a group of scientists organized during World War II by Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker to develop advanced technological weaponry for his secret subversive organization HYDRA. Although HYDRA suffered a major defeat during the war, it continued to exist secretly over the following decades, growing and building its strength. The group of scientists grew in number over the years, and made great advances in various fields, including robotics, bioengineerings, bionics, and physics. Eventually the scientists publicly incorporated their organization under the name of Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). No one outside AIM or HYDRA knew of AIM's subversive goals and activities, nor of their scientific achievements, nor of the fact that AIM was actually the scientific research division of HYDRA. (Indeed, HYDRA's very existence remained unknown for most of this time.) Instead, AIM was believed by both the public and by intelligence organizations to be an international cartel dealing with the development and marketing of new technological products. AIM gained great influence with the U.S. government and quasi-governmental agencies.
After the initial defeat of HYDRA by SHIELD, AIM, whose connection with HYDRA had not been exposed, attempted to discredit SHIELD Director Nicholas Fury, and thereby force him out of his position. This attempt, publicly led by Count Bornag Royale, failed, and instead Fury exposed AIM as a subversive organization. Although SHIELD believed it had put an end to AIM's operations, much of the organization escaped capture, and its links with the still secretly active HYDRA remained undiscovered. However, immediately upon the demise of Baron Strucker and the deaths of most of HYDRA's leading members in the destruction of HYDRA Island, AIM, now under the leadership of Modok, severed its ties with HYDRA, and has remained an independent organization ever since.
AIM has created a wide variety of advanced technological weaponry, and during the period when it was an arm of HYDRA, made great strides in creating androids, which the organization employed as assassins. (During this period AIM members sometimes referred to themselves a agents of THEM. THEM was the code name of the HYDRA core group which governed HYDRA and its subsidiary organizations, including AIM, during the period between HYDRA's first seeming destruction by SHIELD and its later re-emergence.) However, AIM has created three major instruments of deadly potential which stand out above the rest. The first is the Super-Adaptoid, an android capable of duplicating the form and superhuman powers of another being. The second instrument was the Cosmic Cube, an unimaginably powerful object capable of restructuring reality. AIM manufactured the containing device - the cube - not the reality-transforming energy itself, whose nature and origin remain mysteries.
The third major achievement of AIM is the creation of Modok (Mental Organization Designed Only for Killing), an artificially mutated human being with an enormous head and a stunted body who possesses superhuman intelligence and various psionic abilities. Modok was originally an ordinary AIM member who was selected by AIM's leader, the so-called Scientist Supreme, to be the subject of vast bionic experiments that turned him into Modok. After being transformed, Modok slew the Scientist Supreme and seized control of AIM, severing its ties with the demolished HYDRA. For years AIM existed merely to serve Modok's ambition for power. Under his leadership, AIM stagnated intellectually, created no truly impressive weapon, and launched no major attack on any nation.
However, two different splinter groups of AIM agents who had escaped being taken over by Modok emerged. One of the groups often clashed with Modok's AIM; another unsuccessfully attempted to create another active Cosmic Cube. Finally dissension with Modok's rule grew within Modok's own organization and broke out in rebellion against him. Modok's AIM joined forces with the two splinter groups and drove Modok out of the organization. The three factions of AIM again combined, so that today once more stands as a united organization.
That is, until recently... a group claiming to be A.I.M. but populated mostly by Adaptoids and led by the Super-Adaptoid infiltrated and became the government of a small, South American country until recently. A second group, led by Modok, is still active in their plots for global domination. A third group, led by industrialists, recently infiltrated SHIELD, reactivated Protocide, and used stolen SHIELD technology bought from the Red Skull.
Like HYDRA, AIM seems doomed to a constant splintering and re-invention of itself.
Originally an offshoot from HYDRA, the original charter of the Secret Empire was to distract Nick Fury and SHIELD while HYDRA recovered from one of their myriad defeats. The Secret Empire command structure is quite literally "by the numbers", with the lower number having the greatest rank. The original Number One broke away from HYDRA after Hydra Island was destroyed Shortyly thereafter the Secret Empire hired Boomerang to steal top-secret arms from a United States military installation under the command of Thunderbolt Ross, about the same time that Number Nine in the organization began the careful assassination of his superiors so that he might ascend in rank. Boomerang was defeated by the Hulk, and Number Nine's nefarious (no relation) plans were foiled by Gabe Jones, an agent of SHIELD.
