“I’ve seen a lot of boys go to war, and not all of them have returned. So many have left without a chance for me to say goodbye that you’d think it would be impossible to keep track of. I’ve never forgotten the name of a single one of them…because I can’t…and I consider that a privilege.” – Steven Rogers
The history of Captain America spans over 70 years so below is the abridged version of the First Avenger’s history.
Steve Rogers was born July 4, 1922 to Sarah and Joseph Rogers and grew up a frail youth during the Great Depression. Little is known about Steve’s early life, but his father died when he was a child and his mother died when he was in his teens. When watching newsreel footage of Nazis ransacking Europe, Rogers attempted to enlist in the Army, but was rejected due to his frailty and sickness. However, General Chester Phillips offered Steve the opportunity to take part in the top-secret experiment called Operation Rebirth. Rogers agreed and was taken to a secret laboratory in Washington, D.C. where he was introduced to Doctor Abraham Erskine, the creator of the Super-Soldier Serum. After weeks of tests, Rogers was administered the serum and emerged with a perfect human body, but a Nazi spy who observed the experiment murdered Dr. Erskine minutes afterward which left Steve the sole beneficiary of the serum. Steve was then put through an intensive physical and tactical training program that taught him gymnastics, hand-to-hand combat and military strategy. Three months later, he’s given his first assignment to stop the Red Skull and given the trademark red, white and blue costume, becoming Captain America.
Originally, Steve was issued a traditional kite-shaped shield made of mundane steel while his original helmet served as his mask, but a protective neck-plating hood was later added as well as his now-legendary disc-shaped shield by President F.D. Roosevelt. During the war, Cap served as both a symbol of freedom and as America’s most effective special operative and in addition to working with Bucky, Cap regularly fought alongside Namor and the original Human Torch as part of the Invaders. Rogers also came into contact with James Howlett and usually faced Germans or Japanese while also facing many other villains. During the final days of World War II, Cap and Bucky were trying to stop a bomb-loaded plane launched by Baron Zemo and when the plane exploded, Bucky was supposedly killed while Cap was thrown into the icy Arctic waters of the English Channel. Due to the Super-Soldier Serum, Caps body entered a state of suspended animation until Namor stumbled upon his frozen body years later and threw him into the ocean after finding an Inuit tribe worshiping him. The Avengers then discovered Steve’s thawing body and revived the legendary hero so he joined the team as a retroactive founding member and the heart and soul of the team.
The team’s early missions with Cap included a run-in with Zemo who organized the first incarnations of the Masters of Evil and kidnapped Rick until Zemo was killed in a rock slide. The remaining founding Avengers decided to take a leave of absence so Cap led a new team which included Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and the quartet defeated several threats to include Kang and Doctor Doom. When Cap took his first leave of absence, Black Panther stepped in to take his place, but when Rogers discovered one of T’Challa’s motives was to spy on the team so the relationship between the two became strained until their friendship was restored later on. Later, Red Skull returned and stole the Cosmic Cube from AIM which led to the first post-war clash between the two. Cap also crossed paths with Nick Fury after he had become Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., teaming with him many times and maintaining a close working relationship. Steve also worked with Sharon Carter, eventually sharing a deep romantic relationship and eventually admitting his love for her. When a Cosmic Cube-empowered Sam Wilson later attacked Rogers after a plot by the Red Skull, Steve managed to break Sam free of the Skull’s control and the two teamed together to defeat him, with Sam becoming the Falcon and Steve’s most reliable friend.
