Captain America: The Captain
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|"Captain America: The Captain"|
|Publication date||August 1987 – February 1989|
|Title(s)||Captain America #332–350|
|Main character(s)||Captain America|
"Captain America: The Captain" is the umbrella title used for the run of Captain America from issue 332 (cover dated Aug. 1987) to issue 350 (cover dated Feb. 1989), written by Mark Gruenwald. In this story arc, Steve Rogers (the original Captain America) temporarily gives up his superhero identity and is replaced by John Walker, before Rogers decides to return and has to fight Walker for the title.
The first issue in the storyline (#332) invokes the classic comic book story Spider-Man No More! with the tagline "Captain America No More!" on the cover. (The actual name of the issue is "The Choice.")
When a crazy terrorist known as Warhead parachutes onto the Washington Monument with a thermonuclear device, the government wants Steve Rogers to report directly to the Commission on Superhuman Activities. However, Rogers refuses because he'd been serving his country as part of the Avengers. Then, it is revealed when he agreed to become Captain America in 1941, he had signed up to serve as "America's official mascot" and the Captain America's uniform, shield, and even the name were all property of the federal government. Therefore, Rogers is stripped from his shield, uniform, and the title and the government appoints John Walker (formerly known as Super-Patriot) as the new Captain America.
Meanwhile, the Falcon, Vagabond, Demolition Man, and Nomad track down Rogers and convince him to continue fighting crime. So Rogers dons a red, white, and black costume and adopt a new identity known as "The Captain". Later, Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) gives him a new shield made of adamantium only for Rogers to find out that he was caught in the middle of Stark's personal Armor Wars. After being knocked out by Iron Man while trying to stop him from attacking the Guardmen at the Vault, Rogers confronts Stark and return the adamantium shield. However, the Black Panther gives Rogers a black-striped shield composed of pure vibranium. Later, Diamondback helps Rogers, Falcon, Vagabond, Demolition Man, and Nomad stops the Serpent Society.
Meanwhile, the Nazi discovers Walker's identity and murdered his parents causing Walker to flew into a rage and exacted a terrible revenge. His recklessness and his refusal to obey orders were too much for the Commission, which voted to suspend Walker from his role as Captain America pending an official investigation.
A crisis erupts in an Arctic research station where Flag Smasher is holding hostages and insists that he speak with Captain America. The Commission sends Walker to handle the situation, but he is overcome and kidnapped by Flag Smasher leading to Rogers rescuing Walker and learning that the Red Skull might have returned. When Rogers tries to return Walker his shield, he is forced to fight Walker who was goaded into fighting him by a returning Red Skull in a cloned body of Steve Rogers. After defeating Walker, Rogers is confronted by the Red Skull only for the Red Skull to accidentally inhale a cloud of poisonous dust causing his face to transform into a permanent, skull-like horror and fled.
Walker hands over the Captain America uniform and shield to Rogers, and Steve Rogers became Captain America once again.
Captain America #332-350 were reprinted into a trade paperback along with Iron Man #228 under the title "Captain America: The Captain".
- Captain America: Civil War teases some elements from "Captain America: The Captain" when Steve Rogers refuses to sign the Sokovia Accords because he has more faith in his own judgment than that of the government. After his climatic battle with Iron Man, Rogers dropped the shield when Tony Stark taunts him for not being deserving of it, mirroring the events of Captain America No More. In the end of the film, Rogers breaks Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Ant-Man out of the Raft prison, and takes refuge in Wakanda.
- In the film Avengers: Infinity War, Steve Rogers receives new vibranium gauntlets from Shuri to replace his traditional shield instead of a new shield composed of pure vibranium like in the comics. Unlike in the comics, Rogers didn't wear a red, white & black costume and the government didn't appoint a new Captain America. Rogers' allies in the film are Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow while Hawkeye and Ant-Man were in house arrest.
- "1987 And All That: Captain America #325-336". 8 January 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- Breznican, Anthony (March 8, 2018). "Behind the scenes of Avengers: Infinity War as new heroes unite — and others will end". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2018.