The next plot of the Secret Empire revolved around Brand Company and Roxxon Oil. The Secret Empire hired Quentin Harderman and his Committee To Regain America's Principles to ruin Captain America's reputation as a distraction, while they kidnapped several powerful mutants (including several members of the X-Men) to psionically serve as a power supply for their large "flying saucer" weapons platform and its force shield. Number One landed the craft on the front lawn of the White House, and announced that the Secret Empire had planted nuclear weapons in every major American city, and demanded the immediate surrender to them. Captain America, Falcon, and several of the X-Men defeated the Secret Empire, but in doing so discovered that the new Number One of the Secret Empire was a high-ranking government official of the executive branch (the implication was that it was the President himself - and given the time the story was originally produced, neatly explained Nixon's resignation and retirement from public life). Number One suicided, and the Federal government covered up the identity of Number One, but the scandal drove Steve Rogers to temporarily cease being Captain America (he was to adopt the costumed identity of Nomad).
The latest incarnation was a group of wealthy and powerful "players" in politics and business, led by the wealthy Anthony Power. Their plan was to precipitate a war between the United States and the Soviet Union while they hid in their bunkers; they would rise from the aftermath and rule the paradise that they would then build. Their plan was defeated, but many of the top leadership escaped, and presumably moved up in number, commanding the new Secret Empire.
ULTIMATUM (an acryonym - I kid you not - which stands for Underground Liberated Totally Integrated Mobile Army To Unite Mankind) was founded by the fanatic Flag-Smasher to assist him in his goals of global anarchy. Ultimatum's ultimate aims are to weaken and subvert the political entities through terrorism. There is some debate as to whether Ultimatum existed prior to Flag-Smasher appearing as its leader, since it would have been difficult at best to organize such a group in such a short time span. The Red Skull has claimed that he created and originally funded them; such a group would certainly fit with his modus operandi.
Following their defeat by Captain America, and the capture of the Flag-Smasher, Ultimatum has since renounced Flag-Smasher as their leader, and has attempted to have him assassinated (an attempt which was foiled by Captain America).
The Watchdogs are a subversive organization secretly funded by the Red Skull as part of his ongoing campaign to destabilize the United States of America. They are a volunteer paramilitary organization based primarily in the American South, and use vandalism, arson, flogging, torture, and murder to "make examples" of people and/or things which transgress their sense of "rightness" or immoral thingd such as abortion, sex education, the teaching of evolution in classrooms, and racial desegrigation.
There are said to be over a thousand members across the nation, lead by Watchdog One. Each "realm" (their term for a state) is ruled by a Head Dog, and Pack Leaders control the local groups. After John Walker's identity as Captain America was made public, the Watchdogs took revenge for their defeat at his hands by killing his parents in front of him; John slew nineteen of them in a murderous rage, beginning his nervous breakdown in style.
The organization which funds, trains, and deploys Scourge agents is shrouded in mystery. The Red Skull claims to be its secret founder, or at least a major financial contributor. The Scourge organization was founded by a major 1940s Marvel hero, The Angel, who retired after a bystander was killed by a criminal he was battling. Consumed by rage and guilt, the Angel later used his personal fortune (as augmented by the Red Skull, perhaps?) to organize and deploy the Scourge organization, which is dedicated to the permanent termination of super-villains.
Scourge operatives are well-trained before they deploy, studying inflitration, disguise, and role-playing techniques, as well as marksmenship and advanced training in hand-to-hand combat. The standard armament of a Scourge is a .50 caliber Thompson machine gun with a sawed-off barrel and stock, suing instead a folidng wire stock and a special 5-round clip filled with acceleration-activated, delay-triggered explosive bullets.
Baron Zemo I
Baron Zemo II
Young Zemo grew up hating Captain America for causing Zemo's insanity and ultimate death. Calling himself the Phoenix and armed with his father's Death Ray and Adhesive X, he attacked Captain America and the Falcon, and tried to lower Cap into a vat of boiling Adhesive X, but fell into the vat himself. The boiling liquid burned and scarred his face horribly. Biding his time in a fortress in Mexico, Zemo would attack Captain America and the Avengers by himself, in concert with the Red Skull, and while commanding his re-invented Masters Of Evil. Ultimately, all of his schemes met with failure, and his hatred for Captain America and the Avengers grew unchecked.