When Cap was badly severely injured, Sam actively succeeded him as Captain America, but returned the role when Steve recovered. Later, while investigating the Secret Empire, Steve discovered the leader as a high-ranking official and after the incident; Steve abandoned his Captain America identity, taking up the alias Nomad. Roscoe Simmons then succeeded Rogers as the new Cap, but died at the hands of the Red Skull so Steve became the Sentinel of Liberty once again. When Avengers Mansion was conquered by the Masters of Evil, Cap was captured by Baron Helmut Zemo to avenge his father’s death and forced to watch the torture of Edwin Jarvis. In the final battle, Cap defeated Wrecker and Zemo in a rooftop duel. Cap continued to come into conflict with many foes and later informed he had never officially been discharged from the U.S. Army so he received back-pay dating to the end of World War II. However Rogers was demanded to become an active member of the armed forces once again as a government-directed operative so he resigned the identity of Captain America once again and surrendered his legendary shield to John Walker. During this time, Rogers used an Adamantium shield and adopted a new costume as the Captain.
Not long after, the Avengers were temporarily disbanded so Rogers put a new lineup of members together as well as an unofficial team during the same time. It’s later discovered Red Skull was behind the Commission so he and Walker confronted the Skull and afterward, Walker resigned as Captain America so Steve took the mantle once again while Walker later resurfaced as USAgent. During a time, Cap wore a powered exoskeleton designed by Tony Stark and Hank Pym after removing the serum from his body from a meth lab explosion that reacted dangerously with it. Eventually Steve was again placed in suspended animation and given a blood transfusion from the Red Skull who also adopted some of Cap’s serum which cured his condition and stabilized him. When the Avengers learned of the Kree/Shi’ar War, Steve proposed to send diplomatic teams to each superpower during Operation Galactic Storm with Steve leading the team bound for the Kree Empire while also clashing with Iron Man who led a team of Avengers to execute the Kree Supreme Intelligence for war crimes. After returning to Earth, Cap rescued Diamondback from Crossbones and the two began an on/off romantic partnership afterwards.
Cap was then part of the force gathered to battle Onslaught and seemingly gave his life to absorb Onslaught’s energy, but instead was sent to an alternate dimension created by Franklin Richards, escaping later. When the Scarlet Witch suffered a breakdown, the team was devastated and disbanded shortly after Avengers Disassembled, but later re-assembled the team as the New Avengers when he was among the heroes present during Breakout. Although Maria Hill was opposed to the idea, Steve reminded her that he was authorized by S.H.I.E.L.D. to assemble any team he deemed necessary for any mission of his choosing. Meanwhile, Steve, Sharon and Nick Fury began investigating Aleksander Lukin and Kronas who was in possession of the Cosmic Cube and Winter Soldier, leading Steve to discover Barnes was still alive. After the death of Jack Monroe, Rogers and Barnes clashed and Cap used the Cosmic Cube to restore Bucky’s memory so Barnes used the cube himself to teleport to Camp Lehigh to cope with his past. Months later, Cap and Sharon tracked Bucky to a small Midwestern town that was controlled by AIM, but were unable to catch up with him when coming in contact with Crossbones and Sin.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. suggested the Superhuman Registration Act, Hill ordered Rogers and the Avengers to enforce it, but he refused and then attacked, but managed to escape the Helicarrier while the Watcher appeared at the Baxter Building to tell the other heroes of Cap’s actions. Cap then becomes leader of the resistance of the Act and even allowed the Punisher to join against Iron Man and his Pro-Registration unit. The two former allies attempted to meet twice during the conflict, but each time resulted in combat and Cap was nearly captured by Paladin and escaped with the aid of Shang-Chi and Heroes for Hire. In the final battle when a crowd of civilians approached in support of Stark, Cap surrendered to Iron Man after realizing his fight against the Act was endangering the people he was trying to protect. Following his surrender, Steve was indicted on several criminal charges and a successful assassination was completed which involved Crossbones as a sniper when he fired the first shot, hitting Cap in the back and Sharon Carter shot him in the stomach and chest three times after a hypnotic suggestion by Doctor Faustus.
