Captain America: 5 Superhero Secrets

United Secrets of America

Captain America:You know, I really miss the days when the weirdest thing science ever created was me.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Captain America having secrets seems strange. He’s always pontificating about truth, justice, and not infringing on DC Comics’ copyrighted catchphrases. Despite being the ultimate good guy in Marvel comics, he keeps a few things hidden from the public.

So what has Captain America been hiding more fervently than one of Joe McCarthy’s Fifth Columnists? Let’s find out.

#5 Captain America vs Drugs

Keith:It’s my fault. I should have done something sooner. I didn’t know who to turn to.
Captain America:There are many agencies you could have turned to, Keith. Most of them are listed in the Yellow Pages under Alcohol or Drug Use.

Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs

Publishers often use superheroes to influence younger readers. Ironically, Captain America tends to be used in anti-drug PSAs, despite his powers coming from a super-steroid.

Cap’s drug-fueled superpowers were a big problem during a crossover story with Daredevil when he was exposed to a meth-like substance during an explosion in a drug bust gone bad. The drug caused a fast, intense reaction that included mood swings, paranoia, and depression.

The Avengers eventually calmed him, but the only way to remove the drug-infused blood would also take away his powers. Cap agreed to give up his powers, but they were restored later thanks to antidote.

On a brighter note, Cap also fought drug dealing aliens. During the PSA Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs, Cap discovered that a race of aliens was planning to invade the Earth after weakening humanity with drugs. Standard nagging and speeches ensued until a final battle where Cap fought alongside The New Warriors against anthropomorphic street drugs.

90’s anti-drug campaigns were wild, folks.

#4 The Buddha Sends Captain America Time-Traveling

Captain America:It isn’t possible! It just isn’t possible! I-I’ve been ripped off by Benjamin Franklin!

Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles

The United States of America turned 200 years old and celebrated its bicentennial in 1976. It was a huge deal at the time. Marvel celebrated with one of the strangest Captain America secrets ever written.

In Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles, Cap received a special talisman from an enigmatic figure calling himself “Mr. Buda”. The talisman sent him back in time to World War II, where he teamed up with his deceased sidekick Bucky to fight the Red Skull and Hitler

The talisman began activating intermittently after the fight, sending Captain America to random points in time. He appeared in the nineteenth century and protected Native Americans from corrupt Confederate cavalrymen and seventy years later to save a child from gangsters during The Great Depression. He soon realizes that Mr. Buda is sending him to these places to remind him that America has done a lot of good and a lot of evil. Mr. Buda then points out that good and bad is a choice.

The strangest part of the story is a segment where Captain America arrives during the Revolutionary War. He quickly encounters Benjamin Franklin, who loves the design of Cap’s costume and brings him to Betsy Ross, thus inspiring her to make the American flag. 

That doesn’t make sense because Cap’s outfit is based on the Betsy Ross flag, but if he inspired her to make it and it’s based on her design then where did the original design come from? [three hours later] …Carry the one, divided by purple… Oh screw it. We’ll go with the History Channel explanation and say that aliens designed the American flag. Maybe the drug dealing ones from secret number five.

#3 Capwolf

Nightshade:Captain… get ready to howl!

Captain America #405

I’m not sure which part of this Captain America secret is stranger: Cap becoming a werewolf or the fact that this story is considered canon.

During Man and Wolf, Captain America investigated the disappearance of astronaut John Jameson. A hero called Doctor Druid tells him that Jameson possessed a relic called the Moongem that transforms him into a villain called Manwolf. Even more disconcerting, various lupine-themed heroes have disappeared, including Wolverine, Wolfsbane, and Jack Russel: The Werewolf By Night.

Captain America and Doctor Druid find the kidnapped wolves surrounded by an army of werewolves. A villain called Dredmund the Druid had kidnapped the wolves and stolen the Moongem as part of a ritual to become an all-powerful monster called Starwolf. Cap tried to stop Dredmund, but was infected by a bite, transforming him into a werewolf.

Captain America’s willpower allowed him to stay in control of himself after transforming. Capwolf became the Alpha of the werewolf superheroes and led them into battle against Starwolf. He destroyed the Moongem, turning most of the werewolf superheroes back to normal.

#2 Nomad

Thor:Hold Steven Rogers! Thou knowest not what thou dost!
Steve Rogers: Wrong, thunder god! I know exactly what I’m doing! I’m renouncing the Captain America identity, FOREVER!

Captain America and The Falcon #176

You may be tangentially aware of this secret thanks to Infinity War, but I’m willing to bet you don’t know many details about Steve Rogers’ other hero identity, Nomad.

In the mid-Seventies, Captain America was embroiled in a war against a Hydra splinter cell called The Secret Empire. The Empire had major connections to the U.S. government, which Cap eventually tracked to the Oval Office. The Secret Empire’s leader was none other than the POTUS (heavily implied to be Richard Nixon).

Realizing that he couldn’t beat Captain America, the president ranted about his motives before shooting himself in the head. The event traumatized Steve Rogers and he abandoned the Captain America identity. Unable to stop himself from being a hero, Steve created a new identity called The Nomad.

The Nomad had a terrible career. The first villain he fought escaped when Nomad tripped over his own cape. Rogers quickly gave up on being The Nomad and reclaimed the Captain America identity after rationalizing that he could be loyal to his country without being subservient to its government. The Nomad identity has since been adopted by several minor heroes to mixed success.

#1 Captain America: Agent of HYDRA

Captain America: Listen, Hydra is the future I’ve been fighting for. It always has been. If you join us, I can save you.”

Thunderbolts #11

Say it ain’t so! The greatest Captain America secret is his loyalty to the secretive Nazi organization Hydra.

The first issue of 2016’s Captain America: Steve Rogers ended with the unbelievable twist of him being a deep cover Hydra agent. Cap had been recruited during WWII when the Red Skull revealed that the Allies won the war because they had used a reality warping artifact to change history.

Captain America manipulated events behind the scenes, setting heroes against each other, killing those who couldn’t be manipulated, and setting the stage for a Hydra coup d’etat. Captain America finally took control of the United States in the event Secret Empire, instilling a Nazi-style government with himself as the Fuhrer.

Several heroes and villains were coerced into joining the Hydra Cap’s army, forcing the rest of the heroes to go on the run as Black Widow organized a rebellion. The rebels soon learned that Hydra Cap was actually from another universe and that our Captain America had been trapped in an alternate universe. After they freed him, Cap led a final attack against Hydra Cap.

Which of these Captain America Secrets is your favorite? Is there another one that should be on the list? Tell us in the comments.

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