When the Avengers and Captain America vanished after the Onslaught, Zemo was in the process of forming another Masters Of Evil team. Hiding their identities from the world, they became the Thunderbolts, and strove to gain the public confidence. Zemo's plan worked too well; the Thunderbolts would turn against him, and exile him from the team, embracing their roles as reformed crminals and new heroes. With the no-longer-human Techno/Fixer at his side, Zemo retreated to one of his South American fortress (inherited from his father) to plan and plot anew.
Recently, while planning his revenge against the Thunderbolts, he was attacked by a new Scourge, who apparently killed Zemo in combat. However, Zemo's mind went into a portable storage unit of Fixer's pending his reincarnation in a new body (which he found on the Counter-Earth).
Protocide was PFC Clinton McIntyre, awaiting execution for having murdered his commanding officer. Aparently there was a slightly renegade General named Maxfield Saunders, who argued with Dr. Erskine and General Phillips about using the formula on lab rat Steve Rogers - rather, he wants to try it on a healthy-but-disposable test subject. Stealing a sample of the Super-Soldier Formula, he orders McIntyre to drink the sample - which drives him nuts and berserk. Rampaging out from the secret facility, he hits the street and wreaks a tiny bit of chaos before falling over dead, apparantly from heart failure. General Phillips is outraged, and claims that Dr. Erskine has several ingredients which must be added to the SSF just before ingestion, and that Saunders will hang for murder, but that Operation: Rebirth must continue.
For some reason, Protocide's dead body is preserved for decades in a secret SHIELD warehouse, until rediscovered by SHIELD agents doing inventory. However, one of these SHIELD agents is a mole foe A.I.M., and he kills the others, bringing the body into A.I.M.'s possession.
The scientists at A.I.M. ressurect Protocide, and send him against Captain America and SHIELD to obtain the deadly toxin compound Omega Thirteen. Stopped by Captain America, and confused as to how much of his memories are inserts and brainwashing by A.I.M., Protocide fakes his own death and wanders away. He is currently at large.
Batroc The Leaper
Batroc served in the French Foreign Legion, and grew dissatisfied with the life - too easy for him - of an ordinary special forces soldier. Leaving the military, Batroc began a career as a costumed mercenary, a rogue-for-hire, his name derived from his world-class skills in savate and kick-boxing. Sometimes (rarely) in the side of the angels, usually his activities bring him up against a variety of costumed heroes - usually Captain America.
While mostly motivated by monetary means, Batroc has a huge ego and large amount of professional pride - he will not injure or kill indisciminately, considering unnecessary killing the mark of an amatuer.
He is also quite active on the Captain America Message Board....
The man who would become the Flag-Smasher was the son of a wealth Swiss banker turned diplomat. As a youth, he accompanied his father on his diplomatic missions to various countries, never living in the same place for more than a year. Although he learned to speak several foreign languages fluently, the constant readjustment to new environments hampered his social growth. Consequently, he felt and outcast and became too introverted to form many friendships. While living in Tokyo, the boy began to study the martial arts, and at fifteen earned is black belt in karate. At the age of nineteen, he followed his father, who had become a delegate to the United Nations, to America and enrolled in Columbia University. He intended to major in political science and follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a diplomat. However, when his father was trampled to death in a riot outside the Latverian embassy, the young man's goals changed. He felt that his father had pursued the goals of world peace and unity far too passively. He would spread the message using the only language he felt the world would respond to, the language of violence.
Employing his vast inheritance to finance his mission, he contracted certain unrevealed parties to supply him with an arsenal of experimental weaponry. He than fashioned himself the costumed identity of the Flag-Smasher, and returned to New York to begin a campaign of terrorist assaults on symbols of world separatism such as national flags and embassies. Through these random strikes he hoped to convey the message that nationalism is an outmoded concept which tends to promote disunity among the family of man. Learning that Captain America was going to make a public speech, Flag-Smasher seized the opportunity to confront America's foremost patriot and challenge his beliefs. Flag-Smasher held the hundreds of people attending the press conference hostage, forcing them to listen to his anti-nationalist rhetoric. When the confrontation turned physical, Captain America overpowered the Flag-Smasher. Flag-Smasher has been deported from the country.