Cap was given a state funeral, but the body at Arlington was a fake while his real body was taken to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters until it was returned to the Arctic accompanied by Tony Stark, Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne and Namor. Many people mourned Cap’s loss while Bucky and Wolverine swore to avenge his death. Before his death, Steve prepared a package for Tony in the event he doesn’t survive containing a photo of himself as Cap and Bucky in World War II and his final request to save Bucky as well as continue the mantle of Captain America. Thor later communicated Steve’s spirit on the anniversary of his death and granted Steve a minute of silence by using his powers to cut off all electronic media in America for sixty seconds. It’s later discovered Rogers’ essence was locked into a fixed point in space and time which forced his mind to relive certain segments of his life to include World War II and becoming Captain America. While reliving the Kree/Skrull War, Cap was able to ask Vision to record a message about his time travel condition to Reed Richards and Wasp in the future with Reed deducing Sharon being the key to bringing Steve back, but was too late when Red Skull came into control of Steve’s body.
Bucky and Steve fought to drive Red Skull from his body and succeeded with Steve considering retirement from the role of Cap, allowing Bucky to continue operating in his place. Steve then visited the President who gave Captain America (not Steve) a full pardon for his actions during Civil War. Steve then set out to remove Norman Osborn from power as the head of American national security as well as assisting in the return of Tony Stark from a vegetative state who had his memory of the Superhuman Registration Act (SRA) removed. After reviving Tony, Steve learned Osborn was laying siege to Asgard so he assembled the New Avengers, Young Avengers and Secret Warriors to provide support for the Asgardians and helped bring Osborn down. After the Siege, Steve was called to the White House where he agreed to become new head of security on the condition he would be able to do the job his way so he repealed the SRA as Commander Steve Rogers. After a brief mission involving the grandson of Abraham Erskine, Skadi freed the Serpent during Fear Itself, which caused seven hammers to fall to Earth and Steve was present when each hammer landed so he gave orders to send Avengers to each location.
When Bucky is seemingly killed by Skadi in Washington, D.C. during a blitzkrieg, Steve decided to avenge Bucky by resuming the role of Captain America once more and joined the Avengers in New York to stop Skadi. After the Serpent broke his shield during the fight, the fight moved to Oklahoma where Steve used Mjolnir to defeat Skadi. When Cap was captured by the Jackal during Spider-Island, he was mutated into a giant spider mutant called the Spider-King and was impregnated with thousands of spider eggs to spread the virus that gave people spider-like powers. He was eventually captured by Venom but escaped captivity, but was recaptured and put into suspended animation while Venom disguised himself as Spider-King to infiltrate Jackal’s organization. When the cure for the virus was discovered, Steve was returned to normal and later joined Venom in his fight against the Spider-Queen where other heroes joined the fight while Spider-Man distributed the cure and Kaine killed the Queen. After a plot by Baron Zemo to kill Captain America was thwarted, Steve and the rest of the Avengers were tracking down the Lethal Legion during Avengers: X-Sanction and Sam Wilson is shot down by Cable.
Steve soon realizes Sam is missing and follows Redwing to a shipping container where he immediately fought Cable until he was incapacitated and strapped into an inhibitor chair and shot with an EMP gun. Eventually Cable is brought down by the Avengers and Cap agrees to let Cyclops take him back to Utopia on the condition the Avengers are able to keep all the weapons used against them. When Nova crashes on Earth during Avengers vs. X-Men (AvX), Steve and Tony discover the Phoenix Force is heading towards Earth so they send a team into space in an attempt to stop the entity while also visiting the White House. While there, Tony picks up a source of the entity on Earth and head to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning to consult with Wolverine who states the X-Men’s belief the entity’s new host is Hope Summers. Cap then heads to Utopia in order to negotiate with Scott and have Hope turned over to the Avengers for protection but he refuses and blasts Steve with an optic blast which causes Cap to give an invasion order to the Avengers. The Avengers seemingly defeats the mutants on Utopia while Hope escapes, but the surrender turns out to be a ruse and Cyclops teleports away from Utopia with several other mutants.
