The Death of Captain America
|"The Death of Captain America"|
|Publication date||April 2007 – November 2008|
|Title(s)||Captain America vol. 5, #25–42|
|Main character(s)||Bucky Barnes
Roberto De La Torre
|The Death of the Dream||ISBN 0-7851-2423-3|
|The Burden of Dreams||ISBN 0785124241|
|The Man Who Bought America||ISBN 0785129707|
"The Death of Captain America" is an eighteen-issue Captain America story arc written by Ed Brubaker with art by Steve Epting and published by Marvel Comics. The arc first appears in Captain America (vol. 5) #25–42. The first issue of the story arc, Captain America #25, was the highest selling comic for the month of its release. The story arc had wide-sweeping effects throughout the Marvel Universe and was accompanied by the miniseries Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America.
The Death of the Dream
In the aftermath of Civil War, Captain America is taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody where he is assassinated per the order of the Red Skull. Crossbones snipes at him while Sharon Carter, who has been brainwashed by Doctor Faustus, (and Cap's girlfriend) posing as a S.H.I.E.L.D. psychiatrist, delivers the killing shot. Overwhelmed with guilt, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Tony Stark and Black Widow hunt Captain America's murderers. Falcon, Captain America's old partner, follows his own leads to find the killers. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes decides to kill Tony Stark, blaming him for Captain America's death.
The Burden of Dreams
After receiving a letter written by Steve Rogers telling him that the Captain America legacy should continue, and look out for Bucky, Stark shows Bucky Barnes the letter and proposes to make him the new Captain America. Bucky agrees on the condition that he can be an independent agent who doesn't answer to Stark, S.H.I.E.L.D., or the Initiative. The Red Skull fakes the death of Aleksander Lukin, whose mind he inhabits, begins using Kronas Corporation's vast holdings to economically cripple the United States, before having S.H.I.E.L.D. agents brainwashed by Doctor Faustus open fire on crowds of protesters in front of the White House. The Red Skull continues his assault by engineering a riot via the placing of Kronas security troops and utilizing drugged water in a protest on the Lincoln Monument. The Skull also kidnaps Sharon Carter, who now knows that she is pregnant with Steve Rogers' child.
The Man Who Bought America
All of the Red Skull's actions benefit his puppet politician, Gordon Wright, who quickly becomes a popular third party Presidential candidate. 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's unborn child, apparently sired by Steve Rogers himself and potentially having inherited his Project Rebirth enhancements.
Both schemes fail because of the impatience and incompetence of the Skull's daughter — her near-fatal attack on Sharon Carter causes her to lose the baby, and she intentionally botches her pseudo-assassination of Gordon Wright by attempting to kill him in earnest. Faustus has surreptitiously tampered with Sharon's programming, allowing her to rebel, and before escaping shoots Lukin to death. Black Widow and the Falcon lead a S.H.I.E.L.D. raid at the Red Skull's compound. Most of the Skull's agents are captured. The Red Skull escapes however; his consciousness is transferred from Lukin to one of the robot bodies used by Arnim Zola.
- Captain America: The Death of Captain America, Vol. 1 – The Death of the Dream (ISBN 0785124233)
- Captain America: The Death of Captain America, Vol. 2 – The Burden of Dreams (ISBN 0785124241)
- Captain America: The Death of Captain America, Vol. 3 – The Man Who Bought America (ISBN 0785129707)
- Captain America: The Death Of Captain America Omnibus (ISBN 0785138064)
Captain America #25 which depicted Steve Rogers' death was the highest selling comic of March 2007 with preorder sales of 290,514 which was double the sales of the Mighty Avengers #1 in the same period. The Death of Captain America was reported in ABC News, where Bryan Robinson paralleled the events to the Post-September 11 World and Iraq.
The storyline was adapted into a novel by comics writer Larry Hama in March 2014 to tie in the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and features Black Widow, Falcon and Bucky Barnes as central characters.