The Flag-Smasher would turn up again after having built a supporting terrorist organization to help him in his work, called ULTIMATUM; little did he know that the Red Skull would subvert his group, and turn it against him. He fought against both Captain America I and John Walker before suffering dehabilitating injuries; his most recent appearance has been a near-mindless automation controlled by Brand Corporation, and used by them for urban terrorism.
Dr. Faustus is a brillaint psychologist who turned his expertise to criminal pursuits. He has at various times tried to drive Captain America into a nervous breakdown by using illusions, actors, and holograms to submerge Steve in guilt and terror. He also has run various psychiatric hospitals, usually as part of recruiting small armies of mind-manipulated servants.
When Jack Monroe and the man who was Captain America IV are placed in SHIELD custody, Dr. Faustus managed to get them for 'rehabilitation'. Using brainwashing techniques, he made "Steve Rogers" into the Grand Director, the putative leader of a neo-Nazi hate group; when confronted by the real Captain America, the tried to kill Jack and upon failure committed suicide. Jack went back into SHIELD custody and rehabilitation until cured and released on his own recognizance.
After some time Jack is recovered by Dr. Faustus, who now conditions him to assassinate the Slug so that Faustus may take over his rackets; unfortuately for Dr. Faustus, Jack encounters Captain America, who prevents him from killing either the Slug or Dr. Faustus in retaliation. Faustus is convicted, and sent to a country-club-like prison. However, he has not counted on the fervency of Jack Monroe's desire for a combination or revenge and safety; he breaks into the prison, and executes Dr. Faustus.
Viper II/Madame Hydra
Viper was born somewhere in Eastern Europe, an orphan of some unspecified revolution. While fleeing the country in which the revolution was held, she had an accident which permanently scarred the right side of her face. She lived a transient existence across Europe during her adolescence and early adulthood, surviving by criminal activities of various sorts. Eventually she made her way up the ranks within Hydra, one of the few female agents of that time, until she controlled the New York area group (which had splintered after the apparent death of Von Strucker). It was at this time that she assumed her green costume, dyed her hair green, and the name Madame Hydra.
Madame Hydra's first major enterprise was an attempt to poison the New York City water supply, which was foiled by Captain America. The assassination of Captain America was her second plot, which also failed. During her next attempt, she was almost killed by her own heat-seeking missles, but was saved by the Space Phantom, who exiled her to Limbo while he used her form and her Hydra resources.
Upon the defeat of the Space Phantom (and his return to Limbo), she sought to regain her status among the international criminal elite. She re-organized the Serpent Squad, killing the villain called the Viper, and adopting his name. Captain America (then in his Nomad costume) defeated Viper and her Serpent Squad, and Viper was ostensibly killed in a burning building.
However, she has returned a number of times to plague the heroes of the world, especially Captain America. Her nihilistic terrorist activities are funded frequently by the Red Skull, her occasional lover.
Left- and Right-Winger
Hector and Jerome both served with Johnny Walker in the US Army, and underwent the same Power Broker augmentation process. The served with Lemar Hoskins as "Buckies" under the Super-Patriot, but couldn't pass the federal screening process when John became Captain America and Lemar became Battlestar. Embittered, they assumed the costumed identities of Left- and Right-Winger and exposed the new Captain America's identity on national television.
Using this information, the subversive group called the Watchdogs kidnapped John's parents to lure John into an ambush; John's parents were shot an killed in the battle. Enraged, John sought out Hector and Jerome, beat them unconscous, tied them to a Roxxon Oil tank, and ignited it with Jerome's torch. Boom.
Because Hector and Jerome had augmented strength and stamina, they barely survived the explosion which would have destroyed normal men. Both men are currently in comas in a Dallas hospital.
Americop is a former Houston police officer who grew frustrated and disillusioned with the ins and outs of the judicial system, which seemed to protect the criminals rather than their victims. He retired from the police force to "go national and independant", and finances his one-man war on criminals with money seized during his operations. He pursues missions in a style remeniscent of the Punisher, apprehending criminals in the act and dealing them a harsh form of summary judgement, usually death (although he did show relatvie mercy, merely shooting someone who had been engaging in harrassment in both kneecaps).