The Avengers and X-Men both begin their search for Hope, but Hope finds Wolverine first, who later betrays her by telling Steve her location. The Avengers arrive on the Blue Area of the Moon to take her into custody, but they are greeted by the X-Men who have also arrived, but just before a fight breaks out, Thor crash lands followed by the Phoenix. Iron Man then uses a disruptor in his Phoenix-killer armor and divides the entity into five parts which possesses Cyclops, Namor, Emma Frost, Magik and Colossus, who then begin changing the world into a better place. Knowing the Phoenix’s ultimately destructive power would bring chaos, Steve and the Avengers try to get Hope from Utopia with the help of Scarlet Witch, with success, so Scott decides to hunt down every Avenger. The team is offered safe-haven in K’un L’un by the Thunderer as well as an area for Hope to train in order to face the Phoenix, but before the entire team could reach K’un L’un, Wakanda is attacked by the Sub-Mariner with a full army of Atlanteans. After Namor is defeated, his part of the entity disperses between the remaining four and the Avengers leave for K’un L’un.
The team is later attacked by Scott who now possesses half the Phoenix Force and makes quick work of the team, but Hope combines the powers of Iron Fist, the flames of Shao Lao and Scarlet Witch to teleport Scott to the moon. The Avengers then team-up with several X-Men who realize Scott and Emma had lost control of the Phoenix and attack the duo, gaining the upper hand until Scott is forced to take the final piece from Emma and he succumbs to the Dark Phoenix. With the help of the X-Men and Nova, the Avengers manage to fight Scott around the world while also attempting to contain the destruction throughout the world, but in the end Hope and Scarlet Witch defeat Scott after the death of Professor X and Hope becomes the host of the Phoenix. Hope manages to maintain control and repairs the damage caused by Scott and finally uses the power of Wanda to manipulate reality and destroys the Phoenix which causes millions of mutants around the world to manifest their powers. After Scott is incarcerated, Steve realizes the Avengers should’ve done more to help mutants so he begins putting another team of Avengers together in hopes to unify mutant and humankind and chooses Havok to lead his team and become the new face to represent mutants. After the formation of the team, a brain-washed Avalanche was sent by Red Skull in order to create chaos and increase the fear against mutants but the Avengers manage to save innocent citizens from Avalanche’s destruction while he escapes.
The Super-Soldier Serum (SSS) is the main product which metabolized and enhanced all Steve’s bodily functions to the peak of human potential which allows him to be as intelligent, strong, fast, agile and durable as much as possible for a human without being considered superhuman. The serum enhances Cap’s physical strength which makes him as physically strong as a human being can be without being a superhuman and has been seen bench-pressing 1,200 pounds, which enables him to snap steel handcuffs/chains, and capable of breaking through wooden walls and steel doors with a single kick. Rogers can also run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and can run a mile under duress in 73 seconds and can coordinate his body with balance, flexibility and dexterity, being able to leap 50 yards in a single bound and 20 feet in the air without a running start. Cap’s reflexes also enable him to dodge gunfire at point blank range from multiple gunners and he’s also durable enough to survive forms of extensive punishment and falls from several stories. Steve’s sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch are also at the highest limits of human potential, once stating he’s able to dodge bullets because he sees faster than them.
Steve is also an expert in hand-to-hand combat, being skilled in many martial arts which began under combat experts Rex Applegate and William Fairbairn whose expertise were European martial arts and Chinese martial arts during World War II. Cap is also well versed in Boxing, Judo, Jujitsu, Fencing and Wushu, becoming one of the finest martial artists on Earth. His years of training with his shield allow Rogers to accomplish amazing feats, allowing him to throw it with perfect aim and can hit multiple targets with the same throw by means of ricochet and can also achieve a boomerang-like effect. Steve is also an accomplished strategist and is considered one of the greatest tacticians on the planet which allows him to alter any strategy to fit the changing need of any situation. Rogers is also a master acrobat and is a very strong-willed person, allowing him to overcome most forms of temptation and can resist the effects of extreme pain, drugs and toxins to great extent.