Americop uses standard police equipment, including a high-powered automatic pistol, mace, and billy club (he also is shown with a hand radio on the back of his uniform, but did not use it on his one encounter with Captain America).
The young man who would become Madcap was a devoutly religious person who belonged to a church group of an unspecified denomination. While he was on a church-sponsored field trip with his parents, sister, and about forty others, the bus he was riding in was struck by a tanker truck containing an unknown chemical compound concocted by the Advanced Idea Mechanics. This chemical, called Compound X07, apparently contained enzymes that promoted rapid healing in the human body. While everyone else was killed in the crash and subsequent explosion, the man who would become Madcap was thrown clear and lay for several hours unconscious in the rapidly evaporating pool of the chemical. After he gained consciousness in a hospital, his faith in a rational universe was shattered when he learned he was sole survivor of the accident.
Fleeing the hospital, he threw himself in the path of an oncoming car in a suicide attempt. To his surprise, he not only was incapable of feeling the pain of being hit by the car, but he also got up from where he was thrown, his injuries having healed in moments. Rightly suspecting that the bus accident somehow endowed him with his immunity from pain and injury, he was driven further into madness. He could not understand why he should benefit from an accident that killed forty people including his friends and family. He finally came to the conclusion that things happen without cause and effect and that there is no purpose in anything.
He also soon discovered that he could cause whoever looked him in the eye long enough to act crazily. Lacking anything better to do, he bought a toy soap bubble-making gun from a dime store and stole a harlequin outfit from a costume shop. Calling himself Madcap, he decided to wander New York City and randomly cause people to go crazy in order to demonstrate to them the meaninglessness of existence. On one of his first excursions, he encountered the fledgling crimefighter Nomad, who at that time was Captain America's partner. Nomad eventually befriended Madcap in order to try to understand his origins, motives, and capacities. When Madcap began threatening lives, Nomad was forced to subdue him. Madcap was then put in to Bellevue Hospital in New York to undergo psychiatric treatment.
Nothing has yet been revealed about the origin of the woman known as the Vamp. She was secretly a member of the subversive criminal organization called the Corporation and was the lover of Senator Eugene Kligger Stivak, the head of Corporation-East, the division of the Corporation that dealt with operations in the eastern half of the United States.
Presumably through genetic manipulation, Corporation scientists endowed the Vamp with the ability to transform herself into the Animus, a humanoid being with an enormous head, no female sexual characteristics (at least on the upper half of her body), and great psionic abilities. Stivak himself triggered her transformations by remote control through a device in his possession.
Aware that the Corporation employed agents with real or artificial superhuman abilities, the international law enforcement agency known as SHIELD organized its own team of "super-agents" to combat them. Each of the SHIELD Super Agents had either actual superhuman powers, in the case of the Texas Twister, or artificial superhuman abilities, given them by special devices, such as Marvel Man (now known as Quasar) and the Blue Streak. Two of the Super-Agents, the Blue Streak and the Vamp, were secretly double agents who actually served the Corporation. It is not known how the Corporation managed to place these two agents within SHIELD undetected.
Apparently the Vamp was chosen to become a SHIELD Super-Agent due to her excellent ability at hand-to-hand combat. SHIELD was unaware of her power to become the Animus. Instead, SHIELD gave her an "absorbo-belt" which enabled her to duplicate within herself the powers and skills of another person within certain limits. SHIELD's Public Director Nick Fury wanted to give her the code name of "Femme Force," but she chose the name "Vamp" instead.
As the Animus the Vamp made repeated but unsuccessful efforts to kill Captain America, an opponent of the Corporation. Later, Captain America realized that one of the SHIELD Super-Agents was a Corporation agent and confronted the four Super-Agents. The Blue Streak revealed himself to be a Corporation agent while battling Captain America. Pretending to be trying to halt him because he was a traitor to SHIELD, the Vamp attacked the Blue Streak and tried to kill him until Captain America stopped her.
Captain America, Marvel Man, and the Vamp then went to Alcatrax Island in San Francisco Bay, where the Corporation was holding Captain America's ally the Falcon prisoner. Arriving, they found that the Corporation was also holding Bruce Banner, the alter ego of the Hulk, captive. Captain America and Marvel Man were confronted by Stivak and Corporation-West leader Curtiss Jackson, and the Vamp revealed herself to be a Corporation agent. A battle ensued during which Marvel Man freed Banner, who transformed into the Hulk. Stivak then triggered the Vamp's transformation into the Animus, in which form she had enough power to battle the Hulk. But the Hulk smashed the crystalline club that the Animus carried and that stored most of her psionic energies. The destruction of the club caused the Animus to turn back into the Vamp, but she had fallen into a catatonic state from the mental shock the smashing of the club had caused her. Stivak was killed, Jackson escaped, and Captain America, Marvel Man, and the freed Falcon turned the Vamp over to SHIELD.
It is not known exactly what happened to the Vamp then. Somehow she regained full consciousness and was convicted, but somehow regained her freedom. Presumably she no longer possessed the absorbo-belt, and it is unknown whether or not she could still become the Animus. She apparently became a free-lance professional criminal and operated for at least a time in the American Midwest.
The Vamp was invited by Gary Gilbert, who was formerly the costumed criminal Firebrand, to attend a meeting of costumed criminals to discuss possible strategies to use against Scourge, the mysterious vigilante who was assassinating such criminals. The meeting was held at the "bar with no name" in Medina County, Ohio, one of a number of similar secret meeting places for criminals. However, despite Gilbert's precautions, Scourge showed up at the meeting disguised as the bartender and shot the Vamp and all the other criminals present with explosive bullets.
Arnim Zola collected the remains of some of the criminals at that meeting in order to clone them; Vamp's remains were among those. Zola allowed Vamp's cloned to engage in similar criminal activities as if she had never died, in order to collect money for his future experiments. The clone was hired by one of Typhoid Mary's personalities to assassinate herself; this job brought her up against the hero known as Deadpool. Later, Deadpool infiltrated Arnim Zola's lab and destroyed all the clones from the Bar With No Name, including Vamp's.
Dr. Karl Malus
Dr. Karl Malus was fascinated by the subject of superhuman powers since the first time he read a newspaper account of the Fantastic Four. Upon graduating with a degree in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles, he applied to various institutions for a grant to study supernormal capacities in depth. Unable to get any funding through legal means, Malus contacted certain wealthy investors' active in the Los Angeles underworld. They set him up with a laboratory facility with the agreement that they could exploit the fruits of his research. Malus immodestly called his facility the Institute for Supranormality Research despite the fact that he comprised its entire staff. The underworld provided him with human test subjects to experiment upon, comprised of individuals the mob sought to liquidate. None of Malus's early test subjects survived his various experiments. Malus hoped to eventually find an individual who already had superhuman powers he could study. In the course of research, Malus came up with a number of special toxins and other chemical-based weaponry which he sold to such Los Angeles criminals as the Enforcer.
Malus's first recorded encounter with a superhuman being occurred when the criminal Fly sought out Malus to bolster his waning powers. Malus sent the Fly to steal some special equipment, but the theft led the Fly into battle with the original Spider-Woman. Malus determined to transfer the Spider-Woman's powers into the Fly. He lured her to his laboratory by stealing the comatose body of the Spider-Woman's then-partner, criminologist Scott McDowell, who had been stricken by one of the Enforcer's toxic bullets. After the Spider-Woman defeated the Fly, Malus offered to resuscitate McDowell in exchange for lenient treatment. While reviving him, Malus injected McDowell with an extract of the Fly's blood, which days later caused McDowell's body to temporarily develop certain of the Fly's superhuman powers.
McDowell donned a costume Malus anonymously sent him and for several days wore it, calling himself the Hornet. Malus wanted McDowell to capture the Spider-Woman for study, but the ploy failed and McDowell eventually returned to normal. Around the same time, Jack Russell contacted the scientist; unaware of Malus's criminal connections, in hopes of finding a chemical means to curb his rampages as a werewolf on the three nights of the full moon. Malus instead placed a control-collar device on him which enabled him to force the Werewolf to battle Spider-Woman. (Malus made a similar device for Kraven the Hunter which Kraven used on Tigra.) When Spider-Woman freed the Werewolf, he attacked Malus and wounded him.
Upon his recovery from the injuries the Werewolf inflicted upon him, Malus served a short sentence and was paroled. He returned to his laboratory to continue his experiments. The dancer calling himself Daddy Longlegs, who had ingested some of the growth formula invented by Henry Pym, sought Malus's help to cure him of his freakish condition. In treating him, Malus acquired a sample of Pym's serum taken from Daddy Longlegs' blood. When Erik Josten, now known as Atlas, came to Malus for a means to renew the superhuman strength that the original Baron Zemo had given him, Malus decided to give Josten the Pym growth compound in addition to his strength-augmenting treatment. Hoping to finally have a superhuman accomplice, Malus gave Josten a new costume and suggested he call himself Goliath. Goliath was too powerful for Malus to control, however, and he abandoned him.
Malus later acquired yet another test subject when an ex-convict named Antonio Rodriguez requested Malus's help to cure his wife of an undiagnosed ailment. Malus agreed if Rodriguez would submit to treatment. Malus transferred genetic material from an armadillo into Rodriguez's body, transforming him into a human armadillo. Malus then dispatched Armadillo to free Goliath from the custody of the West Coast Avengers, hoping to assemble a team of henchmen. Captain America defeated the Armadillo, however and alerted the authorities to Malus's parole-violating activities.
Serving a short term, Malus was contacted in prison by Power Broker, Inc., a mysterious underworld corporation whose major business is the supplying of superhuman manpower to various clients. Malus agreed to join the company in return for getting out of jail. Power Broker, Inc. now supplies Malus and his fellow criminal scientists with all of the test subjects they can manage. One of Power Broker Inc.'s major sources of clients are wrestlers who wish to have their strength augmented so they can qualify for the new Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation.
Malus utilizes the process by which he restored Erik Josten's strength to augment the power of the wrestlers. To ensure that the wrestlers keep paying twenty percent of their earnings to Power Broker, Inc., Malus has been administering a highly addictive synthetic drug to the wrestlers in the course of their treatment. Power Broker, Inc. supplies further quantities of this drug' to those who continue to meet their payments. Wrestlers are told they will die without the drug to stabilize their power, but in reality they will only experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Only five out of ten persons who undergo the treatment emerge with superhuman strength; the rest become brain-damaged or physically disfigured. Among those who underwent treatment by Malus but escaped without being given the addictive drug is Sharon Venture, who became the new Ms. Marvel. Besides augmenting wrestlers, Malus continues to conduct more exotic experiments, like that which produced Armadillo. While working for Power Broker, Inc., he is protected from prosecution and has state-of-the-art laboratory technology and an ever abundant supply of test subjects.
Malus 's experiments were discovered by Captain America, who exposed them to legal authorities, with the help of Demolition Man and the Night Shift. Malus was arrested and is currently in prison.
Little is known about the background of Antonio Rodriguez other than that he has a criminal record and wife named Maria. His wife critically stricken with an undiagnosed disease, Rodriguez took her to every doctor who would see her but none were able to determine the nature of her illness, let alone help her. In desperation, he sought Dr, Karl Malus, a criminal scientist who specializes in the generation and bestowal of superhuman powers, whom he had heard about while n prison. Malus agreed to try to cure her exchange for the man agreeing to become his test subject and employee for an indefinite period of time, Malus had long been interested in acquiring a superhuman henchman, particularly after his experiments on the Fly, the Hornet, the Werewolf, and Goliath failed to provide him one. Malus subjected the man to an experimental process that combined genetic material from an armadillo with the man's genes.
The Process caused the man's strength to increase drastically, his skin to transform into a tough, organic armored plate, and his hands to grow thick tough claws. Malus dubbed him the Armadillo and assigned him to break into the West Coast Avengers Compound to steal the comatose body of Goliath Who was being held there. The Armadillo complied and soon found himself in combat with visiting Captain America. Although physically superior to him, the Armadillo was defeated by the Captain's superior combat skills. Taking compassion on the Armadillo's plight because of his wife's condition, Captain America refused to turn the Armadillo over to the authorities. After Malus cured Maria, Armadillo joined the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation.
Calvin Zabo, a brilliant research scientist, had always been fascinated by the story "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". Believing it to be more than a fictional account, he devoted years to discovering a biochemical formula which would release the powerful, bestial side. Needing money to finance his research, he began stealing from the various institutions, and developed a reputation which caused Dr. Don Blake (the mortal guise taken on by Thor) to refuse him employment. Vowing revenge, when he finally made a breakthrough he came after Blake in revenge as Mr. Hyde.
As Mr. Hyde, Zabo has incredible strength and resistance to damage. He has fought just about every major hero, including multiple engagements with Captain America, both solo and teamed with the Scorpion, the Serpent Society, and Zemo II's Masters of Evil.
Steve Rogers' Romantic Life!
Captain America has been romantically involved with a number of women - spies, agents of SHIELD, and the occassional super-villainess bad girl. Oh, and an assortment of relatively-normal women too.
The first woman that Steve fell in love with was Lieutenant Cynthia Glass. Cynthia was a member of the Nazi party working directly for the villain known as the Red Skull, and was assigned to infiltrate the American Super-Soldier project during WWI. While a part of this project, she met and fell in love with project participant Steve Rogers. When the two came to occupied France (along with Bucky Barnes) to free the project's leader, she was revealed as a nazi agent. She defied her masters, and helped free Bucky so that he could help Captain America, who was fighting the Red Skull in front of Hitler and an audience of both Nazi's and prisoners. When German soldiers tried to kill an unarmed Captain America, Cynthia stepped in front of the bullet, sacrificing herself for him.
During the rest of World War II, Steve would also meet and fall for a OSI operative working with the French Underground in Paris; he never knew her name, but would later discover that she was Peggy Carter, the elder sister of Sharon Carter. Peggy suffered from various psychological problems after learning about Cap's apparent death in 1945. She received various treatments including the manipulation of Dr. Faustus. Cap freed Peggy from Faustus' care and Peggy eventually regained her mental bearings. She has since served as an Agent of Shield and on the staff of the Avengers.
Agent 13 - Sharon Carter
Some time after Sharon's apparent death, Steve would meet Bernie Rosenthal. Bernie was a college buddy of Steve's neighbors Josh and Mike, and while she was in college a bit of an activist. She graduated, and over time became a professional glass-blower. Steve and Bernie's relationship developed slowly, in part because Steve kept disappearing on her, being called into action as Captain America.
While dating Steve, she attends a counter-demonstration led by her ex-husband, who is still an activist with the Jewish Defense League. Things between the Nazis and the anti-Nazi protestors become violent, and Captain America was forced to intervene. Listening to his voice and his words, Bernie comes to the inescapable conclusion that Steve Rogers is Captain America.
Bernie ultimately proposes to Steve Rogers, who accepts - however, when a downturn in the economy Bernie decides to go back to law school, but out-of-state. She and Steve put their romantic relationship and engagement on hold, and eventually end their engagement.
After she obtained her degree and passed the NY state bar, Bernie returned while Steve was involved with Diamondback. Bernie would serve as legal cousel for Diamondback regarding her murder of Snapdragon, and assist Steve in establishing the Hotline and its funding foundation. She has not been seen since Steve returned from the Franklinverse
Steve first met Diamondback when she was a member of the Serpent Society. Rachel Leighton fell in with a bad element in her youth, and eventually found her way to one of the Taskmaster's training schools. Outfitted by the Tinkerer, she was one of Sidewinder's first recruits for his team of snake-themed criminals. As part of the Serpent Society, she twice had occassion to kill Captain America, but refused both times. Later, she left the Serpent Society entirely so that she could pursue a romantic relationship with Captain America, and their relationship grew serious over time.
During her captivity at the hands of the Red Skull and Crossbones, they experimented on her with a blood transfusion from Captain America's blood, giving her an infusion of Super-Soldier blood, and boosting her physical abilities to a level with Captain America. She and Steve drifted apart when she made a deal with Superia to develop an antidote for the degenerative effects of the Super-Soldier formula for Cap, and he vanished after Onslaught before they could be reconciled. After Steve returned, they maintained an intimate friendship, as witnessed by Steve sleeping with an imposter LMD he thought was her.
After Onslaught, Steve briefly dated Connie Ferrari, a defense attorney in New York City. However, when she discovered he was Captain America, she broke off the relationship.
Since his apparent death and return after 911, he was fallen in love with an Atlantean agent of Namor's who was killed in action, dated an artist, was ensorcelled by the Scarlet Witch, and slept with a Diamondback LMD. Just before his assassination, he had restared his relationship with Sharon Carter.